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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 16II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 16’ 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. 278-9.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa
151617

Haraldr vissi sik hverjum
harðgeðr und Miðgarði
— dǫglingr réð til dauða
dýrð slíkri — gram ríkra.
Hefr afreka in* øfra
(ættstýrǫndum dýrri
hnígrat hilmir frægri)
heilǫg fold (til moldar).

Harðgeðr Haraldr vissi sik ríkra hverjum gram und Miðgarði; dǫglingr réð slíkri dýrð til dauða. Heilǫg fold in* øfra hefr afreka; frægri hilmir, dýrri ættstýrǫndum hnígrat til moldar.

Harsh-minded Haraldr knew himself mightier than any lord under Miðgarðr; the monarch commanded such glory till death. The holy land on high [lit. the holy, higher land] has the hero; no prince more renowned, more precious than that ruler of men, will sink to the soil.

Mss: Mork(19v) (Mork); Flat(204rb) (Flat); H(76v), Hr(54va) (H-Hr)

Readings: [4] ríkra: ríkar Hr    [5] in*: ins all;    øfra: ǫrva Flat    [6] ætt‑: átt‑ H, Hr;    dýrri: so H, Hr, dýri Mork, dýrum Flat    [7] hnígrat: hingað Flat, ‘hní gratt’ or ‘huí gratt’ Hr

Editions: Skj AI, 353, Skj BI, 325, Skald I, 164, NN §842; Mork 1928-32, 281, Andersson and Gade 2000, 274, 482 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 397 (MH); Fms 6, 423 (HSig ch. 119), Fms 12, 167; Whaley 1998, 298-300.

Context: As for sts 14 and 15.

Notes: [2] Miðgarði: Lit. ‘the middle enclosure’; in Norse cosmography, the home of men, which lies between Ásgarðr, the realm of the gods, and Niflheim, the dark abode of Hel or the dead. The juxtaposition of this phrase with a reference to heaven (see next Note) might suggest that some mythological resonance is active here (cf. Note to Arn Magndr 10/7 Hel). Otherwise, it could be taken simply as ‘on earth’; cf. Þfagr Sveinn 7/2 and Note. — [5, 8] heilǫg fold in* øfra ‘the holy land on high [lit. the holy, higher land]’: There is no m. or n. noun which ‘ens ofra’ (ins øfra ‘of the higher’) in the mss could qualify. (a) The emendation produces what seems a natural expression for ‘heaven’, and it is supported by the occurrence of fold ‘land, earth’ in later heaven-kennings: fold éls ‘storm’s ground’ (Anon Pl 26/5, 7VII) and skýfold ‘cloud-land’ (Anon Mgr 43/6VII). In øfra is also partially paralleled by ofar lǫndum meaning ‘in heaven’ in a similar context in Hfr ErfÓl 27/8I. (b) Kock retains the ms. reading, taking heilǫg fold ens øfra to mean ‘the holy land of the High One (God)’ (NN §842), but it seems unlikely that a mere comparative would be applied to God, and there is no evidence for this. (c) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B emends to et øfra, which he takes with heilǫg fold in the sense ‘up there’ (deroppe). Adverbial it øfra most usually means ‘by the inland route’ and is accompanied by a verb of motion and some indication of destination, but ‘up there, in the air’ does find some support, albeit slight: see Fritzner: efri 1a. — [6] ættstýrǫndum ‘ruler of men’: Lit. ‘rulers of generations’ or ‘rulers among their kin’. This dat. pl. form is difficult to place in the syntax of the helmingr, but since it could make no sense with the first cl. it must belong with the second, dýrri, frægri hilmir hnígrat til moldar ‘(no) prince more precious, more renowned, will sink to the soil’. (a) It is taken here to be a grammatical pl. used for sg., cf. Arn Hryn 19/1 and Note. In the present context the pl. form affords no metrical advantage, so the motivation may be Arnórr’s desire to flatter. Ættstýrǫndum, interpreted thus, fits very well as a dat. of comparison referring to Haraldr in the sentence ‘no prince more precious, more renowned than that ruler of men’. (b) Ættstýrǫndum could alternatively be construed, as by Kock, as a loosely used dat. meaning ‘among rulers of men’ (NN §842). There is no trace of such a usage among Nygaard’s entries for the dat. case (NS §§100-20), but since the use of the dat. is more flexible in skaldic verse than in prose, this interpretation may be considered possible. — [6, 7] frægri; dýrri ‘more renowned; more precious’: These comp. adjectives must be grammatically parallel, qualifying hilmir ‘prince’, the only m. nom. sg. noun in the helmingr. Dýrri cannot qualify afreka ‘hero’, as seemingly assumed in Skj B, since the m. acc. sg. comp. form would be dýrra.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. 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.
  7. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  8. 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.
  9. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  10. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  11. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  12. Internal references
  13. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  14. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Drápa af Máríugrát 43’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 789.
  16. Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 26’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 197-8.
  17. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 19’ 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. 205.
  18. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 10’ 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. 219-20.
  19. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 27’ 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. 439.
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 7’ 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. 319.
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