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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 21I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 21’ 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. 193.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHákonarmál
2021

eyðisk ‘become deserted’

2. eyða (verb; °-dd-): destroy

notes

[3] land ok láð eyðisk ‘land and realm become deserted’: The combination of sg. verb eyðisk ‘become deserted’ with a coordinate subject is unproblematic (cf. Note to Anon Eirm 2/1-2), especially given that land ok láð ‘land and realm’ is a set phrase (Fritzner: láð).

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land ‘land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

notes

[3] land ok láð eyðisk ‘land and realm become deserted’: The combination of sg. verb eyðisk ‘become deserted’ with a coordinate subject is unproblematic (cf. Note to Anon Eirm 2/1-2), especially given that land ok láð ‘land and realm’ is a set phrase (Fritzner: láð).

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ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

notes

[3] land ok láð eyðisk ‘land and realm become deserted’: The combination of sg. verb eyðisk ‘become deserted’ with a coordinate subject is unproblematic (cf. Note to Anon Eirm 2/1-2), especially given that land ok láð ‘land and realm’ is a set phrase (Fritzner: láð).

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láð ‘realm’

2. láð (noun n.): earth, land

notes

[3] land ok láð eyðisk ‘land and realm become deserted’: The combination of sg. verb eyðisk ‘become deserted’ with a coordinate subject is unproblematic (cf. Note to Anon Eirm 2/1-2), especially given that land ok láð ‘land and realm’ is a set phrase (Fritzner: láð).

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síz ‘since’

síz (conj.): since

[4] síz: ‘siti’ F, síðan FskBˣ, 51ˣ, 302ˣ

notes

[4] síz ‘since’: The syntax of the stanza hinges on this conj. and can be construed in two main ways. (a) In the present edn, as in Skald, the subordinate clause introduced by síz (ll. 4-5) depends on the preceding clauses (ll. 1-3) rather than the following clause (l. 6), and l. 6 is a freestanding main clause. This is suggested by the word order of l. 6, which would be es mǫrg þjóð þéuð, lit. ‘is many nation enslaved’, with finite verb first, if preceded by a subordinate clause. (b) Most eds take ll. 1-3 and 4-6 as syntactically separate, with the síz-clause dependent on the main clause in l. 6. This reverses the normal order of main clause and subordinate clause, but occasional exceptions are found in both dróttkvætt and fornyrðislag (see Kuhn 1929b, 200; 1969). The parallels in Hávm 76-7, which have the main syntactic break between ll. 3 and 4, would seem to favour this analysis, but the syntactic point in (a) above is weighty.

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fór ‘went’

fara (verb; ferr, fór, fóru, farinn): go, travel

[4] fór: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, 51ˣ, 302ˣ, om. Kˣ, F, 761bˣ

notes

[4] fór ‘went’: The word is here assumed (as by Boyer 1990a, 201) to belong to l. 4, producing regular Type B-lines as ll. 4, 5. Several eds place it in l. 5, and this may be possible if the verb is unstressed and the odd line hypometric, both of which are possible in ljóðaháttr (see Note to st. 1/2 and Gade 2002a, 862).

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heðin ‘’

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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

[5] með: om. FskBˣ, 51ˣ, 302ˣ

notes

[5] með heiðin goð ‘with the heathen gods’: The reference to ‘heathen gods’ in a poem that purports to be heathen in perspective has been found incongruous (Wimmer 1877, 162; Holthausen 1896, 124), though Marold (1993a, 175) regards the phrase as simply one of ‘the collective terms characteristic of the late-pagan religion of the environment of the earls of Hlaðir’. The acc. case in this construction has also been the subject of debate, presumably since með ‘with’ + acc. is most often used of taking someone or something with one, while með + dat. suggests willing accompaniment (e.g. Fritzner: með 4, 5), but there is some flexibility of usage, and acc. may simply lend prominence to Hákon here. Cf. st. 10/5 með her mikinn (acc. sg.) ‘with a great army’. Clunies Ross (2005a, 51) takes fór með to mean ‘travelled among’, and for a further possibility see Hkr 1991.

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heiðin ‘the heathen’

heiðinn (adj.): heathen

[5] heiðin: ‘heþin’ J1ˣ

notes

[5] með heiðin goð ‘with the heathen gods’: The reference to ‘heathen gods’ in a poem that purports to be heathen in perspective has been found incongruous (Wimmer 1877, 162; Holthausen 1896, 124), though Marold (1993a, 175) regards the phrase as simply one of ‘the collective terms characteristic of the late-pagan religion of the environment of the earls of Hlaðir’. The acc. case in this construction has also been the subject of debate, presumably since með ‘with’ + acc. is most often used of taking someone or something with one, while með + dat. suggests willing accompaniment (e.g. Fritzner: með 4, 5), but there is some flexibility of usage, and acc. may simply lend prominence to Hákon here. Cf. st. 10/5 með her mikinn (acc. sg.) ‘with a great army’. Clunies Ross (2005a, 51) takes fór með to mean ‘travelled among’, and for a further possibility see Hkr 1991.

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goð ‘gods’

goð (noun n.): (pagan) god

notes

[5] með heiðin goð ‘with the heathen gods’: The reference to ‘heathen gods’ in a poem that purports to be heathen in perspective has been found incongruous (Wimmer 1877, 162; Holthausen 1896, 124), though Marold (1993a, 175) regards the phrase as simply one of ‘the collective terms characteristic of the late-pagan religion of the environment of the earls of Hlaðir’. The acc. case in this construction has also been the subject of debate, presumably since með ‘with’ + acc. is most often used of taking someone or something with one, while með + dat. suggests willing accompaniment (e.g. Fritzner: með 4, 5), but there is some flexibility of usage, and acc. may simply lend prominence to Hákon here. Cf. st. 10/5 með her mikinn (acc. sg.) ‘with a great army’. Clunies Ross (2005a, 51) takes fór með to mean ‘travelled among’, and for a further possibility see Hkr 1991.

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

In Hkr, as for st. 1. In Fsk, as for st. 19.

On the desolation of the land after Hákon’s death, see also Eyv Lv 12-14. The images of desolation in this stanza have been seen by Larsen (1943-6, II, 316) as an expression of sacral kingship, or pagan belief in the magical connexion between the king’s person and the fruitfulness of the land. — [1-2]: Cf. Hávm 76-7. De Vries (1964-7, I, 145 n. 83) asserts that this borrowing from Hávm is too direct, and the final stanza must therefore be a later poet’s addition. Holm-Olsen (1953, 159) and Marold (1972, 24) argue that Eyvindr’s audience would have known what follows in Hávm: the assertion that fame never dies. Eyvindr thus manages both to praise Hákon and to conclude on a note of desolation with an artful contrast. Marold (1972) and Clunies Ross (2005a, 51) detect an ambivalent attitude towards heathenism in the unremitting gloom produced by the contrast of the remainder of the stanza with the corresponding lines in Hávm.

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