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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Sigv Vestv 7I

[1-4]: The two main possible analyses of the helmingr are problematic, though its overall sense is clear. (a) The analysis above follows Kock (NN §635) in adopting the reading mæta (n. gen. pl.) ‘of/with treasures’. Although this occurs in only one medieval ms., 61, the majority reading mætra could represent an attempt to produce a more exact hending with Knútr. Kock suggests a parallelism between mildr mæta ‘generous with treasures’ and hugreifr hringa ‘bountiful with rings’, lit. ‘mind-glad with (in giving away) rings’. The phrase hugreifr hringa is unparalleled, but not impossible, since reifa can mean ‘to bestow’, reifr can mean ‘cheerfully hospitable’, and reifir can mean ‘presenter’ as in Edáð Banddr 2/3, 4 handa logreifis ‘presenter of the flame of hands [(lit. ‘flame-presenter of hands) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’. (b) The reading mætra (gen. pl.) ‘excellent’ in l. 1 could be retained if construed with hringa ‘of rings’ in l. 3 (so Skj B). However, this entails that hringa separates the conj. sem ‘as’ from the phrase it introduces, and produces a caesura in an exceptional position (cf. Gade 1995a, 212).


  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1995a. The Structure of Old Norse dróttkvætt Poetry. Islandica 49. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  5. Internal references
  6. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 2’ 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. 457.


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