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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 22VIII (Bret 22)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 22 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 22)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 155.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

grundu ‘the ground’

grund (noun f.): earth, land


gǫtur ‘passages’

gata (noun f.): path, road


háligar ‘lofty’

háligr (adj.): noble


[6] háligar ‘lofty’: For this tentative translation, cf. Skj B. As noted by Finnur Jónsson in LP: hôligr, the meaning of this sparsely attested adj. in context is not entirely clear. It represents Gunnlaugr’s free addition to the account in DGB. Possibly the general meaning is ‘capacious, commodious’; possibly too, however, the reading has arisen in error for hagligar ‘artful’ (Fritzner: hagligr 1; LP: hagligr 1; ONP: hagligr), whose inclusion in the text would bring out the meaning of machinabitur ‘will devise, engineer’ more fully. For háligr and hagligr as variant readings see Hbreiðm Lv 1/3II.


fláráðugt ‘The treacherous’

fláráðugr (adj.)


Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 153.176-7; cf. Wright 1988, 109, prophecy 37): Occultabit infra illam hericius poma sua et subterraneas uias machinabitur ‘The hedgehog will hide his apples there and devise pathways beneath the earth’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 152). Gunnlaugr plays up the notion of the hedgehog-king’s perfidy, on lines similar to his characterisation of the fox-king (II 27-45). — [7]: The idea of the hedgehog-king’s eagerness for plunder is another of Gunnlaugr’s additions.


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