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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 32I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 32’ 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. 323.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
313233

Hvar ‘Where’

hvar (adv.): where

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vituð ‘’

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viti ‘know’

1. vita (verb): know

[1] viti: vit 39, veit F, ‘vit(ut)’(?) Bb

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ǫllduð ‘’

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ǫld ‘people’

ǫld (noun f.; °; aldir): people, age

[1] ǫld und: ‘olld(ot)’(?) Bb

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und ‘under’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[1] ǫld und: ‘olld(ot)’(?) Bb

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einum ‘one’

2. einn (pron.; °decl. cf. einn num.): one, alone

[1] einum: ǫðrum 61, eldi 54, Bb

kennings

einum jarðbyggvi?
‘one land-owner? ’
   = RULER

one land-owner? → RULER
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jarð ‘land’

jǫrð (noun f.; °jarðar, dat. -u; jarðir/jarðar(DN I (1367) 304Š)): ground, earth < jarðbyggvir (noun m.)jǫrð (noun f.; °jarðar, dat. -u; jarðir/jarðar(DN I (1367) 304Š)): ground, earth < jarðbyggvir (noun m.)

[2] jarð‑: jarl‑ Bb

kennings

einum jarðbyggvi?
‘one land-owner? ’
   = RULER

one land-owner? → RULER

notes

[2] jarðbyggvi ‘land-owner [RULER]’: According to Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: jarðbyggvir) Hákon jarl is referred to here as a free farmer (odelsbonde), since he is only a jarl, not a king. Olsen (1962a, 50) suggests the sense ‘landlord’ (based on byggja ‘to loan, let’; see Fritzner: byggja 2). However, in the context of praise of the scope of Hákon’s rule, it is better to understand jarðbyggvir as a kenning of the type jarðhljótr ‘landowner’ (KormǪ Sigdr 3/2III) or jarðráðandi ‘land-ruler’ (Eyv Hál 11/7, Anon Mlag 3/4II). ÍF 26 adopts the gen. sg. jarðbyggvis given by all except the main ms. , and combines it with herr ‘host’ from the intercalary clause. This results in unnecessarily complicated syntax.

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byggvis ‘’

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byggvis ‘’

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byggvi ‘owner’

byggvir (noun m.): dweller < jarðbyggvir (noun m.)

[2] ‑byggvi: ‑byggvis 39, F, J1ˣ, 61, ‘‑byggis’ 54, Bb, ‘‑ygg(uis)’(?) Flat

kennings

einum jarðbyggvi?
‘one land-owner? ’
   = RULER

one land-owner? → RULER

notes

[2] jarðbyggvi ‘land-owner [RULER]’: According to Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: jarðbyggvir) Hákon jarl is referred to here as a free farmer (odelsbonde), since he is only a jarl, not a king. Olsen (1962a, 50) suggests the sense ‘landlord’ (based on byggja ‘to loan, let’; see Fritzner: byggja 2). However, in the context of praise of the scope of Hákon’s rule, it is better to understand jarðbyggvir as a kenning of the type jarðhljótr ‘landowner’ (KormǪ Sigdr 3/2III) or jarðráðandi ‘land-ruler’ (Eyv Hál 11/7, Anon Mlag 3/4II). ÍF 26 adopts the gen. sg. jarðbyggvis given by all except the main ms. , and combines it with herr ‘host’ from the intercalary clause. This results in unnecessarily complicated syntax.

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svá ‘in such a way’

svá (adv.): so, thus

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liggja ‘lying’

liggja (verb): lie

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skyli ‘ought to’

skulu (verb): shall, should, must

[3] skyli: ‘(s)kyli’(?) 39, skuli Bb, Flat

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hugsa ‘consider’

hugsa (verb): consider

notes

[3] hugsa ‘consider’: Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 57) believes the verb hugsa and the verbal noun hugsan not to have been in use before 1200-60, and suggests (ibid., 59) that the verb heyra ‘to hear’ would be fitting instead, as this would result in a skothending. Finnur Jónsson (1891a, 321-2) correctly rejects this.

