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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 26I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 26’ 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. 315.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
252627

Ok við frost at freista
fémildr konungr vildi
myrk- Hlóðynjar -markar
morðalfs, þess’s kom norðan,
þás valserkjar virki
veðrhirði bað stirðan
fyr hlym-Njǫrðum hurða
Hagbarða gramr varða.

Ok {fémildr konungr {Hlóðynjar myrkmarkar}} vildi at freista {morðalfs} við frost, þess’s kom norðan, þás gramr bað {stirðan {{valserkjar} veðr}hirði} varða virki fyr {{{Hagbarða hurða} hlym}-Njǫrðum}.

And {the generous king {of the Hlóðyn = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’) of the dark forest <= Myrkviðr>}} [JUTLAND > DANISH KING = Haraldr blátǫnn] wanted at the time of the frost to test {the battle-elf} [WARRIOR = Hákon jarl] who came from the north, as the ruler bade {the unbending keeper {of the weather {of the shirt of the slain}}} [(lit. ‘weather-keeper of the slain-shirt’) MAIL-SHIRT > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon jarl] to defend the rampart against {the Nirðir <gods> {of the din {of the doors of Hagbarði <legendary hero>}}} [(lit. ‘din-Nirðir of the doors of Hagbarði’) SHIELDS > BATTLE > WARRIORS].

Mss: (147r), F(24va), J1ˣ(86v), J2ˣ(81r) (Hkr); 61(14va), 53(13ra), 54(9rb), Bb(19va) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] frost: fóstr Bb    [2] ‑mildr: ‑mildum F    [3] myrk‑: merkr 61, 53, 54, Bb;    Hlóðynjar: so 61, 53, ‘folðyniar’ Kˣ, J2ˣ, ‘follðyniar’ F, ‘loðyniar’ J1ˣ, ‘hloðynar’ 54, Bb;    markar: serkjar 53, 54, Bb    [4] þess’s (‘þess er’): þess sér 53    [5] ‑serkjar: so J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, ‑serkja Kˣ, F, J2ˣ    [6] ‑hirði: so J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, ‑hirðir Kˣ, F, ‑harðr J2ˣ    [7] hlym‑: hlunn‑ 61, 54, Bb, ‘hlid‑’ 53;    Njǫrðum: morðum 53, 54, Bb;    hurða: hǫrða F, hurðar J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb    [8] ‑barða: ‘‑brata’ J1ˣ, ‑varða Bb;    gramr: gram 53, Bb;    varða: varði Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 129, Skj BI, 122, Skald I, 68, NN §§318, 406; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 299-300, IV, 81, ÍF 26, 256-7, Hkr 1991, I, 172 (ÓTHkr ch. 26), F 1871, 112; Fms 1, 123, Fms 12, 36, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 136 (ch. 69).

Context: See st. 25.

