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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 5II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 5’ 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. 235-6.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa
456

rauð ‘reddened’

rjóða (verb): to redden

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hjalma ‘of helmets’

1. hjalmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): helmet

kennings

hreggi hjalma;
‘the storm of helmets; ’
   = BATTLE

the storm of helmets; → BATTLE
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hreggi ‘the storm’

hregg (noun n.): storm

[2] hreggi: ‘hrægg[...]’ B, hreggi 744ˣ

kennings

hreggi hjalma;
‘the storm of helmets; ’
   = BATTLE

the storm of helmets; → BATTLE
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skelkings ‘the sword’s’

skelkingr (noun m.): sword

[2] skelkings: skilfings Flat, ‘skelkiungs’ R702ˣ, ‘skelkvins’ 48ˣmarg, ‘[...]kelk[...]s’ B, skelkings 744ˣ

notes

[2] skelkings ‘the sword’s’: Though rare, the term skelkingr, perhaps ‘fearsome one’ (AEW) is paralleled, as a variant, in Þul Sverða 7/1III and cf. ‘skelkuin’ as a variant in Hfr Lv 5/7V. Flat’s skilfings is the lectio facilior and hence perhaps a secondary reading since, although also rare as a sword-heiti, skilfingr is more familiar as a name of Óðinn or a term for ‘prince’ (LP).

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fór ‘set forth’

fara (verb; ferr, fór, fóru, farinn): go, travel

notes

[3] fór ‘set forth’: Björn Magnússon Ólsen (1909a, 289) suggested emending to fár ‘few’, since he found fór meaningless in the absence of a phrase indicating direction, but the absolute use of fara is attested in a military context in Sigv Berv 1/4: fer, ef þó skulum berjask ‘I shall go, if we nonetheless have to fight’.

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fet ‘the foot’

fet (noun n.; °-s; -): paw, step < fetrjóðr (noun m.)

[4] fet‑: fjǫt‑ R702ˣ

kennings

fetrjóðr Hugins
‘the foot-reddener of Huginn ’
   = WARRIOR

the foot-reddener of Huginn → WARRIOR
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rjóðr ‘reddener’

1. rjóðr (noun m.): reddener < fetrjóðr (noun m.)

kennings

fetrjóðr Hugins
‘the foot-reddener of Huginn ’
   = WARRIOR

the foot-reddener of Huginn → WARRIOR
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Hugins ‘of Huginn’

1. Huginn (noun m.): Huginn

kennings

fetrjóðr Hugins
‘the foot-reddener of Huginn ’
   = WARRIOR

the foot-reddener of Huginn → WARRIOR
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Gǫrr ‘ready’

1. gǫrr (adj.): ample, perfect

[5] Gǫrr: ‘Geírr’ Bb

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lézk ‘has declared himself’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[5] lézk: ‘leiz’ R702ˣ, lét 75a, 61, Bb

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geð ‘mind’

geð (noun n.): mind < geðfrœkn (adj.)

[6] geð‑: so all others, gunn 332ˣ

notes

[6] geðfrœkn ‘mind-bold’: This has the authority of all mss except 332ˣ, which has gunnfrœkn ‘battle-bold’. Both readings are well paralleled by synonymous compounds (e.g. gunnbráðr/gunndjarfr; geðrakkr/geðhraustr).

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frœkn ‘bold’

frœkn (adj.): brave, bold < geðfrœkn (adj.)

notes

[6] geðfrœkn ‘mind-bold’: This has the authority of all mss except 332ˣ, which has gunnfrœkn ‘battle-bold’. Both readings are well paralleled by synonymous compounds (e.g. gunnbráðr/gunndjarfr; geðrakkr/geðhraustr).

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sœkja ‘to mount attacks’

sœkja (verb): seek, attack

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œri ‘younger than’

[7] œri: ‘errínn’ Flat, œri 48ˣmarg, ‘o᷎r’ Bb

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Einars ‘Einarr’s’

Einarr (noun m.): Einarr

[7] Einars: annars 75a

kennings

hlýra Einars
‘Einarr’s brother ’
   = Þorfinnr

Einarr’s brother → Þorfinnr

notes

[7] hlýra Einars ‘Einarr’s brother [= Þorfinnr]’: A reference to Þorfinnr’s half-brother Einarr rangmuðr ‘Wry-mouth’, who, after long territorial wranglings between the kinsmen, finally died in 1020 at the hands of Þorfinnr’s henchman Þorkell (Storm 1888, 16, 57, 106, 316 and 468).

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hlýra ‘brother’

hlýri (noun m.): brother

[7] hlýra: hlýri Flat, 73aˣ, 61, hlýra 48ˣmarg

kennings

hlýra Einars
‘Einarr’s brother ’
   = Þorfinnr

Einarr’s brother → Þorfinnr

notes

[7] hlýra Einars ‘Einarr’s brother [= Þorfinnr]’: A reference to Þorfinnr’s half-brother Einarr rangmuðr ‘Wry-mouth’, who, after long territorial wranglings between the kinsmen, finally died in 1020 at the hands of Þorfinnr’s henchman Þorkell (Storm 1888, 16, 57, 106, 316 and 468).

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engr ‘No’

2. engi (pron.): no, none

[8] engr: ungr Tóm

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mannr ‘man’

maðr (noun m.): man, person

[8] mannr: mann Flat, R702ˣ, 73aˣ, 61, Holm4, Tóm

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und ‘under’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[8] und: í Flat, und 48ˣmarg, ‘vn’ 325V

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ský ‘the cloud’

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

kennings

skýranni
‘the cloud-hall ’
   = SKY/HEAVEN

the cloud-hall → SKY/HEAVEN
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ranni ‘hall’

rann (noun n.): house, hall < skýrann (noun n.): cloud-hall

kennings

skýranni
‘the cloud-hall ’
   = SKY/HEAVEN

the cloud-hall → SKY/HEAVEN
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

In the sagas, the st. follows a sketch of Þorfinnr’s appearance and character, and a statement that at the age of five he received Caithness (Katanes, and Sutherland according to a variant) and the title jarl from his grandfather Malcolm (Melkólmr), King of the Scots. In SnE, ll. 1-2 are quoted to illustrate the use of hilmir within a section on terms for rulers.

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