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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 19VIII (Bret 19)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 19 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 19)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 153.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II
181920

bjarnígull ‘A hedgehog’

bjarnígull (noun m.): °(a sort of) hedgehog

notes

[1] bjarnígull ‘a hedgehog’: A hap. leg. in poetry; prose occurrences are rare and confined to learned contexts, as are also those of the simplex ígull (see ONP: ígull).

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smíðar ‘will build’

smíða (verb): craft

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landreki ‘the ruler’

landreki (noun m.): land-ruler

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remma ‘strengthen’

2. remma (verb): strengthen

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oddviti ‘leader’

oddviti (noun m.): leader

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fimm ‘with five’

fimm (num. cardinal): five

notes

[7] fimm hundruðum ‘with five hundred’: No doubt Gunnlaugr’s copy-text had .d. ‘500’, not .dc. ‘600’, parallel to ms. H of the First Variant Version (Wright 1988, 108) but most probably through coincident error, as arises frequently with numerals.

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hundruðum ‘hundred’

hundrað (noun n.; °-s; hundruð/-): hundred

notes

[7] fimm hundruðum ‘with five hundred’: No doubt Gunnlaugr’s copy-text had .d. ‘500’, not .dc. ‘600’, parallel to ms. H of the First Variant Version (Wright 1988, 108) but most probably through coincident error, as arises frequently with numerals.

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Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 153.172, 173-4; cf. Wright 1988, 108, prophecy 36): Reaedificabit eam hericius…Adiciet palacium ingens et sexcentis turribus illud uallabit ‘The city will be rebuilt by a hedgehog … He will add a huge palace and will fortify it with six hundred towers’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 152). This prophecy appears to be an extrapolation from an upsurge of castle-building and circumvallation in Geoffrey’s time (cf. Eales 2003, 50); for castle-building and re-building at Winchester contemporary with Geoffrey see Kenyon (2005, 31). The elements of DGB’s prophecy 36, 1) rebuilding of Winchester, 2) possession of apples, 3) bolstering of defences at London, 4) concealment of apples at London, are redistributed in Merl between II 19 and 21 in the order 1, 3, 2, 4. Possibly st. 21 originally preceded st. 20. Merl, in common with the Ω class of mss, omits a sentence of prophecy found in the Π class (Reeve and Wright 2007, ix, 153).

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