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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Magnkv 8II/5 — elfi ‘the river’

Gramr vann gǫrvan,        en glatat þjófum,
kaupmǫnnum frið,        þanns konungr bœtti,
svát í elfi        øxum hlýddi
flaust fagrbúin        í fjǫru skorða.

Gramr vann kaupmǫnnum gǫrvan frið, þanns konungr bœtti, en glatat þjófum, svát í elfi hlýddi skorða fagrbúin flaust øxum í fjǫru.

The ruler achieved complete peace for merchants, which the king had improved, and he destroyed thieves, so that in the river one could buttress the splendidly equipped ships with axes on the shore.


[5] elfi: eyjum Hr


[5] í elfi ‘in the river’: Both Skj B and Skald treat this as a p. n. (Skj B: í Elfi translated as i Elven ‘in the River’). Usually Elfr designates the Götaälv in present-day Sweden (as in st. 17), and it is unclear how Magnús could enforce his legislation there at this point. Later he expanded his territory to include districts in Sweden (see st. 17). In the present edn elfr is taken as a common noun, perhaps referring to Nidelven (Nið), the river that flows through the city of Trondheim.



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