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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vetrliði Sumarliðason (Vetrl)

10th century; volume 3; ed. R. D. Fulk;

Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Skj info: Vetrliði Sumarliðason, Islænder, d. 999. (AI, 135, BI, 127).

Skj poems:
Lausavísa

No work by Vetrliði Sumarliðason (Vetrl) survives, aside from this helmingr. He was an Icelander and a fierce opponent of Christianity who was killed in 999 at the instigation of the missionary Þangbrandr for composing scurrilous verses about him (see Njáls saga, ÍF 12, 260-1 and Hkr, ÍF 26, 320). According to Landnámabók (Ldn, ÍF 1, Genealogy XXVIII), he was a great-grandson of the famous settler Ketill hœngr ‘Salmon’, and his father lived in Hválhreppur near Fljótshlíð in Rangárvallasýsla. Vetrliði and his son Ari were killed by Þangbrandr and Guðleifr Arason of Reykjahólar when they were cutting turf (ÍF 1, 348 and n. 4; ÍF 12, 260; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 157). See also Anon (Kristni) 2IV and Note to [All] there.

Lausavísa — Vetrl LvIII

R. D. Fulk 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Vetrliði Sumarliðason, Lausavísa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 425.

 1 

Skj: Vetrliði Sumarliðason: Lausavísa, eller af et digt om Tor? (AI, 135, BI, 127); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: III, 425

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Vetrl Lv 1III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2017, ‘Vetrliði Sumarliðason, Lausavísa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 425.

Leggi brauzt Leiknar;         lamðir Þrívalda;
steypðir Starkeði;         stétt of Gjalp dauða.

Brauzt leggi Leiknar; lamðir Þrívalda; steypðir Starkeði; stétt of dauða Gjalp.

You broke the bones of Leikn; you thrashed Þrívaldi; you overthrew Starkaðr; you stepped over the dead Gjálp.

Mss: R(22r), Tˣ(22v), W(47), U(27v-28r) (SnE)

Readings: [2] lamðir: so all others, ‘limþir’ R    [3] Starkeði: so W, ‘stalkeði’ R, ‘starcadi’ Tˣ, ‘starkaþe’ U    [4] stétt: so all others, stótt R;    Gjalp: ‘gialf’ W, U

Editions: Skj: Vetrliði Sumarliðason, Lausavísa: AI, 135, BI, 127, Skald I, 71; SnE 1848-87, I, 258-9, II, 310, III, 19, SnE 1848, 54, SnE 1931, 97, SnE 1998, I, 17.

Context: This is one of many helmingar cited in Skm illustrating epithets for Þórr.

Notes: [1] Leiknar ‘of Leikn’: Apparently a troll-woman or a giantess killed by Þórr. See Þul Trollkvenna 4/7 and Note there. — [2] Þrívalda ‘Þrívaldi’: A giant whose name means ‘With Triple Strength’ (see Note to Þul Jǫtna I 3/2 and Bragi Frag 3/2). In Skm (SnE 1998, I, 14), Þórr is called Þrívaldi’s killer. — [3] Starkeði ‘Starkaðr’: Starkaðr, the grandfather of the legendary hero Starkaðr gamli ‘the Old’ Stórvirksson, was a giant killed by Þórr. See also Notes to Þul Jǫtna I 4/1 and SnSt Ht 98 [All]. For the etymology and different grammatical forms of the name Starkaðr, see AEW: starkr and LP: Starkaðr. — [4] stétt ‘you stepped’: So , W, U. This is a form of strong verb stíga ‘step’ (Gmc *staig-t > *staiht > stétt;  cf. the old 3rd pers. sg. pret. sté), though Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 17) adopts the reading stóttu ‘you stood’ (a form of standa ‘stand’) on the basis of R. If the verb intended were a form of standa, the prep. of ‘over’ would require the dat., though dauða ‘dead’ is acc. sg. The form in all the mss other than R is thus to be preferred. — [4] Gjalp ‘Gjálp’: This is the daughter of Geirrøðr (a giant), killed by Þórr, as narrated in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 25). See also Þul Trollkvenna 2/1 and Note there. The name is attested in two variant forms, Gjalp and Gjǫlp. In the latter, ǫ was lengthened to ô and subsequently merged with á (cf. sjǫlf > sjálf ‘self’; a in Gjalp was lengthened as well). Since none of the ms. spellings indicates <ǫ> here, the form Gjalp is preferable.

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