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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 28I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 28’ 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. 318.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
272829

text and translation

Þrymr varð logs, þars lǫgðu
leikmiðjungar, Þriðja,
(arngreddir varð) odda
(andvígr) saman randir.
Sundfaxa kom Sǫxum
sœki-Þróttr á flótta,
þars svát gramr með gumnum
garð yrþjóðum varði.

{Þrymr {logs Þriðja}} varð, þars {{odda leik}miðjungar} lǫgðu saman randir; {arngreddir} varð andvígr. {Sœki-Þróttr {sundfaxa}} kom Sǫxum á flótta, þars svát gramr varði garð yrþjóðum með gumnum.
 
‘The din of the fire of Þriði <= Óðinn> [SWORD > BATTLE] came about, where the miðjungar of the game of arrow-points [(lit. ‘game-miðjungar of arrow-points’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] set their shields together; the eagle-feeder [WARRIOR] became aggressive. The attacking-Þróttr <= Óðinn> of the channel-horses [SHIPS > SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl] drove the Saxons to flight, where the ruler with his men defended the palisade against the troops.

notes and context

In Hkr and ÓT’s account of the battle for the Danevirke, Hákon’s forces defend both wall and gates. A large part of the emperor’s army falls, and he breaks off his attack. Fsk (which lacks sts 25-7) summarises the campaign before citing st. 28.

Although the historical sources report that the Danish king was defeated, Vell claims Hákon jarl was victorious. Historians explain this either as evidence that the stanza does not relate to the battle of the year 974 (see Note to st. 26 [All]; Skovgaard-Petersen 1977, 167) or that Hákon jarl was indeed able to defend his part of the wall (Ussing 1928, 147; Bolin 1931, 205). — [1-3]: The distribution of the determinants in the kennings used here has been handled in various ways: (a) The arrangement adopted above is also that of most other eds. (b) Vell 1865, 81 and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 163) have þrymr odda ‘din of spears [BATTLE]’ and leikmiðjungar logs Þriðja ‘the miðjungar of the game of the fire of Þriði <= Óðinn> [SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIORS]’. Here l. 2 remains a unit, but l. 1 is split into three parts, Þrymr varð, logs, þars/es lǫgðu. (c) Kock (NN §2245) reads the two kennings as þrymr logs ‘din of the sword [BATTLE]’ and leikmiðjungar Þriðja ‘the miðjungar of the game of Þriði <= Óðinn> [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’; but this involves taking log in the sense of ‘sword’, which is otherwise unattested.

readings

sources

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 29: AI, 129, BI, 122, Skald I, 68, NN §§407, 2245; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 301, IV, 82, ÍF 26, 258, Hkr 1991, I, 173 (ÓTHkr ch. 26), F 1871, 112; Fms 1, 124, Fms 12, 37, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 137 (ch. 69); Fsk 1902-3, 74-5 (ch. 15), ÍF 29, 116-17 (ch. 17).

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