Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Edáð Banddr 2I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 2’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 457.

Eyjólfr dáðaskáldBandadrápa

text and translation

Hoddsveigir lét hníga
harða ríkr, þás barðisk,
(logreifis brátt lífi)
landmann Kíars (handa).
Stálœgir nam stíga
stafns fletbalkar hrafna
af dynbeiði dauðum.
Dregr land at mun banda.

{Harða ríkr hoddsveigir} lét {landmann Kíars} hníga, þás barðisk; brátt lífi {{handa log}reifis}. {Stálœgir} nam stíga af {dauðum {{{stafns hrafna} fletbalkar} dyn}beiði}. Dregr land at mun banda …
‘The very mighty treasure-bender [GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr] caused the countryman of Kíarr <ruler> [= Skopti] to fall, when he fought; you snatched away the life of the presenter of the flame of hands [(lit. ‘flame-presenter of hands’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Skopti]. The sword-intimidator [WARRIOR = Eiríkr] strode away from the dead requester of the din of the house-partition of the horses of the stem [(lit. ‘din-requester of the house-partition of the horses of the stem’) SHIPS > SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Skopti]. Wins land at the pleasure of the gods …

notes and context

The stanza follows st. 1 (see Context) without interruption. 

[1-4]: The stanza depicts a killing which can reasonably be equated with Eiríkr’s killing of Skopti in st. 1, although the antagonists are not identified, and there are interpretative difficulties: alternative readings (F departing from the other mss), alternative editorial construals, and a particular difficulty with Kíar(s) in l. 4. (a) Adopted in this edn is the solution proposed by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26, followed by Hkr 1991), which involves no emendations, uses the readings, which are supported by mss from both branches of the Hkr stemma, and does not assume unattested usages except for that of Kíarr. The second kenning for ‘generous man’ is taken to refer to Skopti, and qualifies lífi ‘life’. Landmann ‘countryman’ and Kíars ‘of Kíarr’ are taken together as a kenning also designating Skopti (see Note to l. 4). (b) Earlier eds accepted the readings landmens ‘land-torque’ and sanda ‘sands’ from ms. F. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) proposed: Harða ríkr hoddsveigir lét mens Kíar hníga, þás barðisk; brátt lífi sanda landlogreifis, which would give ‘The very mighty man made the leader fall, when he fought; you snatched away the life of the generous man’. Here land- ‘land’ and -mens ‘torque’ are separated: land- is combined via tmesis with logreifis ‘flame-presenter’ and also with sanda ‘of sands’ to form the kenning ‘presenter of the flame of the land of sands [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; Kíar mens ‘Kíarr of the torque’ forms a further kenning for ‘man’, with the ruler-heiti Kíarr substituting for a god-heiti, which would be normal in this type of kenning. (c) Kock (NN §551) instead posits a gold-kenning log landmens ‘fire of the torque of land [SEA > GOLD]’ and construes sanda as qualifying Kíar, i.e. ‘prince of the sands / of the coast’, parallel to his hersi útvershersir/lord of the fishing-ground’ in st. 1. The kenning log landmens finds support in Glúmr Eir 1III log banda lands ‘flame of the ties of the land [SEA > GOLD]’ (cf. de Vries 1964-7, I, 183). (d) Log landmens, again taken as ‘gold’, could form an extended kenning for ‘generous man’ with ‑reifis ‘presenter’ as the base-word, and the whole qualifying lífi ‘life’, while acc. sg. Kíar could be a heiti for ‘ruler’ and refer to Skopti. However this would leave sanda ‘of the sands’ unaccounted for. — [8]: This is the first instalment of the klofastef ‘split refrain’ (see st. 9 and Notes for the complete stef). The wording recalls Eskál Vell 8/2 austr lǫnd at mun banda ‘in the east, lands at the will of the gods’ and 14/4 hofs lǫnd ok vé banda ‘lands of the temple and sanctuaries of the gods’, and cf. Eil Frag 1/4III. It may be especially influenced by the stef which is Glúmr Eir 1: Brandr fær logs ok landa | lands Eiríki banda ‘the sword wins Eiríkr the flame of the ties of the land [SEA > GOLD] and lands’ (Fidjestøl 1982, 185; cf. Note to ll. 1-4, interpretation (c) above); the verbal parallels are striking, despite the fact that banda is used in different senses. Imitative composition of stef is a well-attested skaldic practice (Fidjestøl 1982, 184; cf. Note to st. 5/8 below).



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 2: AI, 200, BI, 190-1, Skald I, 100-1, NN §551; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 290-1, IV, 78, ÍF 26, 250, Hkr 1991, I, 167 (ÓTHkr ch. 20), F 1871, 108.


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