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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjbp Jóms 4I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 4’ 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. 962.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa
345

‘…’

(non-lexical)

[1] …: fyrir 65ˣ, ‘f[…](r)’(?) RCP, ‘(froðr)’(?) RFJ

notes

[1] : Finnur Jónsson in Skj A reads the missing word as fróðr ‘wise, learned’ (so also CPB II, 302), noting that the reading is utydeligt, men vistnok sikkert ‘unclear, but doubtless secure’; Jvs 1879 has ‘f….’ in the diplomatic text with ‘f…r’ in a footnote, and fróðr in the normalised text. Fms 11 has firri, which is glossed in Fms 12 as fjærri ‘farther’.

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forsum ‘waterfalls’

fors (noun m.): torrent

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fórk ‘I never’

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

notes

[2] fórk aldrigi at gǫldrum ‘I never engaged in enchantments’: Aldrigi ‘never’ is abbreviated in the ms. Expanding to aldrigi produces a metrically regular Type D-line, with elision in position 4, whereas the shorter alternative aldri would be irregular (cf. LP: aldrigi, aldri).

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aldrigi ‘engaged’

aldri (adv.): never

notes

[2] fórk aldrigi at gǫldrum ‘I never engaged in enchantments’: Aldrigi ‘never’ is abbreviated in the ms. Expanding to aldrigi produces a metrically regular Type D-line, with elision in position 4, whereas the shorter alternative aldri would be irregular (cf. LP: aldrigi, aldri).

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at ‘in’

3. at (prep.): at, to

notes

[2] fórk aldrigi at gǫldrum ‘I never engaged in enchantments’: Aldrigi ‘never’ is abbreviated in the ms. Expanding to aldrigi produces a metrically regular Type D-line, with elision in position 4, whereas the shorter alternative aldri would be irregular (cf. LP: aldrigi, aldri).

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gǫldrum ‘enchantments’

galdr (noun m.): chant, incantation

notes

[2] fórk aldrigi at gǫldrum ‘I never engaged in enchantments’: Aldrigi ‘never’ is abbreviated in the ms. Expanding to aldrigi produces a metrically regular Type D-line, with elision in position 4, whereas the shorter alternative aldri would be irregular (cf. LP: aldrigi, aldri).

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hefkak ‘I have not’

hafa (verb): have

[3] hefkak: ‘[…]’ R, hefka ek RCP, RFJ

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‘…’

(non-lexical)

[3] …: ‘[…] (r)ag(nar)[…]’(?) RCP

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‘’

(non-lexical)

[4] …: ‘(i)orð i geg(num)’(?) RCP, ‘[…]iorð igeg[…]’ RFJ

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Ǫllungis ‘at all’

ǫllungis (adv.): completely

[5] Ǫllungis namk eigi: ‘[…]’ R, Ǫllungis nam ek eigi RCP, RFJ

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namk ‘I did not’

1. nema (verb): to take

[5] Ǫllungis namk eigi: ‘[…]’ R, Ǫllungis nam ek eigi RCP, RFJ

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eigi ‘learn’

3. eigi (adv.): not

[5] Ǫllungis namk eigi: ‘[…]’ R, Ǫllungis nam ek eigi RCP, RFJ

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Yggjar ‘of Yggr’

1. Yggr (noun m.): Yggr

[6] Yggjar feng und hanga: ‘[…]’ R, Yggjar feng und hanga RCP, RFJ

kennings

feng Yggjar
‘the booty of Yggr ’
   = POETRY

the booty of Yggr → POETRY
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feng ‘the booty’

fengr (noun m.; °-jar/-s, dat. -/-i): loot

[6] Yggjar feng und hanga: ‘[…]’ R, Yggjar feng und hanga RCP, RFJ

kennings

feng Yggjar
‘the booty of Yggr ’
   = POETRY

the booty of Yggr → POETRY
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und ‘under’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[6] Yggjar feng und hanga: ‘[…]’ R, Yggjar feng und hanga RCP, RFJ

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hanga ‘the hanged one’

hangi (noun m.; °-a): hanged one

[6] Yggjar feng und hanga: ‘[…]’ R, Yggjar feng und hanga RCP, RFJ

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‘’

(non-lexical)

