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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Magnkv 8II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 8’ 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, pp. 421-2.

Gísl IllugasonErfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr
789

Gramr ‘The ruler’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

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gǫrvan ‘achieved’

1. gera (verb): do, make

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en ‘and’

2. en (conj.): but, and

notes

[2] en glatat þjófum ‘and he destroyed thieves’: Lit. ‘and thieves destroyed’. Glatat is the n. acc. sg. of the p. p. of the weak verb glata ‘destroy’, construed with vann ‘achieved’ (l. 1: vann gǫrvan … (vann) glatat).

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glatat ‘he destroyed’

glata (verb): destroy

notes

[2] en glatat þjófum ‘and he destroyed thieves’: Lit. ‘and thieves destroyed’. Glatat is the n. acc. sg. of the p. p. of the weak verb glata ‘destroy’, construed with vann ‘achieved’ (l. 1: vann gǫrvan … (vann) glatat).

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þjófum ‘thieves’

þjófr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): thief

notes

[2] en glatat þjófum ‘and he destroyed thieves’: Lit. ‘and thieves destroyed’. Glatat is the n. acc. sg. of the p. p. of the weak verb glata ‘destroy’, construed with vann ‘achieved’ (l. 1: vann gǫrvan … (vann) glatat).

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kaupmǫnnum ‘for merchants’

kaupmaðr (noun m.): [for merchants]

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frið ‘complete peace’

friðr (noun m.): peace

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þanns ‘which’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

[4] þanns: þann Hr

notes

[4] þanns konungr bœtti ‘which the king had improved’: Skj B translates this cl. as som han gav dem ‘which he gave them’. However, the verb bœta (bœtti, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) means ‘improve’ and not ‘give’ (see NN §2269). The sense of this half-st. is that Magnús had previously established a law for the merchants, which he now finalised. Alternatively, ‘the king’ could refer to Magnús’s cousin, Hákon Magnússon, who promulgated new and improved laws for the people of Trøndelag and Opplandene before he died in 1094 (see ÍF 29, 42 and n. 1, 302; ÍF 28, 211; Mork 1928-32, 297).

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konungr ‘the king’

konungr (noun m.; °dat. -i, -s; -ar): king

notes

[4] þanns konungr bœtti ‘which the king had improved’: Skj B translates this cl. as som han gav dem ‘which he gave them’. However, the verb bœta (bœtti, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) means ‘improve’ and not ‘give’ (see NN §2269). The sense of this half-st. is that Magnús had previously established a law for the merchants, which he now finalised. Alternatively, ‘the king’ could refer to Magnús’s cousin, Hákon Magnússon, who promulgated new and improved laws for the people of Trøndelag and Opplandene before he died in 1094 (see ÍF 29, 42 and n. 1, 302; ÍF 28, 211; Mork 1928-32, 297).

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bœtti ‘had improved’

bœta (verb; °-tt-): better, emend, compensate

notes

[4] þanns konungr bœtti ‘which the king had improved’: Skj B translates this cl. as som han gav dem ‘which he gave them’. However, the verb bœta (bœtti, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) means ‘improve’ and not ‘give’ (see NN §2269). The sense of this half-st. is that Magnús had previously established a law for the merchants, which he now finalised. Alternatively, ‘the king’ could refer to Magnús’s cousin, Hákon Magnússon, who promulgated new and improved laws for the people of Trøndelag and Opplandene before he died in 1094 (see ÍF 29, 42 and n. 1, 302; ÍF 28, 211; Mork 1928-32, 297).

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[5] í elfi ‘in the river’: Both Skj B and Skald treat this as a p. n. (Skj B: í Elfi translated as i Elven ‘in the River’). Usually Elfr designates the Götaälv in present-day Sweden (as in st. 17), and it is unclear how Magnús could enforce his legislation there at this point. Later he expanded his territory to include districts in Sweden (see st. 17). In the present edn elfr is taken as a common noun, perhaps referring to Nidelven (Nið), the river that flows through the city of Trondheim.

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elfi ‘the river’

elfr (noun f.): river

[5] elfi: eyjum Hr

notes

[5] í elfi ‘in the river’: Both Skj B and Skald treat this as a p. n. (Skj B: í Elfi translated as i Elven ‘in the River’). Usually Elfr designates the Götaälv in present-day Sweden (as in st. 17), and it is unclear how Magnús could enforce his legislation there at this point. Later he expanded his territory to include districts in Sweden (see st. 17). In the present edn elfr is taken as a common noun, perhaps referring to Nidelven (Nið), the river that flows through the city of Trondheim.

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øxum ‘with axes’

øx (noun f.; °øxar/exar, dat. øxi/exi, acc. øxi/øx; -ar): axe

[6] øxum hlýddi: elfi hlýddu Hr

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hlýddi ‘one could’

2. hlýða (verb): hear, listen; be able

[6] øxum hlýddi: elfi hlýddu Hr

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flaust ‘ships’

flaust (noun n.): ship

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fagrbúin ‘the splendidly equipped’

fagrbúinn (adj.): beautifully adorned

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í ‘on’

í (prep.): in, into

[8] í fjǫru: firum at H, Hr

notes

[8] í fjǫru ‘on the shore’: Strictly ‘on the part of the shore not covered by water at ebb tide’.

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fjǫru ‘the shore’

1. fjara (noun f.): shore, foreshore

[8] í fjǫru: firum at H, Hr

notes

[8] í fjǫru ‘on the shore’: Strictly ‘on the part of the shore not covered by water at ebb tide’.

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skorða ‘buttress’

2. skorða (verb): support

notes

[8] skorða ‘buttress’: Refers to the practice of supporting beached ships with props or posts (see Falk 1912, 30-1; Jesch 2001a, 171). The sense is that it was so peaceful that axes could be used for things other than fighting.

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As st. 7 above.

The st. is omitted in F.

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