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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 at fundi stillis
— framm óðu vé — móða
— ámt fló grjót — á gauta
glóðheitr ofan sveiti.
Þjóð hykk þaðra nôðu
þúsundum togfúsa
(spjót flugu) líf at láta
(laus í gumna hausum).

Glóðheitr sveiti fell at fundi stillis ofan á móða gauta; ámt grjót fló; vé óðu framm. Hykk togfúsa þjóð nôðu þaðra at láta líf þúsundum; spjót flugu laus í hausum gumna.

Ember-hot blood flowed at the ruler’s conflict down upon wearied men; dark stones flew; standards stormed forth. I think that men quick on the draw came to lose their lives by thousands there; spears flew free at the skulls of men.

Mss: Mork(18v) (Mork); Flat(203va) (Flat); H(74r), Hr(53ra) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] fundi: fundu Hr    [3] ámt: ótt Flat, ‘annt’ Hr    [4] ‑heitr: ‑heit Flat    [5] hykk: ‘hygt’ Flat;    nôðu: ‘nada’ Flat    [6] þúsundum: ‘þushundum’ Hr;    tog‑: taug‑ Flat, tók‑ H, ‘t᷎‑’ Hr    [7] líf: laus Hr;    láta: láti Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 351, Skj BI, 323-4, Skald I, 163-4, NN §839, 2523; Mork 1928-32, 270, Andersson and Gade 2000, 266, 481 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 391 (MH); Fms 6, 409 (HSig ch. 115), Fms 12, 164; Whaley 1998, 281-3.

Context: 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.

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

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. 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.
  9. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  10. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  11. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  12. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  13. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  14. Finnur Jónsson. 1934a. Tekstkritiske bemærkninger til skjaldekvad. Det kgl. danske videnskabernes selskab. Historisk-filologiske meddelelser 20.2. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard.
  15. Internal references
  16. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Gautreks saga’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 241.
  17. 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].
  18. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  19. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa 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, p. 535.
  21. Not published: do not cite ()
  22. Not published: do not cite ([Egill Hfl 14x - for refence only])
  23. Not published: do not cite (Egill Hfl 14V (Eg 47))
  24. Not published: do not cite ()
  25. Not published: do not cite (Hást Lv 3IV)
  26. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 54’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1163.
  27. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 4’ 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, p. 354.
  28. Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 41 (Útsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Útsteinskviða 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 337.
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