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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, 281

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — KormǪ Sigdr 5III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, Sigurðardrápa 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 281.

Hróðr gerk of mǫg mæran
meirr Sigrøðar fleira;
haptsœnis galtk hônum
heið; sitr Þórr í reiðu.

Gerk meirr fleira hróðr of {mæran mǫg Sigrøðar}; galtk hônum heið {haptsœnis}; Þórr sitr í reiðu.

I compose even more praise about {the famous son of Sigrøðr} [= Hákon jarl]; I paid him the honour {of the gods’ reconciliation} [POEM]; Þórr <god> sits in his chariot.

Mss: R(36v), Tˣ(38r), U(36r), A(12v), C(6r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Hróðr: ‘hrod’ C    [2] Sigrøðar: Sigurðr U, Hôkonar A, ‘sigradar’ C;    fleira: fleina C    [3] hapt‑: happ‑ U;    ‑sœnis: ‘sæínis’ A;    galtk (‘galt ec’): geld ek U, vel ek A    [4] reiðu: so Tˣ, U, A, reiðum R, C

Editions: Skj: Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, 1. Sigurðardrápa 5: AI, 79, BI, 69, Skald I, 42, NN §§262, 1508D; SnE 1848-87, I, 466-7, II, 339, 447, 590, III, 95-6, SnE 1931, 165, SnE 1998, I, 84.

Context: The helmingr is introduced in Skm (SnE) to exemplify an ókend setning (heiti) for ‘poetry’ (here, hróðr).

Notes: [1, 2] gerk meirr fleira hróðr ‘I compose even more praise’: This opening is a typical signal of the beginning of a new section of a poem (Finnur Jónsson 1931, 113; Fidjestøl 1982, 93; SnE 1998, I, 206; Clunies Ross 2005a, 85 n. 4). — [2] Sigrøðar ‘of Sigrøðr’: All mss except A have either Sigrøðar or Sigurðar. Hôkonar (so ms. A) makes Sigurðr jarl, son of Hákon Grjótgarðsson, the recipient of the helmingr (see Skj B; Finnur Jónsson 1931, 112); however, since none of the other mss corroborate this reading, ms. A probably contains a correction made later in the belief that the stanza was part of a poem for Sigurðr jarl. The present edn therefore adopts the reading Sigrøðar (cf. also Fidjestøl 1982, 92-3; SnE 1998, I, 206; Clunies Ross 2005a, 85). At first glance the stanza appears to be about a son of Sigrøðr, Haraldr hárfagri’s son who was raised by Hákon Grjótgarðsson and who was king in Trondheim for a time, but died at the battle of Tønsberg against his brother, Eiríkr blóðøx. However, Sigrøðr is not known to have had a ‘famous’ son. Thus Sigrøðar here presumably stands for Sigurðar, meaning Sigurðr jarl, and the stanza belongs to a poem about Hákon jarl, his son (Clunies Ross 2005a, 85 n. 3; Wood 1959a, 311). The form of the name, Sigrøðr as opposed to the expected Sigurðr, may be due to a lack of distinction between the two names despite their different etymological origins (Sievers 1889, 135-41; Lind 1905-15, 877). The reason the less common Sigrøðr appears here must have been metrical since its position calls for a long first syllable (Sigr-); cf. Note to st. 2/4 Sigvarði. — [3-4] galtk hônum heið haptsœnis ‘I paid him the honour of the gods’ reconciliation [POEM]’: The kenning haptsœni is a hap. leg. whose first element is a word for ‘gods’ (hǫpt n. pl.; see Marold 1992, 707 and 716). The second element, ‑sœni, on the other hand, can only be explained through comparison with cognates from other Germanic languages: OHG suona, OS sōna ‘reconciliation’, OS gisōnian ‘reconcile’ point to Gmc *sōnō/*sōnian (NN §262). Finnur Jónsson (LP: haptsœnir; 1931, 113) and Kreutzer (1977, 111) have discussed haptsœnis in connection with heið. According to them, haptsœnir ‘the reconciler of the gods’ is a name for Óðinn (cf. Þjóð Haustl 3/3 snytrir hapta ‘instructor of the divine powers’), which reflects his role in the reconciliation of the Æsir and Vanir after their war. Heið haptsœnis is then interpreted as ‘gift of Óðinn [POEM]’. There are two objections to this explanation. First of all, Óðinn playing a conciliatory role after the war between the Æsir and the Vanir is unheard of and would be out of character for this god, a leader of the warlike Æsir (cf. Vsp 24) and generally an instigator of strife and war. Second, heið is not otherwise attested in the meaning ‘gift’. The present edn offers the following interpretation of this cpd: haptsœni (n. ja-stem) ‘reconciliation of the gods’ (as in LP (1860): haptsǫni; Meissner 427; Wood 1959a, 311) is understood as an expression for the spittle commingled at the reconciliation of the Æsir and the Vanir (cf. Skm, SnE 1998, I, 3). From this spittle Kvasir was created, from whose blood the mead of poetry was brewed. According to this interpretation, ‘the reconciliation of the gods’ is a periphrastic expression for ‘mead of poetry’ and ‘poem’. Heið is then taken as the acc. sg. of m. heiðr ‘honour’. — [3] galtk ‘I paid’: Only ms. U has pres. geld ek here, which actually is the expected form. Nonetheless the pret. form galt ek, offered by the majority of mss, is perfectly acceptable because it provides a contrast to the pres. tense of the preceding clause. The sense of the stanza, then, is ‘I have already praised him, and I now continue to do so’ (cf. the translation offered by Clunies Ross 2005a, 85). It is unlikely that the skald refers to a different poem in praise of the same ruler here. — [4] Þórr sitr í reiðu ‘Þórr <god> sits in his chariot’: The chariot pulled by billygoats is, along with the hammer Mjǫllnir, one of the characteristic attributes of the god of thunder, but one not often mentioned in skaldic poetry. In Þjóð Haustl 15, Þórr’s journey to the giant Hrungnir is portrayed impressively as a thunderstorm. In Þórsdrápa, Þórr is referred to as the god of the chariot (Eil Þdr 20/6). There may have been a monument honouring Þórr in the jarls’ sanctuary in Trondheim that depicted him seated in a chariot (see Marold 1990a, 114-15). It is conspicuous that, unlike the other hjástælt stanzas, this one uses the pres. tense sitr ‘he sits’, and one might see this as an allusion to Þórr as the god honoured in the temple. The other hjástælt stanzas refer to mythical events that occurred in the past. If the ‘famous son of Sigrøðr’ in the present stanza is indeed Hákon jarl, there is an additional connection between this stál and the ruler: he is the only magnate who is referred to by a kenning for ‘man’ using Þórr, or rather his nickname Hlóriði (Eskál Vell 14/7-8I), as a base-word.

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