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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 17II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 17’ 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. 279-80.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa
1617

Bœnir hefk fyr beini
bragna falls við snjallan
Girkja vǫrð ok Garða;
gjǫf launak svá jǫfri.

Hefk bœnir fyr {beini falls bragna} við {snjallan vǫrð Girkja ok Garða}; svá launak jǫfri gjǫf.

I raise up prayers for {the dealer of warriors’ deaths} [WARRIOR] to {the wise guardian of the Greeks and of Russia (Garðar)} [= God]; thus I repay the prince for his gift.

Mss: R(35v), Tˣ(37r), W(81), U(34v), A(12v) (SnE); 2368ˣ(107) (LaufE)

Readings: [1] Bœnir: bœn W, 2368ˣ, bænar A;    fyr (‘firir’): om. U, frá A    [2] falls: fjalls U;    við: um U;    snjallan: ‘snja[…]a’ W    [3] Girkja: so Tˣ, W, A, Grikkja R, U    [4] launak: launat Tˣ;    svá: ‘s[...]’ W

Editions: Skj AI, 353, Skj BI, 325-6, Skald I, 165, NN §3097C; SnE 1848-87, I, 450-1, II, 334, 446, SnE 1931, 159, SnE 1998, I, 78; LaufE, 1979, 365; Whaley 1998, 300-1.

Context: Snorri quotes this among helmingar which illustrate kennings for Christ, and introduces it, Grikkja konungr, sem Arnórr kvað ‘King of the Greeks, as Arnórr said’. In LaufE, the st. is also given as an illustration of a kenning for Christ.

Notes: [1-2]: On prayers in Arnórr’s memorial poems, see Note to Arn Rǫgndr 3. — [3] vǫrð Girkja ok Garða ‘guardian of the Greeks and of Russia (Garðar)’: Garðar or Garðaríki is Novgorod (Hólmgarðr) and its territory in north-west Russia. The kenning thus refers appropriately to the areas where the young Haraldr distinguished himself (1035-45/46; see Bagge 1990). Johnsen (1969, 50) suggested that it might additionally allude to the fact that Haraldr was long at odds with the papacy, and followed an ecclesiastical policy which in some respects resembled that of Byzantium and Russia. The normalised spelling Girk- ‘Greeks’ is based on the evidence of skaldic rhymes, including the contemporary virk : Girkjum (Stúfr Stúfdr 2/4 and Note). The juxtaposition of Garða, normally a territorial name, with Girkja might suggest that the skald is here applying it to the inhabitants of Garðaríki (so Kuhn 1971, 15), a usage that might have arisen by analogy with pairs such as Svíaríki : Svíar (Sweden and its inhabitants) and Raumaríki : Raumar (Romerike and its inhabitants). — [4] svá launak jǫfri gjǫf ‘thus I repay the prince for his gift’: According to tradition, it was after receiving the gift of a gold-chased spear that Arnórr promised Haraldr that he would compose an erfidrápa ‘memorial drápa’ for him if he outlived him (e.g. Mork 1928-32, 118).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  6. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  7. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1971a. ‘Das älteste Christentum Islands’. ZDA 100, 4-40.
  8. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  9. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  10. Bagge, Sverre. 1990. ‘Harald Hardråde i Bysants’. In Andersen et al. 1990, 169-92.
  11. Johnsen, Oscar Albert. 1969. ‘Harald Hardrådes død i skaldediktningen’. MM, 47-50.
  12. Internal references
  13. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Rǫgnvaldsdrápa 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. 181.
  14. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 2’ 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. 352-3.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Laufás Edda (LaufE)’ 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].
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