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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu, 23 [Vol. 7, 755-6]

[7] unni (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘loved’: Unna ‘love’ takes the dat., and the object ‘him’ is understood. It may seem incongruous that the woman should love the man who had rejected her; rather, we should expect her to be the object of his affections. However, ágætt víf ‘famous lady’ is in the nom. or acc., so such an interpretation is impossible. Skald emends ágætt víf to ágæts vífs (n. gen. sg.) ‘of the famous female’ and treats it as a parallel construction to silkigrundar ‘of the silk-ground [WOMAN]’ (l. 6).


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