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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to ÞjóðA Sex 31II

[2] ulf* ‘the wolf’: (a) Emendation of nom. sg. ulfr in the mss to acc. sg. ulf, as first proposed by Konráð Gíslason (1879a, 189; Nj 1875-8, II, 75), is attractive, since without it there are two potential subjects for the verb kom ‘came’: sonr Sigvorðar ‘Sigurðr’s son, Haraldr’ and ulfr, and the former, as a human subject, appears more likely given that kom is accompanied by norðan ‘from the north’. (b) The ms. reading can be retained if á is read as the 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, possess, have’, hence á sár/sr at spenja ‘has a wound/wounds to entice (with)’, i.e. can entice the wolf with his enemies’ wounds. This interpretation is offered by Faulkes, citing Frank’s suggestion of a connection between spenja and speni ‘teat’ (SnE 1998, I, 87, 400 and Frank 1978, 86). Spenja means to ‘entice’ or ‘attract’ (especially sby to change their allegiance or location). Sveinbjörn Egilsson had hesitantly adopted the same cl. arrangement, suggesting ‘Sigurðr’s son has wounds to cause’ (filius Sigurdi vulnera habet inferenda, SnE 1848-87, I, 476-7).


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Nj 1875-89 = Konráð Gíslason and Eiríkur Jónsson. 1875-89. Njála: Udgivet efter gamle håndskrifter. Íslendingasögur udgivne efter gamle haandskrifter af Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskrift-selskab 4. Copenhagen: Thiele.
  4. Frank, Roberta. 1978. Old Norse Court Poetry: The Dróttkvætt Stanza. Islandica 42. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Konráð Gíslason. 1879a. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i Skáldskaparmál’. ÅNOH, 185-202.


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