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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 7I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 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. 224.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonLausavísur
678

kvôðu ‘did people say’

2. kveðja (verb): say, greet

[1] kvôðu: kvôðut R

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land ‘land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land < landvǫrðr (noun m.): land-guardian

kennings

landvǫrðr Hǫrða,
‘land-guardian of the Hǫrðar, ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

land-guardian of the Hǫrðar, → NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

notes

[2] landvǫrðr Hǫrða ‘land-guardian of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr]’: Kennings of this type are often merely conventional, with ethnic names such as Hǫrða(r) ‘people of Hǫrðaland (Hordaland)’ standing as pars pro toto for the Norwegian people. However, there may be political reality to the conventional expression here, as suggested by Andersen (1977, 96), since the inherited power-base of the Gunnhildarsynir (Eiríkssynir) was south-west Norway (modern Vestlandet, including Hordaland; cf. ÍF 26, 200). Bagge (2004, 191-4) also notes specifically that their leader Haraldr appears to have taken over Hordaland from Hákon góði, who had affiliations with it through his mother.

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vǫrðr ‘guardian’

vǫrðr (noun m.; °varðar, dat. verði/vǫrð; verðir, acc. vǫrðu): guardian, defender < landvǫrðr (noun m.): land-guardian

kennings

landvǫrðr Hǫrða,
‘land-guardian of the Hǫrðar, ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

land-guardian of the Hǫrðar, → NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

notes

[2] landvǫrðr Hǫrða ‘land-guardian of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr]’: Kennings of this type are often merely conventional, with ethnic names such as Hǫrða(r) ‘people of Hǫrðaland (Hordaland)’ standing as pars pro toto for the Norwegian people. However, there may be political reality to the conventional expression here, as suggested by Andersen (1977, 96), since the inherited power-base of the Gunnhildarsynir (Eiríkssynir) was south-west Norway (modern Vestlandet, including Hordaland; cf. ÍF 26, 200). Bagge (2004, 191-4) also notes specifically that their leader Haraldr appears to have taken over Hordaland from Hákon góði, who had affiliations with it through his mother.

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es ‘when’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[2] es (‘er’): enn Bb

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Hǫrða ‘of the Hǫrðar’

Hǫrðar (noun m.): the Hǫrðar

[2] Hǫrða: ‘horva’ FskBˣ

kennings

landvǫrðr Hǫrða,
‘land-guardian of the Hǫrðar, ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

land-guardian of the Hǫrðar, → NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr

notes

[2] landvǫrðr Hǫrða ‘land-guardian of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr]’: Kennings of this type are often merely conventional, with ethnic names such as Hǫrða(r) ‘people of Hǫrðaland (Hordaland)’ standing as pars pro toto for the Norwegian people. However, there may be political reality to the conventional expression here, as suggested by Andersen (1977, 96), since the inherited power-base of the Gunnhildarsynir (Eiríkssynir) was south-west Norway (modern Vestlandet, including Hordaland; cf. ÍF 26, 200). Bagge (2004, 191-4) also notes specifically that their leader Haraldr appears to have taken over Hordaland from Hákon góði, who had affiliations with it through his mother.

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benja ‘of wounds’

1. ben (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -; -jar , gen. -a(var. EiðKrC 402¹³: AM 77 4°— “D”)): wound

[3] benja: brynju R, Tˣ, W, A

kennings

hagl benja
‘the hail of wounds ’
   = ARROWS

the hail of wounds → ARROWS
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hagl ‘the hail’

hagl (noun n.; °-s; dat. *-um): hail

kennings

hagl benja
‘the hail of wounds ’
   = ARROWS

the hail of wounds → ARROWS
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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[3] á brynjum: á brynjur FskBˣ, FskAˣ, í benjum R, Tˣ, W, A

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bugz ‘’

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brynjum ‘the mail-shirts’

1. brynja (noun f.; °-u (dat. brynnoni Gibb 38⁹); -ur): mailcoat

[3] á brynjum: á brynjur FskBˣ, FskAˣ, í benjum R, Tˣ, W, A

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bugusk ‘were bent’

bjúga (noun n.; °; bjúgu): [were bent]

[4] bugusk: ‘bugz’ Bb

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geð ‘your courage’

geð (noun n.): mind

[4] geð: ‘god’ Bb

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þás ‘when’

þás (conj.): when

[5] þás (‘þa er’): þá FskAˣ

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ó ‘the’

ó- ((prefix)): un- < ófolginn (adj./verb p.p.)

kennings

ófolgin fullegg svell fetla
‘the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts ’
   = SWORDS

the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts → SWORDS

notes

[5] ófolgin ‘unconcealed’: An understatement for ‘unsheathed, drawn’. The word may possibly resonate against Lv 8/8 folginn ‘concealed’, which refers to the standard accusation against Haraldr, that he kept his wealth concealed.

