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skaldic

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, þás hvern vetr sôtum
hrafns verðgjafa, jafnan
— líð drakk gramr — á góðar,
gagnvert, skipa sagnir.

Hétk jafnan á góðar sagnir skipa, þás sôtum hvern vetr gagnvert {verðgjafa hrafns}; gramr drakk líð.

I called always to the worthy ships’ companies, as we [I] sat each winter facing {the meal-giver of the raven} [WARRIOR]; the lord drank strong drink.

Mss: Mork(20v) (Mork); FskBˣ(82r), FskAˣ(324-325) (Fsk); H(79r), Hr(55vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] þás (‘þa er’): þegar FskAˣ    [2] ‑gjafa: gefa Hr    [3] góðar: gegnar FskBˣ, ‘goðþar’ FskAˣ    [4] ‑vert: so all others, ‑vart Mork

Editions: Skj AI, 344, Skj BI, 316, Skald I, 160, NN §826; Mork 1928-32, 290, Andersson and Gade 2000, 280, 483 (Ólkyrr); Fsk 1902-3, 307 (ch. 69), ÍF 29, 300 (ch. 79); Fms 6, 439 (Ólkyrr ch. 2), Fms 12, 170; Whaley 1998, 223-4.

Context: 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.

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. — [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’.

References

  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  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. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  8. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  9. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  11. Internal references
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. clix-clxi.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  14. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Morkinskinna (Mork)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  15. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Steinn Herdísarson, Úlfsflokkr’ 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. 366-7.
  16. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 3’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 177.
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