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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 51. Þórarinn loftunga, 3. Glælognskviða, 8 [Vol. 1, 873]

[7] þjóðir ‘people’: Both ms. readings, þjóðir and þjóðar, are problematic. (a) Skj B and Skald both emend to þjóðan, acc. sg. of þjóðann ‘prince, ruler’, hence ‘petitioners … seek the king’. (b) Magerøy (1948, 14-15) endeavours to retain gen. sg. þjóðar ‘of people’, as evidenced in the best mss, by reading mál (Flat only) rather than máls and arguing that mál here has the sense more of ‘assembly’, as in cognate OE mæðel, hence ‘petitioners … seek the assembly of people’, i.e. the crowd around Óláfr’s shrine; this suggestion is based on Fritzner (1883). (c) Mss 61, Flat and Tóm, apparently sensing the problem, read nom. pl. þjóðir ‘people’, presumably in apposition with beiðendr. This leaves sœkja ‘visit, make one’s way’ intransitive, while it normally takes an acc. object or a directional adverbial (Fritzner: sœkja 4), as recognised in Flat’s consequent reading of mál ‘speech’. This, however, is acceptable if one retains máls, qualifying beiðendr (giving ‘petitioners for speech’) and takes sœkja as intransitive ‘make their way [there]’, with the sense ‘there’ understood from l. 1 and reinforced by l. 8. This solution is adopted here, but it remains far from satisfactory, not least because it follows an apparent rationalisation by less authoritative mss.


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