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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 14VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 14’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 18-19.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
131415

um ‘beyond’

1. um (prep.): about, around

[1] um: ok Bb

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muna ‘will not’

munu (verb): will, must

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þegna* ‘of thanes’

þegn (noun m.; °dat. -/-i; -ar): thane, man, franklin

[3] þegna*: þegnar Flat, þengill Bb

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fœða ‘raise’

2. fœða (verb): to feed, give food to, bring up, bear, give birth to

[3] fœða (‘fæda’): ‘bidia’ Bb

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full ‘the very’

2. fullr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): full, complete < fullhugaðr (adj.): [high-mettled]

kennings

fullhugaðr folkvaldr
‘the very wise army-ruler ’
   = Óláfr

the very wise army-ruler → Óláfr
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hugaðr ‘wise’

hugaðr (adj.) < fullhugaðr (adj.): [high-mettled]

kennings

fullhugaðr folkvaldr
‘the very wise army-ruler ’
   = Óláfr

the very wise army-ruler → Óláfr
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felli ‘fell’

falla (verb): fall

notes

[5] felli (3rd pers. sg. subj.) ‘fell’: The use of the subj. is puzzling. It may suggest that Óláfr’s death, like Christ’s, was preordained.

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folk ‘army’

folk (noun n.): people < folkvaldr (noun m.)

kennings

fullhugaðr folkvaldr
‘the very wise army-ruler ’
   = Óláfr

the very wise army-ruler → Óláfr
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valdr ‘ruler’

valdr (noun m.): ruler < folkvaldr (noun m.)

kennings

fullhugaðr folkvaldr
‘the very wise army-ruler ’
   = Óláfr

the very wise army-ruler → Óláfr
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dyn ‘the din’

dynr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ir): din

kennings

dyn skjalda
‘the din of shields ’
   = BATTLE

the din of shields → BATTLE
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skjalda ‘of shields’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

kennings

dyn skjalda
‘the din of shields ’
   = BATTLE

the din of shields → BATTLE
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innan ‘the inner side’

innan (prep.): inside, within

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Ǫlvishaug ‘of Alstahaugen’

Ǫlvishaugr (noun m.): [Alstahaugen]

notes

[8] Ǫlvishaug: Lit. ‘Ǫlvir’s mound’, Alstahaugen, Trøndelag: cf. LP: Ǫlvishaugr; Rygh 1897-1936, XV, 89 identifies it with the farmstead of Alstadhaug in Skogn, Trøndelag. Einarr doubtless knew that Óláfr fell at Stiklestad (ON Stiklastaðir; cf. sts 17 and 43). Ǫlvishaugr may be an allusion to a battle recorded in the sagas of S. Óláfr (Hkr, II, 178-81; and ÓH 1941, 261-9) as well as in the Annales regii (s.a. 1021), Gottskalks Annall (s.a. 1021), and Oddaverja Annáll (s.a. 1020) (printed in Storm 1888, 106, 316 and 468 respectively). A powerful man from the Trondheim region named Ǫlvir á Eggju persisted in conducting pagan sacrifices on a grand scale long after Óláfr’s imposition of Christianity, and Óláfr finally invaded the district with a large army. He interrupted the rites, killing Ǫlvir and sentencing others to imprisonment, mutilation, banishment, or execution. And thus, says Snorri, he returned all the people to the true faith, gave them teachers, and built and consecrated churches. References to these events reinforce the theme hann speni oss frá bǫlvi ‘may he guide us away from evil’. Just as at Ǫlvishaugr Óláfr protected his people from the evil of paganism, by his martyr’s death at Stiklestad (where he was killed by Kálfr Árnason, who, according to Hkr, II, 182, 385, married Ǫlvir’s widow) he gained the power to protect Norway supernaturally. Ǫlvishaugr was just a few miles from Stiklestad, and Einarr’s audience would have recognized the correspondence between the two places and events.

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frá ‘away from’

frá (prep.): from

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

[3]: Flat’s reading þegnar has been emended here to þegna*, as a nom. pl. noun cannot be the subject of the sg. verb muna ‘will not’. Skj B, Skald and NN §932 prefer to adopt Bb’s þengill, thus providing a noun subject for réð ‘ruled’, and emend ‘bidia’ to bíða ‘await, get’ (first proposed by Cederschiöld 1873), giving Tírbráðr þengill … þjóð muna bíða betra konung ‘Eager for fame, the prince … the people will not get a better king’.

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