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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sól 78VII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 78’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 352-3.

Anonymous PoemsSólarljóð

text and translation

Arfi, faðir        einn ek ráðit hefi,
        ok þeir Sólkötlu synir
hjartarhorn,        þat er ór haugi bar
        inn vitri Vígdvalinn.

Arfi, ek einn, faðir, ok þeir synir Sólkötlu, hefi ráðit hjartarhorn, þat er inn vitri Vígdvalinn bar ór haugi.
‘Heir, I alone, the father, and the sons of Sólkatla, have interpreted the hart’s horn which the wise Vígdvalinn carried out of the burial mound.

notes and context

This st. for the first time clarifies the discursive framework of the poem – a father addresses his son – and yet ll. 1-4 are capable of two different interpretations. Arfi (l. 1) may be either the m. noun ‘son, heir’ nom., the subject of direct address, or the m. dat. sg. of arfr ‘inheritance’, object of ráða ‘to possess, have at one’s disposal’ (which takes the dat. case). Skj B and Skald follow the latter line of interpretation, which also requires them to emend faðir to fǫður (gen. sg). Skj B construes Faders arv har jeg ene rådet over og de Solkatlas sönner ‘I alone, and Solkatla’s sons, have had the father’s inheritance at my disposal’. Hjartarhorn (l. 4), presumably in apposition to fǫður arfi (l. 1) should then also be in the dat. case, and Skald emends to hjartarhorni, though Skj B does not. The other possibility, and that adopted here, is that the father addresses his son directly and that ek einn, faðir is to be understood as ‘I alone, the father …’. Ráða (l. 2) is then to be understood as meaning ‘to interpret’ (in this sense it takes the acc. case) with hjartarhorn (l. 4) as object of ek hefi ráðit (l. 2). This sense fits better with the remainder of st. 78 and looks forward to st. 79.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [6]. Sólarljóð 78: AI, 639-40, BI, 648, Skald I, 316, NN §2816; Bugge 1867, 369, Falk 1914, 50, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 22-3, Fidjestøl 1979, 71, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 102-5, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 84, 148-9.


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