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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 3. Magnússdrápa, 1 [Vol. 2, 207-9]

[7-8]: These ll. are identical to the second couplet of a st. which is attributed in its sole ms. source, F, to Hallar-Steinn (HSt Frag 1I), the first couplet of which reads Tolf vas elds at aldri | ýsetrs hati vetra ‘The hater of the fire of the yew-bow’s rest [ARM/HAND > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] was twelve years in age’. That st. has been taken as belonging to the opening of Hallfreðr’s Óláfsdrápa (Hallfr ÓldrI), and since a st. by Hallfreðr influenced Arn Þorfdr 24 (see Note to [All]), one cannot rule out the possibility that Magndr 1 is composed in imitation of him (a view favoured by de Vries, 1952, 165). On the other hand, the scribe of one or other st., prompted by the similarity of the ll. ormsetrs hati vetra and ýsetrs hati vetra, may have unwittingly substituted hraustr ... Gǫrðum for its original couplet, which is now lost. If so, the likelihood is that hraustr ... Gǫrðum belongs to Arnórr’s st. rather than the other, since (i) it is found in all the diverse ms. texts of Magndr 1; (ii) the adj. hraustr ‘valiant, bold’ is also applied to Magnús in st. 2/6, where it stands at the corresponding point in the st.; and (iii) the doubtful attribution of the Hallar-Steinn/Hallfreðr st. Tolf vas elds... makes its text suspect also. Cf. Fidjestøl (1982, 107), who sees it as a spurious importation from the tradition about Magnús to that of Óláfr Tryggvason.


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