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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Gráf 11I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 11’ 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. 260.

Glúmr GeirasonGráfeldardrápa
101112

víðu ‘the wide’

víðr (adj.): far

[1] víðu: breiðu Flat

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viggjum ‘to horses’

viggr (noun m.): horse

[2] viggjum: byggjum Flat

notes

[2] hollr viggjum ‘benevolent to horses’: Hollr ‘benevolent, friendly, loyal’ frequently governs a dat. of the beneficiary (LP: hollr), and this seems to be the case here. The horses are assumed to be literal, although in context metaphorical ones (as in the ship-kenning assumed by Finnur Jónsson, noted above) might seem more likely. If literal, the reference could be to horses kept for pagan ritual purposes (see Note to st. 13 [All] on Haraldr’s religion). Alternatively (as argued by Kock in NN §§259, 2203, followed in ÍF 26) the allusion could be to one of the tólf íþróttir ‘twelve accomplishments’ that Glúmr attributes to Haraldr in st. 14. This probably incomplete stanza does not enumerate the accomplishments, and the comparable stanzas attributed to Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ (Hharð Gamv 4II) and Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson (Rv Lv 1II) do not include horsemanship in their lists, but Kock includes it among a number of skills attributed to kings in Old Norse and Old English sources, and specifically (NN §259) in the eddic Rígsþula ( 35, 37, 42, 47).

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hollr ‘benevolent’

hollr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): loyal

notes

[2] hollr viggjum ‘benevolent to horses’: Hollr ‘benevolent, friendly, loyal’ frequently governs a dat. of the beneficiary (LP: hollr), and this seems to be the case here. The horses are assumed to be literal, although in context metaphorical ones (as in the ship-kenning assumed by Finnur Jónsson, noted above) might seem more likely. If literal, the reference could be to horses kept for pagan ritual purposes (see Note to st. 13 [All] on Haraldr’s religion). Alternatively (as argued by Kock in NN §§259, 2203, followed in ÍF 26) the allusion could be to one of the tólf íþróttir ‘twelve accomplishments’ that Glúmr attributes to Haraldr in st. 14. This probably incomplete stanza does not enumerate the accomplishments, and the comparable stanzas attributed to Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ (Hharð Gamv 4II) and Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson (Rv Lv 1II) do not include horsemanship in their lists, but Kock includes it among a number of skills attributed to kings in Old Norse and Old English sources, and specifically (NN §259) in the eddic Rígsþula ( 35, 37, 42, 47).

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at ‘to’

5. at (nota): to (with infinitive)

[2] at: ‘[…]’ 39

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liggja ‘lie’

liggja (verb): lie

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gætir ‘The guardian’

gætir (noun m.): guardian

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

Glamma ‘of Glammi <sea-king>’

2. Glammi (noun m.): Glammi

[3] Glamma: gamla 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, Flat

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

Glamma ‘of Glammi <sea-king>’

2. Glammi (noun m.): Glammi

[3] Glamma: gamla 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, Flat

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

Glamma ‘of Glammi <sea-king>’

2. Glammi (noun m.): Glammi

[3] Glamma: gamla 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, Flat

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

sóta ‘of the steed’

sóti (noun m.; °-a): steed, Sóti

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

sóta ‘of the steed’

sóti (noun m.; °-a): steed, Sóti

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

sóta ‘of the steed’

sóti (noun m.; °-a): steed, Sóti

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

garðs ‘of the fence’

garðr (noun m.): enclosure, yard

[4] garðs: garð J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, Flat

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

garðs ‘of the fence’

garðr (noun m.): enclosure, yard

[4] garðs: garð J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, Flat

kennings

Gætir garðs sóta Glamma,
‘The guardian of the fence of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, ’
   = WARRIOR

the steed of Glammi <sea-king>, → SHIP
the fence of the SHIP → SHIELD
The guardian of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

Eylima ‘of Eylimi’s’

Eylimi (noun m.): Eylimi

[4] Eylima‑: ey lima 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, ‘eilima’ Flat

notes

[4] Eylimafjarðar ‘of Eylimi’s fjord [Limfjorden]’: It is clear from at Halsi ‘at Hals’ in l. 6 that the reference is to Limfjorden, the large strait (and until c. 1200 also a sea passage) across northern Jutland (see Note to Sigv Knútdr 8/8).

