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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Gráf 6I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 6’ 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. 255.

Glúmr GeirasonGráfeldardrápa
567

rauð ‘reddened’

rjóða (verb): to redden

[1] rauð: réð 61, 54, Bb

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jǫfra ‘of princes’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

kennings

Orðrakkr þrýstir jǫfra
‘The word-bold crusher of princes ’
   = KING = Haraldr

The word-bold crusher of princes → KING = Haraldr
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þrýstir ‘crusher’

þrýstir (noun m.): crusher

kennings

Orðrakkr þrýstir jǫfra
‘The word-bold crusher of princes ’
   = KING = Haraldr

The word-bold crusher of princes → KING = Haraldr
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orð ‘The word’

orð (noun n.; °-s; -): word < orðrakkr (adj.): [word-bold]

kennings

Orðrakkr þrýstir jǫfra
‘The word-bold crusher of princes ’
   = KING = Haraldr

The word-bold crusher of princes → KING = Haraldr
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rakkr ‘bold’

rakkr (adj.; °compar. -ari): bold < orðrakkr (adj.): [word-bold]

kennings

Orðrakkr þrýstir jǫfra
‘The word-bold crusher of princes ’
   = KING = Haraldr

The word-bold crusher of princes → KING = Haraldr
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fyr ‘’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

notes

[2] fyr norðan bý ‘north of the settlement’: No source specifies which settlement is intended. ÍF 26 (citing Bugge 1910-12, I, 200) suggests the market town later known as Cholmogóri (Kholmogory), somewhat higher than Arkhangelsk on the Dvina.

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‘of the settlement’

býr (noun m.; °býjar/bjár/bjór/bjárs, dat. -; gen. býa/bjá, dat. bjóm/bjám, acc. býi/býa/bjá): dwelling, down

notes

[2] fyr norðan bý ‘north of the settlement’: No source specifies which settlement is intended. ÍF 26 (citing Bugge 1910-12, I, 200) suggests the market town later known as Cholmogóri (Kholmogory), somewhat higher than Arkhangelsk on the Dvina.

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norðan ‘north’

norðan (adv.): from the north

notes

[2] fyr norðan bý ‘north of the settlement’: No source specifies which settlement is intended. ÍF 26 (citing Bugge 1910-12, I, 200) suggests the market town later known as Cholmogóri (Kholmogory), somewhat higher than Arkhangelsk on the Dvina.

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brand ‘sword’

brandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sword, prow; fire

notes

[3, 4] brinnanda brand ‘the flashing sword’: (a) Brinnanda is taken here to apply to the sword, calling on the common metaphorical association of swords with fire, which indeed is the literal meaning of brandr. It could refer to the brightness of swords, to sparks glancing off weapons (cf. Arn Magndr 13/3II) or to the burning, wounding effect of swords (cf. Eyv Hák 7/1-2; both are cited by Kock, NN §2739). (b) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B reads brinnanda with , hence ‘burning town’, suggesting that the raiders have set the town alight.

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bjarma ‘’

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þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

[3] þars (‘þar er’): þar J1ˣ, ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1

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bjarmskar ‘Permian’

bjarmskr (adj.): [Permian]

[3] bjarmskar: ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1, bjarma 53, 54, Bb

notes

[3] bjarmskar kindir ‘Permian people’: The people of Bjarmaland, which was probably located around the southern shores of the White Sea, and the basin of the Northern Dvina River, and is now part of the Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia. It is mentioned in a number of sources, the earliest being the C9th Old English Orosius, which contains the account of the Norwegian Ohthere (Óttarr) to King Ælfred of his visit to the Beormas (Ross 1981, 15-59; see also Note to ǪrvOdd Lv 9/3VIII (Ǫrv 41)). Hkr (ÍF 27, 229) gives an account of a trading visit in the reign of Óláfr helgi, on which grávǫru ok bjór ok safala ‘grey furs, beaver and sable’ were obtained. Koht (1930-3, 24) suggests that Haraldr’s expedition to Bjarmaland had the object of securing trade, and that his nickname gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ may allude to this, though see Hkr (ÍF 26, 211-12) for the traditional explanation.

