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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gizsv Lv 1I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Gizurr svarti (gullbrárskáld), Lausavísa 1’ 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. 818.

Gizurr svarti (gullbrárskáld)Lausavísa1

Skala ‘shall not’

skulu (verb): shall, should, must

[1] Skala: skulum 972ˣ, Holm4, skulu 61, Flat, Tóm, ‘Skalu’ 325VII

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óglaðan ‘unhappy’

óglaðr (adj.): [unhappy]

[1] óglaðan: óglaðir in margin Holm2, óglaðir 972ˣ, ógladdan 68

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æva ‘ever [lit. never]’

æva (adv.): (n)ever

[1] æva: so 321ˣ, Bæb, ifa Kˣ, Holm2, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 68, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, DG8, 141ˣ

notes

[1] æva ‘ever [lit. never]’: This, the reading of 321ˣ and Bæb, is the only one that provides good sense and the necessary long syllable in this position in the line. It may be, however, that the majority reading ‘ifa’ conceals a now lost word for ‘sword’, or perhaps ‘battle’, ‘valkyrie’, or the name of a sea-king (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; cf. ÍF 27 which favours ‘sea-king’). This could form part of a shield-kenning with borða if that is taken in the sense ‘boards’; the shield-kenning would then form a battle-kenning with þing ‘assembly’. Kock (NN §2015; Skald) favoured íva, which he took as a variant of ý- ‘yew (bow)’.

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orð ‘word’

orð (noun n.; °-s; -): word

[2] orð fregni: orð má 972ˣ, ‘orfregni’ 321ˣ, ‘[...]ð fregne’ Holm4, orð fengan 61, orð fregin Tóm, ‘orðz [...]’ DG8

notes

[2] fregni þat orð ‘may she hear of that word’: The subject is taken here as the woman referred to in l. 4. Alternatively it could be unspecified, and fregni could be taken as pl., hence ‘may they/people hear’. The object (orð ‘word’) is presumably the skald’s defiant speech. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) emended to fengum ‘we gained’, which would be partly justified by the 61 reading fengan, and perhaps by the assumption that fregni in l. 2 erroneously anticipates fregna in l. 4. However, the emendation is unnecessary and only gives good sense on Finnur’s assumption that þat orð would refer to the speaker’s reputation for courage.

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fregni ‘may she hear’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

[2] orð fregni: orð má 972ˣ, ‘orfregni’ 321ˣ, ‘[...]ð fregne’ Holm4, orð fengan 61, orð fregin Tóm, ‘orðz [...]’ DG8

notes

[2] fregni þat orð ‘may she hear of that word’: The subject is taken here as the woman referred to in l. 4. Alternatively it could be unspecified, and fregni could be taken as pl., hence ‘may they/people hear’. The object (orð ‘word’) is presumably the skald’s defiant speech. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) emended to fengum ‘we gained’, which would be partly justified by the 61 reading fengan, and perhaps by the assumption that fregni in l. 2 erroneously anticipates fregna in l. 4. However, the emendation is unnecessary and only gives good sense on Finnur’s assumption that þat orð would refer to the speaker’s reputation for courage.

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þat ‘of that’

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

[2] þat: þetta 972ˣ, þau 61, Flat, Tóm, 141ˣ, ‘[...]’ DG8

notes

[2] fregni þat orð ‘may she hear of that word’: The subject is taken here as the woman referred to in l. 4. Alternatively it could be unspecified, and fregni could be taken as pl., hence ‘may they/people hear’. The object (orð ‘word’) is presumably the skald’s defiant speech. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) emended to fengum ‘we gained’, which would be partly justified by the 61 reading fengan, and perhaps by the assumption that fregni in l. 2 erroneously anticipates fregna in l. 4. However, the emendation is unnecessary and only gives good sense on Finnur’s assumption that þat orð would refer to the speaker’s reputation for courage.

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borða ‘of shields’

borð (noun n.; °-s; -): side, plank, board; table

[2] borða: forðum 972ˣ, skorða DG8

kennings

þingi borða —,
‘the assembly of shields —, ’
   = BATTLE

the assembly of shields —, → BATTLE
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þingi ‘the assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly

kennings

þingi borða —,
‘the assembly of shields —, ’
   = BATTLE

the assembly of shields —, → BATTLE
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þegns ‘The retainer’s’

þegn (noun m.; °dat. -/-i; -ar): thane, man, franklin

[4] þegns: þegn 321ˣ

notes

[4] dóttir þegns ‘the retainer’s daughter’: The identity of this woman is unknown, and the allusion may be merely conventional (cf. Frank 1990a). 

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dóttir ‘daughter’

dóttir (noun f.; °dóttur, dat. dóttur/dǿtr/dóttir, acc. dóttur/dóttir, nom. dóttir/dóttur; dǿtr, gen. dǿtra (cf. [$1592$])): daughter

[4] dóttir: dróttir Tóm

notes

[4] dóttir þegns ‘the retainer’s daughter’: The identity of this woman is unknown, and the allusion may be merely conventional (cf. Frank 1990a). 