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fjarðar ‘fjord [Limfjorden]’

fjǫrðr (noun m.): fjord

[4] ‑fjarðar: ‘[…]þar’ 39

notes

[4] Eylimafjarðar ‘of Eylimi’s fjord [Limfjorden]’: It is clear from at Halsi ‘at Hals’ in l. 6 that the reference is to Limfjorden, the large strait (and until c. 1200 also a sea passage) across northern Jutland (see Note to Sigv Knútdr 8/8).

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Sendir ‘The dispenser’

sendir (noun m.): sender, distributor

kennings

Sendir báls sævar
‘The dispenser of the fire of the sea ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The dispenser of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

sævar ‘of the sea’

sjór (noun m.): sea

[6] sævar: ‘[…]var’ 39

kennings

Sendir báls sævar
‘The dispenser of the fire of the sea ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The dispenser of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

sævar ‘of the sea’

sjór (noun m.): sea

[6] sævar: ‘[…]var’ 39

kennings

Sendir báls sævar
‘The dispenser of the fire of the sea ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The dispenser of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

báls ‘of the fire’

bál (noun n.; °-s; -): fire

kennings

Sendir báls sævar
‘The dispenser of the fire of the sea ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The dispenser of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

báls ‘of the fire’

bál (noun n.; °-s; -): fire

kennings

Sendir báls sævar
‘The dispenser of the fire of the sea ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The dispenser of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

at ‘at’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[6] at: á 53, 54, Bb

notes

[6] at Halsi ‘at Hals’: Located at the eastern end of Limfjorden. It is possible that Glúmr knew a form of Hals with long vowel, which would provide a more exact rhyme on báls here, though lengthening in this and similar contexts does not generally occur until c. 1200 or shortly before (see ANG §124.3.)

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Halsi ‘Hals’

hals (noun m.; °hals, dat. -i; -ar): neck

[6] Halsi: ‘[…]’ 39

notes

[6] at Halsi ‘at Hals’: Located at the eastern end of Limfjorden. It is possible that Glúmr knew a form of Hals with long vowel, which would provide a more exact rhyme on báls here, though lengthening in this and similar contexts does not generally occur until c. 1200 or shortly before (see ANG §124.3.)

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olli ‘caused’

valda (verb): cause

[7] olli: ‘[…]’ 39

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jǫfra ‘of princes’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

[7] jǫfra: jǫfurs 62

kennings

orðheppinn spjalli jǫfra
‘the speech-blessed confidant of princes ’
   = JARL = Hákon

the speech-blessed confidant of princes → JARL = Hákon

notes

[7] spjalli jǫfra ‘confidant of princes [JARL = Hákon]’: Snorri (SnE 1998, I, 81) cites the kenning spjalli konungs ‘confidant of a king’ among kennings for jarlar ok hersar ok hirðmenn ‘jarls and hersar and retainers’, quoting Hfr Hákdr 5/2III, in which this kenning is used of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. The jarl referred to here may well be the same Hákon, who according to the prose accounts (the fullest of which is in Fsk, ÍF 29, 104-9) engineered the killing of Haraldr gráfeldr by persuading Gull-Haraldr, nephew of Haraldr Gormsson of Denmark, to kill Haraldr gráfeldr in order to gain rule over Norway. Hákon then killed Gull-Haraldr on the pretext of his supposed disloyalty to Haraldr Gormsson, and took control over Norway himself. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) notes that the kenning could also apply to the direct agent, Gull-Haraldr.

