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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 24I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 24’ 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. 312.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
232425

Strǫng ‘intense’

strangr (adj.): strong

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varð ‘became’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[1] varð: var F, J1ˣ, Bb, FskBˣ

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gum ‘’

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gunnr ‘The battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle

[1] gunnr: ‘gum’ J1ˣ

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áðr ‘before’

áðr (adv.; °//): before

[1] áðr: at Bb

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gunnar ‘of battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle

[1] gunnar: gumnar F, 61, FskBˣ, gumar J1ˣ

kennings

þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar
‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle ’
   = WARRIOR

trees of battle → WARRIORS
the oppressing-pole of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[1, 3, 4] þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar ‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle [WARRIORS > WARRIOR]’: To achieve a simpler word order, Kock (NN §405) takes lunda ‘of trees’ as a half-kenning meaning ‘of the men’, construing it with þrimr hundruðum ‘three hundreds’. However, half-kennings of this kind are rare and only occur later (see LP: 2. lundr; Reichardt 1930, 208-9). Moreover, semantic problems result within the warrior-kenning, which would then read ‘oppressing-pole of battle’, i.e. þrøngvi ‘oppressing’ would have gunnar ‘battle’ as its object. There are no warrior-kennings where the warrior oppresses battle, and therefore this and all other eds prefer the more complicated word order.

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gunnar ‘of battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle

[1] gunnar: gumnar F, 61, FskBˣ, gumar J1ˣ

kennings

þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar
‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle ’
   = WARRIOR

trees of battle → WARRIORS
the oppressing-pole of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[1, 3, 4] þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar ‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle [WARRIORS > WARRIOR]’: To achieve a simpler word order, Kock (NN §405) takes lunda ‘of trees’ as a half-kenning meaning ‘of the men’, construing it with þrimr hundruðum ‘three hundreds’. However, half-kennings of this kind are rare and only occur later (see LP: 2. lundr; Reichardt 1930, 208-9). Moreover, semantic problems result within the warrior-kenning, which would then read ‘oppressing-pole of battle’, i.e. þrøngvi ‘oppressing’ would have gunnar ‘battle’ as its object. There are no warrior-kennings where the warrior oppresses battle, and therefore this and all other eds prefer the more complicated word order.

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gammi ‘of the vulture’

gammr (noun m.): vulture

[2] gammi: glammi 325VIII 1, gamma FskBˣ

kennings

gammi nás.
‘of the vulture of the corpse. ’
   = RAVEN/EAGLE

the vulture of the corpse. → RAVEN/EAGLE
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nás ‘of the corpse’

nár (noun m.; °-s; -ir): corpse

[2] nás: vals Bb, FskBˣ

kennings

gammi nás.
‘of the vulture of the corpse. ’
   = RAVEN/EAGLE

the vulture of the corpse. → RAVEN/EAGLE
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und ‘under’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[2] und: við 54, til Bb

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hramma ‘the claws’

hrammr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): claws

[2] hramma: hrammi F, ‘(r)amma’(?) FskBˣ

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þrøngvi ‘the oppressing’

þrøngvi (noun m.; °-a): enemy, oppressor < þrøngvimeiðr (noun m.)

kennings

þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar
‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle ’
   = WARRIOR

trees of battle → WARRIORS
the oppressing-pole of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[1, 3, 4] þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar ‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle [WARRIORS > WARRIOR]’: To achieve a simpler word order, Kock (NN §405) takes lunda ‘of trees’ as a half-kenning meaning ‘of the men’, construing it with þrimr hundruðum ‘three hundreds’. However, half-kennings of this kind are rare and only occur later (see LP: 2. lundr; Reichardt 1930, 208-9). Moreover, semantic problems result within the warrior-kenning, which would then read ‘oppressing-pole of battle’, i.e. þrøngvi ‘oppressing’ would have gunnar ‘battle’ as its object. There are no warrior-kennings where the warrior oppresses battle, and therefore this and all other eds prefer the more complicated word order.

