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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 13VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 13’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 85-6.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól
121314

gautum ‘the men’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[1] Gautum (dat. pl.) ‘Óðinns’: Gautr is given as a heiti for Óðinn in Grí 54/6 and in Þul Óðins 1/6III. It occurs regularly in kennings for men and battle.

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láðs ‘of the land’

2. láð (noun n.): earth, land

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN
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láðs ‘of the land’

2. láð (noun n.): earth, land

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN
Close

láðs ‘of the land’

2. láð (noun n.): earth, land

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN
Close

laxa ‘of the salmon’

lax (noun m.; °; -ar): salmon

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3] laxa fróns en leyndak: B’s reading produces an irregular skothending fróns : leynda. That fróns may be an interpolation is suggested by the context, since the gold-kenning frón laxa láðs ‘land of the salmon of the land’, is somewhat clumsy and repetitious. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) suggested emendation of fróns to brands gen. sg. of brandr ‘fire, flame’. This emendation gives a -nd : -nd rhyme and makes for a more conventional gold-kenning, gautar brands láðs laxa ‘men of the fire of the land of the salmon’.

Close

laxa ‘of the salmon’

lax (noun m.; °; -ar): salmon

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3] laxa fróns en leyndak: B’s reading produces an irregular skothending fróns : leynda. That fróns may be an interpolation is suggested by the context, since the gold-kenning frón laxa láðs ‘land of the salmon of the land’, is somewhat clumsy and repetitious. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) suggested emendation of fróns to brands gen. sg. of brandr ‘fire, flame’. This emendation gives a -nd : -nd rhyme and makes for a more conventional gold-kenning, gautar brands láðs laxa ‘men of the fire of the land of the salmon’.

Close

laxa ‘of the salmon’

lax (noun m.; °; -ar): salmon

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3] laxa fróns en leyndak: B’s reading produces an irregular skothending fróns : leynda. That fróns may be an interpolation is suggested by the context, since the gold-kenning frón laxa láðs ‘land of the salmon of the land’, is somewhat clumsy and repetitious. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) suggested emendation of fróns to brands gen. sg. of brandr ‘fire, flame’. This emendation gives a -nd : -nd rhyme and makes for a more conventional gold-kenning, gautar brands láðs laxa ‘men of the fire of the land of the salmon’.

Close

fróns ‘of the land’

2. frón (noun n.): earth, land

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3] laxa fróns en leyndak: B’s reading produces an irregular skothending fróns : leynda. That fróns may be an interpolation is suggested by the context, since the gold-kenning frón laxa láðs ‘land of the salmon of the land’, is somewhat clumsy and repetitious. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) suggested emendation of fróns to brands gen. sg. of brandr ‘fire, flame’. This emendation gives a -nd : -nd rhyme and makes for a more conventional gold-kenning, gautar brands láðs laxa ‘men of the fire of the land of the salmon’.

Close

fróns ‘of the land’

2. frón (noun n.): earth, land

kennings

gautum fróns laxa láðs,
‘the men of the land of the salmon, ’
   = MEN

the land of the salmon, → SEA
the land of the SEA → GOLD
the men of the GOLD → MEN

notes

[3] laxa fróns en leyndak: B’s reading produces an irregular skothending fróns : leynda. That fróns may be an interpolation is suggested by the context, since the gold-kenning frón laxa láðs ‘land of the salmon of the land’, is somewhat clumsy and repetitious. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) suggested emendation of fróns to brands gen. sg. of brandr ‘fire, flame’. This emendation gives a -nd : -nd rhyme and makes for a more conventional gold-kenning, gautar brands láðs laxa ‘men of the fire of the land of the salmon’.

Close

en ‘but’

2. en (conj.): but, and

notes

[3] laxa fróns en leyndak: B’s reading produces an irregular skothending fróns : leynda. That fróns may be an interpolation is suggested by the context, since the gold-kenning frón laxa láðs ‘land of the salmon of the land’, is somewhat clumsy and repetitious. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) suggested emendation of fróns to brands gen. sg. of brandr ‘fire, flame’. This emendation gives a -nd : -nd rhyme and makes for a more conventional gold-kenning, gautar brands láðs laxa ‘men of the fire of the land of the salmon’.

Close

leyndak ‘I concealed’

1. leyna (verb): hide, conceal

[3] leyndak (‘ek leynda’): so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]k ley[...]da’ B

notes

[3] laxa fróns en leyndak: B’s reading produces an irregular skothending fróns : leynda. That fróns may be an interpolation is suggested by the context, since the gold-kenning frón laxa láðs ‘land of the salmon of the land’, is somewhat clumsy and repetitious. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) suggested emendation of fróns to brands gen. sg. of brandr ‘fire, flame’. This emendation gives a -nd : -nd rhyme and makes for a more conventional gold-kenning, gautar brands láðs laxa ‘men of the fire of the land of the salmon’.

