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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hryn 18II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 18’ 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. 204.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHrynhenda, Magnússdrápa

Mǫnnum lízk, es mildingr rennir
Meita hlíðir sævar skíði,
unnir jafnt sem ósamt renni
engla fylki himna þengils.

Mǫnnum lízk, es mildingr rennir {skíði sævar} {hlíðir Meita}, jafnt sem fylki engla {þengils himna} renni unnir ósamt.

It seems to men, as the ruler makes {the ski of the ocean} [SHIP] skim {the slopes of Meiti <sea-king>} [SEA], just as though the host of angels {of the skies’ prince} [= God] were skimming the waves with him.

Mss: Mork(5v) (Mork); H(33r), Hr(24ra) (H-Hr); Flat(196ra) (Flat)

Readings: [2] Meita: ‘meída’ Flat;    hlíðir: hlíðar Hr

Editions: Skj AI, 337, Skj BI, 310-11, Skald I, 158; Mork 1928-32, 117, Andersson and Gade 2000, 167, 475 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 322 (MH); Fms 6, 197 (HSig ch. 24), Fms 12, 148; Whaley 1998, 178-9.

Context: As for sts 3, 16 and 17.

Notes: [1-2] rennir skíði sævar hlíðir Meita ‘makes the ski of the ocean [SHIP] skim the slopes of Meiti <sea-king> [SEA]’: Rennir, from the weak verb renna ‘make run’, is here taken as governing skíði as its direct object in the dat. sg. It could alternatively, without any great difference of meaning, be taken as absolute, hence ‘(the ruler) skims the slopes of Meiti with the ski of the ocean’. The harmonisation of imagery, with the base-words of the kennings producing a subsidiary picture of a prince skiing over snow-slopes, constitutes nygørving, lit. ‘new creation, innovation’ (see SnSt Ht 6III, SnE 1999, 6-7). — [3]: The l. contains triple (vocalic) alliteration rather than the expected double, but there is no other reason to suspect textual corruption. — [3] unnir (f. nom. pl.) ‘the waves’: All four mss have ‘unnar’, but this is a f. i-stem noun, in which nom./acc. pl. in -ir is normal, and -ar old and rare (ANG §391.4). — [3] ósamt ‘with him’: The mss all have ‘osamt’, which could mean ‘unwilling’, qualifying nom. sg. fylki or else an adverbial ‘unwillingly’, but this seems so unlikely in context that it seems preferable to assume a form of ásamt ‘together’ (so Skald), albeit unparalleled in skaldic poetry. Finnur Jónsson also assumed the sense ‘together’ (samlet) but printed ofsamt in Skj B, while in LP: ósamt he cross-references the word to ofsamt (which, however, has no entry) and to ásamt.


  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. 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.
  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. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  8. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  9. 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.
  10. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  11. SnE 1999 = Snorri Sturluson. 1999. Edda: Háttatal. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. Rpt. with addenda and corrigenda. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. Internal references
  13. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  14. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1110.

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