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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bragi Rdr 4III

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Ragnarsdrápa 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 33.

Bragi inn gamli BoddasonRagnarsdrápa
345

of ‘over’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

notes

[1, 2] of set … á golfi ‘over the bench … on the floor’: The words set and golf denote two distinct parts of the early Scandinavian hall. Set was the raised area along the walls, where benches were set up for people to sit on and cleared at night for sleeping, whereas the golf was the central part of the hall floor, around the hearth. Bragi seems to imply that Hamðir and Sǫrli attacked Jǫrmunrekkr on the set (where he may have been asleep or drunk), and threw his limbs onto the golf where everyone could see them (cf. Hamð 24/7-10 and Saxo 2005, I, 8, 10, 14, pp. 552-5). Skj B and Skald emend all mss’ á golfi to í golfi, but this is not necessary to get good sense.

Close

set ‘the bench’

set (noun n.; °;dat. -um/-jum): [bench]

[1] set: so all others, sétt R

notes

[1, 2] of set … á golfi ‘over the bench … on the floor’: The words set and golf denote two distinct parts of the early Scandinavian hall. Set was the raised area along the walls, where benches were set up for people to sit on and cleared at night for sleeping, whereas the golf was the central part of the hall floor, around the hearth. Bragi seems to imply that Hamðir and Sǫrli attacked Jǫrmunrekkr on the set (where he may have been asleep or drunk), and threw his limbs onto the golf where everyone could see them (cf. Hamð 24/7-10 and Saxo 2005, I, 8, 10, 14, pp. 552-5). Skj B and Skald emend all mss’ á golfi to í golfi, but this is not necessary to get good sense.

Close

við ‘together with’

2. við (prep.): with, against

[1] við: með Tˣ, C

Close

sóknar ‘of attack’

sókn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): attack, fight

[2] sóknar: sókna Tˣ

kennings

alfs sóknar
‘of the elf of attack ’
   = WARRIOR = Jǫrmunrekkr

the elf of attack → WARRIOR = Jǫrmunrekkr
Close

alfs ‘of the elf’

alfr (noun m.; °; -ar): elf

[2] alfs: so all others, afls R

kennings

alfs sóknar
‘of the elf of attack ’
   = WARRIOR = Jǫrmunrekkr

the elf of attack → WARRIOR = Jǫrmunrekkr
Close

á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[1, 2] of set … á golfi ‘over the bench … on the floor’: The words set and golf denote two distinct parts of the early Scandinavian hall. Set was the raised area along the walls, where benches were set up for people to sit on and cleared at night for sleeping, whereas the golf was the central part of the hall floor, around the hearth. Bragi seems to imply that Hamðir and Sǫrli attacked Jǫrmunrekkr on the set (where he may have been asleep or drunk), and threw his limbs onto the golf where everyone could see them (cf. Hamð 24/7-10 and Saxo 2005, I, 8, 10, 14, pp. 552-5). Skj B and Skald emend all mss’ á golfi to í golfi, but this is not necessary to get good sense.

Close

golfi ‘the floor’

golf (noun n.): floor

notes

[1, 2] of set … á golfi ‘over the bench … on the floor’: The words set and golf denote two distinct parts of the early Scandinavian hall. Set was the raised area along the walls, where benches were set up for people to sit on and cleared at night for sleeping, whereas the golf was the central part of the hall floor, around the hearth. Bragi seems to imply that Hamðir and Sǫrli attacked Jǫrmunrekkr on the set (where he may have been asleep or drunk), and threw his limbs onto the golf where everyone could see them (cf. Hamð 24/7-10 and Saxo 2005, I, 8, 10, 14, pp. 552-5). Skj B and Skald emend all mss’ á golfi to í golfi, but this is not necessary to get good sense.

Close

hræva ‘of corpses’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion

kennings

Dǫgg hræva
‘Dew of corpses ’
   = BLOOD

Dew of corpses → BLOOD
Close

dǫgg ‘Dew’

dǫgg (noun f.; °-var/-ar, dat. -/-u; -var/-ar/dǫggir/daggir (cf. [$1242$])): dew

kennings

Dǫgg hræva
‘Dew of corpses ’
   = BLOOD

Dew of corpses → BLOOD
Close

þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

[3] þars (‘þar er’): so C, of R, Tˣ

Close

sem ‘and’

sem (conj.): as, which

[4] sem: ok C

Close

of ‘people’

4. of (particle): (before verb)

notes

[4] of kenndu ‘people recognised’: This is the reading of R, , which has been adopted by Kock (Skald and NN §2205A), Dronke (1969, 205) and Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 51). Ms. C’s m. v. form 3rd pers. pret. pl. kenndusk ‘were recognised’ is also possible, giving the sense þars hǫggnar hendr sem fœtr of kenndusk ‘where hewn arms and legs were recognised’ (so Skj B; Genzmer 1926, 132; Vogt 1930b, 21).

Close

kenndu ‘recognised’

kenna (verb): know, teach

[4] kenndu: kenndusk C

notes

[4] of kenndu ‘people recognised’: This is the reading of R, , which has been adopted by Kock (Skald and NN §2205A), Dronke (1969, 205) and Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 51). Ms. C’s m. v. form 3rd pers. pret. pl. kenndusk ‘were recognised’ is also possible, giving the sense þars hǫggnar hendr sem fœtr of kenndusk ‘where hewn arms and legs were recognised’ (so Skj B; Genzmer 1926, 132; Vogt 1930b, 21).

Close

blóði ‘with blood’

blóð (noun n.; °-s): blood

Close

blandinn ‘mixed’

2. blanda (verb; °blendr; blett, blendu; blandinn): mix, blend (strong)

[5] blandinn: brunninn R, brunnin Tˣ, blandin C

notes

[5] blandinn (m. acc. sg.) ‘mixed, mingled’: It is necessary to emend (based on C’s blandin) to provide grammatical agreement with brunn m. acc. sg. ‘well’ in l. 6.

