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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Sigv Lv 16I

[7-8] fé lætr ferð firrða einǫrð ‘money deprives people of their constancy’: The sense is clearly that Óláfr has lost support because of bribery, but the syntax is uncertain. (a) The present interpretation follows Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) in regarding as nom. and fir(r)ða as f. acc. sg. p. p. of firra ‘remove’, qualifying ferð ‘company’, hence lit. ‘money makes people removed from constancy’. With a similar interpretation of the syntax, Hellberg (1981a, 16-17) advocates the meaning ‘payment frees people from (fulfilling) obligations’. (b) Alternatively, could be taken as a dat. of cause or means (so ÍF 27, citing NS §111, and Hkr 1991), and firða/fyrða read as the gen. pl. forming a natural unit with ferð, hence ‘company of men’. However, this entails assuming a construction láta e-t e-u ‘abandon sth. for sth.’, which is not paralleled. 


  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. Hellberg, Staffan. 1981a. ‘Kungarna i Sigvats diktning. Till studiet av skaldedikternas språk och stil’. SI 32, 3-22.
  4. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.


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