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harli ‘’

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hjarl ‘of the territory’

hjarl (noun n.): land

[4] hjarl: so F, J1ˣ, hjarl ok Kˣ, J2ˣ, ‘hjall’ 39, hjarli 61, 54, Bb, ‘harli’ Flat

notes

[4] hjarl sextían jarla ‘of the territory of sixteen jarls’: It is uncertain whether the territory of a jarl corresponds to a fylki (see Note to st. 13/1). Snorri seems to have understood it this way (see Context). Historians’ opinions on the issue vary, not least because Hákon jarl is reported to have ruled seventeen fylki (eleven in Þrœndalǫg, six in Gulaþingslǫg); on this see Koht (1921b, 97-8 n. 2; Indrebø 1931, 44; Olsen 1962a, 50).

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sextían ‘of sixteen’

sextán (num. cardinal): sixteen

notes

[4] hjarl sextían jarla ‘of the territory of sixteen jarls’: It is uncertain whether the territory of a jarl corresponds to a fylki (see Note to st. 13/1). Snorri seems to have understood it this way (see Context). Historians’ opinions on the issue vary, not least because Hákon jarl is reported to have ruled seventeen fylki (eleven in Þrœndalǫg, six in Gulaþingslǫg); on this see Koht (1921b, 97-8 n. 2; Indrebø 1931, 44; Olsen 1962a, 50).

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jarla ‘jarls’

jarl (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): poet, earl

[4] jarla: jarlar 61

notes

[4] hjarl sextían jarla ‘of the territory of sixteen jarls’: It is uncertain whether the territory of a jarl corresponds to a fylki (see Note to st. 13/1). Snorri seems to have understood it this way (see Context). Historians’ opinions on the issue vary, not least because Hákon jarl is reported to have ruled seventeen fylki (eleven in Þrœndalǫg, six in Gulaþingslǫg); on this see Koht (1921b, 97-8 n. 2; Indrebø 1931, 44; Olsen 1962a, 50).

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Þess ‘of that’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

kennings

þess lindar logskundaðar
‘fire-impeller of the spring’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the fire of the spring → GOLD
that impeller of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[5] þess ‘of that’: This is regarded here as a demonstrative pron. and combined with logskundaðr (so also Skj B; ÍF 26). Kock (NN §1887B) instead interprets it as an adverbial use of the gen. of the demonstrative , meaning ‘therefore’; see also LP: 3.

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ríðr ‘spreads’

1. ríða (verb): ride

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fúrs ‘of the fire’

fúrr (noun m.): fire

kennings

fúrs reikar Heðins
‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn ’
   = SWORD

the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn → SWORD

notes

[5, 6] folkleikr fúrs reikar Heðins ‘army-game [BATTLE] of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero> [SWORD]’: (a) This edn follows Kock (NN §1887A), ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 in regarding this problematic phrase as an elaboration of the expression ‘sword-battle’, of which Kock (NN §1887) adduces some examples. ‘Battle’ is replaced by folkleikr ‘army-game’ while ‘sword’ is rendered by the phrase fúrs reikar Heðins ‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn’ and interpreted as ‘that which flames against the head of Heðinn’. Reik f. ‘parting of the hair, hair-parting’ functions as a pars pro toto expression for ‘head’. ‘Fire’ is one of the commonest base-words in sword-kennings, but it is not usually determined by the object that the sword injures (cf. Meissner 157-64). (b) A totally different interpretation which contains a more standard kenning is proposed by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 170-81; Skj B): reikar Heðins faldfúrsleikr ‘the game of the fire of the headgear of the head of Heðinn <legendary hero> [(lit. ‘headgear-fire-game of the head of Heðinn) HELMET > SWORD > BATTLE]’. This is problematic since it both includes an emendation of folk (all mss) to fald ‘headgear’ and configures the determinants in an unusual way, by inserting a freestanding noun from l. 5 (fúrs) between the two elements of a cpd l. 6 (faldleikr) to form fald-fúrs-leikr. There is a structurally similar kenning in Eil Þdr 12/8III Heðins reikar skálleik ‘the game of the bowl of the hair-parting of Heðinn [(lit. ‘bowl-game of the hair-parting of Heðinn’) HELMET > BATTLE]’, yet this does not match the extreme complexity assumed by Finnur Jónsson.

