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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 6II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 6’ 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. 236-7.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa
567

Endr ‘once’

endr (adv.): formerly, once, again

[1] Endr: ‘Andr’ Flat, Endr 48ˣmarg

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Karli ‘Karl’

2. Karl (noun m.): Karl

[1] Karli: ‘k̄l.’ Flat, Karli 48ˣmarg

notes

[1] Karli (dat. sg.) ‘Karl’: (a) This is treated here as the proper name Karl, as also in Orkn ch. 20, in which a king of the Scots named Karl Hundason figures prominently. Karl has been variously identified as a Mormaer (provincial ruler) of Ross, Sutherland or both who annexed Argyll on the death of the ruler whom Orkn names Malcolm (Melkólmr), in 1029 (Taylor 1937); as MacBeth (Crawford 1987, 71-2); as Duncan (Donaldson 1988, 2); or as a Mormaer of Moray (Thomson 1987, 47-9). The Scottish credentials of the name Hundi receive some support from its appearance as the name of a freedman of Scots family in Laxdœla saga ch. 6. (b) It should, however, be noted that there is no evidence in Celtic sources for a king with such a name, and it is conceivable that the karl in Arnórr’s st. is simply the appellative ‘old man, churl’, which was misinterpreted as a pers. n., and the patronymic Hundason added (as suggested by Munch, 1852-63, I, ii 854 n.).

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kyndóm ‘the monstrous verdict’

kyndómr (noun m.): [monstrous verdict]

[2] kyndóm: kyndum Flat, kyndóm 48ˣmarg

kennings

kyndóm brynju
‘the monstrous verdict of the mail-coat ’
   = BATTLE

the monstrous verdict of the mail-coat → BATTLE

notes

[2] kyndóm brynju ‘monstrous verdict of the mail-coat [BATTLE]’: An unusual battle-kenning, but cf. dómr folkvandar ‘verdict of the battle-rod [SWORD]’ (VGl Lv 2/5, 8V), and other battle-kennings with base-words referring to assemblies, including brynþing ‘byrnie-assembly’ (several occurrences, including Arn Magndr 6/5-7, and see Note).

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jǫfur ‘the prince’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

[2] jǫfur: ‘lofut’ Flat, jǫfur 48ˣmarg

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brynju ‘of the mail-coat’

1. brynja (noun f.; °-u (dat. brynnoni Gibb 38⁹); -ur): mailcoat

kennings

kyndóm brynju
‘the monstrous verdict of the mail-coat ’
   = BATTLE

the monstrous verdict of the mail-coat → BATTLE

notes

[2] kyndóm brynju ‘monstrous verdict of the mail-coat [BATTLE]’: An unusual battle-kenning, but cf. dómr folkvandar ‘verdict of the battle-rod [SWORD]’ (VGl Lv 2/5, 8V), and other battle-kennings with base-words referring to assemblies, including brynþing ‘byrnie-assembly’ (several occurrences, including Arn Magndr 6/5-7, and see Note).

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lofðungs ‘of the ruler’s’

lofðungr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, leader

kennings

kundar lofðungs
‘of the ruler’s son ’
   = RULER = Þorfinnr

the ruler’s son → RULER = Þorfinnr

notes

[3] kundar lofðungs ‘of the ruler’s son [RULER = Þorfinnr]’: The reference of lofðungs, if kundr is taken in its narrower sense of ‘son’ rather than ‘descendant’, is to Þorfinnr’s father, Sigurðr digri ‘the Stout’ Hlǫðvisson. The near-synonymous variant kindar is also possible.

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kundar ‘son’

kundr (noun m.): descendant

[3] kundar: kindar Flat, kundar 48ˣmarg

kennings

kundar lofðungs
‘of the ruler’s son ’
   = RULER = Þorfinnr

the ruler’s son → RULER = Þorfinnr

notes

[3] kundar lofðungs ‘of the ruler’s son [RULER = Þorfinnr]’: The reference of lofðungs, if kundr is taken in its narrower sense of ‘son’ rather than ‘descendant’, is to Þorfinnr’s father, Sigurðr digri ‘the Stout’ Hlǫðvisson. The near-synonymous variant kindar is also possible.

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Dýrnes ‘Deerness’

Dýrnes (noun n.): [Deerness]

notes

[4] Dýrnes ‘Deerness’: A peninsula on the east side of Mainland, chief of the Orkney Islands.

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Fimm ‘five’

fimm (num. cardinal): five

notes

[5, 8] fimm snekkjum; ellifu skeiðum ‘five warships; eleven longships’: Although there is uncertainty about the definition of both snekkja and skeið, the skeið seems to have been larger (see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3).

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snekkjum ‘warships’

snekkja (noun f.; °-u; -ur): warship

notes

[5, 8] fimm snekkjum; ellifu skeiðum ‘five warships; eleven longships’: Although there is uncertainty about the definition of both snekkja and skeið, the skeið seems to have been larger (see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3).

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réð ‘steered’

ráða (verb): advise, rule, interpret, decide

[5] réð: helt Flat

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frammi ‘forth’

frammi (adv.): forth

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flugstyggr ‘The flight-shunning’

flugstyggr (adj.): flight-shunning

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við ‘with’

2. við (prep.): with, against

[6] við: af Flat

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dyggvan ‘steadfast’

dyggr (adj.; °dyggvan/dyggan; compar. -vari/-ari/-ri, superl. -vastr/-astr/-str): trustworthy

[6] dyggvan (‘dyggann’): dyggum Flat, dyggvan 48ˣmarg

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rausnarmannr ‘man of splendour’

rausnarmaðr (noun m.): [man of splendour]

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ræsis ‘of the lord [Karl]’

ræsir (noun m.): ruler

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ellifu ‘the eleven’

ellifu (num. cardinal): eleven

notes

[5, 8] fimm snekkjum; ellifu skeiðum ‘five warships; eleven longships’: Although there is uncertainty about the definition of both snekkja and skeið, the skeið seems to have been larger (see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3).

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skeiðum ‘longships’

1. skeið (noun f.; °-ar; -r/-ar/-ir): ship

notes

[5, 8] fimm snekkjum; ellifu skeiðum ‘five warships; eleven longships’: Although there is uncertainty about the definition of both snekkja and skeið, the skeið seems to have been larger (see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3).

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

Þorfinnr, threatened with a two-pronged attack from Karl Hundason and the Scots, sails north across the Pentland Firth (Péttlandsfjǫrðr). He reaches Deerness (Dýrnes), just south of Sandwick (Sandvík), but there Karl catches up with him before his reinforcements arrive, and Þorfinnr chooses to fight rather than abandon his ships and goods.

332ˣ cites the st. explicitly from Arnórr í Þorfinnsdrápu.

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