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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr Óldr 6I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 6’ 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. 398.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonÓláfsdrápa
56

Gerði ‘made’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[1] Gerði: gerðisk J1ˣ, 310

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seims ‘of gold’

2. seimr (noun m.; °dat. -i): gold

[1] seims: sveims 53

kennings

Skerðir seims
‘The diminisher of gold ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

The diminisher of gold → GENEROUS MAN
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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

notes

[1] með sverði ‘with the sword’: This may well qualify both clauses in ll. 1-4. It could be taken specifically with the rest of ll. 1-2, but the effect would be slightly banal.

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sverði ‘the sword’

sverð (noun n.; °-s; -): sword

notes

[1] með sverði ‘with the sword’: This may well qualify both clauses in ll. 1-4. It could be taken specifically with the rest of ll. 1-2, but the effect would be slightly banal.

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sverð ‘sword’

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

[2] sverð‑: sund‑ 62, Flat

kennings

sverðleik
‘sword-sport ’
   = BATTLE

sword-sport → BATTLE
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leik ‘sport’

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

[2] ‑leik: leiks 53, 54, Bb

kennings

sverðleik
‘sword-sport ’
   = BATTLE

sword-sport → BATTLE
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Mǫn ‘Man’

Mǫn (noun f.): Man

[2] Mǫn: muna Flat

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skerðir ‘The diminisher’

skerðir (noun m.): diminisher

[2] skerðir: skerði 53, 62, skerðisk 54, Bb, grundar Flat

kennings

Skerðir seims
‘The diminisher of gold ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

The diminisher of gold → GENEROUS MAN
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ulfa ‘of wolves’

1. ulfr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): wolf

kennings

ógnblíðr greddir ulfa
‘the battle-glad feeder of wolves ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-glad feeder of wolves → WARRIOR
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greddir ‘feeder’

greddir (noun m.): feeder

[3] greddir: græddir 39, 54, Bb, 62, 310, græddi 53, bræddir Flat, grœðir FskBˣ

kennings

ógnblíðr greddir ulfa
‘the battle-glad feeder of wolves ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-glad feeder of wolves → WARRIOR

notes

[3] greddir ‘feeder’: There are discrepant readings here, and the etymology is somewhat uncertain. However, a base-word with the sense ‘feeder’ is clearly needed, and greddir co-occurs elsewhere with terms for beasts of battle (see LP: greddir). It may be related to OE gereordian ‘feed’ (AEW: greddir; ÍF 26, 259 n.).

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og ‘’

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ógn ‘the battle’

ógn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): terror, battle < ógnblíðr (adj.): battle-happyógn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): terror, battle

[4] ógn‑: ‘og‑’ 39

kennings

ógnblíðr greddir ulfa
‘the battle-glad feeder of wolves ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-glad feeder of wolves → WARRIOR
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blyð ‘’

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blíðr ‘glad’

blíðr (adj.; °n. sg. nom. & acc. blítt/blíðt; compar. -ari, superl. -astr): gentle, happy < ógnblíðr (adj.): battle-happyblíðr (adj.; °n. sg. nom. & acc. blítt/blíðt; compar. -ari, superl. -astr): gentle, happy

[4] ‑blíðr: ‘blyð’ FskBˣ

kennings

ógnblíðr greddir ulfa
‘the battle-glad feeder of wolves ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-glad feeder of wolves → WARRIOR
Close

Skotum ‘the Scots’

skotr (noun m.): Scot

[4] Skotum: liði 62, skipum Flat

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víða ‘widely’

1. víða (adv.): widely

[4] víða: víði Bb

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ó ‘’

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Ý ‘of the bow’

ýr (noun m.): yew, yew-bow, bow < ýdróg (noun f.)

[5] Ý‑: ver‑ J1ˣ, ‘V‑’ 54, Bb

kennings

Œgir ýdrógar
‘The terrifier of the bow-string ’
   = WARRIOR

The terrifier of the bow-string → WARRIOR

notes

[5] œgir ýdrógar ‘the terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’: Either of the readings -drógar or -drauga(r) could form a warrior-kenning with ýr ‘yew’, hence ‘bow’, and œgir ‘terrifier’; cf. Gsind Hákdr 7/1 œgir almdrógar ‘terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’, where the majority of mss have -draug. (a) Dróg f. is recorded in prose with the sense ‘stripe’ but with the sense ‘string’ only in poetry; drógar is the reading of the main ms. and is adopted by most eds in this stanza. (b) Draugr elsewhere, probably in the sense ‘log’, combines with determinants referring to weapons, treasure or battle to form warrior-kennings (Meissner 264-5, and cf. Note to ÞHjalt Lv 1/5). This reading in the present stanza would yield ýdrauga œgir ‘terrifier of bow-logs [WARRIORS > RULER/WARRIOR]’.

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drógar ‘string’

dróg (noun f.; °; -ir): string < ýdróg (noun f.)

