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Kormákr Ǫgmundarson (KormǪ)

10th century; volume 5; ed. Edith Marold;

III. 1. Sigurðardrápa (Sigdr) - 7

my abbr - FJ's conflicts with saga

Sigurðardrápa (‘Drápa about Sigurðr’) — KormǪ SigdrIII

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, Sigurðardrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 272.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

Skj: Kormákr Ǫgmundarson: 1. Sigurðardrápa, o. 960 (AI, 79-80, BI, 69-70)

SkP info: III, 277

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — KormǪ Sigdr 3III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, Sigurðardrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 277.

Eykr með ennidúki
jarðhltr día fjarðar
breyti, hún sás beinan
bindr; seið Yggr til Rindar.

{Jarðhltr}, sás bindr beinan hún, eykr {breyti {fjarðar día}} með ennidúki; Yggr seið til Rindar.

{The land-recipient} [RULER], who secures the straight mast, honours {the arranger {of the fjord of the gods}} [POETRY > POET] with a headband; Yggr <= Óðinn> obtained Rindr <giantess> through sorcery.

Mss: R(21r), R(36v), Tˣ(21v), Tˣ(38v), W(45), U(26r-v), U(36r), A(12v), C(6r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Eykr: Eyk U(36r);    ‑dúki: ‘[…]ki’ U(26r)    [2] jarð‑: ‘iardr’ U(36r);    ‑hltr: hlutr R(21r), R(36v), Tˣ(21v), Tˣ(38v), W, U(26r), U(36r), A, hlut C;    fjarðar: so all others, ‘farþar’ R(21r)    [3] breyti: ‘breitti’ Tˣ(38v), ‘bæiti’ A;    hún: húns R(36v), Tˣ(21v), Tˣ(38v), C, húnn W, U(26r), U(36r);    beinan: beiðan R(36v), beinir A    [4] seið: skeið Tˣ(21v);    Yggr: ‘ykr’ U(26r), U(36r), ykkr C

Editions: Skj: Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, 1. Sigurðardrápa 3: AI, 79, BI, 69, Skald I, 42, NN §§261, 2501B, 2511; SnE 1848-87, I, 236-7, 470, II, 304, 340, 448, 592, III, 4-5, 97, SnE 1931, 90, 166, SnE 1998, I, 9, 85.

Context: The helmingr is cited twice in some mss of Skm (SnE), first as an example of a heiti for Óðinn. The helmingr’s second citation is meant to exemplify the term díar ‘gods’.

Notes: [1] ennidúki ‘a headband’: Lit. ‘forehead-cloth’. Headbands of silk and wool with gold and silver ornamentation are known to have existed during the Viking Age; people wearing them may have had a specially exalted social rank or status (Hägg 2000, 619-20). The gift of such a headband to a skald probably had more than material importance: it could perhaps be interpreted as a sign of inclusion in a special rank in the court hierarchy. Cf. also Eskál Vell 13/1-3I, where Hákon jarl is referred to as the wearer of a silk headband. — [2] jarðhltr ‘the land-recipient [RULER]’: Although all mss have a form of the noun hlutr ‘lot, share’, the cpd jarðhlutr ‘earth-share’ makes no sense in the context, because the phrase ‘… honours with a headband’ requires a subject like ‘ruler’. The present emendation was suggested in Skj B and has been adopted by all subsequent eds (see also Finnur Jónsson 1931, 110). Comparable ruler-kennings are found in Eskál Vell 36/1, 4I and Hfr Lv 11/7V (Hallfr 14). — [2, 3] breyti fjarðar día ‘the arranger of the fjord of the gods [POETRY > POET]’: For breyti see Note to l. 3. Díar is a word for ‘gods’ borrowed from Irish (Bugge 1889a, 7; Finnur Jónsson 1931, 111), and it is attested only here in skaldic poetry. Snorri’s use of the word in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 85) and Hkr (Yng ch. 2, ÍF 26, 11) is probably inspired by this stanza. The poem-kenning is somewhat unusual in that the determinants in such kennings are normally ‘dwarfs’, ‘giants’ or ‘Óðinn’ and not ‘gods’, although there are some parallels (cf. Meissner 429-30). — [3] breyti ‘the arranger’: Line 3 of this helmingr is difficult and has prompted extensive discussion. This is an A2-line, in which a sentence boundary falling between breyti and hún would be unusual (cf. Kuhn 1983, 137-40; Gade 1995a, 166-7). Because of the semantic and syntactic problems (see below) this edn takes breyti and hún as two separate words and not as a cpd despite the fact that this violates metrical rules. Breyti ‘the arranger’ belongs to the poet-kenning, and hún ‘top of the mast’ is the object of bindr ‘binds’ in the rel. clause (cf. SnE 1848-87, I, 236-7; Finnur Jónsson 1931,110; Skj B; Reichardt 1928, 181-2; NN §261). Some scholars (Mohr 1933, 88; Wood 1959a, 309) choose a cpd breytihún as a base-word in the poet-kenning, which would be metrically correct. However, the interpretation of such a cpd is difficult because húnn has several meanings: ‘young man’; ‘small bear’; ‘piece in a board game’; ‘mast-head’ (possibly pars pro toto for ‘mast’). In principle, each meaning might fit here. According to Mohr (1933, 88 n. 37) and Kock (NN §2501B), the poet is calling himself ‘little bear’; Wood (1959a, 309) translates húnn as ‘young one’. In addition to these semantic problems, the rel. clause sás bindr beinan lit. ‘who binds smooth/straight’ is left without an object, which must be supplied from the main clause (ennidúki ‘headband’, l. 1) (Mohr loc. cit.). — [3-4] sás bindr beinan hún ‘who secures the straight mast’: According to Falk (1912, 59) and Jesch (2001a, 160-1), húnn is the upper, cube-shaped tip of a mast, with a hole through which the rope securing the sail was drawn, which is taken here as a pars pro toto for ‘mast’. This would mean that the ruler is being characterised as a brave seafarer, cf. Finnur Jónsson (1931, 111; Skj B). He interprets the rel. clause sás bindr hún as ‘who ties (the sail) to the mast-head’. Kock’s (NN §§261, 2511) alternative suggestion that hún is a bear that is tied up by the ruler is unconvincing. — [4] Yggr seið til Rindar ‘Yggr <= Óðinn> obtained Rindr <giantess> through sorcery’: The abutted clause alludes to a myth told by Saxo Grammaticus (Saxo 2005, I, 3, 4, 1-8, pp. 204-9) about a child who was conceived to be the avenger of Balderus (ON Baldr). Othinus (ON Óðinn), having been rejected repeatedly by Rinda (ON Rindr), resorts to magic to achieve his aims. Seiðr is a type of magic which appears to have been a particular, possibly despised form of sorcery that could influence the psyche of the victim and attempt to take it over (cf. Yng ch. 7, ÍF 26, 19; on seiðr cf. ARG I, 330-3). One could link the stál to the content of the rest of the stanza by regarding seið as a form of possession, i.e. Óðinn practices sorcery to conquer and possess Rindr. This has direct ties to the mythological model for claiming and owning land, namely, that of land ownership as an erotic relationship between land and ruler, which is a topos intimately connected with Hákon jarl (see Ström 1983) and used extensively in Hfr Hákdr. The conquering of Rindr by Óðinn, then, becomes a mythological model of land ownership reflected in the ruler-kenning jarðhljótr ‘land-recipient’. On Rindr, see Note to Þul Ásynja 2/2.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated