Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Þhorn Gldr 2I l. 2

gný — The din


gnýr (noun m.): din, tumult < gnýþróttr (noun m.)



[1-4]: No fewer than seven different interpretations have been suggested. Those of Finnur Jónsson (1884, 69-72; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) and Eggert Ó. Brím (ÓT 1892, 345) require numerous emendations: Drótt (mss dróttar) hlenna helkannanda (mss ‑kannandi) Þróttar (mss Þróttr) hlymræks gerði (mss gerðisk) jǫru gný glymja of trǫð glamma ferðar ‘the troop of the one condemning thieves to death, cultivating the din of Þróttr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE], made the noise of battle clatter on the path of the pack of wolves [HEATH]’. By contrast, Kock (NN §230), ÍF 26, Holtsmark (1927, 5-8) and Fidjestøl (1982, 76-8) all prefer to avoid emendations. They all share the following assumptions, which have also been accepted in this edn: (1) Gný-Þróttr ‘din-Þróttr <= Óðinn>’ is taken as the subject of the sentence. It is interpreted as a warrior-kenning, though the choice of determinant varies. (2) Helkannandi hlenna ‘condemning thieves to death’ is regarded as qualifying the subject. (3) Trǫð ferðar glamma ‘the path of the pack of wolves’ is understood as a kenning for ‘wilderness, heath, woodland’. The structural pattern of the helmingr, under the interpretation adopted here, closely matches that of st. 1/1-4, as follows: hilmir ‘ruler’ : gny-Þróttr jǫru ‘din-Þróttr <= Óðinn> of battle [WARRIOR]’; réð heyja þrimu hjaldrskíðs ‘commanded that the noise of the battle-plank [SWORD > BATTLE] be launched’: gerðisk glymja ‘made clangour’; á heiði ‘on the heath’: of trǫð ferðar glamma ‘on the path of the pack of wolves [HEATH]’; ey óðr ‘ever furious’: helkannandi ‘condemning … to death’; œskimeiða galdra vébrautar ‘wishing trees of the incantations of the standard-road [BATTLEFIELD > BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: dróttar hlenna hlymrœks ‘the band of thieves of the battle-cultivator’. — [2] gný-Þróttr jǫru ‘the din-Þróttr <=Óðinn> of battle [WARRIOR = Haraldr]’: (a) Gný- ‘din’ normally needs a determinant such as ‘valkyrie’ or ‘weapon’ to form a kenning for ‘battle’. Here, no such determinant can be found, unless Fidjestøl (1982, 76) is correct in interpreting dróttar jǫru ‘troop of battle’ as a valkyrie-kenning. He claims drótt dreyra ‘army of blood’ (Meissner 398) as a parallel; but Meissner’s interpretation of this kenning as ‘valkyries’ is only tentative. (b) Kock (NN §230) and ÍF 26 construe gný-Þróttr dróttar jǫru as ‘the noise-Þróttr of the troop of battle [WARRIORS > BATTLE > WARRIOR]’, but the resulting kenning is flawed, with ‘warrior’ as both referent and determinant. (c) Holtsmark (1927, 22), Hkr 1991 and this edn limit the kenning to gný-Þróttr jǫru ‘the Þróttr of the din of battle’ in which gný- characterizes the whole kenning and is not part of its essential structure. Although unusual, this is supported by a structurally similar kenning in Hskv Útdr 7/7-8II: Gǫndlar þings gný-Þróttr ‘Þróttr <= Óðinn> of the din of Gǫndul’s <valkyrie’s> assembly [(lit. ‘din-Þróttr of Gǫndul’s assembly’) BATTLE > WARRIOR]’. On this cf. Meissner 191; Meissner notes that such kennings are rare but gives some further examples. — [2-3] helkannandi dróttar hlenna ‘condemning the band of thieves to death’: Lit. ‘death-condemning of the band of thieves’. Hel can refer to death, the realm of the dead or the monstrous goddess presiding over it; see Note to HSt Rst 34/1, 4.



© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.