[7] …: ‘þo […] fw (at) […](y)’(?) or ‘þa […] fw (at) […](y)(?)’ RCP, ‘þa it fwor ‘þeira it fw’ RFJ

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flein ‘arrow’

fleinn (noun m.; °dat. fleini): spear < fleinstríðir (noun m.): [arrow-harmer]

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar: ‘[…]’ R, ‘(fleinstriþir mer oþar)’(?) RCP, RFJ

kennings

fleinstríðir
‘arrow-harmer ’
   = WARRIOR

arrow-harmer → WARRIOR

notes

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar ‘arrow-harmer [WARRIOR] ... to me ... of the poem’: Fleinstríðir ‘arrow-harmer’ appears to be a warrior-kenning, perhaps referring to the skald, while mér is dat. sg. ‘to/for me’ and óðar is gen. sg. of óðr ‘poem’; but since l. 7 is illegible, and was virtually so even in the C19th, l. 8 cannot be construed.

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stríðir ‘harmer’

stríðir (noun m.): opponent, fighter < fleinstríðir (noun m.): [arrow-harmer]

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar: ‘[…]’ R, ‘(fleinstriþir mer oþar)’(?) RCP, RFJ

kennings

fleinstríðir
‘arrow-harmer ’
   = WARRIOR

arrow-harmer → WARRIOR

notes

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar ‘arrow-harmer [WARRIOR] ... to me ... of the poem’: Fleinstríðir ‘arrow-harmer’ appears to be a warrior-kenning, perhaps referring to the skald, while mér is dat. sg. ‘to/for me’ and óðar is gen. sg. of óðr ‘poem’; but since l. 7 is illegible, and was virtually so even in the C19th, l. 8 cannot be construed.

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mér ‘to me’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar: ‘[…]’ R, ‘(fleinstriþir mer oþar)’(?) RCP, RFJ

notes

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar ‘arrow-harmer [WARRIOR] ... to me ... of the poem’: Fleinstríðir ‘arrow-harmer’ appears to be a warrior-kenning, perhaps referring to the skald, while mér is dat. sg. ‘to/for me’ and óðar is gen. sg. of óðr ‘poem’; but since l. 7 is illegible, and was virtually so even in the C19th, l. 8 cannot be construed.

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óðar ‘of the poem’

1. óðr (noun m.): poem

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar: ‘[…]’ R, ‘(fleinstriþir mer oþar)’(?) RCP, RFJ

notes

[8] fleinstríðir mér óðar ‘arrow-harmer [WARRIOR] ... to me ... of the poem’: Fleinstríðir ‘arrow-harmer’ appears to be a warrior-kenning, perhaps referring to the skald, while mér is dat. sg. ‘to/for me’ and óðar is gen. sg. of óðr ‘poem’; but since l. 7 is illegible, and was virtually so even in the C19th, l. 8 cannot be construed.

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

On the ordering of sts 2-5, see Introduction. Ms. 65ˣ (ll. 1-2 only) and the printed texts RCP and RFJ are used as supplementary witnesses to the R readings here; again see Introduction. Finnur Jónsson (RFJ, in Skj A II, 2) acknowledges relying on the RCP (af Petersens, in Jvs 1879) readings for this stanza, but has made out enough to believe them correct. From what can be ascertained from the poorly-preserved text, it seems that the poet continues his caricature of the opening of a traditional drápa (see Note to ll. 1-2 below). — [1-2]: The skald (who became a bishop, if the identification with Bjarni Kolbeinsson is correct), seems to distance himself from the traditional association of poetry with Óðinn and hence with magic. Although certainty is impossible given the state of the text, this would be supported by ll. 5-6 as read by Finnur Jónsson and af Petersens. — [5-6]: These lines are now illegible, but the RCP and RFJ readings above suggest that they refer to the myth of the mead of poetry (cf. Note to st. 1/6), again alluding to, yet rejecting, the association of poetry with Óðinn. Hangi can refer either to a hanged man or to Óðinn (LP: hangi), and the god is said both to have sat under hanged men (Yng, ÍF 26, 18) and to have hanged himself on a tree (Hávm 138-41); see also Haugen (1983); Schjødt (1993); Lassen (2010, 190-1).

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