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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

I. 3. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar (Óldr) - 28

not in Skj

2.1: Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar (‘Drápa about Óláfr Tryggvason’) — Anon ÓldrI

Kate Heslop 2012, ‘ Anonymous, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1031. <> (accessed 25 June 2022)

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XII]: [1]. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar, ‘er Halfredr orti vandræda skalld’, et digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 573-8, BI, 567-74)

SkP info: I, 1043

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Anon Óldr 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 11’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1043.

Ok fimm, sás gaf gumnum
gló-Lista, vann kristin,
ljótbnanda lautar,
lǫnd élboði Gǫndlar.
Hvern viti hjalma þornar
— hann vas ríkstr konungmanna —
elda runn, es unni
eljun slíkt, at telja?

Ok {{Gǫndlar él}boði}, sás gaf gumnum {gló-Lista {ljótbnanda lautar}}, vann kristin fimm lǫnd. {Hvern runn elda} viti {þornar hjalma} at telja, es unni eljun slíkt? Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna.

And {the offerer {of the storm of Gǫndul <valkyrie>}} [(lit. ‘storm-offerer of Gǫndul’) BATTLE > WARRIOR], he who gave men {the gleaming Lista {of the ugly edging of the dale}} [= Miðgarðsormr > GOLD], made five lands Christian. {What bush of swords} [WARRIOR] do {thorn-trees of helmets} [WARRIORS] know to mention, who loved enterprise in such a way? He was the mightiest of kingly men.

Mss: Bb(112vb)

Readings: [3] ‑bnanda: ‘birnandir’ or ‘birnandiz’ Bb;    lautar: ‘lꜹtan’ Bb    [4] Gǫndlar: ‘gvndlar’ Bb

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XII], [1]. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 11: AI, 575, BI, 570, Skald I, 276, NN §§196, 2116, 2983, 2990I; Munch and Unger 1847, 121-2, 141, Gullberg 1875, 14, 29.

Notes: [1, 2, 4] vann kristin fimm lǫnd ‘made five lands Christian’: That is, Norway, Shetland, Orkney, Iceland and Greenland, listed in sts 12 and 13; see Note to st. 12 [All]. The Christianizing of five lands is also the subject of HSt Rst 10-11. — [2] Lista ‘Lista’: Listi (ModNorw Lista), a district in southern Norway; the name is quite frequent in kennings. — [2, 3] gló-Lista ljótbnanda lautar ‘the gleaming Lista of the ugly edging of the dale [= Miðgarðsormr > GOLD]’: It is clear from the context that this is a gold-kenning, and equally that the meaningless ‘birnandir’ or ‘birnandiz’ must be emended. Three different gold-kennings have been proposed: two on the pattern ‘land of the serpent’, and one on the pattern ‘fire of the sea’. (a) The solution adopted above follows Kock (NN §2116), who proposes emending to brýnanda ‘of the edging’, gen. of an otherwise unattested participial noun brýnandi m., from brýna ‘to edge’, itself derived from brún f. ‘brow, edge, sea-shore’. The ‘ugly edging’ of the land (laut f. ‘dale’, a common land-heiti) is the Miðgarðsormr (or Jǫrmungandr), the encircling World Serpent (see SnE 2005, 27, 50), here standing for a generic ‘serpent’, and Lista stands for ‘land’ in general. The traditional land or lair of a serpent is gold (cf. other gold-kennings alluding to the Miðgarðsormr: Hallv Knútdr 5/2III leið holmfjǫturs ‘path of the islet-fetter’ and Anon Pl 50/5, 6, 7VII látr undins fránbaugs jarðar ‘ground of the twisted, shining ring of the earth’). The verbal element gló-, typically applied to gold (LP), gives an extra hint as to the meaning of this complex kenning. (b) Skj B emends ‘birnandiz’ to girðanda ‘girdling’; the ‘ugly girdling of the dale’ is again the Miðgarðsormr. While not implausible, this is a more radical emendation and yields a lectio facilior, so is not adopted here. (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1832, 11) and Gullberg (1875) emend to brennandi m. or f. ‘burning one’, and take glólista as ‘gleaming edge’ (from listi m. ‘selvage, edge’); the ‘dale’s gleaming edge’ is the sea, and the ‘burning one of the sea’, gold. But listi m. is late and rare, while the earlier form is lista f. (CVC: lista), and brennandi meaning ‘fire’ lacks parallels (cf. ONP: brennandi m.). — [4] Gǫndlar ‘of Gǫndul <valkyrie>’: A minor emendation restores aðalhending (lǫnd : Gǫnd-) and the usual form of the valkyrie-name. — [5-8]: Comparable rhetorical questions (‘who knows of such a king?’) occur in HSt Rst 32 and ESk Geisl 64VII; the diction of Rst 32 is also similar. The structure of the helmingr is also reminiscent of SnSt Ht 55/1-4III; see also Note to l. 6. — [6]: This line occurs in the stef of HSt Rst (see Rst 9/8 etc.). Cf. also ESk Geisl 18/2VII vas hann mestr konungr ‘he was the greatest king’, and Steinn Óldr 16/6II hanns fremstr konungmanna ‘he is the foremost of kings’ . — [7] runn elda ‘bush of swords [WARRIOR]’: Elda is gen. pl. of eldr m. ‘fire’, but here a weapon-heiti, as in Hfr ErfÓl 6/4 (see Note). Skj B emends to odda ‘of points’ to yield a conventional warrior-kenning here, and similarly in Arn Þorfdr 20/6II (see Note), but neither emendation is necessary. — [7] unni ‘loved’: The presence of aðalhending (runn : unni) in an odd line leads some previous eds (Skj; Skald) to emend unni ‘loved’ to ynni ‘might achieve’ (3rd pers. sg. pret. subj. of vinna), but this minor metrical licence is frequent in Óldr (see Introduction). — [8] eljun slíkt ‘enterprise in such a way’: Slíkt (n. nom./acc. sg.) ‘such’ is taken here as an adv., ‘in such a way’. Slík (f. nom. sg.) might have been expected, qualifying eljun ‘enterprise’, which is normally f. (LP: eljun), and it is possible that slíkt arose in error through the word being taken as object of telja (slíkt at telja ‘to mention such a thing’). Kock (NN §196) instead takes the noun as eljan n., arguing that the Gmc cognates are n. Skj B takes eljun-ríkstr ‘most dynamic’ as a cpd with tmesis.

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