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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjǫrn Ragnarsson (BjRagn)

volume 8; ed. Rory McTurk;

VIII. Lausavísur (Lv) - 4

not in Skj

Lausavísur — BjRagn LvVIII (Ragn)

Not published: do not cite (BjRagn LvVIII (Ragn))

 1   2   3   4 

SkP info: VIII, 682

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — BjRagn Lv 4VIII (Ragn 29)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 29 (Bjǫrn Ragnarsson, Lausavísur 4)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 682.

Þat var fyrst, er fórum,
— Freys leika tók ek heyja —
þar er einiga áttum
öld, í Rómaveldi.
Þar lét ek of grön grána
— gall örn of valfalli —
at mannskæðu morði
mitt sverð dregit verða.

Þat var fyrst, er fórum í Rómaveldi, þar er áttum einiga öld; ek tók heyja {leika Freys}. Þar lét ek sverð mitt verða dregit of grána grön at mannskæðu morði; örn gall of valfalli.

The first thing was that we went into the realm of Rome, where we had no allies; I proceeded to conduct {the games of Freyr <god>} [BATTLES]. There I let my sword be drawn across a grey moustache in man-harming combat; an eagle screamed above fallen slain.

Mss: 1824b(72v) (Ragn)

Readings: [1] fórum: ‘forv[…]’ 1824b    [3] áttum: ‘atum’ 1824b    [4] ‑veldi: ‘v[…]di’ 1824b    [5] grön: ‘grauu’ 1824b    [7] mannskæðu: ‘menn sc[…]’ 1824b

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar VIII 2: AII, 239, BII, 258, Skald II, 134, NN §496; FSN 1, 284 (Ragn ch. 16), Ragn 1891, 212 (ch. 16), Ragn 1906-8, 160, 214-15 (ch. 15), Ragn 1944, 104-5 (ch. 17), FSGJ 1, 271 (Ragn ch. 15), Ragn 1985, 141 (ch. 15), Ragn 2003, 55 (ch. 15), CPB II, 351.

Context: See Context to st. 28.

Notes: [1] er ‘that’: The particle er (older es), most often translated as ‘when’ when functioning as a conj., seems here to have the function of the conj. at ‘that’ in introducing a dependent statement, cf. LP: es 6, 7. — [2] leika Freys ‘the games of Freyr <god> [BATTLES]’: Battle-kennings with leikr ‘game, sport’ as their base-word most often have a determinant referring to weapons, and the legendary figure Hildr also occurs, but only rarely the name of a god (Meissner 199). Yggr, a name for Óðinn, occurs once as a determinant with leikr as base-word, in Anon Pl 34/3VII; and Freys, gen., occurs twice, once here and once in Þhorn Harkv 6/4I. As well as being a god of fertility, Freyr is described as ‘battle-skilled’ (bǫðfróðr) in ÚlfrU Húsdr 7/2III. — [3-4] þar er áttum einiga öld ‘where we had no allies’: (a) This edn, with all others except CPB, emends to áttum ‘we had’ and, with Rafn (FSN), Valdimar Ásmundarson (Ragn 1891) and Örnólfur Thorsson (Ragn 1985), takes einiga as f. acc. sg. of pron. and adj. engi ‘no (one)’, or of adj. einigr ‘not any’ (ONP: einigr 2; cf. ANG §476), qualifying öld, to give ‘where we had no people’ (i.e. allies or followers, hence our heroism was all the greater) or alternatively ‘where we spent little time’. This seems the simplest solution and involves little emendation. (b) Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 214), influenced by a statement about a lack of food in the prose preceding Ragn 28 (Ragn 1906-8, 160), emends to þars vér einig ôttum eldi ‘where we found little to sustain or delay us (in the way of hospitality)’, and is followed here by Eskeland (Ragn 1944) and Ebel (Ragn 2003). However, emendation to n. acc. pl. einig eldi is unnecessary, and it is not certain that eldi referring to the feeding and/or housing of human beings would have a pl. form: cf. LP: elði 1 and ONP: elði 2. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), followed by Guðni Jónsson (FSGJ), emends einiga to andvíga ‘rivalling’, hence: ‘where we found our match, found people to rival us’. (d) Kock (NN §496) emends einiga to eivíga ‘ever ready for war, very warlike’, postulating an otherwise unrecorded adj. eivígr by analogy with eilífr ‘ever-living’ and eilítill ‘very small’. However, his translation of áttum, 1st pers. pl. pret. of eiga (‘have, own, possess’) as vi … funno ‘we found, we encountered’, is questionable. — [5]: Rafn (FSN) reads the final word in the line as granna, thus presumably taking it as gen. sg. or pl. of granni m. ‘neighbour’ (cf. Ragn 37/8, below) which hardly gives satisfactory sense in the present context of combat in southern Europe. All other eds, followed here in this instance, read grána f. acc. sg. of gránn adj. ‘grey’, agreeing with grön f.‘moustache, (upper) lip’. — [7] mannskæðu ‘man-harming’: I.e. ‘mortal’; so Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 214; cf. Skj B) and most subsequent eds. The same adj. is used in Þhorn Gldr 2/6I (of a warrior) and Anon Nkt 50/5II (of a disease). Valdimar Ásmundarson (Ragn 1891) reads menskerða, gen. pl. of menskerðir m. ‘necklace-destroyer [GENEROUS MAN]’, thus presumably understanding the phrase at menskerða morði to mean ‘in the slaying of chieftains’, i.e. ‘in battle’, which gives tolerable sense in the context.

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