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með ‘along’

með (prep.): with

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folk ‘army’

folk (noun n.): people < faldleikr (noun m.)

kennings

Lofkenndr folkleikr
‘ The renowned army-game ’
   = BATTLE

The renowned army-game → BATTLE

notes

[5, 6] folkleikr fúrs reikar Heðins ‘army-game [BATTLE] of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero> [SWORD]’: (a) This edn follows Kock (NN §1887A), ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 in regarding this problematic phrase as an elaboration of the expression ‘sword-battle’, of which Kock (NN §1887) adduces some examples. ‘Battle’ is replaced by folkleikr ‘army-game’ while ‘sword’ is rendered by the phrase fúrs reikar Heðins ‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn’ and interpreted as ‘that which flames against the head of Heðinn’. Reik f. ‘parting of the hair, hair-parting’ functions as a pars pro toto expression for ‘head’. ‘Fire’ is one of the commonest base-words in sword-kennings, but it is not usually determined by the object that the sword injures (cf. Meissner 157-64). (b) A totally different interpretation which contains a more standard kenning is proposed by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 170-81; Skj B): reikar Heðins faldfúrsleikr ‘the game of the fire of the headgear of the head of Heðinn <legendary hero> [(lit. ‘headgear-fire-game of the head of Heðinn) HELMET > SWORD > BATTLE]’. This is problematic since it both includes an emendation of folk (all mss) to fald ‘headgear’ and configures the determinants in an unusual way, by inserting a freestanding noun from l. 5 (fúrs) between the two elements of a cpd l. 6 (faldleikr) to form fald-fúrs-leikr. There is a structurally similar kenning in Eil Þdr 12/8III Heðins reikar skálleik ‘the game of the bowl of the hair-parting of Heðinn [(lit. ‘bowl-game of the hair-parting of Heðinn’) HELMET > BATTLE]’, yet this does not match the extreme complexity assumed by Finnur Jónsson.

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leikr ‘game’

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

kennings

Lofkenndr folkleikr
‘ The renowned army-game ’
   = BATTLE

The renowned army-game → BATTLE

notes

[5, 6] folkleikr fúrs reikar Heðins ‘army-game [BATTLE] of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero> [SWORD]’: (a) This edn follows Kock (NN §1887A), ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 in regarding this problematic phrase as an elaboration of the expression ‘sword-battle’, of which Kock (NN §1887) adduces some examples. ‘Battle’ is replaced by folkleikr ‘army-game’ while ‘sword’ is rendered by the phrase fúrs reikar Heðins ‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn’ and interpreted as ‘that which flames against the head of Heðinn’. Reik f. ‘parting of the hair, hair-parting’ functions as a pars pro toto expression for ‘head’. ‘Fire’ is one of the commonest base-words in sword-kennings, but it is not usually determined by the object that the sword injures (cf. Meissner 157-64). (b) A totally different interpretation which contains a more standard kenning is proposed by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 170-81; Skj B): reikar Heðins faldfúrsleikr ‘the game of the fire of the headgear of the head of Heðinn <legendary hero> [(lit. ‘headgear-fire-game of the head of Heðinn) HELMET > SWORD > BATTLE]’. This is problematic since it both includes an emendation of folk (all mss) to fald ‘headgear’ and configures the determinants in an unusual way, by inserting a freestanding noun from l. 5 (fúrs) between the two elements of a cpd l. 6 (faldleikr) to form fald-fúrs-leikr. There is a structurally similar kenning in Eil Þdr 12/8III Heðins reikar skálleik ‘the game of the bowl of the hair-parting of Heðinn [(lit. ‘bowl-game of the hair-parting of Heðinn’) HELMET > BATTLE]’, yet this does not match the extreme complexity assumed by Finnur Jónsson.

Close

Heðins ‘of Heðinn’

