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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Gráf 15I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 15’ 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. 265.

Glúmr GeirasonGráfeldardrápa
1415

Víg ‘the battle’

víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígáss (noun m.): protective plankingvíg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle

kennings

vígôsu
‘the battle-gods ’
   = WARRIORS

the battle-gods → WARRIORS

notes

[1] vígôsu ‘the battle-gods [WARRIORS]’: (a) The emendation, proposed by Kock (NN §254), makes an interpretation of the couplet possible. The dat. pl. vígôsum in Hskv Útdr 1/3II has been interpreted as ‘battle-gods’ (NN §§964; LP: vígôss) but in that context ôsum is more likely to be from áss ‘beam, plank’, hence ‘protective planking’ (see Note to Útdr 1/3II). (b) Other eds, following Jón Sigurðsson (Ldn 1843), emend to vígeisu ‘battle-fire’, though this does not make sense in the lines as preserved. Finnur Jónsson (LH I, 526) comments on Glúmr’s preference for the word eisa ‘fire’; the parallel compounds rógeisu ‘strife-fire’ (st. 2/5), dolgeisu ‘battle-fire’ (st. 3/1) were presumably the models for Jón’s emendation.

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sso ‘’

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ôsu ‘gods’

2. Áss (noun m.; °áss, dat. ási/ás; ásar): god < vígáss (noun m.): protective planking

[1] ‑ôsu: ‘sso’ Þb106ˣ

kennings

vígôsu
‘the battle-gods ’
   = WARRIORS

the battle-gods → WARRIORS

notes

[1] vígôsu ‘the battle-gods [WARRIORS]’: (a) The emendation, proposed by Kock (NN §254), makes an interpretation of the couplet possible. The dat. pl. vígôsum in Hskv Útdr 1/3II has been interpreted as ‘battle-gods’ (NN §§964; LP: vígôss) but in that context ôsum is more likely to be from áss ‘beam, plank’, hence ‘protective planking’ (see Note to Útdr 1/3II). (b) Other eds, following Jón Sigurðsson (Ldn 1843), emend to vígeisu ‘battle-fire’, though this does not make sense in the lines as preserved. Finnur Jónsson (LH I, 526) comments on Glúmr’s preference for the word eisa ‘fire’; the parallel compounds rógeisu ‘strife-fire’ (st. 2/5), dolgeisu ‘battle-fire’ (st. 3/1) were presumably the models for Jón’s emendation.

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tekr ‘affects’

2. taka (verb): take

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vísa ‘of the leader’

vísi (noun m.; °-a): leader

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val ‘death’

1. valr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ir): corpse, the slain < valfall (noun n.): slaughter

notes

[2] valfall ‘death in battle’: This more usually means ‘slaughter’ applied collectively to a mass of bodies (e.g. Ótt Knútdr 10/5, Arn Hardr 7/4II), but the sense could possibly be extended to the death of an individual, Haraldr. If on the other hand the couplet is syntactically incomplete (cf. Note to [All] above), the word may have had its usual sense.

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fall ‘in battle’

fall (noun n.; °-s; *-): fall < valfall (noun n.): slaughter

notes

[2] valfall ‘death in battle’: This more usually means ‘slaughter’ applied collectively to a mass of bodies (e.g. Ótt Knútdr 10/5, Arn Hardr 7/4II), but the sense could possibly be extended to the death of an individual, Haraldr. If on the other hand the couplet is syntactically incomplete (cf. Note to [All] above), the word may have had its usual sense.

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Haralds ‘Haraldr’s’

Haraldr (noun m.): Haraldr

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alla ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

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

This couplet, said to be the stef ‘refrain’ of Gráfeldardrápa, is added in the seventeenth-century Þórðarbók version of Ldn to an account of the settlement of Glúmr’s father, Geiri, near Mývatn.

Any interpretation can only be tentative, since it is unknown whether the couplet preserved is syntactically complete, or whether it originally formed part of a four-line unit (as suggested in Skj B, where it is left untranslated).

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