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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 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. 233.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa
234

Hétk ‘I called’

2. heita (verb): be called, promise

notes

[1, 3, 4] hétk á góðar sagnir skipa ‘I called to the worthy ships’ companies’: (a) Presumably exhorting them to hear a poem, drink a toast or fight nobly; heita á ‘call on, exhort’ is a common idiom (cf. Eyv Hák 3/1I and Steinn Úlffl l. 1 in military contexts). The unstressed á ‘to’ appears to govern the immediately following góðar sagnir skipa ‘worthy ships’ companies’; this is also the solution adopted in Fms 12, 170, where hétk is glossed as ávarpaði ‘addressed’, and by Kock in NN §826. (b) Finnur Jónsson, in Skj B, takes gramr drakk líð with á góðar sagnir skipa, hence ‘the lord drank ale to the worthy ships’ companies’ together, and takes hétk together with verðgjafa hrafns ‘raven’s meal-giver [WARRIOR]’ and translates tiltalte (drak til) ‘addressed (drank to)’; but heita e-n is not recorded with such a meaning.

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þás ‘as’

þás (conj.): when

[1] þás (‘þa er’): þegar FskAˣ

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sôtum ‘we [I] sat’

sitja (verb): sit

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hrafns ‘of the raven’

hrafn (noun m.; °hrafns; dat. hrafni; hrafnar): raven

kennings

verðgjafa hrafns;
‘the meal-giver of the raven; ’
   = WARRIOR

the meal-giver of the raven; → WARRIOR
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verð ‘the meal’

verð (noun n.; °-s; dat. -um): worth, price < verðgjafi (noun m.): [meal-giver]

kennings

verðgjafa hrafns;
‘the meal-giver of the raven; ’
   = WARRIOR

the meal-giver of the raven; → WARRIOR
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gjafa ‘giver’

gjafi (noun m.): giver < verðgjafi (noun m.): [meal-giver]

[2] ‑gjafa: gefa Hr

kennings

verðgjafa hrafns;
‘the meal-giver of the raven; ’
   = WARRIOR

the meal-giver of the raven; → WARRIOR
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jafnan ‘always’

jafnan (adv.): always

notes

[2] jafnan ‘always’: The adv. is here taken with hétk ‘I called’, thus stressing that it was a habit with Arnórr to address the assembled company. It could alternatively modify drakk ‘drank’, or else the subordinate cl. þás stum ‘as we [I] sat’, though it would then duplicate the meaning of hvern vetr ‘each winter’.

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líð ‘strong drink’

líð (noun n.): drink

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gramr ‘the lord’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

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á ‘to’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[1, 3, 4] hétk á góðar sagnir skipa ‘I called to the worthy ships’ companies’: (a) Presumably exhorting them to hear a poem, drink a toast or fight nobly; heita á ‘call on, exhort’ is a common idiom (cf. Eyv Hák 3/1I and Steinn Úlffl l. 1 in military contexts). The unstressed á ‘to’ appears to govern the immediately following góðar sagnir skipa ‘worthy ships’ companies’; this is also the solution adopted in Fms 12, 170, where hétk is glossed as ávarpaði ‘addressed’, and by Kock in NN §826. (b) Finnur Jónsson, in Skj B, takes gramr drakk líð with á góðar sagnir skipa, hence ‘the lord drank ale to the worthy ships’ companies’ together, and takes hétk together with verðgjafa hrafns ‘raven’s meal-giver [WARRIOR]’ and translates tiltalte (drak til) ‘addressed (drank to)’; but heita e-n is not recorded with such a meaning.

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góðar ‘the worthy’

góðr (adj.): good

[3] góðar: gegnar FskBˣ, ‘goðþar’ FskAˣ

notes

[1, 3, 4] hétk á góðar sagnir skipa ‘I called to the worthy ships’ companies’: (a) Presumably exhorting them to hear a poem, drink a toast or fight nobly; heita á ‘call on, exhort’ is a common idiom (cf. Eyv Hák 3/1I and Steinn Úlffl l. 1 in military contexts). The unstressed á ‘to’ appears to govern the immediately following góðar sagnir skipa ‘worthy ships’ companies’; this is also the solution adopted in Fms 12, 170, where hétk is glossed as ávarpaði ‘addressed’, and by Kock in NN §826. (b) Finnur Jónsson, in Skj B, takes gramr drakk líð with á góðar sagnir skipa, hence ‘the lord drank ale to the worthy ships’ companies’ together, and takes hétk together with verðgjafa hrafns ‘raven’s meal-giver [WARRIOR]’ and translates tiltalte (drak til) ‘addressed (drank to)’; but heita e-n is not recorded with such a meaning.

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gagn ‘facing’

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vert ‘’

[4] ‑vert: so all others, ‑vart Mork

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skipa ‘ships’’

skip (noun n.; °-s; -): ship

notes

[1, 3, 4] hétk á góðar sagnir skipa ‘I called to the worthy ships’ companies’: (a) Presumably exhorting them to hear a poem, drink a toast or fight nobly; heita á ‘call on, exhort’ is a common idiom (cf. Eyv Hák 3/1I and Steinn Úlffl l. 1 in military contexts). The unstressed á ‘to’ appears to govern the immediately following góðar sagnir skipa ‘worthy ships’ companies’; this is also the solution adopted in Fms 12, 170, where hétk is glossed as ávarpaði ‘addressed’, and by Kock in NN §826. (b) Finnur Jónsson, in Skj B, takes gramr drakk líð with á góðar sagnir skipa, hence ‘the lord drank ale to the worthy ships’ companies’ together, and takes hétk together with verðgjafa hrafns ‘raven’s meal-giver [WARRIOR]’ and translates tiltalte (drak til) ‘addressed (drank to)’; but heita e-n is not recorded with such a meaning.

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sagnir ‘companies’

sǫgn (noun f.; °sagnar; sagnir): narrative, message; troop, men

notes

[1, 3, 4] hétk á góðar sagnir skipa ‘I called to the worthy ships’ companies’: (a) Presumably exhorting them to hear a poem, drink a toast or fight nobly; heita á ‘call on, exhort’ is a common idiom (cf. Eyv Hák 3/1I and Steinn Úlffl l. 1 in military contexts). The unstressed á ‘to’ appears to govern the immediately following góðar sagnir skipa ‘worthy ships’ companies’; this is also the solution adopted in Fms 12, 170, where hétk is glossed as ávarpaði ‘addressed’, and by Kock in NN §826. (b) Finnur Jónsson, in Skj B, takes gramr drakk líð with á góðar sagnir skipa, hence ‘the lord drank ale to the worthy ships’ companies’ together, and takes hétk together with verðgjafa hrafns ‘raven’s meal-giver [WARRIOR]’ and translates tiltalte (drak til) ‘addressed (drank to)’; but heita e-n is not recorded with such a meaning.

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

After comments on the peaceful rule of Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’, son of Haraldr Sigurðarson, there is a detailed excursus on the ancient manner of seating men at drinking sessions in Scandinavian royal halls. The st. authenticates the point that a revered counsellor would be placed in it óœðra ǫndugi ‘the lesser high-seat’ opposite the ruler, and that it was considered the greatest honour to receive toasts from him. The Mork version does nothing to contradict the impression that the st. is about Óláfr kyrri, whereas Fsk and H-Hr specify that Arnórr is telling how he sat with Þorfinnr jarl.

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