> With respect to the middle voice, even though it may not be relevant to
> settak, according to Gordon the middle voice form of the verb consisted of
> the active form with a reflexive pronoun suffixed. But, if you look at the
> middle voice paradigms at Gordon §118, §136 and §141, the 1st person
> always ends in -mk (suffixed pronoun mik with lost vowel). It also notes
> at §125 that 1 pl took its ending –mk from 1 sg. However, in modern
> Icelandic, the middle voice ending is always –st (derived from sik (now
> sig) which became –sk and subsequently –st. My question is: when did
> this change occur and how quickly did it happen?

I think 'sk' only occurs in the oldest manuscripts.
Later on the ending is often spelled 'z'.

The 14th century ms. Flateyjarbók contains, among many
other things, Auðunar þáttr vestfirzka. Here's an image
from the beginning of Ólafs saga Haraldssonar:


Here the ending seems to be 'zst'. Below the picture of
the tyrant getting his comeuppance - sorry, I mean the
martyr death of St. Olaf - and a little to the right you
can find 'fanzst'. In the same column, the sixth line from
the bottom, you can find 'synizst'.

> Also, how long do people think Auðun stays with King Sveinn, ie do um
> hríð and nakkvarar stundir represent 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 months, or
> longer?

Good question and I have no answer. Maybe we can make
an educated guess from the context of the story. Wasn't
there something at the start about Auðun's mother being
provided for for a certain amount of time? And how long
do you figure the rest of Auðun's adventures take?

Let's see. Auðun's mother will last three winters.
Auðun spends the first winter in Norway with Þórir.
He spends the second winter in Greenland with the same.
He arrives at Sveinn's during summer and after the
'hríð / nakkvarar stundir' he goes to Rome. He returns
next Easter. That spring he returns to Iceland to support
his mother.

I'd guess Auðun didn't want to make the long journey during
mid-winter and it takes some time to see the sights in Rome
(there is no place there not smeared with the blood of holy men,
according to Fóstbroeðra saga).

So, shall we say 5 weeks?