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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 4II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 4’ 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. 212-13.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonMagnússdrápa
345

Flýði ‘fled’

flýja (verb): to flee, take flight

[1] Flýði: ‘Fluðe’ FskAˣ, Fylldi Flat

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fyr ‘from’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

[3] fyr (‘fyrir’): frá Hr

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auð ‘treasure’

1. auðr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -i/-): wealth < auðvinr (noun m.): [treasure-friend]

[3] auðvin: ǫðrum Hr, oddvin Flat

kennings

auðvin okkrum.
‘our treasure-friend. ’
   = GENEROUS RULER = Magnús

our treasure-friend. → GENEROUS RULER = Magnús
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vin ‘friend’

vinr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -/(-i OsvReyk 92.17); -ir): friend < auðvinr (noun m.): [treasure-friend]

[3] auðvin: ǫðrum Hr, oddvin Flat

kennings

auðvin okkrum.
‘our treasure-friend. ’
   = GENEROUS RULER = Magnús

our treasure-friend. → GENEROUS RULER = Magnús
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okkrum ‘our’

vér (pron.; °gen. vár, dat./acc. oss): we, us, our

kennings

auðvin okkrum.
‘our treasure-friend. ’
   = GENEROUS RULER = Magnús

our treasure-friend. → GENEROUS RULER = Magnús

notes

[3] okkrum ‘our’: This dual form is secured by the skothending with stǫkk, but it is not obvious with whom Arnórr would pair himself when speaking of Magnús as his ‘treasure-friend’ (auðvin(r)), unless it is Gellir (see below).

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arm ‘of arm’

1. armr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): arm < armsvell (noun n.)

[4] armsvells: so Hr, ‘armsnællz’ FskBˣ, ‘armsvælz’ FskAˣ, ‘arnsuelgr’ Flat

kennings

hati armsvells,
‘the hater of arm-ice, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

arm-ice, → SILVER
the hater of the SILVER → GENEROUS MAN
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arm ‘of arm’

1. armr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): arm < armsvell (noun n.)

[4] armsvells: so Hr, ‘armsnællz’ FskBˣ, ‘armsvælz’ FskAˣ, ‘arnsuelgr’ Flat

kennings

hati armsvells,
‘the hater of arm-ice, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

arm-ice, → SILVER
the hater of the SILVER → GENEROUS MAN
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svells ‘ice’

svell (noun n.; °; -): ice < armsvell (noun n.)

[4] armsvells: so Hr, ‘armsnællz’ FskBˣ, ‘armsvælz’ FskAˣ, ‘arnsuelgr’ Flat

kennings

hati armsvells,
‘the hater of arm-ice, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

arm-ice, → SILVER
the hater of the SILVER → GENEROUS MAN
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svells ‘ice’

svell (noun n.; °; -): ice < armsvell (noun n.)

[4] armsvells: so Hr, ‘armsnællz’ FskBˣ, ‘armsvælz’ FskAˣ, ‘arnsuelgr’ Flat

kennings

hati armsvells,
‘the hater of arm-ice, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

arm-ice, → SILVER
the hater of the SILVER → GENEROUS MAN
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hati ‘the hater’

hati (noun m.): hater

[4] hati: ‘hare’ FskAˣ

kennings

hati armsvells,
‘the hater of arm-ice, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

arm-ice, → SILVER
the hater of the SILVER → GENEROUS MAN
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gellir ‘the howler’

gellir (noun m.): howler

[4] gellir: hersir Flat

notes

[4] gellir ‘howler’: This is a rare and problematic word. (a) One would expect from the verbs gella and gjalla the meaning ‘screecher, howler’ for the agent noun gellir, and this indeed fits the recorded usage. It is a derogatory nickname and, in the þulur, a heiti for ‘ox’ and ‘sword’ (Þul Øxna 3/5III, Þul Sverða 1/5III). In ModIcel. gellir is an appellative meaning ‘noisy, loud-voiced man’ (hávaðamaður; so Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4). Such a word could well suggest the empty bragging of a coward, and hence be an appropriate term for Sveinn, the enemy of the hero. If this is the meaning of gellir here, it must stand in apposition to armsvells hati ‘the hater of arm-ice [SILVER > GENEROUS MAN]’. (b) Gellir is also a proper name, and, as noted in his Biography above, Arnórr reputedly composed in memory of Gellir Þorkelsson. If gellir here were taken as an address to this or another Gellir, the dual poss. pron. in auðvin okkrum (l. 3), would be explained, especially since Gellir is said to have visited Magnús Óláfsson’s court and to have received lavish gifts from him (Laxdœla saga ch. 78, ÍF 5, 227-8). However, it would be curious if the encomiastic elegy for Magnús apostrophised another individual (especially in the light of þegi seimbrotar ‘let gold-breakers be silent’, st. 1). (c) Kock (NN §817) tentatively connects gellir with MHG gelle m. ‘contender, rival’ and emends ms. hate to gen. sg. hata so that armsvells hata gellir in l. 4 can be rendered ‘the rival of the hater of arm-ice [SILVER > GENEROUS MAN = Magnús > Sveinn]’. But on several counts this is unconvincing: (i) There is no evidence for ON gellir in this sense; (ii) MHG gelle is a weak noun, to which ON *gelli, not gellir, would be cognate (though Kock, in answer to this difficulty, cited ON doublets such as endi/endir and vísir/vísi); (iii) Gelle and its OHG counterpart are rare in German; (iv) the interpretation requires the slight emendation of ms. ‘hate’ to hata.

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Létat ‘did not let’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[5] Létat: ‘leitad’ Hr

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Nóregs ‘Norway’

Noregr (noun m.): Norway

[5] Nóregs: ‘nōr’ Hr, Nóreg Flat

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gram ‘the lord’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

[6] gram: gramr Hr

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Svein ‘Sveinn’

2. Sveinn (noun m.): Sveinn

[7] Svein: so FskAˣ, Hr, sveinn FskBˣ, ‘S.’ Flat

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sókndjarfr ‘daring in attack’

sókndjarfr (adj.): battle-brave

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fǫður ‘father’s’

faðir (noun m.): father < fǫðurarfr (noun m.): paternal inheritance

[8] fǫður‑: so Hr, Flat, faðr FskBˣ, FskAˣ

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

Fsk merely paraphrases the st., with minor elaboration. H-Hr cites it as evidence that King Sveinn Álfífuson fled from Norway as soon as Magnús entered the country, while Flat emphasises the Norwegians’ eagerness to throw off Dan. rule.

H-Hr names the source poem as Magnúsardrápa. Flat eccentrically attributes the st. to ‘skule’ (Skúli).

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