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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 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.

Mss: (147v-148r), F(24va), J1ˣ(87r), J2ˣ(81v) (Hkr); 61(14vb), 53(13ra), 54(9rb-va), Bb(19va-b) (ÓT); FskBˣ(21r-v), FskAˣ(83) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] varð: var F, FskBˣ, við J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb;    logs: ‘lǫgs’ 53;    þars (‘þar er’): er J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, ór Bb;    lǫgðu: sǫgðu 61    [2] leik‑: liðs‑ J1ˣ, leið‑ Bb;    ‑miðjungar: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, ‑miðjungr Kˣ, ‘‑miðiu(nn)ar’(?) Bb    [3] odda: oddu J1ˣ, FskAˣ, oddum 61, 53, 54, Bb    [4] and‑: ‘aund‑’ FskAˣ;    randir: randi or ‘randr’ J1ˣ    [5] Sund‑: ‘sun‑’ FskBˣ;    ‑faxa: ‘‑(?)axa’(?) 54    [6] sœki‑: lœki‑ 54;    Þróttr: ‘þrottir’ FskAˣ    [7] þars (‘þar er’): ‘þar (uar)’ 54, þá er FskAˣ;    svát (‘svá at’): svá er Bb;    gumnum: ‘gunnum’ 61, 53, gumna FskBˣ, FskAˣ    [8] yr‑: ý‑ F, ó‑ J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 129, Skj 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).

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.

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

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. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  11. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  12. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  13. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  14. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  15. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  16. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  17. Vell 1865 = Freudenthal, Axel Olof. 1865. Einar Skålaglams Vellekla / öfversatt och förklarad af Axel Olof Freudenthal. Helsingfors: Frenckell.
  18. Bolin, Sture. 1931. ‘Danmark och Tyskland under Harald Gormsson’. Scandia 4, 184-209.
  19. Ussing, Henrik. 1928. ‘Harald Blaatand og Danevirke’. In Brøndum-Nielsen et al. 1928, 140-56.
  20. Skovgaard-Petersen, Inge. 1977. ‘Oldtid og vikingetid’. In Christensen 1977-92, I: Tiden indtil 1340, ed. Aksel E. Christensen et al., 15-209.
  21. Internal references
  22. 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].
  23. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  24. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  25. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Jǫtna heiti I 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 716.
  26. Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla’ 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. 280.
  27. Not published: do not cite (KormǪ Lv 30V (Korm 34))
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