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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Ólhelg Lv 6I

[5] umstilli ‘the machinations’: This reading is poorly supported but the majority reading, verstilli-, is impossible because of the failure in alliteration. The error ver for um could have arisen from the interchangeability of <u> and <v> and a misreading of an abbreviation for <m>. Likewise, stillir for stilli could have arisen from scribal expectations that the common agentive class of noun in -ir was intended here. The ‘machinations’ of Erlingr and others of Knútr’s agents were stigmatised by advocates for Óláfr (e.g. Sigv Lv 13-15; cf. Fidjestøl 1975; Jesch 2001a, 262-3). Alternatively, it is possible that all the variant readings derive from some unknown word; Fidjestøl (1982, 68) suggests ýstillir ‘bow-user [WARRIOR]’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  3. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1975. ‘Kongetruskap og gullets makt: Om nokre Bibel allusjonar hjå Sigvat skald’. MM, 4-11.
  4. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  5. Internal references
  6. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 13’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 715.


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