Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 26I/6 — ofsa ‘powerfully’

Ok niðkvísl
í Nóregi
þróttar Þrós
of þróazk hafði.
Réð Ôleifr
ofsa forðum
víðri grund
of Vestmari,
unz fótverkr
við Foldar þrǫm
of viða skyldi.
Nú liggr gunndjarfr
á Geirstǫðum
haugi ausinn.

Ok niðkvísl Þrós þróttar hafði of þróazk í Nóregi. Ôleifr réð forðum ofsa víðri grund of Vestmari, unz fótverkr skyldi of viða vígmiðlung við þrǫm Foldar. Gunndjarfr herkonungr liggr nú ausinn haugi á Geirstǫðum.

And the descendants of the Þrór <god> of strength had flourished in Norway. Óláfr once ruled powerfully over a wide area across Vestmarir, until a foot disease was to destroy the battle-dealer [WARRIOR] at the edge of Fold. The war-daring king of the host now lies surrounded by a mound in Geirstaðir.


[6] ofsa: ‘ufsa’ 71ˣ, 73aˣ, 76aˣ, 78aˣ, ‘upsa’ Flat, ‘yfse’ 49ˣ, 65ˣ(321r), ‘yfsa’ 65ˣ(317r)


[6] ofsa ‘powerfully’: Ofsa has been interpreted variously: (a) As a p. n. Ofsi/Upsi (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B; LP: 1. Upsi). This interpretation requires the reading ok ‘and’ to be selected in l. 8, since it would connect the two place names Ofsa/Upsa and Vestmarir/-marr. The Flat version is to be understood this way. However, a place called Ofsa/Upsa cannot be shown to have existed, and the reading ok creates syntactic difficulties (see Note to l. 8 of Vestmari). (b) Many authors (from Bugge 1871b, 388 to the present edn) instead view ofsa as a noun, ‘with violence, force, tyranny’, hence ‘powerfully’. (c) Because the noun ofsi normally has negative connotations, Noreen (1912a, 15) suggests linking ofsa with the adj. víðri to create a phrase meaning ‘exceedingly far’ which he compares to ofsaharðr ‘exceedingly powerful’, ofsamikill ‘exceedingly large’ and ofsaþrútuligr ‘exceedingly arrogant’. However, these examples are compounds; to read ofsavíðri as a cpd would result in a tmesis, and even to read ofsa víðri as a phrase would split the line ofsa forðum. Either way the result is stylistically untenable for Yt.



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