[5] ‑drógar: ‑draugar J1ˣ, ‑drauga 61, 53, 54, Bb, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 310

kennings

Œgir ýdrógar
‘The terrifier of the bow-string ’
   = WARRIOR

The terrifier of the bow-string → WARRIOR

notes

[5] œgir ýdrógar ‘the terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’: Either of the readings -drógar or -drauga(r) could form a warrior-kenning with ýr ‘yew’, hence ‘bow’, and œgir ‘terrifier’; cf. Gsind Hákdr 7/1 œgir almdrógar ‘terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’, where the majority of mss have -draug. (a) Dróg f. is recorded in prose with the sense ‘stripe’ but with the sense ‘string’ only in poetry; drógar is the reading of the main ms. and is adopted by most eds in this stanza. (b) Draugr elsewhere, probably in the sense ‘log’, combines with determinants referring to weapons, treasure or battle to form warrior-kennings (Meissner 264-5, and cf. Note to ÞHjalt Lv 1/5). This reading in the present stanza would yield ýdrauga œgir ‘terrifier of bow-logs [WARRIORS > RULER/WARRIOR]’.

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lét ‘caused’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[5] lét: læt 39

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œgir ‘The terrifier’

œgir (noun m.): terrifier

kennings

Œgir ýdrógar
‘The terrifier of the bow-string ’
   = WARRIOR

The terrifier of the bow-string → WARRIOR

notes

[5] œgir ýdrógar ‘the terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’: Either of the readings -drógar or -drauga(r) could form a warrior-kenning with ýr ‘yew’, hence ‘bow’, and œgir ‘terrifier’; cf. Gsind Hákdr 7/1 œgir almdrógar ‘terrifier of the bow-string [WARRIOR]’, where the majority of mss have -draug. (a) Dróg f. is recorded in prose with the sense ‘stripe’ but with the sense ‘string’ only in poetry; drógar is the reading of the main ms. and is adopted by most eds in this stanza. (b) Draugr elsewhere, probably in the sense ‘log’, combines with determinants referring to weapons, treasure or battle to form warrior-kennings (Meissner 264-5, and cf. Note to ÞHjalt Lv 1/5). This reading in the present stanza would yield ýdrauga œgir ‘terrifier of bow-logs [WARRIORS > RULER/WARRIOR]’.

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œverkann ‘’

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eyverskan ‘the army’

eyverskr (adj.): [army]

[6] eyverskan: ‘ꝍverkann’ FskAˣ

notes

[6] eyverskan ‘from the Isles’: Generally, and in the context of the stanza, this adj. is most likely to refer to the Northern Isles off Scotland, especially Orkney (cf. Fritzner: eyverskr) or else the Hebrides. The latter would be encouraged by their proximity to Ireland (Íra ‘the Irish’, l. 8) and is suggested in ÍF 26 and ÍF 29.

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Týr ‘the Týr’

Týr (noun m.): Týr

kennings

Týr dýrra tjǫrva
‘the Týr of precious spears ’
   = WARRIOR

the Týr of precious spears → WARRIOR
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vas ‘was’

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

[7] vas (‘var’): batt Bb, vann FskBˣ

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tjǫrva ‘spears’

tjǫrr (noun m.): [spears]

[7] tjǫrva: tjǫrvar FskBˣ, FskAˣ

kennings

Týr dýrra tjǫrva
‘the Týr of precious spears ’
   = WARRIOR

the Týr of precious spears → WARRIOR

notes

[7] tjǫrva dýrra ‘of precious spears’: Tjǫr ‘spear’ is rare and not entirely secure (see LP: 2. tjǫr), and it is puzzling that the reading dýrra appears only in 53, against a significant consensus in favour of dýra. Storm (MHN 113, n. 19) assumed Tjǫrvi to be an unrecorded sea-king heiti which would produce dýr Tjǫrva ‘Tjǫrvi’s animals [SHIPS]’ here.

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dýrra ‘of precious’

dýrr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -str/-astr): precious

[7] dýrra: so 53, dýra Kˣ, 39, F, 61, 54, Bb, 62, FskAˣ, 310, bura J1ˣ, ‘dýran’ FskBˣ

kennings

Týr dýrra tjǫrva
‘the Týr of precious spears ’
   = WARRIOR

the Týr of precious spears → WARRIOR

notes

[7] tjǫrva dýrra ‘of precious spears’: Tjǫr ‘spear’ is rare and not entirely secure (see LP: 2. tjǫr), and it is puzzling that the reading dýrra appears only in 53, against a significant consensus in favour of dýra. Storm (MHN 113, n. 19) assumed Tjǫrvi to be an unrecorded sea-king heiti which would produce dýr Tjǫrva ‘Tjǫrvi’s animals [SHIPS]’ here.

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tinar ‘’

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tiran ‘’

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týar ‘’

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tírar ‘for glory’

tírr (noun m.; °-s): glory, honourtírr (noun m.; °-s): glory, honour < tírargarmr (noun m.)

[8] tírar‑: so F, J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, 310, ‘týar’ Kˣ, ‘tiran’ 39, tígnar FskBˣ, ‘tinar’ FskAˣ

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Íra ‘the Irish’

írar (noun m.): Irishmen

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

see Introduction.

The pairing of helmingar here follows Fsk and 310. In Hkr and ÓT, st. 5/1-4 (beginning Gerðisk) + st. 6/7-8 (Eyddi), 5-6 (Gerði) form a stanza, and st. 6/1-4 (Ýdrógar) + st. 5/5-8 (Barði) form a stanza. Thus the two couplets of ll. 1-4 (Gerði; Eyddi) are in reverse order in Hkr and ÓT. Although it remains uncertain which arrangement of the poem is the more original, the evidence tends to favour Fsk and 310 (see Introduction).

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