Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 2I/5 — ólítinn ‘at full strength’

Mjǫk lét margar snekkjur
(mærðarǫrr) sem knǫrru
(óðr vex skalds) ok skeiðar
skjaldhlynr á brim dynja,
þás ólítinn útan
oddherðir fór gerða
— mǫrg vas lind fyr landi —
lǫnd síns fǫður rǫndu.

Skjaldhlynr lét mjǫk margar snekkjur sem knǫrru ok skeiðar dynja á brim — mærðarǫrr óðr skalds vex —, þás oddherðir fór ólítinn útan gerða lǫnd fǫður síns rǫndu; mǫrg lind vas fyr landi.

The shield-maple [WARRIOR] made very many warships, as well as merchant ships and longships, resound on the surf — the praise-liberal poetry of the skald grows —, when the point-hardener [WARRIOR] advanced at full strength from offshore to enclose the lands of his father with the shield; many a linden-shield was before the land.


[5] ólítinn: ólítil FskBˣ, ólítill FskAˣ


[5] ólítinn ‘at full strength’: (a) This, the reading of all Hkr and ÓT mss as well as 510, is construed here with fór, hence lit. ‘advanced not insignificantly’. The adverbial use of m. acc. sg. is unusual, but cf. ModIcel. að fara mikinn, lit. ‘to go all out’ (so ÍF 26); cf. also Anon (TGT) 8/1III, where hraustan (m. acc. sg.) ‘brave’ stands for hraustliga ‘bravely’, albeit as a solecism (TGT 1884, 75). (b) Skj B, Skald and ÍF 29 prefer ólítill ‘great’ (lit. ‘not small’), the reading of FskAˣ (and cf. FskBˣ ólítil), taken with the subject of the clause, oddherðir ‘point-hardener [WARRIOR]’. This reading is more straightforward but for that reason may be seen as secondary, especially given the overwhelming agreement of the other mss.



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