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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 12II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 12’ 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. 221-2.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonMagnússdrápa
111213

Vítt ‘broad’

víðr (adj.): far

[1] Vítt: Hitt FskAˣ

notes

[1] vítt ‘broad’: (a) The adj. is here taken as qualifying Helganes. The epithet may be conventional (cf. st. 9/4) but also aptly describes the rhomboidal peninsula, which would appear broad from both the mainland and the sea. (b) Vítt could alternatively be an adv. ‘widely, far and wide’ modifying hefk heyrt ‘I have heard’.

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hefk ‘I have’

hafa (verb): have

[1] hefk (‘hefi ec’): hæfir FskBˣ, hǫfum FskAˣ

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heyrt ‘heard’

2. heyra (verb): hear

[1] heyrt: ‘hæyt’ FskBˣ

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heiti ‘it is called’

2. heita (verb): be called, promise

[1] heiti: héti F, E, H, Hr, Flat, ‘hæyti’ FskAˣ

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Helganes ‘Helgenæs’

Helganes (noun n.): [Helgenæs]

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þars ‘where’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[2] þars (‘þar er’): þar FskAˣ

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elgi ‘elks’

elgr (noun m.; °-s; -ir/-ar): elk

kennings

marga elgi vágs.
‘many elks of the wave. ’
   = SHIPS

many elks of the wave. → SHIPS
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vágs ‘of the wave’

vágr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): sea, wave

[3] vágs: ‘vægs’ FskAˣ, ‘vox’ Flat

kennings

marga elgi vágs.
‘many elks of the wave. ’
   = SHIPS

many elks of the wave. → SHIPS
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inn ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

[3] inn: ‘menn’ FskBˣ, ins Flat

kennings

inn víða frægi vargteitir
‘the widely famed wolf-cheerer ’
   = WARRIOR

the widely famed wolf-cheerer → WARRIOR
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víða ‘widely’

víðr (adj.): far

kennings

inn víða frægi vargteitir
‘the widely famed wolf-cheerer ’
   = WARRIOR

the widely famed wolf-cheerer → WARRIOR
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frægi ‘famed’

frægr (adj.; °-jan/-an; compar. -ri, superl. -jastr/-astr/-str): famous, renowned

kennings

inn víða frægi vargteitir
‘the widely famed wolf-cheerer ’
   = WARRIOR

the widely famed wolf-cheerer → WARRIOR
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varg ‘wolf’

vargr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): wolf < vargteitir (noun m.)

kennings

inn víða frægi vargteitir
‘the widely famed wolf-cheerer ’
   = WARRIOR

the widely famed wolf-cheerer → WARRIOR
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teitir ‘cheerer’

teitir (noun m.): gladdener < vargteitir (noun m.)

[4] ‑teitir: teitr Hr

kennings

inn víða frægi vargteitir
‘the widely famed wolf-cheerer ’
   = WARRIOR

the widely famed wolf-cheerer → WARRIOR
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hrauð ‘stripped’

1. hrjóða (verb): clear, destroy

[4] hrauð: so E, J2ˣ, H, Hr, rauð Kˣ, 39, F, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Flat

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marga ‘many’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many

[4] marga: margan FskBˣ, Flat

kennings

marga elgi vágs.
‘many elks of the wave. ’
   = SHIPS

many elks of the wave. → SHIPS
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Røkr ‘of twilight’

røkkr (noun n.; °-s): [twilight]

[5] Røkr: reykr F, FskAˣ, C, rekr FskBˣ, rekkr Hr, ‘rek[...]’ U

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ǫndurt ‘At the beginning’

ǫndurr (noun m.; °-s): front, onset

[5] ǫndurt: ‘andrt’ FskBˣ, ǫndur FskAˣ, ‘[...]dvrt’ U

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randir ‘shields’

rǫnd (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; rendr/randir): shield, shield-rim

[5] randir: om. H, randar C

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regg ‘the ship’

regg (noun n.): boat, vessel < reggbúss (noun m.)

[6] regg‑: regn‑ FskBˣ, ‘r[...]’ U

kennings

reggbúss
‘the ship-tree ’
   = SEAFARER

the ship-tree → SEAFARER
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búss ‘tree’

búss (noun m.): box-tree < reggbúss (noun m.)

kennings

reggbúss
‘the ship-tree ’
   = SEAFARER

the ship-tree → SEAFARER
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saman ‘together’

saman (adv.): together

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leggja ‘to be set’

leggja (verb): put, lay

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róg ‘of strife’

róg (noun n.; °-s): strife, slander < rógský (noun n.)

[7] róg‑: so 39, F, E, H, Hr, R, Tˣ, W, U, A, C, 2368ˣ, rógs Kˣ, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE
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róg ‘of strife’

róg (noun n.; °-s): strife, slander < rógský (noun n.)

[7] róg‑: so 39, F, E, H, Hr, R, Tˣ, W, U, A, C, 2368ˣ, rógs Kˣ, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE
Close

róg ‘of strife’

róg (noun n.; °-s): strife, slander < rógský (noun n.)

