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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 34I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 34’ 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. 326.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
333435

sig ‘of the battle’

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

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
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sig ‘of the battle’

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

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
Close

bjarka ‘birches’

bjǫrk (noun f.): birch < sigbjǫrk (noun f.)

[1] ‑bjarka: ‑bjarkar A

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
Close

bjarka ‘birches’

bjǫrk (noun f.): birch < sigbjǫrk (noun f.)

[1] ‑bjarka: ‑bjarkar A

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
Close

serkir ‘shirts’

1. serkr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ir): shirt

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
Close

sóm ‘the bow’

sómr (noun m.): honourable < sómmiðjungr (noun m.)sómr (noun m.): honourable < sómniðjungr (noun m.)sómr (noun m.): honourable < sómmildingr (noun m.)

kennings

sómmiðjungum
‘the bow-miðjungar
   = WARRIORS

the bow-miðjungar → WARRIORS

notes

[2] sómmiðjungum ‘the bow-miðjungar [WARRIORS]’: On miðjungr see Note to st. 28/2. The first element sóm- has been subject to various interpretations. It could be sómr ‘bow’, sómi ‘honour’ or sómi ‘sword’ (LP: sómi, sómr; Þul Boga 1/4III, Þul Sverða 1/8III and Notes). (a) The absence of a connecting vowel between sóm- and -miðjungr favours the a-stem sómr ‘bow’ assumed here. (b) Because sómr ‘bow’ and sómi ‘sword’ are only attested in the þulur, Kock (NN §412) views sóm- as an embellishment in the sense of ‘honourable’, hence sómmiðjungr as the base-word of a warrior-kenning, with rómu Hars ‘the noise of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’ as its determinant.

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niðjungum ‘’

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miðjungummiðjungar

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

[2] ‑miðjungum: ‑niðjungum U, A, ‑mildingum C

kennings

sómmiðjungum
‘the bow-miðjungar
   = WARRIORS

the bow-miðjungar → WARRIORS

notes

[2] sómmiðjungum ‘the bow-miðjungar [WARRIORS]’: On miðjungr see Note to st. 28/2. The first element sóm- has been subject to various interpretations. It could be sómr ‘bow’, sómi ‘honour’ or sómi ‘sword’ (LP: sómi, sómr; Þul Boga 1/4III, Þul Sverða 1/8III and Notes). (a) The absence of a connecting vowel between sóm- and -miðjungr favours the a-stem sómr ‘bow’ assumed here. (b) Because sómr ‘bow’ and sómi ‘sword’ are only attested in the þulur, Kock (NN §412) views sóm- as an embellishment in the sense of ‘honourable’, hence sómmiðjungr as the base-word of a warrior-kenning, with rómu Hars ‘the noise of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’ as its determinant.

Close

rómu ‘in the noise’

róma (noun f.): battle

[2] rómu: ‘[…]o’ U

kennings

rómu Hôars.
‘in the noise of Hárr. ’
   = BATTLE

in the noise of Hárr. → BATTLE

notes

[2-3] rómu Hôars ‘in the noise of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: (a) This is taken here as a battle-kenning used adverbially to mean ‘in battle’ (so Faulkes, SnE 1998, I, 194). (b) As with st. 10/8 drífu Hôars ‘snow-storm of Hárr’, a temporal acc. is also possible (see Note). (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: róma 2) takes Hars as the base-word and the phrase as a warrior-kenning Hôars rómu ‘of the Hárr <= Óðinn> of battle’, a reference to the enemy and source of the showers of arrows. In this he is presumably following Konráð Gíslason (Nj 1875-8, II, 276 n. 243), who rejects rómu Hars as a battle-kenning because rómu itself can already signify ‘battle’. However, their view is contradicted by SnE, which cites this stanza to illustrate battle-kennings with base-words such as veðr ‘weather’ or gnýr ‘din’. Kock conjoins this kenning to sómmiðjungr (see Note to l. 2).

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Hôars ‘of Hárr’

Háarr (noun m.): [Hárr, Hôarr]

[3] Hôars: ‘has’ U

kennings

rómu Hôars.
‘in the noise of Hárr. ’
   = BATTLE

in the noise of Hárr. → BATTLE

notes

[2-3] rómu Hôars ‘in the noise of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: (a) This is taken here as a battle-kenning used adverbially to mean ‘in battle’ (so Faulkes, SnE 1998, I, 194). (b) As with st. 10/8 drífu Hôars ‘snow-storm of Hárr’, a temporal acc. is also possible (see Note). (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: róma 2) takes Hars as the base-word and the phrase as a warrior-kenning Hôars rómu ‘of the Hárr <= Óðinn> of battle’, a reference to the enemy and source of the showers of arrows. In this he is presumably following Konráð Gíslason (Nj 1875-8, II, 276 n. 243), who rejects rómu Hars as a battle-kenning because rómu itself can already signify ‘battle’. However, their view is contradicted by SnE, which cites this stanza to illustrate battle-kennings with base-words such as veðr ‘weather’ or gnýr ‘din’. Kock conjoins this kenning to sómmiðjungr (see Note to l. 2).

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haugnar ‘’

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Hǫgna ‘of Hǫgni’

Hǫgni (noun m.): [Hǫgni, Högni]

[3] Hǫgna: ‘haugnar’ C

kennings

skúrir Hǫgna
‘the showers of Hǫgni ’
   = ARROWS

the showers of Hǫgni → ARROWS
Close

skúrir ‘the showers’

1. skúr (noun f.; °; -ir): shower

kennings

skúrir Hǫgna
‘the showers of Hǫgni ’
   = ARROWS

the showers of Hǫgni → ARROWS
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hlæðu ‘’

Close

hleiðut ‘’

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hléðut ‘protect’

hlýja (verb): protect

[4] hléðut: ‘hleiþv(t)’(?) U, ‘hlæðu’ A

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fast ‘the firmly’

fast (adv.)

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
Close

of ‘’

4. of (particle): (before verb)

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
Close

seðit ‘’

Close

séðir ‘sewn’

séðr (adj./verb p.p.): [seamed, sewn]

[4] séðir: reiðir U, seðit C

kennings

fast of séðir serkir sigbjarka
‘the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches ’
   = ARMOUR

the battle-birches → WARRIORS
the firmly sewn shirts of WARRIORS → ARMOUR
Close

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 battle-kennings.

This dramatic moment in the battle against the Jómsvíkingar is also commemorated in Tindr Hákdr 1 and Hfr Hákdr 2III, and described by Snorri in Hkr (ÍF 26, 281). So many arrows get lodged in Hákon jarl’s armour that he is forced to remove it during the battle. These are likely to have been special arrow-heads capable of piercing armour and mail-shirts (see Paulsen 1999, 137-9).

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