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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 52VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 52’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 49-50.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
515253

hjaldr ‘A battle’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle

[1] hjaldr: hildr Bb

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víðum ‘the wide’

víðr (adj.): far

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sløkði ‘slaked’

slekja (verb): [slaked]

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þungan ‘heavy’

þungr (adj.): heavy

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gunnar ‘of battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle

kennings

môr gunnar
‘the gull of battle ’
   = RAVEN

the gull of battle → RAVEN
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môr ‘the gull’

már (noun m.): gull

kennings

môr gunnar
‘the gull of battle ’
   = RAVEN

the gull of battle → RAVEN
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geira ‘of spears’

geirr (noun m.): spear

kennings

gǫll geira.
‘the noise of spears. ’
   = BATTLE

the noise of spears. → BATTLE
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gǫll ‘the noise’

gǫll (noun f.): shriek

kennings

gǫll geira.
‘the noise of spears. ’
   = BATTLE

the noise of spears. → BATTLE
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Pézína ‘Pezina ’

(unknown) < Peizínavellir (noun m.)

[4] Pézína‑: ‘pecina’ or ‘perina’ Flat, ‘peizima’ Bb

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Þar ‘There’

þar (adv.): there

[5] Þar: so Bb, þars Flat

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hjǫrvi ‘the sword’

hjǫrr (noun m.): sword

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þúsundum ‘by the thousands’

1. þúsund (noun f.; °; -ir): thousand

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laut ‘sank’

1. lita (verb): colour, stain

[6] laut: so Bb, fell Flat

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hríð ‘storm’

hríð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): time, storm

kennings

hjalmskœð hríð Hamðis klæða
‘the helmet-harming storm of Hamðir’s clothing ’
   = BATTLE

Hamðir’s clothing → ARMOUR
the helmet-harming storm of the ARMOUR → BATTLE
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óx ‘increased’

vaxa (verb): grow, increase

[7] óx: so Bb, ‘ǫr’ Flat

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Hamðis ‘of Hamðir’s’

Hamðir (noun m.): Hamðir

[7] Hamðis: ‘handis’ Bb

kennings

hjalmskœð hríð Hamðis klæða
‘the helmet-harming storm of Hamðir’s clothing ’
   = BATTLE

Hamðir’s clothing → ARMOUR
the helmet-harming storm of the ARMOUR → BATTLE
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Hamðis ‘of Hamðir’s’

Hamðir (noun m.): Hamðir

[7] Hamðis: ‘handis’ Bb

kennings

hjalmskœð hríð Hamðis klæða
‘the helmet-harming storm of Hamðir’s clothing ’
   = BATTLE

Hamðir’s clothing → ARMOUR
the helmet-harming storm of the ARMOUR → BATTLE
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klæða ‘clothing’

klæði (noun n.; °-s; -): clothes

kennings

hjalmskœð hríð Hamðis klæða
‘the helmet-harming storm of Hamðir’s clothing ’
   = BATTLE

Hamðir’s clothing → ARMOUR
the helmet-harming storm of the ARMOUR → BATTLE
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klæða ‘clothing’

klæði (noun n.; °-s; -): clothes

kennings

hjalmskœð hríð Hamðis klæða
‘the helmet-harming storm of Hamðir’s clothing ’
   = BATTLE

Hamðir’s clothing → ARMOUR
the helmet-harming storm of the ARMOUR → BATTLE
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hjalm ‘the helmet’

1. hjalmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): helmet < hjalmskœðr (adj.)

kennings

hjalmskœð hríð Hamðis klæða
‘the helmet-harming storm of Hamðir’s clothing ’
   = BATTLE

Hamðir’s clothing → ARMOUR
the helmet-harming storm of the ARMOUR → BATTLE
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skœð ‘harming’

skœðr (adj.): dangerous < hjalmskœðr (adj.)

kennings

hjalmskœð hríð Hamðis klæða
‘the helmet-harming storm of Hamðir’s clothing ’
   = BATTLE

Hamðir’s clothing → ARMOUR
the helmet-harming storm of the ARMOUR → BATTLE
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Grikir ‘the Greeks’

grikkr (noun m.): Greek

notes

[8] Grikir ‘the Greeks’: On this form of the name, see ANG §§279.1, 315 and 389.

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flœðu ‘fled’

flœja (verb): flee

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

Sts 52-6 cover another miracle attributed to Óláfr affecting the Varangians in the service of the Byzantine emperor. It is mentioned in numerous ON versions of the Óláfr legend (see Chase 2005, 42 and nn. 127-30 for references). The Varangians were losing a fight against a group of Petchenegs (a Turkic people who occupied a large area of the lower Danube, Ukraine, Moldavia and Wallachia) at a place called Pézínavellir in ON sources. (This is the only use of the name in skaldic verse; it was probably coined by the Varangians who fought in the battle. Vellir [m. pl.] means ‘plains’, and Pézína is an adaptation of Πετζινάκοι, the Greek name for the Petchenegs.) The army prayed to Óláfr for victory and vowed to build a church in his honour if they were victorious, which they were. The battle may be the same as the one described by the Byzantine chronicler John Kinnamos (c. 1180) as taking place between the Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos and the Petchenegs in the winter of 1121-2 near Beroe (Stara Zagora) in Bulgaria. — Sts 52 and 53 are written in a different hand from the main hand of Flat. — [5-8]: Bb’s readings þar (l. 5) and laut (l. 6) have been adopted here in order to avoid the difficulty caused by Flat’s þars svát ... (l. 5), which requires understanding svát ... Grikir flœðu ... undan ‘so that the Greeks fled away’ (ll. 5, 6, 8), a very strained w.o., with þars introducing a further cl. þars þjóð fell þúsundum fyr hjǫrvi ‘where people fell by thousands before the sword’.

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