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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

III. 3. Stanzas from Snorra Edda (SnE) - 18

not in Skj

2.1: Stanzas from Snorra Edda — Anon (SnE)III

Kari Ellen Gade, Margaret Clunies Ross and Matthew Townend 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Stanzas from Snorra Edda’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 512.

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SkP info: III, 517

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Anon (SnE) 7III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Snorra Edda 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 517.

This half-stanza (Anon (SnE) 7; anonymous in all mss) is preserved in mss R (main ms.), W, U, A and C of Skm (SnE). Finnur Jónsson (Skj) groups it with Anon (SnE) 5-6 under Om kampe og mod ‘About battles and bravery’ and assigns it to the tenth century, but such a dating cannot be established.

Svá skaut gegn í gǫgnum
garð steinfarinn barða
— sá vas gnýstœrir geira
gunnar hæfr — sem næfrar.

Gegn skaut í gǫgnum {steinfarinn garð barða} svá sem næfrar; {sá {geira gný}stœrir} vas hæfr gunnar.

The capable one shot through {the painted fence of the ship} [SHIELD] as though [it were] birch-bark; {that increaser {of the din of spears}} [(lit. ‘din-increaser of spears’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] was able in battle.

Mss: R(34r), W(78), U(33r), A(11r), C(5v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] skaut gegn: ‘[…]n’ U;    gegn: gegnt C;    gǫgnum: ‘g[…]’ C    [2] garð stein‑: ‘[…]nn’ U    [3] gný‑: gunn U    [4] gunnar: ‘gv[…]’ U;    hæfr: so W, A, æfr R, C, ‘hæ[…]r’ U;    næfrar: ‘[…]’ U

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [X], III. B. Om kampe og mod 3: AI, 184, BI, 173, Skald I, 93, NN §2983; SnE 1848-87, I, 426-7, II, 329, 440, 589, III, 80, SnE 1931, 151, SnE 1998, I, 69.

Context: The helmingr is cited as one of many illustrations of kennings for ‘shield’ (SnE 1998, I, 69): Garðr skips, sem hér er ‘The fence of the ship, as here’.

Notes: [2] steinfarinn ‘painted’: For painted and adorned shields, see Falk (1914b, 129-32, 145-8) as well as Bragi Rdr, Þjóð Haustl and Introductions there. The second element of the cpd, farinn lit. ‘of appearance’, is the p. p. of fara ‘go’ (see Heggstad et al. 2008: fara C. farinn 4). — [2] barða (m. gen. sg.) ‘of the ship’: For this type of ship, see Þul Skipa 3/3. Barða could also be the gen. pl. of barð ‘prow’, but the present translation was chosen because of the prose commentary (garðr skips ‘fence of the ship’; see Context above). — [4] hæfr ‘able’: So W, U, A, and adopted in Skj B and Skald. This is the reading of the majority of the ms. witnesses, and the vowel is secured by internal rhyme (for the etymology of hæfr, see AEW: hæfr); cf. also the semantically parallel adj. gegn ‘the capable one’ (l. 1). SnE 1848-87 and SnE 1998 retain the R, C reading æfr ‘furious’, which is certainly possible, although the etymological stem vowel in that adj. is œ rather than æ (see AEW: œfr). — [4] næfrar (f. pl.) ‘birch-bark’: The noun næfr ‘birch-bark’ is usually attested in the pl. form.

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