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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (ÓT) 1I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta 1’ 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. 1082.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta
12

stafn ‘stem’

stafn (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): prow < stafnvalr (noun m.)

kennings

allan stafnval
‘the whole stem-steed ’
   = SHIP

the whole stem-steed → SHIP

notes

[1] stafnval ‘stem-steed [SHIP]’: Valr, meaning ‘falcon’, became a horse-name and hence a heiti for ‘horse’, suitable for inclusion in ship-kennings such as the present one (see LP: 2. valr).

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val ‘steed’

3. valr (noun m.; °; -ir): horse < stafnvalr (noun m.)

[1] ‑val: valinn 61, Bb, 325IX 1 bˣ, 62, Flat, vali Hb

kennings

allan stafnval
‘the whole stem-steed ’
   = SHIP

the whole stem-steed → SHIP

notes

[1] stafnval ‘stem-steed [SHIP]’: Valr, meaning ‘falcon’, became a horse-name and hence a heiti for ‘horse’, suitable for inclusion in ship-kennings such as the present one (see LP: 2. valr).

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Stefnis ‘of Stefnir’

stefnir (noun m.): commander

notes

[1] Stefnis ‘of Stefnir’: See Biography of Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir) and his Lv 1-2.

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hol ‘the hull’

hol (noun n.; °; -): [hull, hollow]

notes

[2] hol ‘the hull’: Hol n. is a ‘hollow, concavity’, here the hull, the hollow body of the ship. According to LP: hol, this is the only instance of the word in poetry. 

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felli ‘destructive’

fellir (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i): slayer, feller < felliveðr (noun n.)

[3] felli‑: fellr Bb, 325IX 1 bˣ, 62

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

notes

[3] af fjalli ‘from the mountain’: This could alternatively be taken with the intercalary clause (so, e.g., Skj B).

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fjalli ‘the mountain’

1. fjall (noun n.): mountain

notes

[3] af fjalli ‘from the mountain’: This could alternatively be taken with the intercalary clause (so, e.g., Skj B).

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fjallrœnt ‘from the mountain’

fjallrœnn (adj.): [from mountain]

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allan ‘the whole’

allr (adj.): all

kennings

allan stafnval
‘the whole stem-steed ’
   = SHIP

the whole stem-steed → SHIP
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Heldr ‘rather’

heldr (adv.): rather

notes

[5] heldr ‘rather’: This adv. seems to qualify the statement, and especially víst ‘certain’ in the ÓT reading. It may be intensive, though heldr more usually dilutes meaning. Another view would be that it has a strongly adversative sense ‘instead’, introducing divine power in the second helmingr as an alternative explanation that overrides the purely natural one in the first (so Nj 1875-8, II, 198, followed by Kahle in Kristni 1905). However, the intercalation of a reference to natural forces in l. 7 is against this view.

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kveðk ‘I declare it’

2. kveðja (verb): say, greet

[5] kveðk víst (‘kveð ek vist’): kveð víst Bb, getu vér Hb

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víst ‘certainly’

1. víss (adj.): wise, certain(ly)

[5] kveðk víst (‘kveð ek vist’): kveð víst Bb, getu vér Hb

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valdi ‘may cause’

velja (verb): choose

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vesa ‘be’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[6] vesa: ‘va(mv)’(?) 62, vindr Flat

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munu ‘must’

munu (verb): will, must

[6] munu: so Bb, 325IX 1 bˣ, Hb, munu or mun 61, með 62, sleit Flat

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bǫnd ‘the gods’

band (noun n.; °-s; *-): band, bond

[6] bǫnd: band 325IX 1 bˣ, Flat

notes

[6] bǫnd ... í landi ‘the gods ... in the land’: On bǫnd as gods of the land, see Marold (1992, 705-7).

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[6] í landi: á landi Flat, í lǫndum Hb

notes

[6] bǫnd ... í landi ‘the gods ... in the land’: On bǫnd as gods of the land, see Marold (1992, 705-7).

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landi ‘the land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

[6] í landi: á landi Flat, í lǫndum Hb

notes

[6] bǫnd ... í landi ‘the gods ... in the land’: On bǫnd as gods of the land, see Marold (1992, 705-7).

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geisar ‘is gushing’

geisa (verb): rage

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ísi ‘ice’

íss (noun m.; °íss; dat. ísi/ís; ísar): ice

[7] ísi: ‘ęsi’ Bb

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ásríki ‘divine power’

ásríki (noun n.): [divine power]

[8] ásríki: áss ríkr 62, allríkr Flat

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gný ‘tumult’

gnýr (noun m.): din, tumult

[8] gný: ‘freyrr’ Flat

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slíkum ‘such’

2. slíkr (adj.): such

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Stefnir Þorgilsson, getting nowhere with his Christian preaching in his native Iceland, turns to attacking pagan temples and icons. A force of pagans, including his relatives, force him to Kjalarnes (Kristni) or simply prosecute him (ÓT). His ship is in the Gufá estuary and is washed out to sea by storms. Feeling (according to ÓT) that this shows the fury of the gods, the pagans recite a stanza about this. After the citation it is remarked that the ship came ashore with little damage. 

[1]: A regular number of syllables in the line can be obtained in various ways. (a) In the Text above, hefr is not elided, and stafnvalinn in the mss is normalised to -val, on the assumption that the suffixed ‑inn, which would be extraordinary in the late C10th, is scribal. (b) Elision of nú hefr to núfr would be possible, but the loss of a syllable would have to be compensated either by assuming -inn to be original, or by emending to val stafna ‘steed of stems [SHIP]’ as in Skj B and Skald.

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