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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, 521

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Anon (SnE) 10III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Snorra Edda 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 521.

This helmingr (Anon (SnE) 10) is found in mss R (main ms.), , A and C of Skm (SnE), and it is anonymous in all mss. Finnur Jónsson (Skj) groups it along with Anon (SnE) 3, 5-7 under the heading Om kampe og mod ‘About battles and bravery’, and dates it to the tenth century. The stanza cannot be dated on the basis of metrical and linguistic criteria, however.

Ǫrgildi* vask (Eldis)
áls Fjǫrgynjar (mála)
dyggr (sé heiðr ok h*eggi)
hrynbeðs (áar steðja).

Vask dyggr {ǫrgildi* {hrynbeðs {áls Fjǫrgynjar}}}; heiðr sé ok {h*eggi {mála {Eldis {steðja áar}}}}.

I was faithful {to the generous giver {of the resounding bed {of the eel of Fjǫrgyn [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)]}}} [SERPENT > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]; may honour also come {to the cherry-tree {of the speeches {of the Eldir <mythical servant> {of the anvil of the river}}}} [STONE > GIANT > GOLD > MAN].

Mss: R(37r), Tˣ(38v), A(13r), C(6v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Ǫrgildi*: Ǫrgildis R, A, C, ‘Aurgildi’ or ‘Aurgildis’ Tˣ;    vask (‘var ec’): var er A;    Eldis: eldi R, Tˣ, A, aldri C    [2] Fjǫr‑: ‘for’ Tˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [X], III. B. Om kampe og mod 5: AI, 184, BI, 174, Skald I, 93; SnE 1848-87, I, 476-7, II, 449, 593, III, 98, SnE 1931, 168, SnE 1998, I, 87.

Context: The helmingr is one of several stanzas illustrating kennings for ‘earth’.

Notes: [All]: There is textual corruption fairly consistently across the mss (see Readings above), and emendation cannot be avoided. — [1, 2, 4] ǫrgildi* hrynbeðs áls Fjǫrgynjar ‘to the generous giver of the resounding bed of the eel of Fjǫrgyn [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] [SERPENT > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: Most mss have (normalised) ǫrgildis gen. sg. ‘of the generous giver’ (the ending of the word is unclear in ), which cannot be construed to make sense syntactically. The emendation is in keeping with earlier eds. Fjǫrgyn is another name for the goddess Jǫrð, the mother of the god Þórr, and jǫrð means ‘earth’ (see e.g. Vsp 56/10). — [1, 2, 3, 4] h*eggi mála Eldis steðja áar ‘to the cherry-tree of the speeches of the Eldir <mythical servant> of the anvil of the river [STONE > GIANT > GOLD > MAN]’: The emendation of the mss’ eldi m. dat. sg. ‘for the fire’ or Eldi m. acc. or dat. sg. of Eldir is in keeping with earlier eds. Mála Eldis steðja áar ‘of the speeches of the Eldir of the anvil of the river’ is clearly a kenning for ‘gold’ (for this myth, see Note to Anon Bjark 5/8). Eldir was one of the servants of the sea-giant Ægir (see Lok 1-5 and prose, NK 96-7). The base-word of this man-kenning is more problematic. All mss have hreggi n. dat. sg. ‘storm’, which is retained by Faulkes (SnE 1998). Hregg ‘storm’ is unprecedented as a base-word in a man-kenning, however, not only because ‘storm of gold’ makes little sense (Faulkes, SnE 1998, II, 317 provides the translation ‘destroyer, enemy of gold’, i.e. ‘generous man’), but also because the noun is n. and not m. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B, followed by Kock in Skald) tentatively emends to hnøggvi (m. dat. sg. of hnøggvir), which Finnur (LP: hnøggvir) translates as som støder, rykker bort, uddeler ‘one who shoves, snatches away, distributes’. Hnøggvir is a hap. leg., however, and also a poor candidate for a base-word in a kenning for ‘generous man’, because other nouns derived from the verb hnøggva ‘shove, push separate sby from sth., stumble’, such as hnøggvi ‘parsimony’ and hnøggvingr ‘one who is parsimonious’, have the opposite meaning to ‘generous’. The present emendation heggi, m. dat. sg. of heggr ‘bird-cherry tree’ (see Þul Viðar 2/1), is less intrusive, and heggr is attested as a base-word in a kenning for ‘warrior’ in Gsind Hákdr 3/2I.

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