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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 33I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 33’ 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. 325.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
323334

Hjalm ‘with helmet’

1. hjalmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): helmet < hjalmeldr (noun m.)1. hjalmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): helmet < hjalmfaldinn (adj./verb p.p.): helmet-clad

kennings

hjalmeldum.
‘with helmet-fires. ’
   = SWORDS

with helmet-fires. → SWORDS

notes

[1] hjalmeldum ‘with helmet-fires [SWORDS]’: Line 1 is corrupt in mss R, W and T, which apparently lack a word following hjalm. (a) This is where U and A have ‑faldinn, which most previous eds have chosen, giving adj. hjalmfaldinn ‘wearing a helmet’, qualifying Búi. (b) In Skj B Finnur Jónsson (following Nj 1875-8, II, 78) emends hjalmfaldinn to hjalmfǫldnum, qualifying Sigvalda (l. 2), but emendation is unnecessary. (c) However, none of the previous eds have observed that, whereas SnE cites the stanza as an example of kennings for weapons and armour, their suggested improvements to l. 1 leave the stanza without such a kenning. The original form of the stanza is probably preserved in ms. C, which here gives hjalmeldum ‘helmet-fires [SWORDS]’.

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eldum ‘fires’

eldr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-(HómÍsl¹‰(1993) 24v²⁴); -ar): fire < hjalmeldr (noun m.)

[1] ‑eldum: so C, om. R, Tˣ, W, ‑faldinn U, A

kennings

hjalmeldum.
‘with helmet-fires. ’
   = SWORDS

with helmet-fires. → SWORDS

notes

[1] hjalmeldum ‘with helmet-fires [SWORDS]’: Line 1 is corrupt in mss R, W and T, which apparently lack a word following hjalm. (a) This is where U and A have ‑faldinn, which most previous eds have chosen, giving adj. hjalmfaldinn ‘wearing a helmet’, qualifying Búi. (b) In Skj B Finnur Jónsson (following Nj 1875-8, II, 78) emends hjalmfaldinn to hjalmfǫldnum, qualifying Sigvalda (l. 2), but emendation is unnecessary. (c) However, none of the previous eds have observed that, whereas SnE cites the stanza as an example of kennings for weapons and armour, their suggested improvements to l. 1 leave the stanza without such a kenning. The original form of the stanza is probably preserved in ms. C, which here gives hjalmeldum ‘helmet-fires [SWORDS]’.

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berauð ‘’

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hildi ‘battle’

1. hildr (noun f.): battle

[1] hildi: ‘hildi olmum’ W, ‘h[...]i’ C

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hjaldr ‘fight’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle < hjaldrǫrr (adj.): [battle-eager one]

[2] hjaldr‑: ‘hi[...]lldr‑’ C

notes

[2] hjaldrǫrr ‘fight-eager’: It is possible to construe hjaldrǫrr with Búi (so NN §411), but placing it in the rel. clause where it qualifies hinns ... ‘who ...’ avoids unnecessary syntactic complication (so also Skj B, and see Reichardt 1928, 138).

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ǫrr ‘eager’

ǫrr (adj.): generous, brave < hjaldrǫrr (adj.): [battle-eager one]

notes

[2] hjaldrǫrr ‘fight-eager’: It is possible to construe hjaldrǫrr with Búi (so NN §411), but placing it in the rel. clause where it qualifies hinns ... ‘who ...’ avoids unnecessary syntactic complication (so also Skj B, and see Reichardt 1928, 138).

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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

[2] með: so C, om. R, ok Tˣ, W, U, A

notes

[2] með ‘with’: Although með is only found in ms. C (most give ok ‘and’), previous eds have selected it and construed með Sigvalda as part of the rel. clause. This is justified in the light of Sigvaldi’s probable status as the superior commander (see Note to l. 2 Sigvalda). Only Kock (NN §411) chooses ok Sigvaldi and places it in the main clause.

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Sig ‘Sig’

sigr (noun m.; °sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar): victory < Sigvaldi (noun m.): Sigvaldisigr (noun m.; °sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar): victory < Sigvaldi (noun m.): Sigvaldi

notes

[2] Sigvalda ‘Sigvaldi’: According to Hkr (ÍF 26, 272), Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson was the jarl of Jómsborg, a fortified viking settlement that lay near Wolin, Poland, and the commander of the Jómsvíkingar, a confederation of sea-warriors. Hkr (ÍF 26, 274) reports that he, at his father’s memorial feast, swears to kill or vanquish Hákon jarl. Other viking leaders take similar oaths, including Búi digri ‘the Stout’ Vésetason from Bornholm. They all go to Norway to prosecute their oath. The internal hierarchy among the vikings is never clarified, but Sigvaldi seems to be their leader, as he makes the first vow, and it is his fleet that attacks Hákon jarl’s.

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valdi ‘’

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valda ‘valdi’

(non-lexical) < Sigvaldi (noun m.): Sigvaldi

[2] ‑valda: so W, C, ‑valdi R, Tˣ, U, A

notes

[2] Sigvalda ‘Sigvaldi’: According to Hkr (ÍF 26, 272), Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson was the jarl of Jómsborg, a fortified viking settlement that lay near Wolin, Poland, and the commander of the Jómsvíkingar, a confederation of sea-warriors. Hkr (ÍF 26, 274) reports that he, at his father’s memorial feast, swears to kill or vanquish Hákon jarl. Other viking leaders take similar oaths, including Búi digri ‘the Stout’ Vésetason from Bornholm. They all go to Norway to prosecute their oath. The internal hierarchy among the vikings is never clarified, but Sigvaldi seems to be their leader, as he makes the first vow, and it is his fleet that attacks Hákon jarl’s.

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í ‘to’

í (prep.): in, into

[3] í gný: ‘ygni’ Tˣ

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ygni ‘’

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gný ‘the din’

gnýr (noun m.): din, tumult

[3] í gný: ‘ygni’ Tˣ

kennings

gný Gunnar,
‘the din of Gunnr, ’
   = BATTLE

the din of Gunnr, → BATTLE
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Gunnar ‘of Gunnr’

Gunnr (noun f.): Gunnr

[3] Gunnar: geira A

kennings

gný Gunnar,
‘the din of Gunnr, ’
   = BATTLE

the din of Gunnr, → BATTLE
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Búi ‘Búi’

3. Búi (noun m.): Búi

notes

[4] Búi: See Note to l. 2 Sigvalda.

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sunnan ‘from the south’

sunnan (adv.): (from the) south

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

The helmingr is cited in SnE (Skm) in a passage containing examples of kennings for weapons and other battle-gear.

Stanzas 33-4 concern the sea-battle between the Norwegian jarls and the Jómsvíkingar at Hjǫrungavágr (probably Liavågen, Møre og Romsdal, Norway, c. 985). For the battle and skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

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