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meiðr ‘pole’

meiðr (noun m.): beam, tree < þrøngvimeiðr (noun m.)

kennings

þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar
‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle ’
   = WARRIOR

trees of battle → WARRIORS
the oppressing-pole of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[1, 3, 4] þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar ‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle [WARRIORS > WARRIOR]’: To achieve a simpler word order, Kock (NN §405) takes lunda ‘of trees’ as a half-kenning meaning ‘of the men’, construing it with þrimr hundruðum ‘three hundreds’. However, half-kennings of this kind are rare and only occur later (see LP: 2. lundr; Reichardt 1930, 208-9). Moreover, semantic problems result within the warrior-kenning, which would then read ‘oppressing-pole of battle’, i.e. þrøngvi ‘oppressing’ would have gunnar ‘battle’ as its object. There are no warrior-kennings where the warrior oppresses battle, and therefore this and all other eds prefer the more complicated word order.

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of ‘’

4. of (particle): (before verb)

[3] of: áðr J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb

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þrunginn ‘’

þrunginn (adj.)

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þrongvi ‘’

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þryngri ‘’

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þryngvi ‘pressed’

þrøngva (verb): press, throng

[3] þryngvi: ‘þryngri’ 54, þrunginn FskBˣ, ‘þrongvi’ FskAˣ

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lunda ‘of trees’

1. lundr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ar): grove, tree

kennings

þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar
‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle ’
   = WARRIOR

trees of battle → WARRIORS
the oppressing-pole of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[1, 3, 4] þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar ‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle [WARRIORS > WARRIOR]’: To achieve a simpler word order, Kock (NN §405) takes lunda ‘of trees’ as a half-kenning meaning ‘of the men’, construing it with þrimr hundruðum ‘three hundreds’. However, half-kennings of this kind are rare and only occur later (see LP: 2. lundr; Reichardt 1930, 208-9). Moreover, semantic problems result within the warrior-kenning, which would then read ‘oppressing-pole of battle’, i.e. þrøngvi ‘oppressing’ would have gunnar ‘battle’ as its object. There are no warrior-kennings where the warrior oppresses battle, and therefore this and all other eds prefer the more complicated word order.

Close

lunda ‘of trees’

1. lundr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ar): grove, tree

kennings

þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar
‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle ’
   = WARRIOR

trees of battle → WARRIORS
the oppressing-pole of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[1, 3, 4] þrøngvimeiðr lunda gunnar ‘the oppressing-pole of trees of battle [WARRIORS > WARRIOR]’: To achieve a simpler word order, Kock (NN §405) takes lunda ‘of trees’ as a half-kenning meaning ‘of the men’, construing it with þrimr hundruðum ‘three hundreds’. However, half-kennings of this kind are rare and only occur later (see LP: 2. lundr; Reichardt 1930, 208-9). Moreover, semantic problems result within the warrior-kenning, which would then read ‘oppressing-pole of battle’, i.e. þrøngvi ‘oppressing’ would have gunnar ‘battle’ as its object. There are no warrior-kennings where the warrior oppresses battle, and therefore this and all other eds prefer the more complicated word order.

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hafs ‘to the sea’

haf (noun n.; °-s; *-): sea

[5] hafs: haf F

notes

[5] hafs ‘to the sea’: This edn and most others interpret hafs as a gen. of direction modifying ganga ‘to walk, go’. A possible parallel is eggþings, which could mean ‘in the blade-assembly [BATTLE]’ in st. 22/6, 8 (see Note above, and Hkr 1893-1901, IV). (b) Hafs and bragna ‘men’s’ could be construed together in the sense ‘men of the sea’, referring to Ragnfrøðr’s men (Fms 12; Vell 1865, 64; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 154-5). However, this would be an unusual expression, and to judge from the prose sources Ragnfrøðr was a landed ruler with no particular affiliation to the sea.

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at ‘over’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[5] at: af J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb

notes

[5, 6, 8] ganga at hǫfðum bragna ‘to walk over the heads of men’: This phrase could be understood literally, as a grotesque image of the victor walking over the heads of his (three hundred) slain enemies. It appears to be understood thus by the Fsk author, who singles it out after his citation of the stanza. A variant on this would be to understand hǫfuð as standing for the whole body or person (cf. Note to Sigv ErfÓl 18/7). A metaphorical expression of triumph over enemies is also possible, however, cf. Fritzner: höfuð 1: stíga yfir höfuð e-m, lit. ‘tread/climb over sby’s head’, hence blive ens Overmand ‘to overcome sby, to walk all over sby’.

