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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (ÓH) 1I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Óláfs saga helga 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. 1087.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísa from Óláfs saga helga1

Ôleifr ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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knýr ‘propels’

knúa (verb): [propels]

[1] knýr: of knýr J2ˣ, 321ˣ, ‘kyr’ Tóm

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und ‘using’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[1] und ôrum: undrum Holm2, ára J2ˣ, ǫndrum 321ˣ, með ári 325VII

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ôrum ‘oars’

1. ár (noun f.; °-ar, dat. u/-; -ar/-ir(LandslBorg 151b²¹)): oar

[1] und ôrum: undrum Holm2, ára J2ˣ, ǫndrum 321ˣ, með ári 325VII

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orðsnjallr ‘The word-sharp’

orðsnjallr (adj.): [word-sharp]

[2] orðsnjallr: unnheim J2ˣ, orðsæll Tóm

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Visund ‘Visundr’

vísundr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): bison

[2] Visund: ‘vishund’ Flat

notes

[1] Visund ‘Visundr (“Bison”)’: Óláfr Haraldsson’s prized ship, which is celebrated in the same breath as Óláfr Tryggvason’s famous Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’ in Sigv ErfÓl 3/8, cited earlier in the same chapter as the present stanza. Visundr was inherited by Óláfr’s son Magnús, and hence also appears in poetry about him (ÞjóðA Magnfl 4/8II, Arn Hryn 9/4II, 16/8II). It is described in Hkr (ÍF 28, 34) as a magnificent vessel, with a bison’s head and tail at prow and stern, gold-adorned stems and more than thirty pairs of rowing benches.

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norðan ‘from the north’

norðan (adv.): from the north

[2] norðan: geima J2ˣ

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brýtr ‘cleaves’

brjóta (verb; °brýtr; braut, brutu; brotinn): to break, destroy

[3] brýtr annarr gramr úti: húfr skerr hranna kleifar J2ˣ;    brýtr: ‘byr’ 325V

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annarr ‘another’

1. annarr (pron.; °f. ǫnnur, n. annat; pl. aðrir): (an)other, second

[3] brýtr annarr gramr úti: húfr skerr hranna kleifar J2ˣ

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gramr ‘monarch’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

[3] brýtr annarr gramr úti: húfr skerr hranna kleifar J2ˣ;    gramr: grannr 972ˣ

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úti ‘out at sea’

úti (adv.): out, outdoors, out at sea, abroad

[3] brýtr annarr gramr úti: húfr skerr hranna kleifar J2ˣ

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unn ‘the wave’

2. unnr (noun f.): wave < unnheimr (noun m.): [wave-world]

[4] unnheim dreka sunnan: hraustr þar er gramr ferr austan J2ˣ;    unnheim: so papp18ˣ, Holm2, 68, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Tóm, unnbein Kˣ, um heim 321ˣ, undheim 75c, undvigg Bb, undheims Flat

kennings

unnheim
‘the wave-world ’
   = SEA

the wave-world → SEA
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heim ‘world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world < unnheimr (noun m.): [wave-world]

[4] unnheim dreka sunnan: hraustr þar er gramr ferr austan J2ˣ;    unnheim: so papp18ˣ, Holm2, 68, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Tóm, unnbein Kˣ, um heim 321ˣ, undheim 75c, undvigg Bb, undheims Flat

kennings

unnheim
‘the wave-world ’
   = SEA

the wave-world → SEA
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dreka ‘with a dragon-ship’

dreki (noun m.; °-a; -ar): dragon, dragon-ship

[4] unnheim dreka sunnan: hraustr þar er gramr ferr austan J2ˣ

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sunnan ‘from the south’

sunnan (adv.): (from the) south

[4] unnheim dreka sunnan: hraustr þar er gramr ferr austan J2ˣ;    sunnan: sunnar 325VII

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

Óláfr launches a fleet southwards, headed by his ship Visundr. Hearing that Knútr inn ríki Sveinsson has called up a leiðangr ‘naval levy’ and is intending to attack Norway, but unable to get reliable confirmation, King Óláfr Haraldsson decides to sail with his choicest troops to Denmark, giving the others leave to go home.

[3-4]: The J2ˣ version of the lines, indeed of the whole helmingr, is clearly an oral variant which departs considerably from the consensus of the other mss. Lines 3-4 would mean ‘The hull cleaves the slopes of waves [SEA] where the valiant prince travels from the east’.

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