Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Note to Gamlkan Has 34VII

[5] áðr ef eigi réðum: The ms. is very badly worn at this point (fol. 13r, l. 7), and it has been very difficult to read this l. Although in Skj A he reads rendum with certainty, Finnur Jónsson in Skj B follows Kempff in adopting Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s suggestion (1844, 24 n. 25), that the l. should read endr ef eigi vendum. The endr : vendum reconstruction, however, gives an aðalhending, rather than the expected skothending. The final word, ‘re᷎dum’, is legible on ultra-violet photographs, and is confirmed by Rydberg’s transcription. Although the first word is now illegible, apart from the final r, Rydberg read ‘…dr’ with certainty, and believed he saw traces of an initial a (1907, 26 n. 4). Jón Helgason (1935-6, 258) accepts Rydberg’s reading, though he points out that ræðum (dat. pl.) ‘speeches’, which would be the usual interpretion of what appears to be hooked ‘e’, is hardly appropriate in the context. As Jón points out, however, there are several instances where the scribe writes a curved accent which is easily mistaken for a hook. If we take this to be the case here, the l. becomes áðr ef eigi réðum. Although the expression ráða til sætta við e-n ‘to make peace with someone’ is not found elsewhere, Jón Helgason cites ráða til saka við e-n (Fritzner: ráða til 4.) ‘to blame someone’ as a close parallel. The first word of l. 5 has been taken as either endr (so Kempff and Skj B), following a suggestion of Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 24 n. 45), or áðr (so Rydberg, Jón Helgason, Kock, Black, Attwood 1996a and here).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  5. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  6. Jón Helgason. 1935-6. ‘Til skjaldedigtningen’. APS 10, 250-64.
  7. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.