Notes: [All]: This and the following stanzas relate to an armed conflict between the German Emperor Otto II and the Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn. The year following the death of Otto I (973), Haraldr advanced into Holstein, whereupon Otto II conquered the Danevirke and defeated him. Various legends developed in Scandinavia surrounding this event, all of which report that Hákon jarl fought alongside Haraldr (on the legends’ development see Ussing 1928; on the portrayal of the event in Old Icelandic literature see Marold 2001a, 85-92). — [1] við frost ‘at the time of the frost’: (a) The phrase is taken here (as in Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 159; NN §406; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991) with the main clause, since it seems unlikely that Hákon jarl would have taken his fleet to Denmark at the beginning of winter, but conceivable that Haraldr charged him with defending the Danevirke at that time. Moreover in Hkr (ÍF 26, 254) Snorri reports that the jarl came to Denmark on King Haraldr’s invitation in the spring, which need not be a misreading of the stanza on Snorri’s part, as assumed in ÍF 26. (b) Other eds have related the phrase to the subordinate clause (ÓT 1892, 378; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B); however, that would produce abnormal word order. — [1] at ‘to’: Normally the inf. is not preceded by at in a construction with vilja ‘to desire’. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 157) analyses it as a deictic particle, hence ‘(to put the jarl to the test) at (it)’, but this is unlikely since the particle is not stressed. — [3] Hlóðynjar myrkmarkar ‘of the Hlóðyn = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’) of the dark forest <= Myrkviðr> [JUTLAND]’: Except for Kock (NN §406) all eds analyse myrk- … ‑markar as tmesis (see Reichardt 1928, 9, 93 n. 20, 207-8). The cpd appears to refer to the Myrkviðr ‘Dark Forest’ that lies between Jutland and Holstein (Fms 1, 111; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 123), and if this is correct its ‘earth’ is Jutland. However, the numerous instances of the ON Myrkviðr refer to forests at various borders (Eggers 2002, 460-1), and the cpd here could refer to any wooded country (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 174). Some interpreters have accordingly assumed it refers to Norway and conjoined it to morðalfs ‘battle-elf [WARRIOR]’ or simply to alfs ‘elf’ as a kenning for Hákon jarl (Fms 12; NN §406; Ohlmarks 1958, 381-2); Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 159) rejects this. — [3] Hlóðynjar ‘of the Hlóðyn = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)’: Hlóðyn (or Hlǫðyn) is attested as a name of the goddess Jǫrð (LP: Hlǫðyn) and as a heiti for ‘earth’ in Þul Jarðar 1/2III (see Note) and in Vsp 56/2 and VSt Erf 2/4III. Finnur Jónsson conjectured Hlǫðvinjar in his eds (Hkr 1893-1901, I and Skj B), but this is not supported by any ms., nor by metrical considerations (contra Olsen 1962a, 47 n. 1). This edn follows the majority of others in choosing Hlóðynjar, found in mss 61 and 53. — [5, 6] valserkjar veðrhirði ‘the keeper of the weather of the shirt of the slain [(lit. ‘weather-keeper of the slain-shirt’) MAIL-SHIRT > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon jarl]’: (a) Normally hirðir ‘keeper, protector, owner’ appears in connection with weapons, precious objects or the like, rather than with battle (see LP: 1. hirðir; cf. also Fritzner: hirða). For this reason most interpreters (Fms 12; Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 176; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 160; LP: veðrhirði) reverse the order of the kennings that form the determinant: hirði serkjar valveðrs ‘keeper of the shirt of the slain-weather [BATTLE > MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIOR]’. (b) This edn (with Vell 1865, 73; ÓT 1892, 378; Hkr 1991) leaves the kenning unaltered, understanding hirðir in the sense of nærir ‘nourisher’, cf. Glúmr Gráf 6/3 nærir naddskúrar ‘nourisher of the point-shower [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’. (c) In ÍF 26 veðr is rendered as a ‘ram’ charging the mail-shirt (valserkjar ‘of the shirt of the slain’), and this results in a sword-kenning which is conjoined to hirðir ‘owner’ to form a warrior-kenning ‘owner of the sword’. But this is unlikely because an animal name used as the base-word of a sword-kenning is always that of a harmful, aggressive animal such as a wolf, hound or bear (Meissner 155). — [5] virki ‘the rampart’: This is a reference to the Danevirke, the Danes’ array of defensive structures in southern Jutland (see ÍF 26, 257 and n.). — [6] -hirði ‘keeper’: Mss and F give both -hirðir and gramr ‘ruler’ in the nom. form. Because only one of these words can be the subject of the sentence, this edn follows the majority of other mss, which have the nom. gramr and the acc. -hirði. — [8] Hagbarða ‘of Hagbarði <legendary hero>’: The name is normally an a-stem, Hagbarðr, in which case its ending in -a here would make it a gen. pl. This edn therefore follows most others in assuming Hagbarða to be gen. sg. of the nom. Hagbarði, an n‑stem.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  14. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  15. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1928. Studien zu den Skalden des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Palaestra 159. Leipzig: Mayer & Müller.
  16. Olsen, Magnus. 1962a. Edda- og Skaldekvad. Forarbeider til kommentar. VI. Eyvindr Skáldaspillir, Glúmr Geirason, Einarr Skálaglamm. Avhandlingar utgitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo II. Hist.-filos. kl. new ser. 4. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
  17. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  18. ÓT 1892 = Eggert Ó. Brím, ed. 1892. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar. Reykjavík: Ísafoldarprentsmiðja.
  19. Vell 1865 = Freudenthal, Axel Olof. 1865. Einar Skålaglams Vellekla / öfversatt och förklarad af Axel Olof Freudenthal. Helsingfors: Frenckell.
  20. Eggers, Martin. 2002. ‘Myrkviðr’. In RGA, 20, 460-1.
  21. Finnur Jónsson. 1891a. ‘Vellekla: Tekstkritiske bemærkninger’. ÅNOH, 147-82.
  22. Marold, Edith. 2001a. ‘Haithabu in der altisländischen Literatur’. In Düwel et al. 2001, 77-99.
  23. Ussing, Henrik. 1928. ‘Harald Blaatand og Danevirke’. In Brøndum-Nielsen et al. 1928, 140-56.
  24. Internal references
  25. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  26. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Jarðar heiti 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 878.
  27. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 6’ 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. 255.
  28. Not published: do not cite ()
  29. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Vǫlu-Steinn, Ǫgmundardrápa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 429.
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