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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hfr ErfÓl 3I

[3-4] bǫr fangs dolga ‘tree of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIOR]’: (a) Bǫr(r) (lit. ‘conifer’) is the base-word of this man-kenning, and dolga is gen. pl. of dolg n. ‘strife, enmity, combat’ (see HHund I 20/3, for the pl. meaning ‘battle, strife’). Gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ is also grammatically possible, but very unlikely since dolgr in kennings is usually the base-word. Fang, usually ‘grasp, hold’, here refers to a garment (Meissner 165; AEW: fang 2). (b) Gram ‘lord’, the alternative to bǫr, found in a single ÓTOdd ms. as well as most Hkr mss and all ÓT mss, would yield dáðǫflgan gram ‘deed-mighty lord’ and drengi fangs dolga. The latter phrase is explained by Kock (NN §2448) as ‘warriors of enemies’ tussle [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, where dolga is gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ and fang is ‘tussle, grappling, wrestling’, but his battle-kenning lacks solid parallels (the C14th fundr dolga ‘meeting of enemies’, Anon (FoGT) 18/4III, does not function as a kenning in its context) and drengr ‘warrior’ is unsatisfactory as a base-word of a warrior-kenning, as it is identical to the referent (Meissner 28-9). (c) The latter objection also applies to drengi fangs dolga ‘men of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, tentatively suggested in Hkr 1991. Gram is probably a corruption, inserted by a scribe who did not understand the kenning as it stood (ÍF 25; see also ÍF 26).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  4. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  7. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  8. Internal references
  9. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  10. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  11. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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, pp. clxxiv-clxxv.
  12. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Fourth Grammatical Treatise 18’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 593.

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