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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, 285

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — KormǪ Sigdr 7III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, Sigurðardrápa 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 285.

Algildan biðk aldar
allvald of mér halda
ýs bifvangi Yngva
ungr; fór með Hroptr Gungni.

Biðk ungr {algildan allvald aldar Yngva} halda of mér {bifvangi ýs}; Hroptr fór með Gungni.

Being a young man I ask {the excellent mighty ruler of the people of Yngvi <legendary king>} [YNGLING = Haraldr gráfeldr?] to hold {his quivering field of the bow} [HAND] over me; Hroptr <= Óðinn> advanced with Gungnir <spear>.

Mss: R(21r), Tˣ(21v), W(45-46), U(26v), B(4r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Al‑: All‑ U;    ‑gildan: ‑mildan B    [3] ýs: ‘yss’ U, ‘ygs’ B;    bifvangi: ‘biuangi’ Tˣ    [4] Hroptr: hrokr U;    Gungni: so Tˣ, W, B, ‘gvgni’ R, ‘gv̄ni’ U

Editions: Skj: Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, 1. Sigurðardrápa 7: AI, 80, BI, 70, Skald I, 43; SnE 1848-87, I, 242-3, II, 305, 520, III, 8, SnE 1931, 91, SnE 1998, I, 10.

Context: This helmingr is cited in Skm (SnE) among the examples of names for Óðinn.

Notes: [1-2, 3] algildan allvald aldar Yngva ‘the excellent mighty ruler of the people of Yngvi <legendary king> [YNGLING = Haraldr gráfeldr?]’: It cannot be determined for certain which ruler the poet addresses here. Despite Finnur Jónsson’s (1931, 115-16) suggestion, hardly anything indicates Sigurðr jarl, as there is no way to establish that Yngvi was an ancestor of the jarls of Lade. Finnur Jónsson’s interpretation assumes, unjustifiably so, that all of the stanzas collected in Sigdr actually refer to Sigurðr jarl (see Introduction above). Faulkes’s (SnE 1998, I, 159-60) interpretation ‘he who has complete power over the people of Norway’ is also unlikely, because it cannot be shown that anyone associated Norway with Yngvi or thought of the Norwegians as descended from the Ynglingar. It is more likely that the stanza is addressed to a ruler from the Yngling dynasty. According to Skáldatal (see Introduction above), Kormákr composed poetry also for Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, the grandson of Haraldr hárfagri, and he is probably the one honoured in the present stanza (as suggested already in SnE 1848-87, III, 8). — [3] bifvangi ýs ‘his quivering field of the bow [HAND]’: The kenning is based on the pattern ‘location of the weapon’ (Meissner 141). The element bif- in this cpd indicates that ‘land’ is used in a metaphorical sense, because unlike ‘hand’, land (terra firma) does not move. — [4] Hroptr fór með Gungni ‘Hroptr <= Óðinn> advanced with Gungnir <spear>’: Gungnir, a spear crafted by dwarfs, is the characteristic weapon of Óðinn (SnE 1998, I, 41-2). One of the god’s names, Dǫrruðr (see Falk 1924, 6-7), also points to the connection between the god and this weapon. Its tip is inscribed with runes (Sigrdr 17/5). Óðinn uses his spear to kill the warriors he has selected to join him in Valhǫll, such as Sigmundr (Vǫls ch. 11, FSGJ I, 136-7). The abutted clause, which is in the pret. tense, must refer to a mythological event, and it was probably some warlike event that Óðinn attended, spear in hand, to initiate hostilities (e.g. as he did in the war between the Æsir and the Vanir; cf. Vsp 24/1). Óðinn’s name Hroptr may have been chosen on purpose (on this name, see Þul Óðins 2/7). In Grí 8/4-6 Óðinn, under the name Hroptr, selects those fallen in battle each day, and Tindr Hák 9/1-2I speaks of Hroptr receiving the newly fallen (for a different interpretation see Note there). The stælt clause could thus allude to the notion of Óðinn, the menacing god of the dead, attending battles with his spear, something from which the poet implicitly asks his ruler to protect him. Here we find the same phenomenon as in st. 6, where the mythological reference in the stál provides an antithesis to the topic of the rest of the helmingr. The opposition in st. 6 is one of generosity and unwillingness, while in st. 7 it is protection as opposed to threat.

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