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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 7 [Vol. 1, 566]

[8] heiðþegum ‘retainers’: The correct reading is difficult to establish (see Jesch 2001a, 235-7 for full discussion). The word heið is explained by the comment in SnE that heiðfé heitir máli ok gjǫf er hǫfðingjar gefaheið-money is the name of the wages and gift that chieftains give’ (SnE 1998, I, 81; cf. LP: 2. heið f.). The alternative reading heimdregum ‘stay-at-homes’ can be explained as stigmatising those who did not support the king. But possibly some other word has been garbled in all witnesses. Jesch (loc. cit.) proposes heimþegum ‘persons given a home’, a comitatus term that occurs in Danish runic inscriptions; it is not attested in the skaldic corpus or OWN but given Sigvatr’s lexical eclecticism elsewhere he might well have used such a word.


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