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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Lv 1aI/6 — sættis ‘reconciler’

Gerðak veig of virða
víðis illrar tíðar
(þat vann ek, meðan aðrir)
ǫrr Váfaðar (svôfu).
Komkat þess, þars þótti,
þingsættis, fé betra
— meiðr sparir hodd við hróðri
hverr — en skald it verra.

Illrar tíðar gerðak ǫrr veig Váfaðar of virða víðis; vann ek þat, meðan aðrir svôfu. Komkat þess þingsættis, þars fé þótti betra en skald it verra; hverr meiðr sparir hodd við hróðri.

At an unfortunate time I composed, eager, strong drink of Váfuðr <= Óðinn> [POETRY] about men of the ocean [SEAFARERS]; I did that while others slept. I have not come to that assembly-reconciler [RULER] where money seemed better but the poet worse; each tree [man] withholds treasure from praise poetry.


[6] þingsættis betra: þrenna linns at finna 510, ‘hinnig sotta sotta ek gram þottu’ M


[5, 6] komkat þess þingsættis ‘I have not come to that assembly-reconciler [RULER]’: For the use of verbs of motion + gen., see NS §141, though the genitives in the examples there denote places through or across which the subject is travelling rather than a person who is being sought. Þingsættis, the reading of 291 and Flat, is tentatively construed here as a kenning for a ruler who reconciles others at the assembly. It is without precedent, however, in the skaldic corpus. Ólafur Halldórsson (Jvs 1969, 215) emended to þingsetrs ‘of the assembly-seat’, which is also unprecedented in poetry and not particularly suitable in context. Lines 5-6 in the A-redaction mss of Jvs are likely to be corrupted. They lack hendingar and their general sense seems obscure; do they mean that Einarr has never come across a ruler who paid more for bad poetry and did not reward good?



case: gen.


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