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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 8I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 8’ 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. 292.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Mart varð él, áðr, Ála,
austr lǫnd at mun banda
randar lauks af ríki,
rœkilundr of tœki.

{Mart él Ála} varð, áðr {rœkilundr {lauks randar}} of tœki lǫnd austr af ríki at mun banda.
‘Many a storm of Áli <sea-king> [BATTLE] came about before the tending-tree of the leek of the shield [SWORD > WARRIOR] took the lands in the east by force at the will of the gods.

notes and context

See st. 6.

[1]: (a) Almost all interpreters, including the present ed., have accepted the division of the line Mart varð él, áðr, Ála ‘many a storm came about, before, of Áli’; cf. Reichardt (1928, 154-5). (b) Kock (NN §396, followed by Ohlmarks 1958, 366) suggests a simpler solution in which él ‘storm’ is translated as ‘battle’ and Ála collocates with austrlǫnd ‘the eastern lands’ in the following line as a kenning for Norway. But Ála must be the determinant of the battle-kenning, because él alone is not known to signify ‘battle’; see LP: él. The kenning austrlǫnd Ála is also unlikely (see Reichardt 1928, 154-5; Reichardt 1930, 241). (c) Kuhn (1929b, 201), also seeking to avoid a tripartite line, attaches Ála to lauks randar ‘leek of the shield’, the determinant of rœkilundr ‘tending tree’, but that similarly creates an overdetermined kenning while leaving él ‘battle’ without a determinant.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Einarr Helgason skálaglamm, 3. Vellekla 9: AI, 124, BI, 118, Skald I, 66, NN §§318, 396, 1827; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 237, IV, 68, ÍF 26, 210, Hkr 1991, I, 139 (HGráf ch. 6), F 1871, 90; Fms 1, 56, Fms 12, 32, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 56 (ch. 35).


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