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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 10I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 10’ 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. 208.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHáleygjatal
91011

Ok ǫðlingr
í ǫlun Njarðar
alnar orms
ófælinn varð
lífs of lattr,
þars landrekar
Týs ôttung
í tryggð sviku.

Ok ófælinn ǫðlingr varð of lattr lífs í ǫlun {Njarðar {orms alnar}}, þars landrekar sviku {ôttung Týs} í tryggð.

And the unflinching prince was deprived of life at the ale-feast {of the Njǫrðr <god> {of the serpent of the forearm}} [ARM-RING > MAN], where rulers of the land deceived {the kinsman of Týr <god>} [= Sigurðr] in the truce.

Mss: (112r-v), 39(3vb), F(19va-b), J2ˣ(64v), J1ˣ(67v) (Hkr); Bb(9va), Flat(8vb) (ÓT); FskBˣ(14v-15r), FskAˣ(64) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] ǫðlingr: ǫðlingi J2ˣ, ‘oðlingu’ J1ˣ    [2] í ǫlun: ǫlun J1ˣ, jólum Flat;    Njarðar: jarðar Kˣ, 39, F, J1ˣ, Flat, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, var Bb    [4] ófælinn: of alinn Flat;    varð: var J1ˣ, Bb, Flat    [5] lífs: so all others, líf Kˣ;    of (‘um’): af Flat;    lattr: látr J1ˣ, ‘late’ FskBˣ, ‘later’ FskAˣ    [6] þars (‘þar er’): om. Flat, þá er FskBˣ, FskAˣ;    landrekar: lofðungar J1ˣ    [7] Týs: tyrs Bb, Flat;    ôttung: so 39, F, J2ˣ, J1ˣ, Bb, FskAˣ, ‘attung i’ Kˣ, ‘att(nin)g’(?) Flat, ‘otrung’ FskBˣ    [8] tryggð: trygg J1ˣ;    sviku: svíkja Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 70, Skj BI, 61-2, Skald I, 38, NN §§1056, 2987A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 236, IV, 66, ÍF 26, 208, Hkr 1991, I, 138 (HGráf ch. 6), F 1871, 89; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 54 n. (ch. 34), Flat 1860-8, I, 64; Fsk 1902-3, 56 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 101 (ch. 14); Krause 1990, 187-91.

Context: As for st. 9 in Hkr, ÓT, Fsk.

