Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 55. Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa, 4 [Vol. 1, 945]

[1] herr bar merki hôtt ‘the army carried the standard high’: Herr ‘army’ and merki ‘standard’ have been tentatively assumed to have sg. reference here, designating the Jómsvíkingar, in the light of the poem’s general focus on them. Merki could alternatively be taken as pl. (as in Skj B), and herr as a reference to both parties. The Context in ÓT might suggest that the compiler understood them thus, though the Jómsvíkingr Sigvaldi jarl’s banner is singled out earlier in the narrative, and in the corresponding place in ÓTHkr (ÍF 26, 279). Hôtt ‘high’ is the n. nom./acc. sg. form of adj. hôr ‘high’, taken here adverbially, but it could alternatively be an attributive adj. qualifying merki, which could then only be sg., ‘high standard’ (cf. Note to st. 2/1 hvasst).

references

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