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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 8II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 8’ 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. 268-70.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa
789

Fell ‘flowed’

falla (verb): fall

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fundi ‘conflict’

fundr (noun m.): discovery, meeting

[1] fundi: fundu Hr

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stillis ‘the ruler’s’

stillir (noun m.): ruler

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móða ‘wearied’

móðr (adj.): weary

notes

[2, 3] á móða gauta ‘upon wearied men’: Móða is here taken as a m. acc. pl. adj. qualifying gauta ‘men’. The word is sometimes used specifically of battle-weariness, e.g. eggmóðr ‘edge-/blade-weary’, applied in Grí 53/1 (NK 68) and Hamð 30/3 (NK 273) to valr ‘the slain’. Gauta has been considered a point of difficulty in the st. (see, e.g., Finnur Jónsson 1934, 46-7). The recorded meanings of gautr, pl. gautar, are threefold: (a) Gautar is an ethnic name referring to the people of Väster- and Östergötland, southern Sweden. (b) Gautr is a name for Óðinn (cf. Gauti and Gautatýr), and as such it can function as a base-word in kennings for ‘man/warrior’. (c) Gautar is instead taken here as the rare heiti for ‘men’ (so also various eds, including those of Fms 12, 164, and Kock, NN §2523), which is probably an extension of the ethnic name, just as got(n)ar ‘men’ is an extension of Gotar ‘Goths’. This usage is matched in the contemporary st. Stúfr Stúfdr 4 spjalli gauta ‘confidant of men’, with the variant gumna ‘of men’. Á móða gauta ‘upon wearied men’ is construed here with sveiti fell … ofan ‘blood flowed down’ (cf. a similar image in Hást Lv 3IV), but it would also fit with ámt grjót fló ‘dark stones flew’.

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ámt ‘dark’

ámr (adj.): dark

[3] ámt: ótt Flat, ‘annt’ Hr

notes

[3] ámt ‘dark’: The adj. is sg., qualifying the collective grjót ‘stones’.

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á ‘upon’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[2, 3] á móða gauta ‘upon wearied men’: Móða is here taken as a m. acc. pl. adj. qualifying gauta ‘men’. The word is sometimes used specifically of battle-weariness, e.g. eggmóðr ‘edge-/blade-weary’, applied in Grí 53/1 (NK 68) and Hamð 30/3 (NK 273) to valr ‘the slain’. Gauta has been considered a point of difficulty in the st. (see, e.g., Finnur Jónsson 1934, 46-7). The recorded meanings of gautr, pl. gautar, are threefold: (a) Gautar is an ethnic name referring to the people of Väster- and Östergötland, southern Sweden. (b) Gautr is a name for Óðinn (cf. Gauti and Gautatýr), and as such it can function as a base-word in kennings for ‘man/warrior’. (c) Gautar is instead taken here as the rare heiti for ‘men’ (so also various eds, including those of Fms 12, 164, and Kock, NN §2523), which is probably an extension of the ethnic name, just as got(n)ar ‘men’ is an extension of Gotar ‘Goths’. This usage is matched in the contemporary st. Stúfr Stúfdr 4 spjalli gauta ‘confidant of men’, with the variant gumna ‘of men’. Á móða gauta ‘upon wearied men’ is construed here with sveiti fell … ofan ‘blood flowed down’ (cf. a similar image in Hást Lv 3IV), but it would also fit with ámt grjót fló ‘dark stones flew’.

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gauta ‘men’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

notes

[2, 3] á móða gauta ‘upon wearied men’: Móða is here taken as a m. acc. pl. adj. qualifying gauta ‘men’. The word is sometimes used specifically of battle-weariness, e.g. eggmóðr ‘edge-/blade-weary’, applied in Grí 53/1 (NK 68) and Hamð 30/3 (NK 273) to valr ‘the slain’. Gauta has been considered a point of difficulty in the st. (see, e.g., Finnur Jónsson 1934, 46-7). The recorded meanings of gautr, pl. gautar, are threefold: (a) Gautar is an ethnic name referring to the people of Väster- and Östergötland, southern Sweden. (b) Gautr is a name for Óðinn (cf. Gauti and Gautatýr), and as such it can function as a base-word in kennings for ‘man/warrior’. (c) Gautar is instead taken here as the rare heiti for ‘men’ (so also various eds, including those of Fms 12, 164, and Kock, NN §2523), which is probably an extension of the ethnic name, just as got(n)ar ‘men’ is an extension of Gotar ‘Goths’. This usage is matched in the contemporary st. Stúfr Stúfdr 4 spjalli gauta ‘confidant of men’, with the variant gumna ‘of men’. Á móða gauta ‘upon wearied men’ is construed here with sveiti fell … ofan ‘blood flowed down’ (cf. a similar image in Hást Lv 3IV), but it would also fit with ámt grjót fló ‘dark stones flew’.

