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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 7II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 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. 268.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa
678

Þung ‘weighty’

þungr (adj.): heavy

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rauð ‘reddened’

rjóða (verb): to redden

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eirlaust ‘ruthlessly’

eirlauss (adj.): ruthlessly

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‘and never’

né (conj.): nor

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vel ‘hard’

vel (adv.): well, very

notes

[3] vel nær Úsu ‘hard by the Ouse’: (a) The words, consecutive in the text, are here construed together. Although the idiom vel nær e-u does not appear to be paralleled, there are comparanda such as allnær Úsu ‘very close to the River Ouse’, in Steinn Óldr 2/1-2, describing the same battle (cf. pairs such as vel mikill and allmikill ‘very great’), as well as the OE wel neah ‘very close’ (Bosworth and Toller 1898: wel I, 4). The saga compilers may have understood vel nær Úsu as ‘hard by the Ouse’ since they depict Haraldr and his men ranged on the river-bank itself (e.g. Mork 1928-32, 268). (b) Vel could alternatively modify rauð ‘reddened’ (Kock, NN §806), or meira valfall ‘greater slaughter’ (Finnur Jónsson, Skj B and 1934, 45-6); but in both cases the w. o. would be disjointed.

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nær ‘by’

nær (adv.): near, almost; when

notes

[3] vel nær Úsu ‘hard by the Ouse’: (a) The words, consecutive in the text, are here construed together. Although the idiom vel nær e-u does not appear to be paralleled, there are comparanda such as allnær Úsu ‘very close to the River Ouse’, in Steinn Óldr 2/1-2, describing the same battle (cf. pairs such as vel mikill and allmikill ‘very great’), as well as the OE wel neah ‘very close’ (Bosworth and Toller 1898: wel I, 4). The saga compilers may have understood vel nær Úsu as ‘hard by the Ouse’ since they depict Haraldr and his men ranged on the river-bank itself (e.g. Mork 1928-32, 268). (b) Vel could alternatively modify rauð ‘reddened’ (Kock, NN §806), or meira valfall ‘greater slaughter’ (Finnur Jónsson, Skj B and 1934, 45-6); but in both cases the w. o. would be disjointed.

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Úsu ‘the Ouse’

Úsa (noun f.): River Ouse

notes

[3] vel nær Úsu ‘hard by the Ouse’: (a) The words, consecutive in the text, are here construed together. Although the idiom vel nær e-u does not appear to be paralleled, there are comparanda such as allnær Úsu ‘very close to the River Ouse’, in Steinn Óldr 2/1-2, describing the same battle (cf. pairs such as vel mikill and allmikill ‘very great’), as well as the OE wel neah ‘very close’ (Bosworth and Toller 1898: wel I, 4). The saga compilers may have understood vel nær Úsu as ‘hard by the Ouse’ since they depict Haraldr and his men ranged on the river-bank itself (e.g. Mork 1928-32, 268). (b) Vel could alternatively modify rauð ‘reddened’ (Kock, NN §806), or meira valfall ‘greater slaughter’ (Finnur Jónsson, Skj B and 1934, 45-6); but in both cases the w. o. would be disjointed.

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valfall ‘slaughter’

valfall (noun n.): slaughter

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

In Mork and Flat, sts 7, 8 and 9 are cited as supplementary authorities after the saga account of the battle by the Ouse. In H-Hr, the slaughter of the English is still in progress. Once Earl Waltheof (Valþjófr) has fled, Haraldr and his men encircle Morcere’s (Mǫrukári’s) division from the rear and the English fall in their hundreds.

The st. is attributed to ‘Steinn’ (Herdísarson) in Hr. — On the battle by the Ouse (at Fulford, near York), see Steinn Óldr 1-3 and Anon Harst, Schofield 1966, especially p. 692, and Jones 2007.

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