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máttak ‘I could’

mega (verb): may, might

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seggja ‘of men’

seggr (noun m.; °; -ir): man

kennings

seggja kind
‘to the race of men ’
   = MANKIND

to the race of men → MANKIND
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kind ‘to the race’

kind (noun f.; °-ar; -r): offspring, race

kennings

seggja kind
‘to the race of men ’
   = MANKIND

to the race of men → MANKIND
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at ‘so that’

4. at (conj.): that

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sýndisk ‘I should appear’

sýna (verb): show, seem

Close

setrs ‘of the seat’

setr (noun n.; °-s; -): seat, abode

kennings

hár vísi setrs sunnu.
‘high king of the seat of the sun.’
   = God

the seat of the sun. → SKY/HEAVEN
high king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[6-8] hár vísi setrs sunnu ‘high king of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. the God-kennings harri setrs sunnu ‘ruler of the seat of the sun’ in 49/5-8 and siklingr setrs sunnu ‘prince of the seat of the sun’ in Leið 13/7-8.

Close

setrs ‘of the seat’

setr (noun n.; °-s; -): seat, abode

kennings

hár vísi setrs sunnu.
‘high king of the seat of the sun.’
   = God

the seat of the sun. → SKY/HEAVEN
high king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[6-8] hár vísi setrs sunnu ‘high king of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. the God-kennings harri setrs sunnu ‘ruler of the seat of the sun’ in 49/5-8 and siklingr setrs sunnu ‘prince of the seat of the sun’ in Leið 13/7-8.

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þokka ‘a great’

2. þykkr (adj.): thick

Close

vísi ‘king’

vísi (noun m.; °-a): leader

[7] vísi: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘v[...]’ B

kennings

hár vísi setrs sunnu.
‘high king of the seat of the sun.’
   = God

the seat of the sun. → SKY/HEAVEN
high king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[6-8] hár vísi setrs sunnu ‘high king of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. the God-kennings harri setrs sunnu ‘ruler of the seat of the sun’ in 49/5-8 and siklingr setrs sunnu ‘prince of the seat of the sun’ in Leið 13/7-8.

Close

hár ‘high’

3. hár (adj.; °-van; compar. hǽrri, superl. hǽstr): high

kennings

hár vísi setrs sunnu.
‘high king of the seat of the sun.’
   = God

the seat of the sun. → SKY/HEAVEN
high king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[6-8] hár vísi setrs sunnu ‘high king of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. the God-kennings harri setrs sunnu ‘ruler of the seat of the sun’ in 49/5-8 and siklingr setrs sunnu ‘prince of the seat of the sun’ in Leið 13/7-8.

Close

værak ‘I was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[7] værak: væri B

Close

sunnu ‘of the sun’

sunna (noun f.): sun

kennings

hár vísi setrs sunnu.
‘high king of the seat of the sun.’
   = God

the seat of the sun. → SKY/HEAVEN
high king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[6-8] hár vísi setrs sunnu ‘high king of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. the God-kennings harri setrs sunnu ‘ruler of the seat of the sun’ in 49/5-8 and siklingr setrs sunnu ‘prince of the seat of the sun’ in Leið 13/7-8.

Close

sunnu ‘of the sun’

sunna (noun f.): sun

kennings

hár vísi setrs sunnu.
‘high king of the seat of the sun.’
   = God

the seat of the sun. → SKY/HEAVEN
high king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[6-8] hár vísi setrs sunnu ‘high king of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. the God-kennings harri setrs sunnu ‘ruler of the seat of the sun’ in 49/5-8 and siklingr setrs sunnu ‘prince of the seat of the sun’ in Leið 13/7-8.

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

[5-8]: There have been several attempts to interpret the second helmingr. This edn follows Finnur Jónsson in Skj B. Finnur emended væri (l. 7) to værak, and construed at sýndisk seggja kind þokka mun betri an værak, which he translated (jeg skulte min efterladenhed, sem jeg kunde,) for at jeg skulde syndes betydelig bedre end jeg var ‘[I covered my negligence as well as I could,] so that I might appear considerably better than I was’. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 255) retained væri (l. 7), taking seggja kind as the subject, translating jeg var fornøyet med at menneskene vilde synes betydelig bedre end de var, himlens høje kong ‘I was pleased that men wanted to appear considerably better than they were, high king of heaven’. Kock (NN §2930), perhaps following Kempff and Sveinbjörn Egilsson, objects to seggja kind as the subject, and interprets the helmingr in much the same way as Finnur does.

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