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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 40VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 40’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 40.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
394041

Veitk ‘I know’

1. vita (verb): know

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

[2] af því skerði: en þeir skerðu Flat

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skerðu ‘diminished’

skerða (verb): diminish

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skerði ‘the diminisher’

skerðir (noun m.): diminisher

[2] af því skerði: en þeir skerðu Flat

kennings

skerði Niðbranda
‘the diminisher of Nið-flames ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

Nið-flames → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[2] skerði (dat. sg.) ‘the diminisher’: Skerðir ‘diminisher, destroyer’ is frequently a base-word of man-kennings that have ‘gold’ as the determinant, as here. Flat’s text requires skerðu ‘they cut’, 3rd pers. pl. pret. indic. of skerða ‘to cut a notch, diminish, harm’.

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gjalfrs ‘of ocean-din’

gjalfr (noun n.; °-s): surge, waves

kennings

grundar gjalfrs;
‘of the land of ocean-din; ’
   = SEA

the land of ocean-din; → SEA
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Nið ‘of Nið’

Nið (noun f.): Nidelven < niðbrandr (noun m.)

[3] Niðbranda: ‘nidranda’ Flat

kennings

skerði Niðbranda
‘the diminisher of Nið-flames ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

Nið-flames → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[3] Niðbranda ‘of Nið <river>-flames’: A kenning for gold, in which the name of the river Nið (Norw. Nidelven) that flows through Niðaróss, the older name for Trondheim, functions as a river-heiti, though one that may well also have had specific reference in this context, see LP: 2 Nið.

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Nið ‘of Nið’

Nið (noun f.): Nidelven < niðbrandr (noun m.)

[3] Niðbranda: ‘nidranda’ Flat

kennings

skerði Niðbranda
‘the diminisher of Nið-flames ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

Nið-flames → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[3] Niðbranda ‘of Nið <river>-flames’: A kenning for gold, in which the name of the river Nið (Norw. Nidelven) that flows through Niðaróss, the older name for Trondheim, functions as a river-heiti, though one that may well also have had specific reference in this context, see LP: 2 Nið.

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branda ‘flames’

brandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sword, prow; fire < niðbrandr (noun m.)

[3] Niðbranda: ‘nidranda’ Flat

kennings

skerði Niðbranda
‘the diminisher of Nið-flames ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

Nið-flames → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[3] Niðbranda ‘of Nið <river>-flames’: A kenning for gold, in which the name of the river Nið (Norw. Nidelven) that flows through Niðaróss, the older name for Trondheim, functions as a river-heiti, though one that may well also have had specific reference in this context, see LP: 2 Nið.

Close

branda ‘flames’

brandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sword, prow; fire < niðbrandr (noun m.)

[3] Niðbranda: ‘nidranda’ Flat

kennings

skerði Niðbranda
‘the diminisher of Nið-flames ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

Nið-flames → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[3] Niðbranda ‘of Nið <river>-flames’: A kenning for gold, in which the name of the river Nið (Norw. Nidelven) that flows through Niðaróss, the older name for Trondheim, functions as a river-heiti, though one that may well also have had specific reference in this context, see LP: 2 Nið.

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grundar ‘of the land’

grund (noun f.): earth, land

kennings

grundar gjalfrs;
‘of the land of ocean-din; ’
   = SEA

the land of ocean-din; → SEA
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greiddr ‘made’

greiða (verb): alleviate

[4] greiddr: ‘greiddra’ Flat

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meiddu ‘mutilated’

meiða (verb): maim, wound

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frá ‘from’

frá (prep.): from

[5] frá: fyr Flat

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týndir ‘[men] lost’

týna (verb): lose, destroy

[5] týndir (‘tindir’): ‘tindri’ Flat

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sterks ‘strong’

sterkr (adj.): strong

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auð ‘of riches’

1. auðr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -i/-): wealth < auðskýfandi (noun m.)

kennings

auðskýfanda,
‘of the distributor of riches, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the distributor of riches, → GENEROUS MAN
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skýfanda ‘of the distributor’

skýfandi (noun m.): [distributor riches] < auðskýfandi (noun m.)

kennings

auðskýfanda,
‘of the distributor of riches, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the distributor of riches, → GENEROUS MAN
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óðar ‘of poetry’

1. óðr (noun m.): poem

kennings

ôr óðar
‘the oar of poetry ’
   = TONGUE

the oar of poetry → TONGUE
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ôr ‘the oar’

1. ár (noun f.; °-ar, dat. u/-; -ar/-ir(LandslBorg 151b²¹)): oar

kennings

ôr óðar
‘the oar of poetry ’
   = TONGUE

the oar of poetry → TONGUE
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grimmliga ‘horribly’

grimmliga (adv.): fiercely

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skôru ‘cut’

skera (verb): cut

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

Chase 2005, 90 presents the following text, based on Flat:

Veitk, at Vinðr fyr skauti
verðr bragr (en þeir skerðu)
gjalfrs niðranda grundar
greiddr (sárliga) meiddu,
ok endr fyr trú týndir
tírar sterks ór kverkum
auðskýfanda óðar
r grimmliga skru.

Veitk, at Vinðr meiddu skauti grundar gjalfrs fyr niðranda, en þeir skerðu sárliga – bragr verðr greiddr; ok endr fyr trú týndir skru grimmliga óðar r ór kverkum tírar sterks auðskýfanda ‘I know that the Wends mutilated the twig of the land of noise [MOUTH > TONGUE] on the riverbank, and they cut [it] painfully. Poetry is made; and men lost from the faith long ago horribly cut the oar of poetry [TONGUE] from the throat of the most honourable distributor of riches [MAN]’. In this interpretation skauti (dat. sg.) (l.1) is understood as ‘twig’ (lit. ‘corner, flap, edge’ of something) and taken with grundar gjalfrs to produce a tongue-kenning, while Flat’s niðranda (l.3) is taken with fyr (l. 1) to produce the sense ‘on the riverbank’. Nið is here understood as referring to any body of water, and randi is taken as a poetic form of rǫnd ‘rim, edge’. Fyr niðranda means ‘beside the seacoast’ or ‘on the riverbank’, perhaps a pun on the name Niðaróss ‘estuary of the Nið’. — Sts 40-1 recount a miracle of S. Óláfr which is also told in the prose versions (see Chase 2005, 40-1 and n. 120). A group of Wends took a man named Halldórr and cut out his tongue. Halldórr then visited Óláfr’s shrine on his feast day and was cured. The account in AM 325 4° IV (Louis-Jensen 1970) says that this took place while Cardinal Nicholas Breakspear was in Norway, in the year before Geisl’s recital, and that this and the cure involving Kolbeinn (see sts 37-9) were witnessed by a monk named Hallr. Geisl is the only account of the miracle that specifies a location for the maiming (according to the interpretation below). — The text above is based mainly on Bb (as in Skj B and Skald) on the grounds that it produces better and less syntactically strained sense, especially in l. 1 (fyr skauti) and l. 4, where Flat’s text requires sárliga to be set off by two different sentence boundaries.

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