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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

Þrymr ‘The din’

þrymr (noun m.; °-s): din

kennings

Þrymr logs Þriðja
‘The din of the fire of Þriði ’
   = BATTLE

the fire of Þriði → SWORD
The din of the SWORD → BATTLE
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varð ‘came about’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[1] varð: var F, FskBˣ, við J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb

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logs ‘of the fire’

log (noun n.; °; -): flame

[1] logs: ‘lǫgs’ 53

kennings

Þrymr logs Þriðja
‘The din of the fire of Þriði ’
   = BATTLE

the fire of Þriði → SWORD
The din of the SWORD → BATTLE
Close

logs ‘of the fire’

log (noun n.; °; -): flame

[1] logs: ‘lǫgs’ 53

kennings

Þrymr logs Þriðja
‘The din of the fire of Þriði ’
   = BATTLE

the fire of Þriði → SWORD
The din of the SWORD → BATTLE
Close

þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

[1] þars (‘þar er’): er J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, ór Bb

notes

[1] þars ‘where’: This is selected here, being the reading of the main ms. (so also Hkr 1893-1901, I; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). The variant es ‘when’ is also possible (so Fms 1; Vell 1865, 81; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 163; ÍF 29; Skald). Skj B gives es in the stanza, but þars in the prose order.

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lǫgðu ‘set’

leggja (verb): put, lay

[1] lǫgðu: sǫgðu 61

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leik ‘of the game’

1. leikr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ar): sport, play < leikmiðjungr (noun m.)1. leikr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ar): sport, play < leikmiðjungr (noun m.)

[2] leik‑: liðs‑ J1ˣ, leið‑ Bb

kennings

odda leikmiðjungar
‘game-miðjungar of arrow-points’
   = WARRIORS

the game of arrow-points → BATTLE
the miðjungar of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
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leik ‘of the game’

1. leikr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ar): sport, play < leikmiðjungr (noun m.)1. leikr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ar): sport, play < leikmiðjungr (noun m.)

[2] leik‑: liðs‑ J1ˣ, leið‑ Bb

kennings

odda leikmiðjungar
‘game-miðjungar of arrow-points’
   = WARRIORS

the game of arrow-points → BATTLE
the miðjungar of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
Close

miðjungar ‘the miðjungar

Miðjungr (noun m.; °; -ar): Miðjungr, giants < leikmiðjungr (noun m.)Miðjungr (noun m.; °; -ar): Miðjungr, giants < liðsmiðjungr (noun m.)Miðjungr (noun m.; °; -ar): Miðjungr, giants

[2] ‑miðjungar: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, ‑miðjungr Kˣ, ‘‑miðiu(nn)ar’(?) Bb

kennings

odda leikmiðjungar
‘game-miðjungar of arrow-points’
   = WARRIORS

the game of arrow-points → BATTLE
the miðjungar of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2] miðjungar ‘the miðjungar’: This word is mentioned in the Þulur (Þul Jǫtna I 6/4III) as a giant-heiti. However, it commonly appears as the base-word of warrior-kennings such as KormǪ Lv 30/4-5V (Korm 34) Hildar hreggmiðjungrmiðjungr of the storm of Hildr <valkyrie> [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’, where it cannot mean ‘giant’, because, according to Snorri (SnE 1998, I, 40), it would be an insult. This has led to the assumption that miðjungar are intermediaries between gods and giants (e.g. Meissner 348-50; LP: miðjungr).

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Þriðja ‘of Þriði’

þriði (num. ordinal): third

kennings

Þrymr logs Þriðja
‘The din of the fire of Þriði ’
   = BATTLE

the fire of Þriði → SWORD
The din of the SWORD → BATTLE
Close

Þriðja ‘of Þriði’

þriði (num. ordinal): third

kennings

Þrymr logs Þriðja
‘The din of the fire of Þriði ’
   = BATTLE

the fire of Þriði → SWORD
The din of the SWORD → BATTLE
Close

arn ‘the eagle’

1. ǫrn (noun m.; °arnar, dat. erni; ernir, acc. ǫrnu): eagle < arngreddir (noun m.)

kennings

arngreddir
‘the eagle-feeder ’
   = WARRIOR

the eagle-feeder → WARRIOR
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greddir ‘feeder’

greddir (noun m.): feeder < arngreddir (noun m.)

kennings

arngreddir
‘the eagle-feeder ’
   = WARRIOR

the eagle-feeder → WARRIOR
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oddu ‘’

