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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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BjHall Kálffl 2I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 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. 880.

Bjarni gullbrárskáld HallbjarnarsonKálfsflokkr
123

Ǫld fekk illt ór deildum;
Erlingr vas þar finginn;
óðu blǫkk í blóði
borð fyr Útstein norðan.
Ljós es raun, at ræsir
ráðinn varð frá láði;
lǫgðusk lǫnd und Egða;
lið þeira frák meira.

Ǫld fekk illt ór deildum; Erlingr vas finginn þar; blǫkk borð óðu í blóði fyr norðan Útstein. Ljós es raun, at ræsir varð ráðinn frá láði; lǫnd lǫgðusk und Egða; frák lið þeira meira.

Men came off badly from the exchanges; Erlingr was captured there; black planks advanced through blood north of Utstein. The outcome is clear, that the ruler was deprived of his country; lands became subject to the Egðir; I heard that their host was larger.

Mss: Holm2(58r), 321ˣ(219), 73aˣ(180r), 68(57v), Holm4(56ra), 61(116vb), 75c(39r), 325V(69va), 325VII(32r), Bb(189va), Flat(119rb), Tóm(147r), 325XI 2 b(1ra) (ÓH); Kˣ(433v) (Hkr); FskAˣ(184), 301ˣ(67v) (Fsk, ll. 3-6)

Readings: [1] ór: af 325VII;    deildum: gjǫldum 61, 75c, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 b    [2] Erlingr: ‘er[…]gr’ Kˣ;    vas (‘var’): varð Flat;    þar: þá 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4    [3] óðu: óðum Flat, ‘[…]o’ Kˣ;    blǫkk: bleik 61, 75c, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 b, brún FskAˣ    [4] borð: ‘[…]orð’ Kˣ    [5] es (‘er’): varð FskAˣ;    raun: rann 73aˣ, Flat;    at: þar er Flat;    ræsir: ræsis 321ˣ, ræsi 325V    [6] varð: var 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, Tóm, 325XI 2 b, FskAˣ;    láði: liði Tóm    [7] lǫgðusk lǫnd: lagðisk land Kˣ;    lǫnd: ‘aund’ 321ˣ    [8] frák (‘fra ec’): frá frá ek 325VII, ⸜var⸝ Flat, ‘[…] ek’ 325XI 2 b

Editions: Skj AI, 394, Skj BI, 363, Skald I, 182; Fms 5, 17-18, Fms 12, 96, ÓH 1941, I, 488 (ch. 173), Flat 1860-8, II, 311; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 410, IV, 158, ÍF 27, 321, Hkr 1991, II, 487 (ÓHHkr ch. 177); Fsk 1902-3, 176 (ch. 28), ÍF 29, 196 (ch. 33).

Context: The stanza follows immediately from st. 1.

Notes: [All]: Stanzas 1/1-4 and 2/3-6 form a unitary stanza in Fsk. — [1] fekk illt ‘came off badly’: Lit. ‘got (something) bad’. — [2] finginn ‘captured’: This form, rather than fenginn as in several mss, is required for the aðalhending with -ing-. — [3-4] blǫkk borð óðu í blóði ‘black planks advanced through blood’: Borð ‘plank’ (here nom. pl.) is frequently used as a pars pro toto expression for ‘ship’ (Jesch 2001a, 140), as it may be here, but the literal meaning is also possible, and would allow for reference to a single ship, perhaps specifically Erlingr’s, rather than generally to all those involved in the battle. The adj. blakkr ‘dark, black’ may suggest the tarring of the hull, as in Þloft Tøgdr 3/2, 4 kolsvartir viðir ‘coal-black ships’. Bleik ‘pale’ in several ÓH mss and brún ‘brown’ in Fsk are also metrically possible. — [4] Útstein ‘Utstein’: Við Útstein ‘near Utstein’ is also named in Sigv Erlfl 5/7 (see Note). — [6] ráðinn ‘deprived’: Or perhaps ‘betrayed’. This reference to the king losing control of the land appears to be to a later consequence of the battle of Bókn, which is predicted in the prose narratives when Óláfr recognizes Áslákr Fitjaskalli’s capture and killing of Erlingr Skjálgsson as ‘striking Norway out of my [Óláfr’s] hands’ (e.g. ÍF 27, 317; ÍF 29, 195). As Finnur Jónsson remarks (Hkr 1893-1901, IV), the poem was composed long after Óláfr’s death (1030). — [7] lǫnd lǫgðusk und Egða ‘lands became subject to the Egðir’: The exact political event or situation alluded to here is uncertain, though cf. Note to l. 6. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) suggests that the people of Agðir (Agder), the southernmost region of Norway, may stand for those of the whole of south-west Norway which resisted Óláfr. — [7] lǫnd lǫgðusk ‘lands became subject’: The sg. reading land lagðisk ‘land became subject’ in Hkr is also possible.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  5. 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.
  6. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  12. Internal references
  13. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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].
  14. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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, pp. clxxvi-clxxix.
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  16. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  17. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson 5’ 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. 636.
  18. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa 3’ 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. 855.
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