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hǫfðum ‘the heads’

hǫfuð (noun n.; °-s; -): head

notes

[5, 6, 8] ganga at hǫfðum bragna ‘to walk over the heads of men’: This phrase could be understood literally, as a grotesque image of the victor walking over the heads of his (three hundred) slain enemies. It appears to be understood thus by the Fsk author, who singles it out after his citation of the stanza. A variant on this would be to understand hǫfuð as standing for the whole body or person (cf. Note to Sigv ErfÓl 18/7). A metaphorical expression of triumph over enemies is also possible, however, cf. Fritzner: höfuð 1: stíga yfir höfuð e-m, lit. ‘tread/climb over sby’s head’, hence blive ens Overmand ‘to overcome sby, to walk all over sby’.

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hagnaðr ‘an advantage’

hagnaðr (noun m.): advantage

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bragna ‘of men’

bragnar (noun m.): men, warriors

notes

[5, 6, 8] ganga at hǫfðum bragna ‘to walk over the heads of men’: This phrase could be understood literally, as a grotesque image of the victor walking over the heads of his (three hundred) slain enemies. It appears to be understood thus by the Fsk author, who singles it out after his citation of the stanza. A variant on this would be to understand hǫfuð as standing for the whole body or person (cf. Note to Sigv ErfÓl 18/7). A metaphorical expression of triumph over enemies is also possible, however, cf. Fritzner: höfuð 1: stíga yfir höfuð e-m, lit. ‘tread/climb over sby’s head’, hence blive ens Overmand ‘to overcome sby, to walk all over sby’.

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folk ‘battle’

folk (noun n.): people < folkeflandi (noun m.)folk (noun n.): people

notes

[7] folkeflandi ‘battle-supporting’: A translation as ‘people-supporting’ would also be possible, but the context seems to favour a translation using ‘battle’ for folk.

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eflandi ‘supporting’

efla (verb; °-fld-/-að-(RómvUpph¹ 382²⁴)): strengthen < folkeflandi (noun m.)

[7] ‑eflandi: ‑eflanda F

notes

[7] folkeflandi ‘battle-supporting’: A translation as ‘people-supporting’ would also be possible, but the context seems to favour a translation using ‘battle’ for folk.

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fylkir ‘ruler’

fylkir (noun m.): leader

[7] fylkir: fylkis F

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fang ‘The plunder’

fang (noun n.; °-s; *-): grasp, tunic < fangsæll (adj.)

[8] fang‑: feng‑ F

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þaðan ‘from there’

þaðan (adv.): from there

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ganga ‘to walk’

2. ganga (verb; geng, gekk, gengu, genginn): walk, go

[8] ganga: gengi F

notes

[5, 6, 8] ganga at hǫfðum bragna ‘to walk over the heads of men’: This phrase could be understood literally, as a grotesque image of the victor walking over the heads of his (three hundred) slain enemies. It appears to be understood thus by the Fsk author, who singles it out after his citation of the stanza. A variant on this would be to understand hǫfuð as standing for the whole body or person (cf. Note to Sigv ErfÓl 18/7). A metaphorical expression of triumph over enemies is also possible, however, cf. Fritzner: höfuð 1: stíga yfir höfuð e-m, lit. ‘tread/climb over sby’s head’, hence blive ens Overmand ‘to overcome sby, to walk all over sby’.

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According to Hkr and ÓT the great battle between Hákon jarl and King Ragnfrøðr is fought at Þinganes, at the border between Sogn and Hǫrðaland (Hordaland). Hákon jarl has the larger force and is victorious. Ragnfrøðr flees to his ships, and three hundred of his company are killed. Fsk reports more briefly that Hákon defeated the Eiríkssynir (Gunnhildarsynir) in Sogn, killing three hundred of their troops.

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