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odda ‘of arrow-points’

oddr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): point of weapon

[3] odda: oddu J1ˣ, FskAˣ, oddum 61, 53, 54, Bb

kennings

odda leikmiðjungar
‘game-miðjungar of arrow-points’
   = WARRIORS

the game of arrow-points → BATTLE
the miðjungar of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
Close

odda ‘of arrow-points’

oddr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): point of weapon

[3] odda: oddu J1ˣ, FskAˣ, oddum 61, 53, 54, Bb

kennings

odda leikmiðjungar
‘game-miðjungar of arrow-points’
   = WARRIORS

the game of arrow-points → BATTLE
the miðjungar of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
Close

and ‘’

[4] and‑: ‘aund‑’ FskAˣ

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saman ‘together’

saman (adv.): together

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randir ‘shields’

rǫnd (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; rendr/randir): shield, shield-rim

[4] randir: randi or ‘randr’ J1ˣ

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sun ‘’

Close

Sund ‘of the channel’

sund (noun n.; °-s; -): sound, strait; swimming < sundfaxi (noun m.)

[5] Sund‑: ‘sun‑’ FskBˣ

kennings

Sœki-Þróttr sundfaxa
‘The attacking-Þróttr of the channel-horses ’
   = SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl

the channel-horses → SHIPS
The attacking-Þróttr of SHIPS → SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl
Close

Sund ‘of the channel’

sund (noun n.; °-s; -): sound, strait; swimming < sundfaxi (noun m.)

[5] Sund‑: ‘sun‑’ FskBˣ

kennings

Sœki-Þróttr sundfaxa
‘The attacking-Þróttr of the channel-horses ’
   = SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl

the channel-horses → SHIPS
The attacking-Þróttr of SHIPS → SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl
Close

faxa ‘horses’

faxi (noun m.): steed < sundfaxi (noun m.)faxi (noun m.): steed

[5] ‑faxa: ‘‑(?)axa’(?) 54

kennings

Sœki-Þróttr sundfaxa
‘The attacking-Þróttr of the channel-horses ’
   = SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl

the channel-horses → SHIPS
The attacking-Þróttr of SHIPS → SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl
Close

faxa ‘horses’

faxi (noun m.): steed < sundfaxi (noun m.)faxi (noun m.): steed

[5] ‑faxa: ‘‑(?)axa’(?) 54

kennings

Sœki-Þróttr sundfaxa
‘The attacking-Þróttr of the channel-horses ’
   = SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl

the channel-horses → SHIPS
The attacking-Þróttr of SHIPS → SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl
Close

sœki ‘The attacking’

sœkir (noun m.): attacker < sœkiþróttr (noun m.)sœkir (noun m.): attacker

[6] sœki‑: lœki‑ 54

kennings

Sœki-Þróttr sundfaxa
‘The attacking-Þróttr of the channel-horses ’
   = SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl

the channel-horses → SHIPS
The attacking-Þróttr of SHIPS → SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl
Close

þróttir ‘’

Close

Þróttr ‘Þróttr’

þróttr (noun m.): strength, might, valour < sœkiþróttr (noun m.)þróttr (noun m.): strength, might, valour

[6] Þróttr: ‘þrottir’ FskAˣ

kennings

Sœki-Þróttr sundfaxa
‘The attacking-Þróttr of the channel-horses ’
   = SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl

the channel-horses → SHIPS
The attacking-Þróttr of SHIPS → SEA-WARRIOR = Hákon jarl
Close

þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

[7] þars (‘þar er’): ‘þar (uar)’ 54, þá er FskAˣ

notes

[7] þars svát ‘where’: Literally this collocation means ‘where it is so that ...’. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 165-6) views it as emphasising Hákon jarl’s preparedness for battle.

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svát ‘’

svát (conj.): so that, so as

[7] svát (‘svá at’): svá er Bb

notes

[7] þars svát ‘where’: Literally this collocation means ‘where it is so that ...’. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 165-6) views it as emphasising Hákon jarl’s preparedness for battle.

Close

gramr ‘the ruler’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

Close

gumnum ‘men’

gumi (noun m.; °-a; gumar/gumnar): man

[7] gumnum: ‘gunnum’ 61, 53, gumna FskBˣ, FskAˣ

Close

yr ‘’

[8] yr‑: ý‑ F, ó‑ J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb

notes

[8] yrþjóðum ‘against the troops’: This refers to the aggressors, the army of Emperor Otto II. On yrþjóð see Note to st. 21/8.

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þjóðum ‘the troops’

þjóð (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -/-u; -ir): people < yrþjóð (noun f.): mankindþjóð (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -/-u; -ir): people < óþjóð (noun f.): evildoer, evil tribeþjóð (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -/-u; -ir): people < ýþjóð (noun f.)

notes

[8] yrþjóðum ‘against the troops’: This refers to the aggressors, the army of Emperor Otto II. On yrþjóð see Note to st. 21/8.

Close

varði ‘defended’

3. verja (verb): defend

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

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.

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