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brinnandi ‘’

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kindir ‘people’

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

[3] kindir: ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1

notes

[3] bjarmskar kindir ‘Permian people’: The people of Bjarmaland, which was probably located around the southern shores of the White Sea, and the basin of the Northern Dvina River, and is now part of the Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia. It is mentioned in a number of sources, the earliest being the C9th Old English Orosius, which contains the account of the Norwegian Ohthere (Óttarr) to King Ælfred of his visit to the Beormas (Ross 1981, 15-59; see also Note to ǪrvOdd Lv 9/3VIII (Ǫrv 41)). Hkr (ÍF 27, 229) gives an account of a trading visit in the reign of Óláfr helgi, on which grávǫru ok bjór ok safala ‘grey furs, beaver and sable’ were obtained. Koht (1930-3, 24) suggests that Haraldr’s expedition to Bjarmaland had the object of securing trade, and that his nickname gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ may allude to this, though see Hkr (ÍF 26, 211-12) for the traditional explanation.

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brinnanda ‘the flashing’

2. brenna (verb; °brennr/brenn; brann, brunnu; brunninn): (strong, intransitive)

[4] brinnanda: brinnandi J1ˣ

notes

[3, 4] brinnanda brand ‘the flashing sword’: (a) Brinnanda is taken here to apply to the sword, calling on the common metaphorical association of swords with fire, which indeed is the literal meaning of brandr. It could refer to the brightness of swords, to sparks glancing off weapons (cf. Arn Magndr 13/3II) or to the burning, wounding effect of swords (cf. Eyv Hák 7/1-2; both are cited by Kock, NN §2739). (b) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B reads brinnanda with , hence ‘burning town’, suggesting that the raiders have set the town alight.

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sák ‘I saw’

2. sjá (verb): see

[4] sák (‘sa ec’): lét J1ˣ, 53, 54, lítt Bb

notes

[4] sák ‘I saw’: This reading promotes the poet’s claim to have been an eyewitness to Haraldr’s raid, though there is no other evidence for this. The reading lét ‘(he) made (peoples flee)’ in J1ˣ, 53 and 54 is preferred by Fms.

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Gótt ‘a good’

góðr (adj.): good

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hlaut ‘gained’

hljóta (verb): alot, gain

[5] hlaut: laut J1ˣ, 61

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gumna ‘of men’

gumi (noun m.; °-a; gumar/gumnar): man

kennings

Sættir gumna
‘The reconciler of men ’
   = KING = Haraldr

The reconciler of men → KING = Haraldr
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sættir ‘The reconciler’

sættir (noun m.): reconciler

kennings

Sættir gumna
‘The reconciler of men ’
   = KING = Haraldr

The reconciler of men → KING = Haraldr
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geir ‘a spear’

geirr (noun m.): spear < geirveðr (noun m.): [a spear-storm]

kennings

geirveðr
‘a spear-storm ’
   = BATTLE

a spear-storm → BATTLE
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veðr ‘storm’

2. veðr (noun n.; °-s; -): weather, wind, storm < geirveðr (noun m.): [a spear-storm]

kennings

geirveðr
‘a spear-storm ’
   = BATTLE

a spear-storm → BATTLE
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ungum ‘to the young’

ungr (adj.): young

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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[8] á borði Vínu ‘on the banks of the Dvina’: The Northern Dvina River, which flows into the White Sea, is mentioned elsewhere in accounts of visits to Bjarmaland (ÍF 2, 93; ÍF 27, 229).

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Vínu ‘of the Dvina’

Vína (noun f.): [Dvina, Vína]

notes

[8] á borði Vínu ‘on the banks of the Dvina’: The Northern Dvina River, which flows into the White Sea, is mentioned elsewhere in accounts of visits to Bjarmaland (ÍF 2, 93; ÍF 27, 229).

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borði ‘the banks’

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

notes

[8] á borði Vínu ‘on the banks of the Dvina’: The Northern Dvina River, which flows into the White Sea, is mentioned elsewhere in accounts of visits to Bjarmaland (ÍF 2, 93; ÍF 27, 229).

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

Haraldr makes a raid on Bjarmaland (Permia), wins a battle on the banks of the Vína (River Dvina) and subsequently plunders the country widely.

[5-8]: The construal here agrees with Skj B and ÍF 26, since it is more natural to take orð ‘reputation’ (l. 8) as the object of hlaut ‘gained’ (l. 5) than geirveðr ‘spear-storm’, as Kock (NN §258) suggests. It entails assuming that the finite verb fekksk ‘was granted’ is preceded by its subject and indirect object and hence, abnormally, is not in second position in the clause (cf. Kuhn 1983, 195).

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