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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, 279

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — KormǪ Sigdr 4III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, Sigurðardrápa 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 279.

Svall, þás gekk með gjallan
Gauts eld, hinns styr belldi,
glaðfœðandi Gríðar,
gunnr; komsk Urðr at brunni.

Gunnr svall, þás {{Gríðar glað}fœðandi}, hinns belldi styr, gekk með {gjallan eld Gauts}; Urðr komsk at brunni.

The battle intensified, as {the feeder {of the horse of Gríðr <giantess>}} [(lit. ‘horse-feeder of Gríðr’) WOLF > WARRIOR], who promoted fighting, advanced with {the resounding fire of Gautr <= Óðinn>} [SWORD]; Urðr went to the well.

Mss: R(34r), Tˣ(35v), W(78), U(33r-v), A(11v), C(5v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] þás (‘þa er’): er W, sá er U    [2] hinns (‘hinn er’): með U    [3] ‑fœðandi: ‑bræðanda U, ‘‑væðandi’ A    [4] gunnr: guðr Tˣ, grunn C;    Urðr: so W, uðr R, Tˣ, A, ruðr U, ‘[…]’ C;    at: so W, ór R, Tˣ, U, A, ‘[…]’ C

Editions: Skj: Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, 1. Sigurðardrápa 4: AI, 79, BI, 69, Skald I, 42, NN §2218B; SnE 1848-87, I, 428-9, II, 330, 440, 590, III, 81-2, SnE 1931, 152, SnE 1998, I, 70.

Context: In Skm (SnE) this stanza is cited as an example of a kenning for ‘sword’ (eldr Gauts ‘fire of Gautr <= Óðinn>’).

Notes: [1-2] gjallan eld Gauts ‘the resounding fire of Gautr <= Óðinn> [SWORD]’: Eldr ‘fire’ is a favoured base-word in sword-kennings, presumably owing to the weapon’s sheen (Meissner 150). — [4] Urðr komsk at brunni ‘Urðr <norn> went to the well’: The mss offer two variants of this clause: komsk uðr ór brunni ‘the wave came from the well’ (R, , A) and komsk Urðr at brunni ‘Urðr went to the well’ (W). Previous eds have combined the mss variants in an arbitrary way (ór from R, , A and Urðr from W). As mythical figures always appear in the stælt-lines of this poem, Urðr is the preferred variant. The context shows that Urðr in this stanza is undoubtedly the name of a mythical being, just as in Vsp 20/5, Anon (HSig) 7/5-8II and Gylf (SnE 2005, 18), and not the noun urðr ‘(deadly) fate’ (see Þjóð Yt 20/9I, Þskakk Erldr 3/1II, Anon (Stu) 36/5IV, Guðr I 24/5 and Sigsk 5/8). Since there is no evidence in other sources that this norn lived in the well or came out of it, there is no reason to combine the two variants. Therefore this edn opts for W. In Vsp and Gylf (loc. cit.), Urðr is associated with brunnr Urðar ‘well of Urðr’, and here it cannot be established with certainty whether the gen. urðar means ‘fate’ or it is the name of the norn (on this see Weber 1969, 149-54). From this well of Urðr, according to Gylf, norns scoop water to irrigate the world-tree Yggdrasill (cf. Vsp 19/3-4). The well is beneath one of the three roots of the tree (cf. Vsp 19/7-8). According to Gylf, the dómstaðr ‘court’ of the Æsir, to which they ride daily, is also located there (Gylf, SnE 2005, 17). A similar juridical function can be inferred from Hávm 111/1-3 (NK 34): Mál er at þylia | þular stóli á | Urðar brunni at ‘It is time to recite | on the speaker’s seat | by the brunnr Urðar’. Although there are different interpretations of the Hávm passage, the well of Urðr is clearly assigned a central role in public juridical speaking. A comparable instance is found in Eilífr Goðrúnarson’s fragment (Eil Frag), where Christ is said to have taken control of the lands of the heathen gods and to reside in the south, at the well of Urðr. Thus if Urðr, as expressed in this stál, came to the well, then it would be to make a proclamation of fate. This, in turn, can be associated with the present stanza: in the ruler’s struggle, the fate determined for him – victory – is revealed in the words of the norn Urðr at the well of Urðr (cf. Marold 1990a, 113, 118).

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