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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þloft Glækv 8I/7 — þjóðir ‘people’

Þar kømr herr,
es heilagr es
konungr sjalfr,
krýpr at gangi.
En beiðendr
blindir sœkja
þjóðir máls,
en þaðan heilir.

Herr kømr þar, es heilagr konungr sjalfr es, krýpr at gangi. En þjóðir, beiðendr máls, blindir, sœkja, en þaðan heilir.

A host comes there, where the holy king himself is, [and] bows down for access. And people, petitioners for speech [and] the blind, make their way [there], and [go] from there whole.


[7] þjóðir: so 61, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, þjóðar , 39, Holm2, 325VI, 321ˣ, 325XI 2 n


[7] þjóðir ‘people’: Both ms. readings, þjóðir and þjóðar, are problematic. (a) Skj B and Skald both emend to þjóðan, acc. sg. of þjóðann ‘prince, ruler’, hence ‘petitioners … seek the king’. (b) Magerøy (1948, 14-15) endeavours to retain gen. sg. þjóðar ‘of people’, as evidenced in the best mss, by reading mál (Flat only) rather than máls and arguing that mál here has the sense more of ‘assembly’, as in cognate OE mæðel, hence ‘petitioners … seek the assembly of people’, i.e. the crowd around Óláfr’s shrine; this suggestion is based on Fritzner (1883). (c) Mss 61, Flat and Tóm, apparently sensing the problem, read nom. pl. þjóðir ‘people’, presumably in apposition with beiðendr. This leaves sœkja ‘visit, make one’s way’ intransitive, while it normally takes an acc. object or a directional adverbial (Fritzner: sœkja 4), as recognised in Flat’s consequent reading of mál ‘speech’. This, however, is acceptable if one retains máls, qualifying beiðendr (giving ‘petitioners for speech’) and takes sœkja as intransitive ‘make their way [there]’, with the sense ‘there’ understood from l. 1 and reinforced by l. 8. This solution is adopted here, but it remains far from satisfactory, not least because it follows an apparent rationalisation by less authoritative mss.



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