I would like to just offer tentatively an opinion,
could the King be as much human as anything else, and could he simply have been
sorry, to lose a "friend" maybe he liked the odd fellow who went to such
lengths to get a bear for him, and such a nice bear too!
As for nakkvarar stundr, it seems to equate with
Etwas Stunde in German and to mean some hours, which word - Stunde refers to a
lesson as well, and may be related to a study period, in our time, but perhaps
implied in Auðun's day - "a little while" meaning nothing definite at
who holds a view that Kings too can be human,
though in our day and age often too human and obviously not it contact with the
obligations of Nobility - Noblesse Oblige
Thanks for your excellent analysis. I agree
that 5 weeks would seem to fit the overall chronology of the story. Do you
think that the King would have given Auðun the job of ármaðr? He would have
been looking for a new one.
"Konungr svarar heldr seint" could be
translated as "The king answers rather coldly" or "rather slowly." Would a
request to leave after 5 weeks be likely to prompt a particularly "cold"
response from the King, before he has even heard Auðun's reason for going?
I suspect that if he had given Auðun the job of ármaðr, he would have had
good reason to be a little angry.
As a more general point, I would
be interested in gaining an understanding what range of times could be
covered "um hríð" and "nakkvarar
> 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?
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
-- No virus found in this
outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.300 / Virus
Database: 265.8.7 - Release Date: 10/02/2005