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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 7II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 7’ 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. 237-8.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa
678

At ‘to the attack’

3. at (prep.): at, to

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lǫgðu ‘steered’

leggja (verb): put, lay

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skatnar ‘Men’

skati (noun m.; °-a; -nar): chieftan, prince

notes

[1] skatnar ‘men’: Since the remainder of the helmingr describes the shedding of Scottish blood it seems probable that the skatnar who steered ships into the attack (lǫgðu at) are the men of Orkney and that the troops who fell (fell) (l. 2) are the Scots.

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skilit ‘decisively’

1. skilja (verb): separate, understand

[2] skilit: ‘skilid’ R702ˣ

notes

[2] skilit ‘decisively’: The ms. form ‘skilit’ in 332ˣ and Flat is most likely to be n. nom./acc. sg. of the p. p. from skilja ‘separate, discern’. ‘Skilid’ in R702ˣ is ambiguous, since in the orthography of that ms. it could represent either -it or -. (a) Skilit is taken here as an adverbial use of the n. sg. p. p. of skilja. This usually has the sense ‘clearly, distinctly’ and occurs in phrases involving ‘distinct’ hearing or telling, e.g. Hfr ErfÓl 12/7I skilit frá ek ‘I heard clearly’. The adj. skilinn, however, can be applied to human actions as well as words in the sense ‘astute, reasonable’ (see Fritzner: skilinn 2), and this supports the interpretation ‘decisively, unhesitatingly’ adopted here (so also Finnur Jónsson in Skj B and Finnbogi Guðmundsson in ÍF 34, 47 n.). (b) Skilið, if n. acc. pl. applied to skip ‘ships’ would mean ‘separate’, i.e. not linked together. But the writer of Orkn (ch. 20) certainly did not understand the words thus, for he states that both leaders tied their fleets together.

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fell ‘slumped’

falla (verb): fall

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svômu ‘swam’

svima (verb): [swam]

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ômu ‘the dark’

ám (noun f.): [dark]

[3] ômu: aumu Flat, mu 48ˣmarg

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hǫrð ‘hard’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh < óðharðr (adj.)

[4] ‑hǫrð: borð Flat, horð 48ˣmarg

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Skota ‘of Scots’

skotr (noun m.): Scot

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Stall ‘with terror’

stallr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): seat, stall, support

notes

[5, 8] hjarta þengils drapa stall ‘the ruler’s heart was not struck with terror’: Drapa is 3rd sg. pret. indic. of drepa ‘strike’ with the suffixed negative -a. The idiom, which also appears c. 1000 in Eil Þdr 11/1, 4III and in Arn Hryn 12/7-8 (and see Note), probably means ‘the heart stops beating’, with drepa stall meaning ‘stop, make halt’ (Halldór Halldórsson 1965, 38-64). See also Sturl Hákkv 38/1, 4.

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drapa ‘was not struck’

drepa (verb; °drepr; drap, drápu; drepinn): kill, strike

[5] drapa: drepa Flat, drapa 48ˣmarg

notes

[5, 8] hjarta þengils drapa stall ‘the ruler’s heart was not struck with terror’: Drapa is 3rd sg. pret. indic. of drepa ‘strike’ with the suffixed negative -a. The idiom, which also appears c. 1000 in Eil Þdr 11/1, 4III and in Arn Hryn 12/7-8 (and see Note), probably means ‘the heart stops beating’, with drepa stall meaning ‘stop, make halt’ (Halldór Halldórsson 1965, 38-64). See also Sturl Hákkv 38/1, 4.

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þengils ‘The ruler’s’

þengill (noun m.): prince, ruler

notes

[5, 8] hjarta þengils drapa stall ‘the ruler’s heart was not struck with terror’: Drapa is 3rd sg. pret. indic. of drepa ‘strike’ with the suffixed negative -a. The idiom, which also appears c. 1000 in Eil Þdr 11/1, 4III and in Arn Hryn 12/7-8 (and see Note), probably means ‘the heart stops beating’, with drepa stall meaning ‘stop, make halt’ (Halldór Halldórsson 1965, 38-64). See also Sturl Hákkv 38/1, 4.

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hjarta ‘heart’

hjarta (noun n.; °-; *-u): heart

notes

[5, 8] hjarta þengils drapa stall ‘the ruler’s heart was not struck with terror’: Drapa is 3rd sg. pret. indic. of drepa ‘strike’ with the suffixed negative -a. The idiom, which also appears c. 1000 in Eil Þdr 11/1, 4III and in Arn Hryn 12/7-8 (and see Note), probably means ‘the heart stops beating’, with drepa stall meaning ‘stop, make halt’ (Halldór Halldórsson 1965, 38-64). See also Sturl Hákkv 38/1, 4.

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As for st. 6, which st. 7 follows directly.

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