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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 7I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 7’ 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. 205.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHáleygjatal
678

Hǫgna ‘of Hǫgni’

Hǫgni (noun m.): [Hǫgni, Högni]

kennings

viðr meyjar Hǫgna,
‘tree of the maiden of Hǫgni, ’
   = WARRIOR

the maiden of Hǫgni, → Hildr
tree of HILDR → WARRIOR
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Hǫgna ‘of Hǫgni’

Hǫgni (noun m.): [Hǫgni, Högni]

kennings

viðr meyjar Hǫgna,
‘tree of the maiden of Hǫgni, ’
   = WARRIOR

the maiden of Hǫgni, → Hildr
tree of HILDR → WARRIOR
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meyjar ‘of the maiden’

mær (noun f.; °meyjar, dat. meyju; meyjar): maiden

kennings

viðr meyjar Hǫgna,
‘tree of the maiden of Hǫgni, ’
   = WARRIOR

the maiden of Hǫgni, → Hildr
tree of HILDR → WARRIOR
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meyjar ‘of the maiden’

mær (noun f.; °meyjar, dat. meyju; meyjar): maiden

kennings

viðr meyjar Hǫgna,
‘tree of the maiden of Hǫgni, ’
   = WARRIOR

the maiden of Hǫgni, → Hildr
tree of HILDR → WARRIOR
Close

viðr ‘tree’

1. viðr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ir, acc. -u/-i): wood, tree

kennings

viðr meyjar Hǫgna,
‘tree of the maiden of Hǫgni, ’
   = WARRIOR

the maiden of Hǫgni, → Hildr
tree of HILDR → WARRIOR
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vápn ‘weapon’

vápn (noun n.; °-s; -): weapon < vápnberr (adj.)vápn (noun n.; °-s; -): weapon < vápn (noun n.): weapon

notes

[3] vápnberr ‘weapon-bare’: Presumably this means ‘bare of, i.e. lacking, a weapon’, though an alternative might be ‘bare/exposed before the weapons [of his enemies]’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: vápnberr; ÍF 26; ÍF 29; Hkr 1991). Finnur Jónsson interprets this as våbnbidt ‘weapon-bitten’ in Skj B, but without justification. The cpd is a hap. leg., which together with the reference to Freyr in l. 7 makes it conceivable that there is an allusion to Freyr’s lacking his sword in the fight against Beli (cf. Note to st. 3/3) and at Ragnarǫk, caused by his lending it to Skírnir to assist in the wooing of Gerðr (SnE 2005, 31-2; Simek 1993, 91). Hákon’s lack of a weapon is not explained in the stanza or the prose.

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berr ‘bare’

2. berr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): bare < vápnberr (adj.)

[3] ‑berr: ‘bær’ FskBˣ

notes

[3] vápnberr ‘weapon-bare’: Presumably this means ‘bare of, i.e. lacking, a weapon’, though an alternative might be ‘bare/exposed before the weapons [of his enemies]’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: vápnberr; ÍF 26; ÍF 29; Hkr 1991). Finnur Jónsson interprets this as våbnbidt ‘weapon-bitten’ in Skj B, but without justification. The cpd is a hap. leg., which together with the reference to Freyr in l. 7 makes it conceivable that there is an allusion to Freyr’s lacking his sword in the fight against Beli (cf. Note to st. 3/3) and at Ragnarǫk, caused by his lending it to Skírnir to assist in the wooing of Gerðr (SnE 2005, 31-2; Simek 1993, 91). Hákon’s lack of a weapon is not explained in the stanza or the prose.

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[6] í: om. FskBˣ

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odda ‘of points’

oddr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): point of weapon

kennings

gný odda
‘the din of points ’
   = BATTLE

the din of points → BATTLE
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gný ‘the din’

gnýr (noun m.): din, tumult

kennings

gný odda
‘the din of points ’
   = BATTLE

the din of points → BATTLE
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áttugr ‘’

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Freys ‘of Freyr’

Freyr (noun m.): (a god)

kennings

ôttungr Freys
‘the kinsman of Freyr ’
   = Hákon

the kinsman of Freyr → Hákon
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ôttungr ‘the kinsman’

1. áttungr (noun m.; °; -ar): kinsman

[7] ôttungr: ‘attughr’ FskAˣ

kennings

ôttungr Freys
‘the kinsman of Freyr ’
   = Hákon

the kinsman of Freyr → Hákon

notes

[7] ôttungr Freys ‘the kinsman of Freyr <god> [= Hákon]’: Hákon jarl Grjótgarðsson (see Context above). The identical phrase appears in Þjóð Yt 16/7. A close analogue is ôttung(r) Týs ‘kinsman of Týr’ in st. 10/7, with its counterpart in Þjóð Yt 14/3. Such kennings occur only in these two poems and in Eskál Vell. Similarly restricted in distribution is the theme of the divine ancestry of kings and jarls (Marold 1992, 699; cf. Bagge 2000, 33-6 on ). Presumably the kennings do not imply direct descent from Freyr or Týr (since Óðinn appears as progenitor in st. 1), but they do form part of a programme of implicit comparison with the Yngling kings (see Introduction). It is conceivable that the specific reference to Freyr hints at movement towards the Yngling territory of south-eastern Norway, where toponymic evidence suggests that the cult of Freyr was particularly strong (Brink 2007a, 109).

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á ‘at’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[8] á: at F

notes

[8] á Fjǫlum ‘at Fjaler’: Fjalir (Fjaler) is a fjord and the surrounding district, just north of Sognefjorden on the west coast of Norway.

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Fjǫlum ‘Fjaler’

Fjalir (noun f.): [Fjaler]

notes

[8] á Fjǫlum ‘at Fjaler’: Fjalir (Fjaler) is a fjord and the surrounding district, just north of Sognefjorden on the west coast of Norway.

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lagði ‘laid down’

leggja (verb): put, lay

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

Stanzas 7 and 8 are cited in uninterrupted succession. Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ places the district of Firðir (Fjordane) under the control of Hákon jarl Grjótgarðsson but when Hákon orders Atli jarl to release his control of Sogn Atli disputes this. He and Hákon join battle at Fjalir in Stafanessvágr (Fjaler, Stongfjorden), where Hákon is defeated and killed and Atli subsequently dies of his wounds.

[1-4]: Normally the warrior-kenning in ll. 2-3 is construed as in apposition to Hôkun, as in this edn. Apposition occurs sporadically elsewhere in Hál (see st. 13/1, 3). An alternative, with Hkr 1893-1901, IV, would be to take the kenning as subject of the rel. clause: Hôkon varð vápnberr, es viðr meyjar Hǫgna skyldi vega ‘Hákon became weapon-bare when the tree of Hǫgni’s maiden [Hákon, he] had to fight’. — [2] meyjar Hǫgna ‘of the maiden of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr “battle”)]’: An allusion to Hildr, who instigates the Hjaðningavíg ‘fight of the people of Heðinn’, conventionally referred to in scholarship as the ‘Everlasting Fight’; for the Hildr story see especially Bragi Rdr 8-12III. Hildr also occurs as a generalised name for valkyrie and, as here by ofljóst, a heiti for ‘battle’.

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