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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Styrb) 1I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa 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. 1076.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa
12

Hildr ‘The Hildr’

2. Hildr (noun f.): Hildr

kennings

Hildr hjaldrs
‘The Hildr of battle ’
   = VALKYRIE

The Hildr of battle → VALKYRIE

notes

[1, 2] Hildr hjaldrs ‘the Hildr of battle [VALKYRIE]’: A pleonastic kenning, as Hildr is itself a valkyrie-name.

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stendr ‘stands’

standa (verb): stand

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myrgin ‘morning’

myrginn (noun m.): morning

notes

[1] myrgin ‘morning’: The form is early and rare (ANG §74); Skald prints morgin, which arose through blending of morgunn and myrginn (cf. ANG §173.5).

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hjaldrs ‘of battle’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle

kennings

Hildr hjaldrs
‘The Hildr of battle ’
   = VALKYRIE

The Hildr of battle → VALKYRIE

notes

[1, 2] Hildr hjaldrs ‘the Hildr of battle [VALKYRIE]’: A pleonastic kenning, as Hildr is itself a valkyrie-name.

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hafa ‘have’

hafa (verb): have

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sigr ‘the victory’

kennings

sigrmeyjar
‘the victory-maidens ’
   = VALKYRIES

the victory-maidens → VALKYRIES

notes

[3] sigrmeyjar ‘the victory-maidens [VALKYRIES]’: Skj B and Skald both print sig- ‘battle’, but the ms. reads sigr- ‘victory-’; sigrmær is the (nom. sg.) form given in LP; on sig, sigr see also Notes to st. 3/6 and Gizsv Lv 1/5.

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meyjar ‘maidens’

kennings

sigrmeyjar
‘the victory-maidens ’
   = VALKYRIES

the victory-maidens → VALKYRIES

notes

[3] sigrmeyjar ‘the victory-maidens [VALKYRIES]’: Skj B and Skald both print sig- ‘battle’, but the ms. reads sigr- ‘victory-’; sigrmær is the (nom. sg.) form given in LP; on sig, sigr see also Notes to st. 3/6 and Gizsv Lv 1/5.

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sverð ‘sword’

sverð (noun n.; °-s; -): sword < sverðleikr (noun m.): sword-play

kennings

harðan sverðleik.
‘hard sword-play ’
   = BATTLE

hard sword-play → BATTLE
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leik ‘play’

1. leikr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ar): sport, play < sverðleikr (noun m.): sword-play

kennings

harðan sverðleik.
‘hard sword-play ’
   = BATTLE

hard sword-play → BATTLE
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harðan ‘hard’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

kennings

harðan sverðleik.
‘hard sword-play ’
   = BATTLE

hard sword-play → BATTLE
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vægi ‘with a sword’

vægi (noun n.; °-s): [with a sword]

[5] vægi: ‘ueige’ Flat

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faðir ‘father’

faðir (noun m.): father

[6] faðir: fǫður Flat

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illan ‘the wretched’

illr (adj.): bad, evil, unwell

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Óðinn ‘Óðinn’

Óðinn (noun m.): Óðinn

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harðr ‘the hard’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

[7] harðr: ‘ho᷎rdr’ Flat

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sem ‘like’

sem (conj.): as, which

notes

[7] sem allir ‘like everyone’: This problematic phrase is here construed with eiguð ‘you have’ in l. 5. The alternative is to take it with vill ... kjósa ‘wishes to choose’ in ll. 6-8 (so Kock; see Note to ll. 5-8 above). 

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allir ‘everyone’

allr (adj.): all

notes

[7] sem allir ‘like everyone’: This problematic phrase is here construed with eiguð ‘you have’ in l. 5. The alternative is to take it with vill ... kjósa ‘wishes to choose’ in ll. 6-8 (so Kock; see Note to ll. 5-8 above). 

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óljósan ‘dark’

óljóss (adj.): [dark]

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kjósa ‘to choose’

kjósa (verb): choose

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

Styrbjǫrn becomes hǫfðingi ‘chieftain’ at Jómsborg. While he is there, a finngálkn mikit ‘great monster’ comes up in the moat around the fortress and speaks this stanza. 

The metre is dróttkvætt but the pattern of hendingar is not regular. — [5-8]: This is a problematic helmingr, which Fms 12 declines to interpret, and the sole text in Flat appears to be corrupt. Ms. ‘ho᷎rdr’ in l. 7 presents particular difficulties. It would appear to be the m. pers. n. Hǫrðr (derived from Hǫrðar, people from Hordaland, ANG §159), but this cannot be construed. (a) Skj B emends to the god-name Hǫðr and proposes an elaborate syntax whereby an intercalary clause is split up into no fewer than four parts, spread across all four lines of the helmingr: Óðinn vill kjósa val vægi ‘Óðinn wishes to choose the slain with a sword’. The resultant main clause is also far from self-evident: Eiguð Hǫðr víga sem allir óljósan fǫður Baldrs illan ‘Hǫðr <god> of battles [WARRIOR], like everyone you make the dark father of Baldr [= Óðinn] angry’ (lit. ‘you have Óðinn bad/hostile’), though the thought may be that Óðinn is ill-willed towards warriors who fall in battle (cf. Eyv Hák 15/4 illúðigr mjǫk ‘very hostile’). Moreover, none of the other stanzas in Styrb shows anything like such elaborate syntax. (b) Kock (NN §529; Skald) also emends ‘ho᷎rdr’ to Hǫðr, but offers a much simpler reading. His proposal for l. 5 is tentatively adopted here; it involves assuming a verb *víga ‘to fight’ alongside the normal vega, on the basis of Gmc parallels. For ll. 6-8 he suggests Faðir Baldrs, Óðinn, Hǫðr sem allir, vill kjósa illan, óljósan val ‘The father of Baldr, Óðinn, Hǫðr and everyone, wish(es) to choose the wretched, foul slain’. The basic structure of Kock’s interpretation is tentatively adopted here (including his emendation of fǫður to faðir); but it is hard to understand how Hǫðr, let alone allir ‘all, everyone’, is involved in the choosing of the slain. Accordingly, emendation is here proposed to the adj. harðr ‘hard’, describing Óðinn; see LP: harðr 2 for the adj. applied to human subjects.

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