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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 13I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 13’ 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. 299.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
121314

Sjau ‘seven’

sjau (num. cardinal): seven

notes

[1] sjau fylkjum ‘seven fylki’: The term fylki denotes a community under the law centred around a þing ‘assembly’, and applies by extension to the geographical area under a particular jurisdiction. Information on which seven fylki might be meant here can be gleaned from reports on the rule of Hákon jarl. Eyv Hál 12/2 indicates that Hákon’s rule extended to settlements of the Egðir, the people of Agðir (Agder). This would include the following seven fylki, excluding Þrœndalǫg (Trøndelag), Hákon’s native region: Raumsdalr (Romsdalen), Norðmœrr (Nordmøre) and Sunnmœrr (Sunnmøre), the three peripheral districts that later combined with Þrœndalǫg to form the Frostuþingslǫg, plus Rogaland, Hǫrðaland (Hordaland), Sogn and Firðafylki (Fjordane), the four districts of Gulaþingslǫg (see Indrebø 1931, 43-4). These are also the same fylki given to Hákon by the Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn according to Hkr (ÍF 26, 240). However, the present stanza of Vell portrays this as an autonomous expansion on the part of Hákon.

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fylkjumfylki

fylki (noun n.): county

notes

[1] sjau fylkjum ‘seven fylki’: The term fylki denotes a community under the law centred around a þing ‘assembly’, and applies by extension to the geographical area under a particular jurisdiction. Information on which seven fylki might be meant here can be gleaned from reports on the rule of Hákon jarl. Eyv Hál 12/2 indicates that Hákon’s rule extended to settlements of the Egðir, the people of Agðir (Agder). This would include the following seven fylki, excluding Þrœndalǫg (Trøndelag), Hákon’s native region: Raumsdalr (Romsdalen), Norðmœrr (Nordmøre) and Sunnmœrr (Sunnmøre), the three peripheral districts that later combined with Þrœndalǫg to form the Frostuþingslǫg, plus Rogaland, Hǫrðaland (Hordaland), Sogn and Firðafylki (Fjordane), the four districts of Gulaþingslǫg (see Indrebø 1931, 43-4). These are also the same fylki given to Hákon by the Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn according to Hkr (ÍF 26, 240). However, the present stanza of Vell portrays this as an autonomous expansion on the part of Hákon.

Close

silkis ‘of the silken’

silki (noun n.): silk

[1] silkis: fylkir 53, ‘sylkis’ 54, Bb

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

silkis ‘of the silken’

silki (noun n.): silk

[1] silkis: fylkir 53, ‘sylkis’ 54, Bb

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

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svárr ‘’

svárr (adj.)

Close

snivjaðr ‘’

Close

fránaðr ‘’

Close

snuðaðr ‘’

Close

snúnaðr ‘a change for the better’

snúnaðr (noun m.): a change (for better)

[2] snúnaðr: ‘snuðaðr’ J1ˣ, ‘f(ra)naðr’(?) 53, ‘sniviadr’ Bb, svarr maðr 62, Flat

Close

brjúna ‘’

Close

brúna ‘of the brows’

brún (noun f.; °; brýnn/-ir): brows

[2] brúna: ‘briuna’ 54, ‘brynnia’ Bb, ‘barma’ 62, Flat

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

brúna ‘of the brows’

brún (noun f.; °; brýnn/-ir): brows

[2] brúna: ‘briuna’ 54, ‘brynnia’ Bb, ‘barma’ 62, Flat

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

brúna ‘of the brows’

brún (noun f.; °; brýnn/-ir): brows

[2] brúna: ‘briuna’ 54, ‘brynnia’ Bb, ‘barma’ 62, Flat

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

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geymir ‘keeper’

geymir (noun m.): guardian, keeper

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER
Close

grundar ‘of the land’

grund (noun f.): earth, land

[3] grundar: gegn at 53, granda 54, Bb

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

grundar ‘of the land’

grund (noun f.): earth, land

[3] grundar: gegn at 53, granda 54, Bb

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

grundar ‘of the land’

grund (noun f.): earth, land

[3] grundar: gegn at 53, granda 54, Bb

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

síma ‘band’

2. síma (noun n.): [band]

[3] síma: sinnar J1ˣ, sínum 53, sinna Bb, seima 62

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

síma ‘band’

2. síma (noun n.): [band]

[3] síma: sinnar J1ˣ, sínum 53, sinna Bb, seima 62

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[1, 2, 3] síma silkis grundar brúna ‘of the silken band of the land of the brows [HEAD > HEADBAND]’: Silk had been imported from Byzantium, and to a lesser extent from China, since the C8th (Mayerhofer 2005, 122-3). Clothing, headdresses, and headbands made of silk have been recovered from graves, especially in Birka (Sweden) and in Mammen (Jutland), in which decorative ornaments of silver, gold and silk are taken to have symbolized social standing (Hägg 1991; Hägg 2000, 619). The silk band worn by Hákon jarl must indicate high status, but it is uncertain whether it was specifically the emblem of a ruler (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 120; Ohlmarks 1958, 371). KormǪ Sigdr 3/1III and Egill Arkv 19/1-4V (Eg 115) mention similar bands but do not resolve the issue.

Close

gund ‘’

Close

grand ‘The damage’

grand (noun n.): injury < grandvarr (adj.): circumspect, wary

[4] grand‑: ‘gund‑’ 54, Bb

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[4] grandvarr ‘damage-wary’: Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 119) and Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: grandvarr) translate the adj. as retfærdig, retskaffen ‘just, upright’. However, it probably does not refer to moral integrity but to Hákon jarl’s duty to defend his country. This is also supported by the intercalary clause þat vas snúnaðr landi ‘that was a change for the better for the land’ (Marold 1993c, 102-3). Cf. also the phrase on the Karlevi memorial stone (Run Öl 1/8VI) which proclaims that no ruler in Denmark shall be ørgrandari ‘more unharmful’ than the one commemorated in the inscription.

Close

varr ‘wary’

2. varr (adj.): wary < grandvarr (adj.): circumspect, wary2. varr (adj.): wary < gundvarr (adj.)

kennings

Grandvarr geymir síma silkis grundar brúna
‘The damage-wary keeper of the silken band of the land of the brows ’
   = RULER

the land of the brows → HEAD
the silken band of the HEAD → HEADBAND
The damage-wary keeper of the HEADBAND → RULER

notes

[4] grandvarr ‘damage-wary’: Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 119) and Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: grandvarr) translate the adj. as retfærdig, retskaffen ‘just, upright’. However, it probably does not refer to moral integrity but to Hákon jarl’s duty to defend his country. This is also supported by the intercalary clause þat vas snúnaðr landi ‘that was a change for the better for the land’ (Marold 1993c, 102-3). Cf. also the phrase on the Karlevi memorial stone (Run Öl 1/8VI) which proclaims that no ruler in Denmark shall be ørgrandari ‘more unharmful’ than the one commemorated in the inscription.

Close

landi ‘for the land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

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