2. Heðinn (noun m.): [Heðinn, champions]

kennings

fúrs reikar Heðins
‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn ’
   = SWORD

the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn → SWORD

notes

[5, 6] folkleikr fúrs reikar Heðins ‘army-game [BATTLE] of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero> [SWORD]’: (a) This edn follows Kock (NN §1887A), ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 in regarding this problematic phrase as an elaboration of the expression ‘sword-battle’, of which Kock (NN §1887) adduces some examples. ‘Battle’ is replaced by folkleikr ‘army-game’ while ‘sword’ is rendered by the phrase fúrs reikar Heðins ‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn’ and interpreted as ‘that which flames against the head of Heðinn’. Reik f. ‘parting of the hair, hair-parting’ functions as a pars pro toto expression for ‘head’. ‘Fire’ is one of the commonest base-words in sword-kennings, but it is not usually determined by the object that the sword injures (cf. Meissner 157-64). (b) A totally different interpretation which contains a more standard kenning is proposed by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 170-81; Skj B): reikar Heðins faldfúrsleikr ‘the game of the fire of the headgear of the head of Heðinn <legendary hero> [(lit. ‘headgear-fire-game of the head of Heðinn) HELMET > SWORD > BATTLE]’. This is problematic since it both includes an emendation of folk (all mss) to fald ‘headgear’ and configures the determinants in an unusual way, by inserting a freestanding noun from l. 5 (fúrs) between the two elements of a cpd l. 6 (faldleikr) to form fald-fúrs-leikr. There is a structurally similar kenning in Eil Þdr 12/8III Heðins reikar skálleik ‘the game of the bowl of the hair-parting of Heðinn [(lit. ‘bowl-game of the hair-parting of Heðinn’) HELMET > BATTLE]’, yet this does not match the extreme complexity assumed by Finnur Jónsson.

Close

reikar ‘of the hair-parting’

1. reik (noun f.; °-ar; -r): hair-parting

kennings

fúrs reikar Heðins
‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn ’
   = SWORD

the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn → SWORD

notes

[5, 6] folkleikr fúrs reikar Heðins ‘army-game [BATTLE] of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero> [SWORD]’: (a) This edn follows Kock (NN §1887A), ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 in regarding this problematic phrase as an elaboration of the expression ‘sword-battle’, of which Kock (NN §1887) adduces some examples. ‘Battle’ is replaced by folkleikr ‘army-game’ while ‘sword’ is rendered by the phrase fúrs reikar Heðins ‘of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn’ and interpreted as ‘that which flames against the head of Heðinn’. Reik f. ‘parting of the hair, hair-parting’ functions as a pars pro toto expression for ‘head’. ‘Fire’ is one of the commonest base-words in sword-kennings, but it is not usually determined by the object that the sword injures (cf. Meissner 157-64). (b) A totally different interpretation which contains a more standard kenning is proposed by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 170-81; Skj B): reikar Heðins faldfúrsleikr ‘the game of the fire of the headgear of the head of Heðinn <legendary hero> [(lit. ‘headgear-fire-game of the head of Heðinn) HELMET > SWORD > BATTLE]’. This is problematic since it both includes an emendation of folk (all mss) to fald ‘headgear’ and configures the determinants in an unusual way, by inserting a freestanding noun from l. 5 (fúrs) between the two elements of a cpd l. 6 (faldleikr) to form fald-fúrs-leikr. There is a structurally similar kenning in Eil Þdr 12/8III Heðins reikar skálleik ‘the game of the bowl of the hair-parting of Heðinn [(lit. ‘bowl-game of the hair-parting of Heðinn’) HELMET > BATTLE]’, yet this does not match the extreme complexity assumed by Finnur Jónsson.

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lugs ‘’

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log ‘of the fire’

log (noun n.; °; -): flame < logskundaðr (noun m.)

[7] logskundaðar: ‘lugscunnaðar’ 39, ‘lungs vnnadar’ F

kennings

þess lindar logskundaðar
‘fire-impeller of the spring’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the fire of the spring → GOLD
that impeller of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[7] lindar logskundaðar ‘of the impeller of the fire of the spring [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: The kenning can be interpreted one of three ways depending on whether lind means ‘spring’, ‘shield’ or ‘ship’: (a) ‘impeller of the fire of the spring [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; (b) ‘impeller of the fire of the shield [SWORD > WARRIOR]’; (c) reading lindar lǫgskundaðar, ‘impeller of the lime-tree of the water [SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR]’. The stanza’s context is the only decisive factor: (a) appears the best solution, and is chosen in this edn, as in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B, because Hákon jarl is being praised as a powerful ruler.

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log ‘of the fire’

log (noun n.; °; -): flame < logskundaðr (noun m.)

