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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 9II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 9’ 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. 240-1.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa
8910

Ulfs ‘on the wolf’s’

1. ulfr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): wolf

kennings

tuggu ulfs,
‘on the wolf’s mouthful, ’
   = CORPSE

on the wolf’s mouthful, → CORPSE

notes

[1] tuggu ulfs ‘on the wolf’s mouthful [CORPSE]’: Tugga f. ‘chew, chewed mouthful’ also occurs in three examples of tugga Munins ‘Muninn’s <raven’s> mouthful [CORPSE]’ (LP: tugga). The noun tuggu appears to be dat. here, and the use of rauð ‘reddened’ impersonal. There could alternatively be an understood pronominal subject, hence ‘[He] reddened bright blades’. (b) The variant tugga (R702ˣ) would be nom. sg., subject to rauð in tugga ulfs rauð fránar eggjar ‘the corpse reddened bright blades’; this is definitely the lectio facilior.

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tuggu ‘mouthful’

tugga (noun f.; °-u): [mouthful]

[1] tuggu: ‑tugga R702ˣ

kennings

tuggu ulfs,
‘on the wolf’s mouthful, ’
   = CORPSE

on the wolf’s mouthful, → CORPSE

notes

[1] tuggu ulfs ‘on the wolf’s mouthful [CORPSE]’: Tugga f. ‘chew, chewed mouthful’ also occurs in three examples of tugga Munins ‘Muninn’s <raven’s> mouthful [CORPSE]’ (LP: tugga). The noun tuggu appears to be dat. here, and the use of rauð ‘reddened’ impersonal. There could alternatively be an understood pronominal subject, hence ‘[He] reddened bright blades’. (b) The variant tugga (R702ˣ) would be nom. sg., subject to rauð in tugga ulfs rauð fránar eggjar ‘the corpse reddened bright blades’; this is definitely the lectio facilior.

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rauð ‘grew red’

rjóða (verb): to redden

[1] rauð: ‘ręd’ R702ˣ

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Torfnes ‘Tarbatness (Torfnes)’

Torfnes (noun n.): Tarbatness (Torfnes)

notes

[2] Torfnes ‘Tarbatness’: The ON name Torfnes, lit. ‘Peat Headland’, must represent a false etymology of the Gaelic tairbeart ‘isthmus’, common in place-names. There is—and presumably was—no peat at Tarbatness (Munch 1852-63, I, ii, 856, n. 1).

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ungr ‘young’

ungr (adj.): young

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olli ‘caused’

valda (verb): cause

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mánadag ‘a Monday’

mánadagr (noun m.): Monday

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Sungu ‘sang’

syngja (verb): sing

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þar ‘there’

þar (adv.): there

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til ‘into’

til (prep.): to

notes

[5, 8] snarr til þinga ‘swift into conflict’: (a) This translation assumes that þing is equivalent to the battle-heiti in phrases such as such as HaukrV Ísldr 19/3-4IV (C12th) snarr til snerru ‘swift into battle’ or Eviðs Lv 2/2V (C11th) fúss til snerru; the phrase qualifies siklingr ‘princeling’ (so Skj B). (b) An alternative, favoured by Kock (NN §830), is to take sungu þar til þinga þunn ... sverð (reordered as þunn sverð sungu þar til þinga) together as a bold image, ‘slender swords sang there in anticipation of conflict’. (c) If þing were understood not as ‘conflict’ but as ‘goods, booty’ one could construe siklingr barðisk til þinga við harra Skotlands ‘the princeling fought for goods/booty against Scotland’s lord’.

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þinga ‘conflict’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly

notes

[5, 8] snarr til þinga ‘swift into conflict’: (a) This translation assumes that þing is equivalent to the battle-heiti in phrases such as such as HaukrV Ísldr 19/3-4IV (C12th) snarr til snerru ‘swift into battle’ or Eviðs Lv 2/2V (C11th) fúss til snerru; the phrase qualifies siklingr ‘princeling’ (so Skj B). (b) An alternative, favoured by Kock (NN §830), is to take sungu þar til þinga þunn ... sverð (reordered as þunn sverð sungu þar til þinga) together as a bold image, ‘slender swords sang there in anticipation of conflict’. (c) If þing were understood not as ‘conflict’ but as ‘goods, booty’ one could construe siklingr barðisk til þinga við harra Skotlands ‘the princeling fought for goods/booty against Scotland’s lord’.

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Ekkjal ‘of the Oykell’

Ekkjáll (noun m.): [Oykell]

notes

[6] Ekkjal ‘the Oykell’: The river Oykell flows into the Dornoch Firth. Ekkjall here refers especially to the Firth itself.

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snarr ‘swift’

snarr (adj.): gallant, bold

notes

[5, 8] snarr til þinga ‘swift into conflict’: (a) This translation assumes that þing is equivalent to the battle-heiti in phrases such as such as HaukrV Ísldr 19/3-4IV (C12th) snarr til snerru ‘swift into battle’ or Eviðs Lv 2/2V (C11th) fúss til snerru; the phrase qualifies siklingr ‘princeling’ (so Skj B). (b) An alternative, favoured by Kock (NN §830), is to take sungu þar til þinga þunn ... sverð (reordered as þunn sverð sungu þar til þinga) together as a bold image, ‘slender swords sang there in anticipation of conflict’. (c) If þing were understood not as ‘conflict’ but as ‘goods, booty’ one could construe siklingr barðisk til þinga við harra Skotlands ‘the princeling fought for goods/booty against Scotland’s lord’.

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Skotlands ‘Scotland’s’

Skotland (noun n.): [Scotland]

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In the land battle at Tarbatness (Torfnes), Þorfinnr and his men attack, and Karl’s Irish division is thrown into disarray. Karl then advances his standard against Þorfinnr in a grim struggle. He eventually flees, though some say that he fell.

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