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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 57VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 57’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 53-4.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
565758

oss ‘for us [me]’

vér (pron.; °gen. vár, dat./acc. oss): we, us, our

[1] oss: so Bb, om. Flat

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vísir ‘the king’

1. vísir (noun m.): [king, ruler]

[1] vísir: vísi Bb

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merkja ‘make known’

merkja (verb): mark, signify

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næst ‘next’

næst (adv.): next

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ríðrat ‘is not’

1. ríða (verb): ride

[4] ríðrat: ‘ridr a’ Bb

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smæstu ‘least important’

smæstr: smallest, least important

[4] smæstu: smæstum Bb

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en ‘for’

4. en (conj.): than

[5] en: so Bb, ‘þess er’ Flat

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geð ‘of the mind-’

geð (noun n.): mind

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gunn ‘of the battle-’

Gunn- ((prefix)): [battle-] < gunnstyrkr (adj.)

[6] gunn‑: geð‑ Bb

notes

[6] gunnstyrks (gen. sg.) ‘battle-strong’: This epithet, applied to God, is varied in Bb as geðstyrks ‘mind-strong, resolute’.

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styrks ‘strong’

2. styrkr (adj.): powerful, strong < gunnstyrkr (adj.)

notes

[6] gunnstyrks (gen. sg.) ‘battle-strong’: This epithet, applied to God, is varied in Bb as geðstyrks ‘mind-strong, resolute’.

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dýrka ‘honour’

dýrka (verb; °-að-): glorify, worship

notes

[6] dýrka ‘honour’: The rhyme with -styrks is irregular, unless shortening of <ý> is assumed to have occurred (ANG §127.5); cf. 7/4.

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hjaldr ‘battle’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle < hjaldrframr (adj.)

[7] hjaldr‑: so Bb, ‘halld’ Flat

notes

[7] hjaldrfrǫmum ‘battle-prominent’: Flat’s reading, haldfrǫmum ‘tenaciously prominent’, if it is not an error, is hap. leg. and difficult to make sense of. Bb’s hjaldrfrǫmum ‘battle-prominent’ is both easier to understand and more conventional (compounds in hjaldr- are fairly common in skaldic verse).

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frǫmum ‘prominent’

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

notes

[7] hjaldrfrǫmum ‘battle-prominent’: Flat’s reading, haldfrǫmum ‘tenaciously prominent’, if it is not an error, is hap. leg. and difficult to make sense of. Bb’s hjaldrfrǫmum ‘battle-prominent’ is both easier to understand and more conventional (compounds in hjaldr- are fairly common in skaldic verse).

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heims ‘of the world’

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

kennings

læknir heims
‘the healer of the world ’
   = God

the healer of the world → God

notes

[8] læknir heims ‘the healer of the world’: Cf. 21/4 grœðari alls ‘healer of all’. The kenning anticipates the miracle of healing in the following sts.

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læknir ‘the healer’

læknir (noun m.; °lǽknis, dat. & acc. lǽkni (dat. lǽknir(JBpC(2003)— 146¹⁰)); lǽknar): doctor

[8] læknir: so Bb, læknis Flat

kennings

læknir heims
‘the healer of the world ’
   = God

the healer of the world → God

notes

[8] læknir heims ‘the healer of the world’: Cf. 21/4 grœðari alls ‘healer of all’. The kenning anticipates the miracle of healing in the following sts.

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

[5-8]: Flat’s version of l. 5, Krapt skulum guðs, þess’s giptu is both unmetrical and presents a syntactic problem for the interpretation of the second helmingr, for þess’s ‘the one who’ can only refer to God, but this connection leaves heims læknis dangling. The only way to resolve the difficulty is to adopt Bb’s readings en (l. 5) and læknir (l. 8), as do Skj B and Skald.

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