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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Ótt Óldr 5III

[2] munlaust ‘loveless’: So mss 744ˣ and C; mss R and Tx read munnlaust ‘mouthless’. The land might be munlaust for two reasons:  (a) It might be bereaved, and lacking a strong ruler (cf. munar lausasta ‘most bereaved of love’, Guðr I 4/4, NK 202). The adv. víst ‘for certain, certainly’ in the same line strongly suggests that the land’s loveless condition will be remedied by Óláfr’s military might. (b) The adj. qualifies a kenning for ‘Jǫrð’ (lit. ‘Earth’, Óðinn’s consort and mother of his son Þórr), who may have been abandoned when Óðinn left her for Frigg (see McKinnell 2005, 152-6, and see also Faulkes, SnE 1998, II, 358, who compares Hfr Hákdr 3/4 biðkván Þriðja ‘waiting wife of Þriði <= Óðinn> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð (‘earth’)]’). Kock (NN §3396N; Skald) emends instead to mundlaust ‘without a bride-price’ and compares ómyndr ‘lacking bride-payment’ in a similar ofljóst play on Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’) in ÞjóðA Sex 3/4II. McKinnell (2005, 155) suggests that munlaust has the colourless meaning ‘without doubt’, but this would seem pleonastic following víst ‘for certain’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  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. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. McKinnell, John. 2005. Meeting the Other in Norse Myth and Legend. Cambridge: Brewer.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite ()
  9. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Hákonardrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 218.
  10. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 114-16.


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