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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 29II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 29’ 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. 144-5.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
282930

Blóð ‘the blood’

blóð (noun n.; °-s): blood < blóðorri (noun m.)

[1] Blóðorra lætr barri: ‘Bloð o… ….barre’ 744ˣ

kennings

blóðorra
‘the blood-grouse ’
   = RAVEN

the blood-grouse → RAVEN

notes

[1, 2] blóðorra; ara ‘the blood-grouse [RAVEN]; the eagle’s’: Both these phrases referring to birds are grammatically ambiguous. It is assumed here that blóðorra is acc. sg., object of lætr ‘lets’ and subject of fagna ‘rejoice’, while ara ‘eagle’s’ is the gen. sg. determinant of the kenning whose base-word is barri ‘barley’, l. 1, and which refers to corpses or carrion, but the reverse could also apply (as assumed in Skj B). They could also both be alternatively pl. rather than sg. Orri is usually taken as Lyrurus tetrix, the black grouse (CVC has Tetrao tetrix ‘heathcock, moor-fowl’).

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orra ‘grouse’

orri (noun m.; °-a; -ar): [blackcock, grouse] < blóðorri (noun m.)

[1] Blóðorra lætr barri: ‘Bloð o… ….barre’ 744ˣ

kennings

blóðorra
‘the blood-grouse ’
   = RAVEN

the blood-grouse → RAVEN

notes

[1, 2] blóðorra; ara ‘the blood-grouse [RAVEN]; the eagle’s’: Both these phrases referring to birds are grammatically ambiguous. It is assumed here that blóðorra is acc. sg., object of lætr ‘lets’ and subject of fagna ‘rejoice’, while ara ‘eagle’s’ is the gen. sg. determinant of the kenning whose base-word is barri ‘barley’, l. 1, and which refers to corpses or carrion, but the reverse could also apply (as assumed in Skj B). They could also both be alternatively pl. rather than sg. Orri is usually taken as Lyrurus tetrix, the black grouse (CVC has Tetrao tetrix ‘heathcock, moor-fowl’).

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lætr ‘lets’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[1] Blóðorra lætr barri: ‘Bloð o… ….barre’ 744ˣ

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barri ‘barley’

1. barr (noun n.): barley

[1] Blóðorra lætr barri: ‘Bloð o… ….barre’ 744ˣ

kennings

barri ara;
‘the eagle’s barley; ’
   = CORPSES

the eagle’s barley; → CORPSES

notes

[1] barri ‘barley’: On the collective use of this and other terms for grain, see Note to st. 28/4.

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bragningr ‘The sovereign’

bragningr (noun m.; °; -ar): prince, ruler

[2] bragningr: bragning C

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ara ‘the eagle’s’

1. ari (noun m.; °-a; -ar): eagle

kennings

barri ara;
‘the eagle’s barley; ’
   = CORPSES

the eagle’s barley; → CORPSES

notes

[1, 2] blóðorra; ara ‘the blood-grouse [RAVEN]; the eagle’s’: Both these phrases referring to birds are grammatically ambiguous. It is assumed here that blóðorra is acc. sg., object of lætr ‘lets’ and subject of fagna ‘rejoice’, while ara ‘eagle’s’ is the gen. sg. determinant of the kenning whose base-word is barri ‘barley’, l. 1, and which refers to corpses or carrion, but the reverse could also apply (as assumed in Skj B). They could also both be alternatively pl. rather than sg. Orri is usually taken as Lyrurus tetrix, the black grouse (CVC has Tetrao tetrix ‘heathcock, moor-fowl’).

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Gauts ‘of Gautr’

2. Gautr (noun m.): Gautr, Óðinn

[3] Gauts: Gautr papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

kennings

sigð Gauts
‘the sickle of Gautr ’
   = SWORD

the sickle of Gautr → SWORD
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berr ‘wields’

3. bera (verb; °berr; bar, báru; borinn): bear, carry

[3] berr: ryðr A, 744ˣ, papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

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sigð ‘the sickle’

sigð (noun f.; °; -ir): [sickle]

[3] sigð: sik U

kennings

sigð Gauts
‘the sickle of Gautr ’
   = SWORD

the sickle of Gautr → SWORD
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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[3] á: í A, 744ˣ, papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

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sveita ‘of blood’

sveiti (noun m.; °-a): blood

kennings

ǫrð svans sveita.
‘the corn of the swan of blood.’
   = CORPSES

the swan of blood. → RAVEN
the corn of the RAVEN → CORPSES

notes

[3, 4] ǫrð svans sveita ‘the corn of the swan of blood [RAVEN > CORPSE]’: The hero cuts down his enemies like corn, making them into carrion. As Fidjestøl (1982, 141) notes, the expression is proleptic, telescoping the phases of action. On the collective use of ǫrð ‘corn’, see Note to st. 28/4.

