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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 óglaðan æva
— orð fregni þat; borða
búumk við þrǫng á þingi —
þegns dóttir mik fregna,
þótt sigrunnar svinnir
segi vôn Heðins kvánar;
verum í Ála éli
austr bragningi at trausti.

Dóttir þegns skala fregna mik æva óglaðan — fregni þat orð; búumk við þrǫng á {þingi borða} —, þótt {svinnir sigrunnar} segi vôn {kvánar Heðins}; verum austr í {éli Ála} at trausti bragningi.

The retainer’s daughter shall not hear that I am ever [lit. never] unhappy — may she hear of that word; we are preparing for a crush in {the assembly of shields} [BATTLE] —, though {prudent battle-trees} [WARRIORS] say there is prospect {of the woman of Heðinn <legendary hero>} [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)]; let us be east in {the blizzard of Áli <legendary king>} [BATTLE] in loyal support of the king.

Mss: (457r) (Hkr); Holm2(64v), 972ˣ(493va), J2ˣ(219r-v), 321ˣ(245), Bæb(4ra), 68(63v), Holm4(59va), 61(122rb), 325V(78ra), 325VII(35v), Bb(195va), Flat(122vb), Tóm(152v) (ÓH); DG8(100v) (ÓHLeg); 141ˣ(51v) (Fbr)

Readings: [1] Skala: skulum 972ˣ, Holm4, skulu 61, Flat, Tóm, ‘Skalu’ 325VII;    óglaðan: óglaðir in margin Holm2, óglaðir 972ˣ, ógladdan 68;    æva: so 321ˣ, Bæb, ifa Kˣ, Holm2, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 68, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, DG8, 141ˣ    [2] orð fregni: orð má 972ˣ, ‘orfregni’ 321ˣ, ‘[...]ð fregne’ Holm4, orð fengan 61, orð fregin Tóm, ‘orðz [...]’ DG8;    þat: þetta 972ˣ, þau 61, Flat, Tóm, 141ˣ, ‘[...]’ DG8;    borða: forðum 972ˣ, skorða DG8    [3] búumk: ‘buniz’ 321ˣ, búisk 61    [4] þegns: þegn 321ˣ;    dóttir: dróttir Tóm;    mik: vel 972ˣ, corrected from þat 325VII, mun Bb, megi Flat    [5] sig‑: so Holm2, J2ˣ, 321ˣ, Bæb, 68, Bb, DG8, sigr‑ Kˣ, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, 141ˣ;    svinnir: svinnan DG8    [6] segi: ‘sægit’ 325VII, seggi Tóm, segi ek DG8;    vôn: vann Tóm;    Heðins: ‘hednis’ 972ˣ, heðin 68, heðan‑ 325VII, heiðins Bb;    kvánar: ‑kvmu 325VII    [7] verum: verim 321ˣ, ‘værr’ 325VII;    Ála: ósa 61, ‘ola’ 325V, Tóm    [8] austr: aust Tóm;    bragningi: bragninga 61, Tóm, ‘brangninga’ 325VII, Tóm;    at: om. 61, Flat, Tóm, DG8, 141ˣ;    trausti: gagni 68, traustir Flat, DG8, 141ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 316, Skj BI, 293, Skald I, 149, NN §2015; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 460, IV, 162-3, ÍF 27, 358-9, Hkr 1991, II, 514 (ÓHHkr ch. 206); Fms 5, 57, Fms 12, 98, ÓH 1941, I, 544 (ch. 203), Flat 1860-8, II, 341; ÓHLeg 1922, 84, ÓHLeg 1982, 192-3.

Context: 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.

Notes: [All]: 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. — [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)’. — [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. — [4] dóttir þegns ‘the retainer’s daughter’: The identity of this woman is unknown, and the allusion may be merely conventional (cf. Frank 1990a).  — [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). — [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. — [7] éli Ála ‘the blizzard of Áli <legendary king> [BATTLE]’: The same kenning appears in Þorm Lv 19/1, attributed to the same occasion. — [8] austr ‘east’: In Norway, viewed from an Icelandic perspective (so Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  9. Frank, Roberta. 1990a. ‘Why Skalds Address Women’. In Pàroli 1990, 67-83.
  10. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  12. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  13. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  14. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  15. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  16. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  17. Internal references
  18. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  19. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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, pp. clxxvi-clxxix.
  21. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  22. Judith Jesch 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sigvatr Þórðarson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 347.
  23. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Þorfinnr munnr’ 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. 844.
  24. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorfinnr munnr, Lausavísur’ 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. 845.
  25. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 24’ 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. 434.
  26. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Poem about Queen Ástríðr 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. 646.
  27. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur 19’ 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. 831.
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