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ofan ‘down’

ofan (adv.): down

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hykk ‘I think’

2. hyggja (verb): think, consider

[5] hykk: ‘hygt’ Flat

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þaðra ‘there’

þaðra (adv.): there

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nôðu ‘came’

1. ná (verb): reach, get, manage

[5] nôðu: ‘nada’ Flat

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þúsundum ‘by thousands’

1. þúsund (noun f.; °; -ir): thousand

[6] þúsundum: ‘þushundum’ Hr

notes

[6] þúsundum ‘by thousands’: That this is a piece of hyperbole is suggested by the Irish monk Marianus, writing at Mainz at the end of the C11th, who numbers the Engl. dead at over one thousand laymen and a hundred priests (Chronicon 559).

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tog ‘on the draw’

tog (noun n.; °; dat. -um): leader

[6] tog‑: taug‑ Flat, tók‑ H, ‘t᷎‑’ Hr

notes

[6] togfúsa (f. acc. sg.) ‘quick on the draw’: An adj. qualifying þjóð ‘men, people’. Togfúss is not attested elsewhere, nor is the simplex tog recorded in poetry, but in prose it usually means ‘rope, line’. Here and in related words the basic notion is of ‘pulling’ (e.g. the verb toga) or ‘drawing’ (e.g. the adjectival p. p. toginn ‘drawn’, applied to swords; see LP). The element tog also appears in the poetic compounds at eggtogi (Egill Hfl 14/8V) and at/á sverðtogi (SnSt Ht 54/6III and Útsteinn Útkv 2/6VIII) ‘at the drawing of the sword’, i.e. ‘in battle’; cf. also tognings ‘of the sword’ (Balti Sigdr 3/3 and Note). Togfúss is hence comparable with cpd adjectives in -fúss ‘eager, quick’ whose first element denotes ‘battle’, e.g. bǫðfúss, sóknfúss and vígfúss, and can fairly confidently be understood as ‘quick on the draw’ or ‘eager for battle’, perhaps with ironic intent here. Guðbrandur Vigfússon nevertheless found togfúsa unsatisfying and believed it to be a scribal substitution for a phrase meaning ‘dike by the Ouse’ (CPB II, 185). The variants taug- and tók- may well be corruptions of tog-. The abbreviated ‘t̂fusa’ in Hr is also expanded to tók- by Finnur Jónsson in Skj A, but probably represents an otherwise unknown torfúsa ‘difficult-eager (?)’, i.e. ‘not eager (?)’ (cf. abbreviated ‘n᷎dan’ for ‘nordan’). The reading torfúsa is adopted by Finnur Jónsson in Skj B (who consequently does not include togfúss in LP) but rejected by Kock in NN §2523.

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fúsa ‘quick’

fúss (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): eager, willing

notes

[6] togfúsa (f. acc. sg.) ‘quick on the draw’: An adj. qualifying þjóð ‘men, people’. Togfúss is not attested elsewhere, nor is the simplex tog recorded in poetry, but in prose it usually means ‘rope, line’. Here and in related words the basic notion is of ‘pulling’ (e.g. the verb toga) or ‘drawing’ (e.g. the adjectival p. p. toginn ‘drawn’, applied to swords; see LP). The element tog also appears in the poetic compounds at eggtogi (Egill Hfl 14/8V) and at/á sverðtogi (SnSt Ht 54/6III and Útsteinn Útkv 2/6VIII) ‘at the drawing of the sword’, i.e. ‘in battle’; cf. also tognings ‘of the sword’ (Balti Sigdr 3/3 and Note). Togfúss is hence comparable with cpd adjectives in -fúss ‘eager, quick’ whose first element denotes ‘battle’, e.g. bǫðfúss, sóknfúss and vígfúss, and can fairly confidently be understood as ‘quick on the draw’ or ‘eager for battle’, perhaps with ironic intent here. Guðbrandur Vigfússon nevertheless found togfúsa unsatisfying and believed it to be a scribal substitution for a phrase meaning ‘dike by the Ouse’ (CPB II, 185). The variants taug- and tók- may well be corruptions of tog-. The abbreviated ‘t̂fusa’ in Hr is also expanded to tók- by Finnur Jónsson in Skj A, but probably represents an otherwise unknown torfúsa ‘difficult-eager (?)’, i.e. ‘not eager (?)’ (cf. abbreviated ‘n᷎dan’ for ‘nordan’). The reading torfúsa is adopted by Finnur Jónsson in Skj B (who consequently does not include togfúss in LP) but rejected by Kock in NN §2523.

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flugu ‘flew’

fljúga (verb): fly

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líf ‘their lives’

líf (noun n.; °-s; -): life

[7] líf: laus Hr

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láta ‘lose’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[7] láta: láti Flat

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As for st. 7. In H-Hr, the st. is preceded by a short account, in prose and verse, of the slaughter of the English who were cut off from escape by the stream and the marshy ground.

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