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mik ‘that I am’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

[4] mik: vel 972ˣ, corrected from þat 325VII, mun Bb, megi Flat

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sig ‘battle’

sigr (noun m.; °sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar): victory < sigrunnr (noun m.): victory-tree

[5] sig‑: so Holm2, J2ˣ, 321ˣ, Bæb, 68, Bb, DG8, sigr‑ Kˣ, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, 141ˣ

kennings

svinnir sigrunnar
‘prudent battle-trees ’
   = WARRIORS

prudent battle-trees → WARRIORS

notes

[5] sigrunnar ‘battle-trees [WARRIORS]’: Terms for ‘battle’ are common as determinants of warrior-kennings. The reading sigrrunnar ‘victory-trees’ in and other mss is also possible. The etymological and semantic relationship between sig n. ‘battle’ and sigr ‘victory’ is somewhat uncertain (see LP: sig, sigr; AEW: sig 2, sigr), and it is particularly difficult to distinguish between the two in compounds (cf. CVC: sig n. [sigr], and see Note to Sigv Ást 1/4 sigrhvatastr).

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runnar ‘trees’

runnr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): bush, tree < sigrunnr (noun m.): victory-tree

kennings

svinnir sigrunnar
‘prudent battle-trees ’
   = WARRIORS

prudent battle-trees → WARRIORS

notes

[5] sigrunnar ‘battle-trees [WARRIORS]’: Terms for ‘battle’ are common as determinants of warrior-kennings. The reading sigrrunnar ‘victory-trees’ in and other mss is also possible. The etymological and semantic relationship between sig n. ‘battle’ and sigr ‘victory’ is somewhat uncertain (see LP: sig, sigr; AEW: sig 2, sigr), and it is particularly difficult to distinguish between the two in compounds (cf. CVC: sig n. [sigr], and see Note to Sigv Ást 1/4 sigrhvatastr).

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svinnir ‘prudent’

2. svinnr (adj.): wise

[5] svinnir: svinnan DG8

kennings

svinnir sigrunnar
‘prudent battle-trees ’
   = WARRIORS

prudent battle-trees → WARRIORS
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segi ‘say there is’

segja (verb): say, tell

[6] segi: ‘sægit’ 325VII, seggi Tóm, segi ek DG8

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Heðins ‘of Heðinn’

2. Heðinn (noun m.): [Heðinn, champions]

[6] Heðins: ‘hednis’ 972ˣ, heðin 68, heðan‑ 325VII, heiðins Bb

kennings

kvánar Heðins;
‘of the woman of Heðinn; ’
   = Hildr

the woman of Heðinn; → Hildr

notes

[6] kvánar Heðins ‘of the woman of Heðinn [= Hildr (hildr “battle”)]’: On Heðinn and the valkyrie Hildr, whose name means ‘battle’, see Note to Hfr ErfÓl 24/4.

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kvánar ‘of the woman’

kván (noun f.; °-ar): wife

[6] kvánar: ‑kvmu 325VII

kennings

kvánar Heðins;
‘of the woman of Heðinn; ’
   = Hildr

the woman of Heðinn; → Hildr

notes

[6] kvánar Heðins ‘of the woman of Heðinn [= Hildr (hildr “battle”)]’: On Heðinn and the valkyrie Hildr, whose name means ‘battle’, see Note to Hfr ErfÓl 24/4.

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verum ‘let us be’

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

[7] verum: verim 321ˣ, ‘værr’ 325VII

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Ála ‘of Áli’

Áli (noun m.): Áli

[7] Ála: ósa 61, ‘ola’ 325V, Tóm

kennings

éli Ála
‘the blizzard of Áli ’
   = BATTLE

the blizzard of Áli → BATTLE

notes

[7] éli Ála ‘the blizzard of Áli <legendary king> [BATTLE]’: The same kenning appears in Þorm Lv 19/1, attributed to the same occasion.

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éli ‘the blizzard’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm

kennings

éli Ála
‘the blizzard of Áli ’
   = BATTLE

the blizzard of Áli → BATTLE

notes

[7] éli Ála ‘the blizzard of Áli <legendary king> [BATTLE]’: The same kenning appears in Þorm Lv 19/1, attributed to the same occasion.

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austr ‘east’

3. austr (adv.; °compar. -ar, superl. -ast): east, in the east

[8] austr: aust Tóm

notes

[8] austr ‘east’: In Norway, viewed from an Icelandic perspective (so Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV).

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bragningi ‘the king’

bragningr (noun m.; °; -ar): prince, ruler

[8] bragningi: bragninga 61, Tóm, ‘brangninga’ 325VII, Tóm

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at ‘in’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[8] at: om. 61, Flat, Tóm, DG8, 141ˣ

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trausti ‘loyal support of’

traust (noun n.; °-s/-): support, protection

[8] trausti: gagni 68, traustir Flat, DG8, 141ˣ

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

ÓH-Hkr: Drawing up troops before the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad), Óláfr Haraldsson allocates places in the shield-wall to his skalds, telling them to compose about what they see. Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld has a bitter exchange with the king about the absence of Sigvatr Þórðarson, then the skalds decide they are better off composing verse. Gizurr svarti/Gullbrárskáld, Þorfinnr munnr and Þormóðr utter a stanza each (see Þorf Lv; Þorm Lv 19), which men learn straight away. In ÓHLeg too the context is the prelude to Stiklastaðir but otherwise it differs, and the stanza is spoken by Þormóðr.

For the battle of Stiklastaðir and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Óláfr Haraldsson’ in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

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