Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to ÞGísl Búdr 11I

[5] bára bens ‘the wave of the wound [BLOOD]’: Though not strictly an emendation, the reading bens bára is a conjectural combination of elements from byrs bára (61) and bensára or ben sára (53, 54, Bb). Neither ms. reading makes sense, and ‑sára appears to be a case of dittography (cf. l. 4 sára ‘of wounds’), while bens bára, adopted in previous eds (Fms 12, Skj B, Skald, Ólafur Halldórsson 2000) gives good sense. Ben ‘wound’ is more commonly a f. noun whose gen. form is benjar, but here it is n. with gen. sg. form in -s (cf. ANG §382); this may also have contributed to the presumed corruption. Bens is a suitable determinant for the blood-kenning required by the context (cf. Meissner 206-7), while the 61 reading byrs ‘of the favouring wind’ is not, unless byrr is assumed, exceptionally, to be a heiti for ‘battle’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  7. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2000. Danish Kings and the Jomsvikings in the Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.


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