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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjbp Jóms 34I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 34’ 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. 989.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa
333435

Þar ‘There’

þar (adv.): there

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lét ‘caused’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

notes

[1, 4] lét ... helfarar verða veittar ‘caused the way to Hel to be granted’: That is, Vígfúss killed Áslákr. The cpd helfǫr (here acc. pl. ‑farar) is unique. In Old Norse heathen belief, Hel was the realm of the dead and the monstrous daughter of Loki who presided over it, and hence ‘death’ in general; see LP: 1. hel, Hel, and see Turville-Petre (1964, 270-2) on journeys to the world of the dead. It is not clear whether hel in the present context alludes to the heathen belief, or to the Christian Hell, or a more neutral concept of death.

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Vígfúss ‘Vígfúss’

vígfúss (adj.): vígfúss

notes

[1] Vígfúss: The Icelander Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson (Vígf); see his Biography. He fights on the Norwegian side at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen), and is credited with Vígf Lv, which anticipates the battle.

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verða ‘to be’

1. verða (verb): become, be

notes

[1, 4] lét ... helfarar verða veittar ‘caused the way to Hel to be granted’: That is, Vígfúss killed Áslákr. The cpd helfǫr (here acc. pl. ‑farar) is unique. In Old Norse heathen belief, Hel was the realm of the dead and the monstrous daughter of Loki who presided over it, and hence ‘death’ in general; see LP: 1. hel, Hel, and see Turville-Petre (1964, 270-2) on journeys to the world of the dead. It is not clear whether hel in the present context alludes to the heathen belief, or to the Christian Hell, or a more neutral concept of death.

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Ás ‘to Ás’

2. Áss (noun m.; °áss, dat. ási/ás; ásar): god < Áslákr (noun m.): Áslákr

notes

[2] Ásláki ‘Áslákr’: A champion, nicknamed hólmskalli, on the side of the Jómsvíkingar; see Note to st. 13/5, 8.

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láki ‘lákr’

-lákr (noun m.): [lákr] < Áslákr (noun m.): Áslákr

notes

[2] Ásláki ‘Áslákr’: A champion, nicknamed hólmskalli, on the side of the Jómsvíkingar; see Note to st. 13/5, 8.

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segja ‘relate’

segja (verb): say, tell

[3] segja: so 61, 53, 54, inna R, seggja Bb

notes

[3] segja ‘relate’: The R reading inna ‘relate, perform’ works equally well in terms of sense, but it produces a skothending with vann in the odd line, which is not usual in Jóms; see Introduction.

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hel ‘to Hel’

1. hel (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -ju): death, Hel, hell < helfǫr (noun f.)

notes

[1, 4] lét ... helfarar verða veittar ‘caused the way to Hel to be granted’: That is, Vígfúss killed Áslákr. The cpd helfǫr (here acc. pl. ‑farar) is unique. In Old Norse heathen belief, Hel was the realm of the dead and the monstrous daughter of Loki who presided over it, and hence ‘death’ in general; see LP: 1. hel, Hel, and see Turville-Petre (1964, 270-2) on journeys to the world of the dead. It is not clear whether hel in the present context alludes to the heathen belief, or to the Christian Hell, or a more neutral concept of death.

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farar ‘the way’

fǫr (noun f.): journey, fate; movement < helfǫr (noun f.)

notes

[1, 4] lét ... helfarar verða veittar ‘caused the way to Hel to be granted’: That is, Vígfúss killed Áslákr. The cpd helfǫr (here acc. pl. ‑farar) is unique. In Old Norse heathen belief, Hel was the realm of the dead and the monstrous daughter of Loki who presided over it, and hence ‘death’ in general; see LP: 1. hel, Hel, and see Turville-Petre (1964, 270-2) on journeys to the world of the dead. It is not clear whether hel in the present context alludes to the heathen belief, or to the Christian Hell, or a more neutral concept of death.

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veittar ‘granted’

2. veita (verb): grant, give

notes

[1, 4] lét ... helfarar verða veittar ‘caused the way to Hel to be granted’: That is, Vígfúss killed Áslákr. The cpd helfǫr (here acc. pl. ‑farar) is unique. In Old Norse heathen belief, Hel was the realm of the dead and the monstrous daughter of Loki who presided over it, and hence ‘death’ in general; see LP: 1. hel, Hel, and see Turville-Petre (1964, 270-2) on journeys to the world of the dead. It is not clear whether hel in the present context alludes to the heathen belief, or to the Christian Hell, or a more neutral concept of death.

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Þorleifr ‘Þorleifr’

Þórleifr (noun m.): Þorleifr, Thorleifr

notes

[5] Þorleifr: The Icelander Þorleifr skúma Þorkelsson (Þskúm). The nickname skúma is obscure: see his Biography. Þorleifr fights for the Norwegians at Hjǫrungavágr and is credited with a fornyrðislag stanza (Þskúm Lv) in which he anticipates the damage his eikikylfa ‘oaken club’ will do to vikings and Danes.

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þjokkva ‘the thick’

þjokkva (verb): [thick, make]

[5] þjokkva: þykkva all others

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þrek ‘of the outstandingly’

þrek (noun n.): courage, strength < þrekstœrðr (adj.)

notes

[6] þrekstœrðum ‘outstandingly strong’: Lit. ‘strength-increased’.

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stœrðum ‘strong’

notes

[6] þrekstœrðum ‘outstandingly strong’: Lit. ‘strength-increased’.

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Hávarði ‘Hávarðr’

Hávarðr (noun m.): Hávarðr

notes

[6] Hávarði ‘Hávarðr’: Another champion of the Jómsvíkingar; see Note to st. 13/5, 8.

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‘fought’

1. vega (verb): strike, slay

[7] vá: so all others, lét R

notes

[7] ‘fought’: The R reading lét could have arisen from a misunderstanding of the syntax. It would normally be an auxiliary meaning ‘caused’, with a p. p. or inf., and may have been taken with p. p. brotit ‘broken’ in l. 8, but this is governed by vann ‘caused, made’ in l. 5, hence vann brotit ‘broke’.

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brotit ‘’

brjóta (verb; °brýtr; braut, brutu; brotinn): to break, destroy

[8] brotit leggi: so all others, ‘b(rotit legg)[...]’(?) R

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leggi ‘legs’

leggr (noun m.; °-jar, dat. -; -ir): limb

[8] brotit leggi: so all others, ‘b(rotit legg)[...]’(?) R

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

The men on Eiríkr jarl’s ship are named and some details about them provided; one is the exceptionally strong Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson. When Vígfúss sees Áslákr hólmskalli killing many men, he takes up a sharp-pointed anvil in both hands and strikes Áslákr in the head with it, killing him. Simultaneously, Þorleifr skúma beats Hávarðr hǫggvandi with a club until he falls with badly broken bones.

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