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sveita ‘of blood’

sveiti (noun m.; °-a): blood

kennings

ǫrð svans sveita.
‘the corn of the swan of blood.’
   = CORPSES

the swan of blood. → RAVEN
the corn of the RAVEN → CORPSES

notes

[3, 4] ǫrð svans sveita ‘the corn of the swan of blood [RAVEN > CORPSE]’: The hero cuts down his enemies like corn, making them into carrion. As Fidjestøl (1982, 141) notes, the expression is proleptic, telescoping the phases of action. On the collective use of ǫrð ‘corn’, see Note to st. 28/4.

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svans ‘of the swan’

svanr (noun m.; °-s; -ir): swan

[4] svans: ‘[...]ans’ B

kennings

ǫrð svans sveita.
‘the corn of the swan of blood.’
   = CORPSES

the swan of blood. → RAVEN
the corn of the RAVEN → CORPSES

notes

[3, 4] ǫrð svans sveita ‘the corn of the swan of blood [RAVEN > CORPSE]’: The hero cuts down his enemies like corn, making them into carrion. As Fidjestøl (1982, 141) notes, the expression is proleptic, telescoping the phases of action. On the collective use of ǫrð ‘corn’, see Note to st. 28/4.

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svans ‘of the swan’

svanr (noun m.; °-s; -ir): swan

[4] svans: ‘[...]ans’ B

kennings

ǫrð svans sveita.
‘the corn of the swan of blood.’
   = CORPSES

the swan of blood. → RAVEN
the corn of the RAVEN → CORPSES

notes

[3, 4] ǫrð svans sveita ‘the corn of the swan of blood [RAVEN > CORPSE]’: The hero cuts down his enemies like corn, making them into carrion. As Fidjestøl (1982, 141) notes, the expression is proleptic, telescoping the phases of action. On the collective use of ǫrð ‘corn’, see Note to st. 28/4.

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ǫrð ‘the corn’

ǫrð (noun f.; °arðar; arðir/arðar): corn, grain

[4] ǫrð: verð U, jǫrð A, 744ˣ, papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

kennings

ǫrð svans sveita.
‘the corn of the swan of blood.’
   = CORPSES

the swan of blood. → RAVEN
the corn of the RAVEN → CORPSES

notes

[3, 4] ǫrð svans sveita ‘the corn of the swan of blood [RAVEN > CORPSE]’: The hero cuts down his enemies like corn, making them into carrion. As Fidjestøl (1982, 141) notes, the expression is proleptic, telescoping the phases of action. On the collective use of ǫrð ‘corn’, see Note to st. 28/4.

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konungr ‘the king’

konungr (noun m.; °dat. -i, -s; -ar): king

[4] konungr: konungs C

kennings

konungr Hǫrða
‘the king of the Hǫrðar ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

the king of the Hǫrðar → NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr
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Hǫrða ‘of the Hǫrðar’

Hǫrðar (noun m.): the Hǫrðar

[4] Hǫrða: harða papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

kennings

konungr Hǫrða
‘the king of the Hǫrðar ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

the king of the Hǫrðar → NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The st. illustrates the statement that kennings for ‘raven’ or ‘eagle’ can be formed by using any masculine bird-name and qualifying it by a reference to blood or corpses as its food. In R, , U the ll. form a complete st. with st. 30 below, but in A and C, and in the transcript of B in 744ˣ, the two helmingar are separated (see further Introduction to Sex).

The placing of this helmingr is extremely uncertain: see Context above and Introduction to Sex. — Ms. B is so damaged that its many illegible places are not registered here; rather the B text is represented by the transcript in 744ˣ. The ll. are also preserved in LaufE, in a text ‘closest to AB’ (Faulkes, LaufE 1979, 268 n.)

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