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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 16VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 16’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 20-1.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
151617

Ok ‘And’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

notes

[1] ok ‘and’: Geisl and Pl (cf. sts 5, 7, 26, 30, 51, 55) are the earliest skaldic poems in which a conj. links two sts. This is the only instance in Geisl. Einarr probably imitated the technique from Lat. hymn writing.

Close

hverlofaðr ‘’

Close

hagliga ‘easily’

hagliga (adv.): easily, comfortably

[1] hagliga: so Bb, hverlofaðr Flat

notes

[2] hagliga ‘easily’: The Bb reading is necessary for the rhyme with hugðisk.

Close

hrøkkvi ‘coiling’

hrøkkvir (noun m.): coiling, Hrøkkvir < hrøkkviseiðr (noun m.)

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

hrøkkvi ‘coiling’

hrøkkvir (noun m.): coiling, Hrøkkvir < hrøkkviseiðr (noun m.)

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

hrøkkvi ‘coiling’

hrøkkvir (noun m.): coiling, Hrøkkvir < hrøkkviseiðr (noun m.)

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

seiðs ‘fish’

2. seiðr (noun m.): coalfish < hrøkkviseiðr (noun m.)

[2] ‑seiðs: baugs Bb

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

seiðs ‘fish’

2. seiðr (noun m.): coalfish < hrøkkviseiðr (noun m.)

[2] ‑seiðs: baugs Bb

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

seiðs ‘fish’

2. seiðr (noun m.): coalfish < hrøkkviseiðr (noun m.)

[2] ‑seiðs: baugs Bb

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

ins ‘of the’

2. inn (art.): the

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

ins ‘of the’

2. inn (art.): the

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

ins ‘of the’

2. inn (art.): the

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

døkkva ‘dark’

døkkvi (noun m.; °-a): [dark]

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

døkkva ‘dark’

døkkvi (noun m.; °-a): [dark]

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

døkkva ‘dark’

døkkvi (noun m.; °-a): [dark]

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

lyngs ‘of the heather’

lyng (noun n.; °dat. -vi/-i; -): heather

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

lyngs ‘of the heather’

lyng (noun n.; °dat. -vi/-i; -): heather

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

lyngs ‘of the heather’

lyng (noun n.; °dat. -vi/-i; -): heather

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

látrs ‘of the lair’

látr (noun n.; °; dat. -um): lair

[4] látrs: látr Bb

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

látrs ‘of the lair’

látr (noun n.; °; dat. -um): lair

[4] látrs: látr Bb

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

stríðandi ‘the enemy’

stríðandi (noun m.): fighter

kennings

stríðandi látrs ins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs
‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the dark coiling fish of the heather → SNAKE
the lair of the SNAKE → GOLD
the enemy of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[4, 2, 3] stríðandi látrs hins døkkva hrøkkviseiðs lyngs ‘the enemy of the lair of the dark coiling fish of the heather’: Cf. Bragi Þórr 5/3, 4III hrøkkviáll Vǫlsunga drekku ‘coiling eel of the Volsungs’ drink’ [POISON > SNAKE = Miðgarðsormr]. The kenning for Óláfr has multiple levels of meaning. On the surface it is a variation of the kenning-type ‘dispenser of gold’. Óláfr was a treasure-dispenser in this literal sense during his lifetime, and after his death he continues to reward his followers with miracles.

Close

land ‘the people of the country’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land < landfolk (noun n.): people of the country

[5] landfolks: so Bb, R, Tˣ, W, U, A, lands folk Flat

Close

folks ‘’

folk (noun n.): people < landfolk (noun n.): people of the country

[5] landfolks: so Bb, R, Tˣ, W, U, A, lands folk Flat

Close

líkn ‘The outstandingly merciful’

líkn (noun f.; °-ar; gen. -a): grace, mercy < líknframr (adj.)

[6] líknframr: líknsamr Bb, A, líkbjartr R, Tˣ, W, líknbjartr U

kennings

Líknframr umgeypnandi alls heims,
‘The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, ’
   = God

The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, → God

notes

[6] líknframr ‘outstandingly merciful’: The reading of the SnE mss R, and W, líkbjartr ‘bright in body’ offers a viable alternative here, as does U’s líknbjartr ‘bright of (?shining in) mercy’.

Close

framr ‘’

framr (adj.; °compar. framari/fremri, superl. framastr/fremstr): outstanding, foremost < líknframr (adj.)

[6] líknframr: líknsamr Bb, A, líkbjartr R, Tˣ, W, líknbjartr U

kennings

Líknframr umgeypnandi alls heims,
‘The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, ’
   = God

The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, → God

notes

[6] líknframr ‘outstandingly merciful’: The reading of the SnE mss R, and W, líkbjartr ‘bright in body’ offers a viable alternative here, as does U’s líknbjartr ‘bright of (?shining in) mercy’.

Close

umgeypnandi ‘holder in hand’

umgeypnandi (noun m.): holder in hand

[7] umgeypnandi: umgeypnanda Tˣ

kennings

Líknframr umgeypnandi alls heims,
‘The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, ’
   = God

The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, → God

notes

[7, 8] umgeypnandi alls heims ‘encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world’: Ps. XCIV.4 (in manu eius fines terrae ‘in his hands are all the ends of the earth’) is probably the inspiration for this kenning, understood here to refer to God even though Snorri Sturluson (see Context) apparently understood it to refer to Christ. Cf. similar periphrases in Anon Mgr 2/5, Kálf Kátr 36/3, Gamlkan Has 29/7-8 and 64/6.

Close

opnask ‘to open’

2. opna (verb): [to open]

[7] opnask: opna R, Tˣ, W, U, A

Close

alls ‘of the whole’

allr (adj.): all

kennings

Líknframr umgeypnandi alls heims,
‘The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, ’
   = God

The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, → God

notes

[7, 8] umgeypnandi alls heims ‘encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world’: Ps. XCIV.4 (in manu eius fines terrae ‘in his hands are all the ends of the earth’) is probably the inspiration for this kenning, understood here to refer to God even though Snorri Sturluson (see Context) apparently understood it to refer to Christ. Cf. similar periphrases in Anon Mgr 2/5, Kálf Kátr 36/3, Gamlkan Has 29/7-8 and 64/6.

Close

heims ‘world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

kennings

Líknframr umgeypnandi alls heims,
‘The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, ’
   = God

The outstandingly merciful encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world, → God

notes

[7, 8] umgeypnandi alls heims ‘encompasser [lit. holder in hand] of the whole world’: Ps. XCIV.4 (in manu eius fines terrae ‘in his hands are all the ends of the earth’) is probably the inspiration for this kenning, understood here to refer to God even though Snorri Sturluson (see Context) apparently understood it to refer to Christ. Cf. similar periphrases in Anon Mgr 2/5, Kálf Kátr 36/3, Gamlkan Has 29/7-8 and 64/6.

Close

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

Lines 5-8 occur in several mss of the Skm section of SnE among examples of kennings for Christ. Snorri comments: ‘Here kennings become ambiguous, and the person interpreting the poetry has to distinguish from the context which king is being referred to. For it is normal to call the emperor of Constantinople king of the Greeks, and similarly the king that rules Palestine, to call him king of Jerusalem ... And the kenning that was quoted above, calling Christ king of men, this kenning can be applied to any king.’ (Faulkes 1987, 127-8; cf. SnE 1998, I, 78). Snorri was aware of Einarr’s use of double entendre to associate Óláfr with Christ.

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