Notes: [2] ǫlun ‘ale-feast’: This obscure word has caused difficulty in interpretation. (a) It is construed in this edn as dat. case of an otherwise unattested fem. noun *ǫlun ‘ale-drinking’, to be explained as a deverbative of a common type from *ǫlva ‘to ply with ale’ (Poole 2007b, 170-3). The inf. is not recorded but may be inferred from ǫlvaðr ‘drunk, inebriated’, and the 3rd pers. pres. indic. ǫlvir seems to be attested in Egill Lv 6/1V (Eg 10). A ModIcel. morphological counterpart is ölvun ‘intoxication, drunkenness’, where -v- reflects analogical reformation from the verb. For ale ceremonies or rituals, see ARG I, 425; Brink (1999a, 13) and cf. the account in Egils saga (ÍF 2, 108). The reading of Flat, jólum ‘at Yuletide’, refers to a kindred type of occasion. (b) Some previous eds (Kock NN §1056; ÍF 26; ÍF 29) construe ǫlun as acc. from ǫlunn m., the name of a fish, usually identified as ‘mackerel’, and retain ms. jarðar, also in l. 2. The kenning ǫlun jarðar ‘fish of the earth [SNAKE]’ is equated with the heiti linnr, which normally means ‘snake’ but also occurs as a heiti for ‘fire’ in Þul Elds 2/2III. Thus, by ofljóst, ǫlun jarðar would signify ‘fire’. This interpretation fits well with the mention of fire in the prose sources, but an ofljóst that hinges on linnr in the sense ‘fire’, unattested outside the þulur, is implausible; the acc. case, rather than the expected dat. (ǫlni) following í ‘in, at’, remains a problem (ÍF 26; ÍF 29); and this solution entails double alliteration (see Note to ll. 2-3). (c) Ǫlun f. is a variant form of ǫln, alin ‘forearm’, but would be difficult to accommodate in the stanza. (d) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) regarded the crux as insoluble. — [2-3] Njarðar orms alnar ‘of the Njǫrðr <god> of the serpent of the forearm [ARM-RING > MAN]’: (a) Previous eds retain ms. jarðar ‘of the earth’, the reading of all mss, and interpret it as part of an ofljóst expression for ‘fire’ (see Note to l. 2), while taking ǫðlingr orms alnar ‘prince of the serpent of the forearm [ARM-RING > GENEROUS MAN]’ together. However, ǫðlingr ‘prince’ normally stands alone rather than functioning as the base-word of a kenning. An alternative would be to read Jarðar orms alnar ‘of the Jǫrð <goddess> of the serpent of the forearm [ARM-RING > WOMAN]’. However, in either case retaining jarðar entails double alliteration in an even line, which is conventionally proscribed and scarcely to be paralleled in poetry before the late C12th (Poole 2007b, 173). (c) In this edn jarðar is therefore emended to Njarðar. Reduction of final -n in ǫlun and initial N- in Njarðar to single -n- could easily have arisen in transmission. The name Njǫrðr appears to have been especially prone to corruption by scribes; cf. Eyv Lv 2/1, where , F, and other mss have the erroneous norðr. The identity of the person referred to by the kenning remains unclear, but he might be the local magnate responsible for the feast (veizla). The arm-ring is perhaps mentioned pointedly, since such rings are associated not merely with personal affluence but also with ceremonies where pledges and oaths are taken (Olsen 1966, 48-9). — [5] of lattr lífs ‘deprived of life’: Cf. Þjóð Yt 12/3. — [6] landrekar ‘rulers of the land’: The Eiríkssynir or Gunnhildarsynir, sons of Eiríkr blóðøx and Queen Gunnhildr, to whom Hákon jarl owed tribute. — [7] ôttungr Týs ‘the kinsman of Týr <god> [= Sigurðr]’: The kenning echoes Þjóð Yt 14/3; and cf. Note to st. 7/7 above. — [8] sviku ... í tryggð ‘deceived ... in the truce’: For a linkage between the drinking of ale and the gaining of safe-conduct, a truce or sanctuary, cf. Eyv Hák 16.

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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. 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.
  6. ÍF 2 = Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar. Ed. Sigurður Nordal. 1933.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  13. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  14. Krause, Arnulf, ed. 1990. Die Dichtung des Eyvindr skáldaspillir: Edition-Kommentar-Untersuchungen. Altnordische Bibliothek 10. Leverkusen: Literaturverlag Norden Mark Reinhardt.
  15. Brink, Stefan. 1999a. ‘Fornskandinavisk religion – förhistoriskt samhälle. En bosättningshistorisk studie av centralorter i Norden’. In Drobin et al. 1999, 11-56.
  16. Olsen, Olaf. 1966. Hørg, hov og kirke. Historiske og arkæologiske vikingetidsstudier. Copenhagen: Gad.
  17. Poole, Russell. 2007b. ‘Myth and Ritual in Eyvindr skáldaspillir’s Háleygjatal’. In Quinn et al. 2007, 153-76.
  18. ARG = Vries, Jan de. 1956-7. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  19. Internal references
  20. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  21. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  22. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  23. Not published: do not cite (HGráfII)
  24. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Elds heiti 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 922.
  25. Not published: do not cite (Egill Lv 6V (Eg 10))
  26. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 16’ 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. 190.
  27. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 216.
  28. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 12’ 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. 28.
  29. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 14’ 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. 31.
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