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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Mberf) 3II

Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Magnúss saga berfœtts 3’ 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, pp. 830-1.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Magnúss saga berfœtts
234

The st. (Anon (Mberf) 3) is recorded in Mork (Mork), H, Hr (H-Hr) and F, which is a Mork ms. here. Mork is the main ms. The content of the st. is paraphrased in the prose of MberfHkr (ÍF 28, 216) and Fsk (ÍF 29, 304). The verbal correspondences between the prose paraphrases in Hkr and Fsk and the st. are very close, hence both the compiler of Fsk and Snorri must have known the lv., and it is not clear why they chose to omit it from their narratives. It could be that they found some of the information provided by the st. (i.e. the battle-description) difficult to reconcile with the prose text of their exemplar(s). The st. is anonymous in all mss, but in terms of content (a retrospective report on an utterance of one of the participants in the uprising against Magnús) it closely resembles Þham Lv, which comments on the same event.

Spurði Ullstrengr orði,
— at renndusk skip hvatla —
— sverð bitu snarpra fyrða
slætt — hvé Þórir mætti.
Lundr kvazk heill at hǫndum
hjǫrs — frôgum þat gǫrva —
— gerðisk glamm á borði
grjóts — en hrumr at fótum.

Ullstrengr spurði orði, hvé Þórir mætti; skip renndusk at hvatla; sverð snarpra fyrða bitu slætt. {Lundr hjǫrs} kvazk heill at hǫndum en hrumr at fótum; frôgum þat gǫrva; glamm grjóts gerðisk á borði.

Ullstrengr (‘Wool-band’) asked how Þórir was faring; the ships closed quickly; the swords of keen warriors bit bluntly. {The tree of the sword} [WARRIOR = Þórir] said he was hale of hand but halt of foot; we [I] heard that clearly; there was a crash of rocks against the planking.

Mss: Mork(21v) (Mork); H(82v), Hr(58ra) (H-Hr); F(57rb)

Readings: [2] renndusk: renndu F    [3] snarpra: so F, snarpa all others    [4] slætt: sætt F    [5] kvazk: ‘quedz’ Hr    [7] gerðisk: so F, gerði all others;    borði: borðum F

Editions: Skj AI, 428, Skj BI, 398, Skald I, 197; Mork 1867, 134, Mork 1928-32, 303, Andersson and Gade 2000, 289, 484 (Mberf); Fms 7, 12 (Mberf ch. 7); F 1871, 264 (Mberf).

Context: The st. documents a verbal exchange between Sigurðr ullstrengr and Steigar-Þórir right before Þórir is captured on his ship by Sigurðr and Magnús berfœttr (1094).

Notes: [All]: Sigurðr ullstrengr Loðinsson was a district chieftain and a follower of Magnús berfœttr. For Þórir, see Note to Anon (Mberf) 2/3, 4. — [1] Ullstrengr ‘(“Wool-band”)’: Sigurðr’s nickname could refer to the fact that he may have used a bowstring made of wool (Falk 1914, 94) or worn a belt of wool (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 239). It could, however, be a play on his father’s name, Loðinn, which, when translated, means ‘shaggy, woolly’. — [2] skip renndusk at hvatla ‘the ships closed quickly’: Þórir and his men tried to escape on their ships with Magnús in hot pursuit. They headed for what they believed to be the mainland, but discovered that it was an island. In the words of Hkr (ÍF 28, 216): En er skipin renndusk at í lendingunni, þá var Þórir í fyrirrúmi á sínu skipi ‘And when the ships rammed against each other at the landing place, Þórir was in the front partition of his ship’. The sense of the verb-adv. collocation rennask at is not quite clear here: either the men on the ships engaged in fighting, or the ships rammed into each other when they reached the landing place simultaneously. Mork (1928-32, 303) has Þa er scipin rendo saman ‘When the ships closed’ and Fsk (ÍF 29, 304) does not mention the ships at all. — [3] snarpra (m. gen. pl.) ‘keen’: So F. If snarpa (m. acc. pl.) ‘keen’ (so Mork, H, Hr) were retained, the adj. would qualify fyrða (m. acc. or gen. pl.) ‘warriors’: sverð bitu snarpa fyrða slætt ‘swords bit keen warriors bluntly’. That reading seems less preferable since the insurgents were not killed, but captured. None of the prose sources mentions explicitly that there was fighting between the two factions. — [5, 8] heill at hǫndum en hrumr at fótum ‘hale of hand but halt of foot’: According to Mork (1928-32, 302), Þórir was advanced in age when these events took place and had difficulties walking. On their flight north, his men had to carry him on a stretcher across the mountains until they reached their ships. — [7-8] glamm grjóts gerðisk á borði ‘there was a crash of rocks against the planking’: This again seems to indicate that there was a fight between Þórir’s contingent and Magnús’s troops, but this is not mentioned in the prose sources. See Note to l. 3 and Introduction above.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  5. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  6. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. Finnur Jónsson. 1907. ‘Tilnavne i den islandske oldlitteratur’. ÅNOH, 161-381.
  10. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  11. Mork 1867 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1867. Morkinskinna: Pergamentsbog fra første halvdel af det trettende aarhundrede. Indeholdende en af de ældste optegnelser af norske kongesagaer. Oslo: Bentzen.
  12. Internal references
  13. 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].
  14. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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. clix-clxi.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ 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].
  16. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Morkinskinna (Mork)’ 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].
  17. Not published: do not cite (MberfII)
  18. Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Magnúss saga berfœtts 2’ 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, pp. 829-30.
  19. Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Magnúss saga berfœtts 3’ 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, pp. 830-1.
  20. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell hamarskáld, Lausavísa’ 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, pp. 414-15.
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