[7] róg‑: so 39, F, E, H, Hr, R, Tˣ, W, U, A, C, 2368ˣ, rógs Kˣ, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE
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skýja ‘clouds’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud < rógský (noun n.)

[7] ‑skýja: skyggja J2ˣ, ‘skyiara’ Hr, ‘sk[...]a’ U

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE
Close

skýja ‘clouds’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud < rógský (noun n.)

[7] ‑skýja: skyggja J2ˣ, ‘skyiara’ Hr, ‘sk[...]a’ U

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE
Close

skýja ‘clouds’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud < rógský (noun n.)

[7] ‑skýja: skyggja J2ˣ, ‘skyiara’ Hr, ‘sk[...]a’ U

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE
Close

helt ‘persisted’

halda (verb): hold, keep

[7] helt: lét Hr

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rýgjar ‘of the troll-woman’

rýgr (noun f.): housewife

[7] rýgjar: ‘rygia’ R, Tˣ, W, C, 2368ˣ

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE

notes

[7] rýgjar ‘of the troll-woman’: (a) The reading is here taken, as by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson, as rýgjar, gen. sg. of the f. noun meaning ‘mighty woman, ogress’ (ÍF 28, 56-7 n., following Nj 1875-8, II, 518); it forms part of an axe-kenning (cf. Meissner 148) which in turn is determinant to a battle-kenning. (b) An alternative also proposed by Bjarni is that rýgr, again like other words for ‘troll-woman’ or ‘giantess’ (e.g. gnepja and vígglǫð), might be an axe-heiti in itself. Róg rýgjar ‘strife of the axe’ would then be ‘battle’, rógský rýgjar ‘clouds of battle’ would be ‘shields’ and the regn of shields once more ‘battle’. (c) Skj B reads the minority variant ‘rygia’ as acc. pl. of Rygjar (men of Rogaland), hence bað Rygja leggja saman randir ‘asked the Rygjar to set their shields together’. (d) Kock (NN §822) reads Rygja and construes rógskýja ... Rygja regni ‘the Rogalanders’ battle’.

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rýgjar ‘of the troll-woman’

rýgr (noun f.): housewife

[7] rýgjar: ‘rygia’ R, Tˣ, W, C, 2368ˣ

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE

notes

[7] rýgjar ‘of the troll-woman’: (a) The reading is here taken, as by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson, as rýgjar, gen. sg. of the f. noun meaning ‘mighty woman, ogress’ (ÍF 28, 56-7 n., following Nj 1875-8, II, 518); it forms part of an axe-kenning (cf. Meissner 148) which in turn is determinant to a battle-kenning. (b) An alternative also proposed by Bjarni is that rýgr, again like other words for ‘troll-woman’ or ‘giantess’ (e.g. gnepja and vígglǫð), might be an axe-heiti in itself. Róg rýgjar ‘strife of the axe’ would then be ‘battle’, rógský rýgjar ‘clouds of battle’ would be ‘shields’ and the regn of shields once more ‘battle’. (c) Skj B reads the minority variant ‘rygia’ as acc. pl. of Rygjar (men of Rogaland), hence bað Rygja leggja saman randir ‘asked the Rygjar to set their shields together’. (d) Kock (NN §822) reads Rygja and construes rógskýja ... Rygja regni ‘the Rogalanders’ battle’.

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regni ‘the rain’

regn (noun n.; °-s; -): rain

[8] regni: regin or regni R, rogni W, ‘r[...]ni’ U, regn C

kennings

regni rýgjar rógskýja
‘the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds ’
   = BATTLE

strife-clouds → SHIELDS
the troll-woman of SHIELDS → AXE
the rain of the AXE → BATTLE
Close

haustnôtt ‘the autumn night’

haustnátt (noun f.): [autumn night]

Close

gegnum ‘through’

gegnum (prep.): through

[8] gegnum: í gegnum C

notes

[8] gegnum ‘through’: Gegnum is established here by the aðalhending on regni, but the variant gǫgnum is established by aðalhendingar on Hǫgna (st. 13/6) and Rǫgnvalds (Arn Þorfdr 2/4). Both variants are attested in other skaldic rhymes from the C11th, e.g. þegnar : gegnum (Halli XI Fl 4/6), and Rǫgnvalds : gǫgnum (Sigv Austv 12/4I).

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

In Hkr and H-Hr, it is remarked that the battle off Helgenæs (Helganes) began in the evening, and that at the outset Magnús had a smaller force but larger and better-manned ships. In Fsk, the same battle is summarily narrated up to the point where, after a night-long battle, Sveinn flees ashore. In Flat, on the other hand, the st. follows a description of Sveinn’s flight to Sweden after the battle of Århus (Áróss), Magnús’s capture of Sveinn’s ships and treasure, and his reprisals on the men of Skåne (Skáney). SnE and LaufE quote st. 12/5-8 to show that maðr er kendr til viða—that a kenning for ‘man’ (here reggbúss) can have ‘tree’ as its base-word.

The battle off Helgenæs (Helganes) and its aftermath are also commemorated in sts 13-18 below, Ókík Magn 1, ÞjóðA Magnfl 8-18, ÞjóðA Magn 1-14 and Arn Hryn 14-15.

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