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folgin ‘unconcealed’

2. fela (verb): hide < ófolginn (adj./verb p.p.)

[5] ‑folgin: so Bb, FskBˣ, ‑folginn Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, FskAˣ

kennings

ófolgin fullegg svell fetla
‘the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts ’
   = SWORDS

the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts → SWORDS

notes

[5] ófolgin ‘unconcealed’: An understatement for ‘unsheathed, drawn’. The word may possibly resonate against Lv 8/8 folginn ‘concealed’, which refers to the standard accusation against Haraldr, that he kept his wealth concealed.

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ylgjar ‘the she-wolf’

ylgr (noun f.; °acc. -i): she-wolf

notes

[5, 7] til fyllar ylgjar ‘providing the she-wolf with its fill’: Lit. ‘to the satiety or fullness of the she-wolf’.

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spells ‘’

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fetla ‘of sword-belts’

fetill (noun m.; °dat. fatli/fetli; fetlar): strap, sword-belt

kennings

ófolgin fullegg svell fetla
‘the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts ’
   = SWORDS

the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts → SWORDS
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svell ‘icicles’

svell (noun n.; °; -): ice

[7] svell: spells FskBˣ

kennings

ófolgin fullegg svell fetla
‘the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts ’
   = SWORDS

the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts → SWORDS
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til ‘providing’

til (prep.): to

notes

[5, 7] til fyllar ylgjar ‘providing the she-wolf with its fill’: Lit. ‘to the satiety or fullness of the she-wolf’.

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fyllar ‘with its fill’

fylli (noun f.): fill

[7] fyllar: fullar J1ˣ, FskAˣ

notes

[5, 7] til fyllar ylgjar ‘providing the she-wolf with its fill’: Lit. ‘to the satiety or fullness of the she-wolf’.

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fullegg ‘fully edged’

fulleggr (adj.): [fully edged]

kennings

ófolgin fullegg svell fetla
‘the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts ’
   = SWORDS

the unconcealed fully edged icicles of sword-belts → SWORDS

notes

[8] fullegg ‘fully edged’: A hap. leg., though cf. adjectives such as harðeggjaðr ‘hard-bladed’ and skarpeggjaðr ‘sharp-bladed’ (LP: fulleggr, harðeggjaðr, skarpeggjaðr). Editors have translated the cpd as ‘fully sharp’ (fuldskarpe, Skj B), ‘piercing’ (bitur, ÍF 26, Hkr 1991) or ‘sharp, keen’ (hvöss, ÍF 29), but fullegg may be more specific. Single-edged swords are known from the beginning of the Viking Age but the more prevalent type was a double-edged weapon that lent itself to slashing movements (Graham-Campbell and Batey 1998 , 35-6).

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Haraldr ‘Haraldr’

Haraldr (noun m.): Haraldr

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gullu ‘resounded’

gjalla (verb): to scream, shriek; to repay, return, pay for

[8] gullu: gulli Bb

notes

[8] gullu ‘resounded’: The pl. verb form confirms that svell ‘icicles’, and hence the sword-kenning, is pl. Konráð Gíslason (1892, 70) explains this pl. as implying that Haraldr’s habitual behaviour in battle is being described, rather than his conduct in any specific battle; or perhaps it was considered a distinction for a leader to use (and break?) a series of swords.

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

Fsk states that Eyvindr composed this stanza to placate King Haraldr gráfeldr, who had expressed indignation at the skald’s previous stanza. Hkr has a more elaborate story to the effect that Haraldr had resolved to put Eyvindr to death but their friends reconciled them, on condition that Eyvindr became Haraldr’s skald and served him as he had previously served Hákon; it is noted that Eyvindr and Haraldr were near kinsmen. The first helmingr is cited in SnE to illustrate kennings for ‘arrows’.

[1-4]: The rather convoluted word order, in particular the tripartite structure of l. 2, is analysed by Reichardt (1928, 114, 177). — [3]: In SnE, the ordering of words in this line gives hagl brynju í benjum ‘the hail of the mail-shirt [ARROWS] (burst) in wounds’. The arrangement in Fsk, Hkr and ÓT yields better sense.

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