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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 11I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 11’ 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. 297.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Hjalmgrápi vann hilmir
harðr (Lopts vinar) barða
(því kom vǫxtr í Vínu
vínheims) fíandr sína.
Ok forsnjallir fellu
fúrs í Þróttar skúrum
(þat fær þjóðar snytri)
þrír jarls synir (tírar).

Harðr hilmir vann fíandr sína barða {hjalmgrápi}; því kom vǫxtr í {Vínu {vínheims {vinar Lopts}}}. Ok þrír forsnjallir synir jarls fellu í {skúrum {fúrs Þróttar}}; þat fær {snytri þjóðar} tírar.
‘The hardy ruler had his enemies pelted with helmet-hail [BATTLE]; therefore, growth came to the Vína <river> of the wine-world of the friend of Loptr <= Loki> [= Óðinn > VAT > POEM]. And three exceedingly brave sons of a jarl fell in the showers of the fire of Þróttr <= Óðinn> [SWORD > BATTLE]; that brings glory to the instructor of the people [RULER = Hákon jarl].

notes and context

King Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ and his brother Guðrøðr advance northwards to Þrándheimr (Trøndelag) with a large army. When Hákon jarl learns of this, he heads south to Mœrr (Sunn- or Nordmøre) with his own army and pillages there. Grjótgarðr, Hákon jarl’s uncle, has been charged with defending the region and calls up an army on the orders of Haraldr and Guðrøðr. The two armies fight and Grjótgarðr is killed.

[2]: The line is divided into three parts in almost all interpretations. Only Kock (NN §399) avoids the tripartition by conjoining vinar Lopts ‘of the friend of Loptr <= Loki> [= Óðinn]’ and hilmir ‘ruler’, but this sacrifices the determinant of vínheims ‘of the wine-world’ in the intercalary clause (cf. Reichardt 1930, 243-4). Subsequently Kock (NN §2242), following a suggestion of Meissner (Kock and Meissner 1931, I, 9), conjoins harðr ‘hardy’ with vǫxtr ‘growth’ from the intercalary clause. This also avoids the tripartition (cf. Frank 1978, 85), but harðr is semantically better suited to hilmir than vǫxtr. — [3]: This line lacks a skothending. Various attempts have been made to correct this through emendation. Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 46) suggests sýnisk ‘it appears’ in place of því kom ‘in this way came’, and Kock (NN §1884C) suggests Vixlu instead of Vínu. — [4]: The metre of the line dictates that fíandr be read as disyllabic.



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: Einarr Helgason skálaglamm, 3. Vellekla 12: AI, 125, BI, 118-19, Skald I, 67, NN §§399, 1884C, 2240B, 2242, 2513; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 250-1, IV, 69-70, ÍF 26, 219, Hkr 1991, I, 146 (HGráf ch. 15), F 1871, 94; Fms 1, 65; Fms 12, 33, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 66 (ch. 41).


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