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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 viti ǫld und einum
jarðbyggvi svá liggja
— þat skyli herr of hugsa —
hjarl sextían jarla?
Þess ríðr fúrs með fjórum
folkleikr Heðins reikar
logskundaðar lindar
lofkenndr himins endum.

Hvar viti ǫld hjarl sextían jarla liggja svá und {einum jarðbyggvi}? Herr skyli of hugsa þat. {Lofkenndr folkleikr} {fúrs reikar Heðins} {þess {lindar log}skundaðar} ríðr með fjórum endum himins.

Where would people know of the territory of sixteen jarls lying in such a way under {one land-owner} [RULER]? The army ought to consider that. {The renowned army-game} [BATTLE] {of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero>} [SWORD] {of that impeller {of the fire of the spring}} [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] spreads along the four ends of the sky.

Mss: (165r), 39(8vb), F(27vb), J1ˣ(99v), J2ˣ(92r) (Hkr); 61(21ra), 54(17vb), Bb(28rb), Flat(28va) (ÓT, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [1] viti: vit 39, veit F, ‘vit(ut)’(?) Bb;    ǫld und: ‘olld(ot)’(?) Bb;    einum: ǫðrum 61, eldi 54, Bb    [2] jarð‑: jarl‑ Bb;    ‑byggvi: ‑byggvis 39, F, J1ˣ, 61, ‘‑byggis’ 54, Bb, ‘‑ygg(uis)’(?) Flat    [3] þat: þar Flat;    skyli: ‘(s)kyli’(?) 39, skuli Bb, Flat;    herr: hver Bb    [4] hjarl: so F, J1ˣ, hjarl ok Kˣ, J2ˣ, ‘hjall’ 39, hjarli 61, 54, Bb, ‘harli’ Flat;    jarla: jarlar 61    [7] logskundaðar: ‘lugscunnaðar’ 39, ‘lungs vnnadar’ F;    lindar: linna F

Editions: Skj AI, 131, Skj BI, 124, Skald I, 69, NN §§1887, 2240A, C; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 342-3, IV, 91, ÍF 26, 290, Hkr 1991, I, 195 (ch. 45), F 1871, 126; Fms 1, 187, Fms 12, 46, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 204 (ch. 93); Flat 1860-8, I, 216.

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

Notes: [All]: 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. — [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. — [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. — [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). — [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. — [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. — [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.

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. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  13. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  14. Jón Þorkelsson [J. Thorkelsson]. 1884. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i versene i Heimskringla’. Aftryk af oversigt over det kgl. danske videnskabs selskabs forhandlinger 1884. Copenhagen: Luno.
  15. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  16. Olsen, Magnus. 1962a. Edda- og Skaldekvad. Forarbeider til kommentar. VI. Eyvindr Skáldaspillir, Glúmr Geirason, Einarr Skálaglamm. Avhandlingar utgitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo II. Hist.-filos. kl. new ser. 4. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
  17. Finnur Jónsson. 1891a. ‘Vellekla: Tekstkritiske bemærkninger’. ÅNOH, 147-82.
  18. Indrebø, Gustav. 1931. Fylke og fylkesnamn. Bergens Museums Årbok 1931, Hist.-ant. rekke nr. 1. Bergen: Grieg.
  19. Koht, Halvdan. 1921b. Innhogg og utsyn i norsk historie. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug & Co (W. Nygaard).
  20. Internal references
  21. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Poem about Magnús lagabœtir 3’ 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, p. 811.
  22. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Þórsdrápa 12’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 101.
  23. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 11’ 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. 210.
  24. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, Sigurðardrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 277.
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