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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 37I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 37’ 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. 329.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
3637

kostigr ‘virtued’

kostigr (adj.): splendid, virtued < fjǫlkostigr (adj.)

[1] ‑kostigr: ‘‑kost(ar)’(?) B, ‑kostir 744ˣ

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flestr ‘most’

fleiri (adj. comp.; °superl. flestr): more, most

[2] flestr: feðr U, ‘fl(via)’(?) B, flestu 744ˣ

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ræðr ‘control’

ráða (verb): advise, rule, interpret, decide

[2] ræðr: ráðr B

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við ‘with’

2. við (prep.): with, against

notes

[2] við son Bestlu ‘with the son of Bestla <giantess> [= Óðinn]’: The helmingr is one of the few attestations of the notion of a ruler having an obviously close, confidential relationship to Óðinn. It is reminiscent of the motif of the fulltrúi ‘one in whom one puts full confidence, patron deity’, on which see Halvorsen (1960) and Zernack (1998). The sagas of Icelanders contain several reports of people from the heathen period enjoying a special relationship with a god, e.g. the relationship of Hrafnkell or Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ to Freyr (Hrafnkels saga, ÍF 11, 99; Víga-Glúms saga, ÍF 9, 34). Whether such beliefs belonged to the religion of the late heathen period is controversial, and this stanza is relevant to the debate (as is Egill St 22-24V). Further comparisons can be made with legendary accounts of kings who are consecrated to Óðinn, who provides them special protection, e.g. Haraldr hilditǫnn ‘War-tooth’ Hræreksson in several C13th sources. The most elaborate account is in Saxo (2005, I, 7, 10, 3, pp. 492-5 and 2005, I, 7, 10, 6, pp. 494-7; cf. Höfler 1952b).

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son ‘the son’

sonr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. syni; synir, acc. sonu, syni): son

kennings

son Bestlu;
‘the son of Bestla; ’
   = Óðinn

the son of Bestla; → Óðinn

notes

[2] við son Bestlu ‘with the son of Bestla <giantess> [= Óðinn]’: The helmingr is one of the few attestations of the notion of a ruler having an obviously close, confidential relationship to Óðinn. It is reminiscent of the motif of the fulltrúi ‘one in whom one puts full confidence, patron deity’, on which see Halvorsen (1960) and Zernack (1998). The sagas of Icelanders contain several reports of people from the heathen period enjoying a special relationship with a god, e.g. the relationship of Hrafnkell or Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ to Freyr (Hrafnkels saga, ÍF 11, 99; Víga-Glúms saga, ÍF 9, 34). Whether such beliefs belonged to the religion of the late heathen period is controversial, and this stanza is relevant to the debate (as is Egill St 22-24V). Further comparisons can be made with legendary accounts of kings who are consecrated to Óðinn, who provides them special protection, e.g. Haraldr hilditǫnn ‘War-tooth’ Hræreksson in several C13th sources. The most elaborate account is in Saxo (2005, I, 7, 10, 3, pp. 492-5 and 2005, I, 7, 10, 6, pp. 494-7; cf. Höfler 1952b).

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beslu ‘’

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beslu ‘’

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Bestlu ‘of Bestla’

Bestla (noun f.): Bestla

[2] Bestlu: ‘bezlo’ U, ‘beslu’ B

kennings

son Bestlu;
‘the son of Bestla; ’
   = Óðinn

the son of Bestla; → Óðinn

notes

[2] Bestlu ‘of Bestla <giantess>’: See Note to Þul Kvenna II 1/5III. — [2] við son Bestlu ‘with the son of Bestla <giantess> [= Óðinn]’: The helmingr is one of the few attestations of the notion of a ruler having an obviously close, confidential relationship to Óðinn. It is reminiscent of the motif of the fulltrúi ‘one in whom one puts full confidence, patron deity’, on which see Halvorsen (1960) and Zernack (1998). The sagas of Icelanders contain several reports of people from the heathen period enjoying a special relationship with a god, e.g. the relationship of Hrafnkell or Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ to Freyr (Hrafnkels saga, ÍF 11, 99; Víga-Glúms saga, ÍF 9, 34). Whether such beliefs belonged to the religion of the late heathen period is controversial, and this stanza is relevant to the debate (as is Egill St 22-24V). Further comparisons can be made with legendary accounts of kings who are consecrated to Óðinn, who provides them special protection, e.g. Haraldr hilditǫnn ‘War-tooth’ Hræreksson in several C13th sources. The most elaborate account is in Saxo (2005, I, 7, 10, 3, pp. 492-5 and 2005, I, 7, 10, 6, pp. 494-7; cf. Höfler 1952b).

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Bestlu ‘of Bestla’

Bestla (noun f.): Bestla

[2] Bestlu: ‘bezlo’ U, ‘beslu’ B

kennings

son Bestlu;
‘the son of Bestla; ’
   = Óðinn

the son of Bestla; → Óðinn

notes

[2] Bestlu ‘of Bestla <giantess>’: See Note to Þul Kvenna II 1/5III. — [2] við son Bestlu ‘with the son of Bestla <giantess> [= Óðinn]’: The helmingr is one of the few attestations of the notion of a ruler having an obviously close, confidential relationship to Óðinn. It is reminiscent of the motif of the fulltrúi ‘one in whom one puts full confidence, patron deity’, on which see Halvorsen (1960) and Zernack (1998). The sagas of Icelanders contain several reports of people from the heathen period enjoying a special relationship with a god, e.g. the relationship of Hrafnkell or Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ to Freyr (Hrafnkels saga, ÍF 11, 99; Víga-Glúms saga, ÍF 9, 34). Whether such beliefs belonged to the religion of the late heathen period is controversial, and this stanza is relevant to the debate (as is Egill St 22-24V). Further comparisons can be made with legendary accounts of kings who are consecrated to Óðinn, who provides them special protection, e.g. Haraldr hilditǫnn ‘War-tooth’ Hræreksson in several C13th sources. The most elaborate account is in Saxo (2005, I, 7, 10, 3, pp. 492-5 and 2005, I, 7, 10, 6, pp. 494-7; cf. Höfler 1952b).

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tekit ‘begun’

2. taka (verb): take

[3] tekit hefk: so all others, væri R

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hefk ‘I have’

hafa (verb): have

[3] tekit hefk: so all others, væri R

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morðs ‘of the battle’

1. morð (noun n.; °-s; -): killing, battle

[3] morðs: morðr U

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mærðar ‘the praise’

mærð (noun f.): praise

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mæringr ‘famous men’

mæringr (noun m.): famous one

[4] mæringr: ‘mæring[...]’ B, mæringr 744ˣ

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an ‘than’

2. an (conj.): than

[4] an: ‘[...]’ B, en 744ˣ

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færa ‘less’

3. fár (adj.; °compar. fǽrri/fárri(Mág² 11ˆ), superl. fǽstr): few

[4] færa: ‘f(er)a’(?) U, ‘fæ᷎r[...]’ B, færa 744ˣ

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The stanza is preserved in SnE (Skm) among stanzas exemplifying kennings and heiti for Óðinn.

In Skj the stanza is presented as part of the poem’s introduction. This edn places it at the end of the poem because it does not fit the imagery of the introduction, and because it is uncertain whether Einarr skálaglamm is even its author. Whereas SnE cites the name of the skald in every other instance as Einarr skálaglamm, this stanza alone is attributed merely to an Einarr. — These four lines consist only of a dependent clause introduced by þvít ‘for, because’, and very probably form the second helmingr of an eight-line stanza. The first helmingr might have praised Hákon jarl for his power or his conquests.

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