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ǫl ‘The ale’

ǫl (noun n.; °-s; -): ale < ǫlskakki (noun m.): [ale-dispenser]

[6] ǫlskakki: ‘vaulspaci’ Tˣ, ‘aulskali’ C

kennings

Ǫlskakki
‘The ale-dispenser ’
   = RULER = Jǫrmunrekkr

The ale-dispenser → RULER = Jǫrmunrekkr

notes

[6] ǫlskakki ‘the ale-dispenser [RULER = Jǫrmunrekkr]’: This hap. leg. cpd noun, which derives from R’s form ‘ꜹlskacki’ is understood here as a kenning for a ruler as dispenser of ale to his retinue. Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 378-9) proposes a combination of ǫlskakki with runna (l. 6) as determinant (gen. pl. of runnr ‘bush, tree’), understood here as a half-kenning for ‘man’ or ‘warrior’. Kock (NN §1003) construes runna with at haufði (l. 8) to mean ‘at his warriors’ head’, but this seems an unlikely word order. In the present edn runna is construed with the following shield-kenning (see Note to ll. 7-8 below). Other interpretations of l. 6, such as that of Sophus Bugge (1876, 384) and Skj B, take C’s ‘aulskali’ and emend it to ǫlskála, gen. pl. of ǫlskál ‘ale-cup, drinking vessel’ (cf. Akv 34/1, Hamð 23/2), construing it with í brunn as ‘into the well of ale-cups’, referring to the spilt ale on the hall floor, mingled with blood.

Close

skakki ‘dispenser’

[6] ǫlskakki: ‘vaulspaci’ Tˣ, ‘aulskali’ C

kennings

Ǫlskakki
‘The ale-dispenser ’
   = RULER = Jǫrmunrekkr

The ale-dispenser → RULER = Jǫrmunrekkr

notes

[6] ǫlskakki ‘the ale-dispenser [RULER = Jǫrmunrekkr]’: This hap. leg. cpd noun, which derives from R’s form ‘ꜹlskacki’ is understood here as a kenning for a ruler as dispenser of ale to his retinue. Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 378-9) proposes a combination of ǫlskakki with runna (l. 6) as determinant (gen. pl. of runnr ‘bush, tree’), understood here as a half-kenning for ‘man’ or ‘warrior’. Kock (NN §1003) construes runna with at haufði (l. 8) to mean ‘at his warriors’ head’, but this seems an unlikely word order. In the present edn runna is construed with the following shield-kenning (see Note to ll. 7-8 below). Other interpretations of l. 6, such as that of Sophus Bugge (1876, 384) and Skj B, take C’s ‘aulskali’ and emend it to ǫlskála, gen. pl. of ǫlskál ‘ale-cup, drinking vessel’ (cf. Akv 34/1, Hamð 23/2), construing it with í brunn as ‘into the well of ale-cups’, referring to the spilt ale on the hall floor, mingled with blood.

Close

runna ‘of the trees’

runnr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): bush, tree

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

runna ‘of the trees’

runnr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): bush, tree

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

þats ‘that is’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[7] þats (‘þat er’): þann C

Close

á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

Leifa ‘of Leifi’

Leifi (noun m.): Leifi

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

Leifa ‘of Leifi’

Leifi (noun m.): Leifi

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

Leifa ‘of Leifi’

Leifi (noun m.): Leifi

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

landa ‘of the lands’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

landa ‘of the lands’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

landa ‘of the lands’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

laufi ‘the leaf’

lauf (noun n.; °-s; -): leaf

[8] laufi: ‘laufdi’ C

kennings

laufi runna landa Leifa.
‘the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi. ’
   = SHIELD

the lands of Leifi. → SEA
the trees of the SEA → SHIPS
the leaf of SHIPS → SHIELD

notes

[7-8] á laufi runna landa Leifa ‘on the leaf of the trees of the lands of Leifi <sea-king> [SEA > SHIPS > SHIELD]’: A three-part kenning for the shield, painted (or otherwise decorated) with a picture of the assault upon Jǫrmunrekkr that Bragi replicates in the word-picture of this stanza. Just as in st. 1, where a shield is compared to a leaf (blað), so here the comparison is with a bright, living thing, the leaf of the kind of tree that ‘grows’ in the lands of the sea-king Leifi, namely a Viking-Age ship, on which shields were hung in rows along the gunwale. In this kenning there is a metaphorical connection betweeṇ all three of its elements (cf. Meissner 171; Marold 1993b, 297-8).

Close

fátt ‘painted’

3. fá (verb; °præt. part. fáðr): paint

[8] fátt: fat Tˣ

Close

at ‘’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[8] at: á C

notes

[8] at haufði ‘head-first’: Lit. ‘on [his] head’. As the line is likely to contain an aðalhending, though these are irregular in Bragi’s poetry, the form with [au], based on R’s ‘hꜹfþi’, (rather than hǫfði from hǫfuð) is to be preferred, as in Bragi Frag 1/8 (see ANG §98.1).

Close

haufði ‘head-first’

hǫfuð (noun n.; °-s; -): head

[8] haufði (‘hꜹfþi’): hǫfði Tˣ, C

notes

[8] at haufði ‘head-first’: Lit. ‘on [his] head’. As the line is likely to contain an aðalhending, though these are irregular in Bragi’s poetry, the form with [au], based on R’s ‘hꜹfþi’, (rather than hǫfði from hǫfuð) is to be preferred, as in Bragi Frag 1/8 (see ANG §98.1).

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This stanza follows immediately upon Rdr 3 in three mss of SnE, R, and C.

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