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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 24II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 24’ 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. 258-9.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa
232425

Bjǫrt verðr sól at svartri;
søkkr fold í mar døkkvan;
brestr erfiði Austra;
allr glymr sær á fjǫllum,
áðr at Eyjum fríðri
(inndróttar) Þórfinni
(þeim hjalpi goð geymi)
gœðingr myni fœðask.

Bjǫrt sól verðr at svartri; fold søkkr í døkkvan mar; {erfiði Austra} brestr; allr sær glymr á fjǫllum, áðr gœðingr fríðri Þórfinni myni fœðask at Eyjum; goð hjalpi {þeim geymi inndróttar}.

The bright sun will turn to black; the earth will sink in the dark ocean; {the toil of Austri <dwarf>} [SKY/HEAVEN] will split; all the sea will roar over the mountains, before a chieftain finer than Þorfinnr will be born on the Islands; God help {that guardian of his retinue} [RULER].

Mss: Flat(133ra), Flat(135rb) (Orkn); R(26r), Tˣ(26v), W(56), U(29r), B(4v-5r) (SnE, ll. 1-4); 2368ˣ(94), 743ˣ(73v) (LaufE)

Readings: [1] Bjǫrt verðr: Brest varð Tˣ;    svartri: so all others, sortna Flat(133ra)    [2] fold: ‘[...]lld’ W;    mar: so all others, lǫg Flat(133ra)    [3] erfiði: ‘erfuide’ 2368ˣ;    Austra: so all others, it eystra Flat(133ra), Flat(135rb)    [4] glymr: so all others, brunar Flat(133ra), Flat(135rb);    á: so R, Tˣ, W, B, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ, með Flat(133ra), Flat(135rb), und U    [5] fríðri: fríðum Flat(133ra), Flat(135rb)    [6] ‑dróttar: ‘‑dro᷎tt’ Flat(135rb)    [7] hjalpi goð: hialp goð ok Flat(135rb)    [8] gœðingr myni fœðask: ‘gædingar uel tædu’ Flat(133ra), ‘gædíngr minní fædaz’ Flat(135rb)

Editions: Skj AI, 348, Skj BI, 321, Skald I, 162-3; Flat 1860-8, II, 422, 440, Orkn 1913-16, 88, 131 n., ÍF 34, 83-4, 122 (chs 32, 56; st. not printed at repeat); SnE 1848-87, I, 316-17, II, 313, 526, SnE 1931, 113, SnE 1998, I, 33-4; LaufE 1979, 350; Whaley 1998, 264-7.

Context: In Orkn, the st. is first quoted in ch. 32 together with st. 20 (see Context). The introductory note that the sts were composed about the battle between Rǫgnvaldr and Þorfinnr is in fact only appropriate to st. 19. It is also, like sts 19 and 20 and Bj Hall Kálffl 8I, appended without comment and quite incongruously to Orkn ch. 56. In SnE, the first helmingr is cited to exemplify a sky-kenning, in this case erfiði Austra ‘Austri’s toil  or burden’ (so also in LaufE).

Notes: [All]: There are clear and probably deliberate echoes of Hfr ErfÓl 26, 27I. Particularly striking are the (otherwise unparalleled) sky-kennings: Arnórr’s erfiði Austra ‘the toil of Austri <dwarf>’ echoing Hallfreðr’s niðbyrðr Norðra ‘the burden of Norðri’s <dwarf’s> kin’, and the parallels in structure, imagery and wording between Hfr ErfÓl 27I and Þorfdr 24. Lines 1-2 also bear a striking resemblance to Vsp 57/1-2 Sól tér sortna, | sígr (variant søccr) fold í mar ‘The sun begins to blacken, the earth sinks into the ocean’ (NK 13-14), and to Vsp 41/5 svort verða sólscin ‘the sunshine will turn black’ (variant svart var þá sólscin) ‘the sunshine was black then’ (NK 10). — [All]: Flat(133ra), as the better of two Flat texts, is adopted as main ms. here, since only Flat has the complete st., but the SnE and LaufE readings for ll. 1-4 are superior to either Flat text. — [All]: In LaufE, the helmingr is written together with Balti Sigdr 4 as one st. — [1] at svartri ‘to black’: The variant sortna ‘turn black’ appears only in Flat(133ra) and may be due to the influence of Vsp 57, cited above. A number of other readings in ll. 1-4 are rejected since they are peculiar to Flat. — [3]: This l. has gained prominence in the title of an article by Kuhn (1969) in which it figures as a classic example of an C11th metrical innovation by which the first hending falls on a verb in low stress which unusually precedes the first alliterating syllable in a Type C l. — [3] erfiði Austra ‘the toil of Austri [SKY]’: Referring to the myth that the sky is held up by four dwarves, Austri, Vestri, Norðri and Suðri (SnE 1988, I, 16). — [5] Eyjum ‘Islands’: The Orkney Islands (Orkneyjar; cf. LP: 1. ey), or perhaps the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland. — [5] fríðri ‘finer’: The second helmingr does not make sense in either of its two appearances in Flat, and emendation of fríðum to fríðri is among the minor alterations necessary (so Gudbrand Vigfusson, Orkn 1887, 59 n. 9, and subsequent eds.) The supposed corruption could easily have taken place under influence of the following eyjum. — [6, 7] goð hjalpi þeim geymi inndróttar ‘God help that guardian of his retinue [RULER]’: One of five such prayers in Arnórr’s surviving work; see Note to Rǫgndr 3. — [8] gœðingr myni fœðask ‘chieftain will be born’: (a) The reading of Flat(135rb) gives excellent sense with the minor emendation of minni to myni, hence ‘(the world will end before) a chieftain (finer than Þorfinnr) will be born’. (b) Flat(133ra)’s gœðingar vel tœðu ‘chieftains served well’ (from tœja ‘help, serve’), does not fit the sense of the st.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LaufE 1979 = Faulkes, Anthony, ed. 1979. Edda Magnúsar Ólafssonar (Laufás Edda). RSÁM 13. Vol. I of Two Versions of Snorra Edda from the 17th Century. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar, 1977-9.
  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. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  7. 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.
  8. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  9. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  10. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  11. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1969a. ‘Die Dróttkvættverse des Typs “brestr erfiði Austra”’. In Jakob Benediktsson 1969, 403-17. Rpt. in Kuhn (1899) 1969-78, IV, 105-16.
  13. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  14. Orkn 1887 = Gudbrand Vigfusson 1887-94, I.
  15. Internal references
  16. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  17. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ 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].
  18. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Rǫgnvaldsdrápa 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. 181.
  19. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 24’ 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. 258-9.
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa 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. 535-6.
  21. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 8’ 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. 889.
  22. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Øxarflokkr 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 148.
  23. Not published: do not cite ()
  24. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 2’ 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. 404.
  25. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 27’ 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. 439.
  26. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Laufás Edda (LaufE)’ 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].
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