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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hfr ErfÓl 7I

[5] hirðir ‘guardian’: Corruption in all mss of an original hirðir (m. nom. sg.) to hirðar (nom. pl. of hirðir m., or gen. sg. of hirð f. ‘household troop’) is puzzling, but as the helmingr stands in the mss the sg. verb stózk við ‘withstood’ lacks a sg. subject and the adj. varghollr (m. nom. sg.) ‘wolf-gracious’ a noun. The emendation seems to have been first proposed by Guðbrandur Vigfússon and Möbius (1860, 208), and it is adopted by all subsequent eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s attempt to retain hirðar in SHI 2 is unconvincing and he retreats from it in LP (1860): hirðir). A nom. subject must otherwise be sought (unconventionally) in the previous helmingr, or varghollr taken as a substantive. But further syntactical problems follow in the train of both these solutions (cf. SHI), and the emendation seems unavoidable.


  1. Bibliography
  2. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  3. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  4. Möbius, Theodor. 1860. Edda Sæmundar hins fróða. Mit einem Anhang bisher ungedruckter Gedichte. Leipzig: Hinrichs.


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