[7] logskundaðar: ‘lugscunnaðar’ 39, ‘lungs vnnadar’ F

kennings

þess lindar logskundaðar
‘fire-impeller of the spring’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the fire of the spring → GOLD
that impeller of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[7] lindar logskundaðar ‘of the impeller of the fire of the spring [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: The kenning can be interpreted one of three ways depending on whether lind means ‘spring’, ‘shield’ or ‘ship’: (a) ‘impeller of the fire of the spring [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; (b) ‘impeller of the fire of the shield [SWORD > WARRIOR]’; (c) reading lindar lǫgskundaðar, ‘impeller of the lime-tree of the water [SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR]’. The stanza’s context is the only decisive factor: (a) appears the best solution, and is chosen in this edn, as in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B, because Hákon jarl is being praised as a powerful ruler.

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kunnaðar ‘’

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skundaðar ‘impeller’

skundaðr (noun m.): hastener < logskundaðr (noun m.)

[7] logskundaðar: ‘lugscunnaðar’ 39, ‘lungs vnnadar’ F

kennings

þess lindar logskundaðar
‘fire-impeller of the spring’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the fire of the spring → GOLD
that impeller of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[7] lindar logskundaðar ‘of the impeller of the fire of the spring [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: The kenning can be interpreted one of three ways depending on whether lind means ‘spring’, ‘shield’ or ‘ship’: (a) ‘impeller of the fire of the spring [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; (b) ‘impeller of the fire of the shield [SWORD > WARRIOR]’; (c) reading lindar lǫgskundaðar, ‘impeller of the lime-tree of the water [SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR]’. The stanza’s context is the only decisive factor: (a) appears the best solution, and is chosen in this edn, as in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B, because Hákon jarl is being praised as a powerful ruler.

Close

lindar ‘of the spring’

2. lind (noun f.)

[7] lindar: linna F

kennings

þess lindar logskundaðar
‘fire-impeller of the spring’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the fire of the spring → GOLD
that impeller of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[7] lindar logskundaðar ‘of the impeller of the fire of the spring [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: The kenning can be interpreted one of three ways depending on whether lind means ‘spring’, ‘shield’ or ‘ship’: (a) ‘impeller of the fire of the spring [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; (b) ‘impeller of the fire of the shield [SWORD > WARRIOR]’; (c) reading lindar lǫgskundaðar, ‘impeller of the lime-tree of the water [SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR]’. The stanza’s context is the only decisive factor: (a) appears the best solution, and is chosen in this edn, as in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B, because Hákon jarl is being praised as a powerful ruler.

Close

lindar ‘of the spring’

2. lind (noun f.)

[7] lindar: linna F

kennings

þess lindar logskundaðar
‘fire-impeller of the spring’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the fire of the spring → GOLD
that impeller of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[7] lindar logskundaðar ‘of the impeller of the fire of the spring [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: The kenning can be interpreted one of three ways depending on whether lind means ‘spring’, ‘shield’ or ‘ship’: (a) ‘impeller of the fire of the spring [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; (b) ‘impeller of the fire of the shield [SWORD > WARRIOR]’; (c) reading lindar lǫgskundaðar, ‘impeller of the lime-tree of the water [SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR]’. The stanza’s context is the only decisive factor: (a) appears the best solution, and is chosen in this edn, as in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B, because Hákon jarl is being praised as a powerful ruler.

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lof ‘’

lof (noun n.; °-s; -): praise, leave, permission < lofkenndr (adj./verb p.p.): [praise-renowned]

kennings

Lofkenndr folkleikr
‘ The renowned army-game ’
   = BATTLE

The renowned army-game → BATTLE
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kenndr ‘The renowned’

kenndr (adj./verb p.p.): renowned < lofkenndr (adj./verb p.p.): [praise-renowned]

kennings

Lofkenndr folkleikr
‘ The renowned army-game ’
   = BATTLE

The renowned army-game → BATTLE
Close

endum ‘ends’

endi (noun m.): end

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

Hákon jarl is said to have ruled sixteen districts (fylki), delegating power to sixteen jarls – a system instituted by King Haraldr hárfagri.

The first helmingr lacks hendingar in ll. 1 and 3, and l. 2 has a skothending instead of an aðalhending, while the second helmingr has regular hendingar. But emendation for the sole purpose of achieving well-formed hendingar (as for instance by Jón Þorkelsson, 1884, 57) is not justified.

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