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spilli ‘’

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spjalli ‘confidant’

spjalli (noun m.): confidant

[7] spjalli: spilli Bb, falli 62

kennings

orðheppinn spjalli jǫfra
‘the speech-blessed confidant of princes ’
   = JARL = Hákon

the speech-blessed confidant of princes → JARL = Hákon

notes

[7] spjalli jǫfra ‘confidant of princes [JARL = Hákon]’: Snorri (SnE 1998, I, 81) cites the kenning spjalli konungs ‘confidant of a king’ among kennings for jarlar ok hersar ok hirðmenn ‘jarls and hersar and retainers’, quoting Hfr Hákdr 5/2III, in which this kenning is used of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. The jarl referred to here may well be the same Hákon, who according to the prose accounts (the fullest of which is in Fsk, ÍF 29, 104-9) engineered the killing of Haraldr gráfeldr by persuading Gull-Haraldr, nephew of Haraldr Gormsson of Denmark, to kill Haraldr gráfeldr in order to gain rule over Norway. Hákon then killed Gull-Haraldr on the pretext of his supposed disloyalty to Haraldr Gormsson, and took control over Norway himself. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) notes that the kenning could also apply to the direct agent, Gull-Haraldr.

Close

orðheppinn ‘the speech-blessed’

orðheppinn (adj./verb p.p.): [speech-blessed]

kennings

orðheppinn spjalli jǫfra
‘the speech-blessed confidant of princes ’
   = JARL = Hákon

the speech-blessed confidant of princes → JARL = Hákon

notes

[8] orðheppinn ‘speech-blessed’: (a) The adj., a hap. leg., is here construed with ll. 7-8, and the helmingr is read as two couplets. The attribution of verbal effectiveness seems to fit Hákon jarl most appropriately, both in general (in one of the two versions of Hfr Hákdr 5/2III he is described as snjallmæltr ‘wise in speech’) and in the context of the story of his incitement of Gull-Haraldr. (b) Grammatically it could qualify the subject of ll. 5-6, Haraldr gráfeldr, and this is how it is construed in Skj B. 

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því ‘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

notes

[8] því morði ‘that killing’: Morð is taken here to refer specifically to the death of Haraldr, but in skaldic language it often means ‘battle’, which is an alternative possibility here.

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morði ‘killing’

1. morð (noun n.; °-s; -): killing, battle

notes

[8] því morði ‘that killing’: Morð is taken here to refer specifically to the death of Haraldr, but in skaldic language it often means ‘battle’, which is an alternative possibility here.

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

In Hkr, the stanza follows a statement that Haraldr gráfeldr fell in battle. In Fsk, sts 10 and 11/5-8 form a stanza that is cited as evidence for the battle having taken place on land, presumably since Haraldr is said to die á sandi at Halsi ‘on the sand at Hals’ (l. 6).

The reference to Gráf 11 in the Note to Arn Hardr 13/2II is to the stanza now numbered Gráf 12. — [1-4]: (a) The interpretation adopted here is essentially that of Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12; see also NN §259 and ÍF 26), taking Eylimafjarðar ‘of Eylimi’s fjord’ as a punning reference to Limafjǫrðr (Limfjorden), or perhaps reflecting a serious antiquarian belief that the p. n. derived from that of a legendary king (LP: Eylimi). Ey and lima are written as one word in many mss. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) detaches ey ‘island’ from Limafjarðar ‘of Limfjorden’ and incorporates it in the kenning viggjum eygarðs ‘(with the) horses of the island-enclosure [SEA > SHIPS]’. Liggja then means not ‘lie (dead)’ but ‘lie at anchor’ (cf., e.g., ÞjóðA Har 5/5II). This produces a bland statement that does not relate to the death of Haraldr that is so prominent in the second helmingr. Further, viggjum hollr ‘benevolent to horses’, consecutive in the text, are separated, while eygarðs is read as a cpd, which involves assuming tmesis, which is rare in the earlier skaldic poetry. Interpretation (a) therefore seems preferable, despite the difficulty of hollr viggjum ‘benevolent to horses’ (see Note to l. 2).

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