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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gsind Hákdr 6I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Guthormr sindri, Hákonardrápa 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. 164.

Guthormr sindriHákonardrápa
567

Valþagnar lét vegnum
vígnestr saman bresta
handar vafs of hǫfðum
hlymmildingum gildir.
Þar gekk Njǫrðr af Nirði
nadds hámána raddar
valbrands víðra landa
vápnunduðum sunda.

{Gildir {vafs handar}} lét {vígnestr} bresta saman of hǫfðum {vegnum {Valþagnar hlym}mildingum}. Þar gekk {Njǫrðr {raddar {hámána nadds}}} af {vápnunduðum Nirði {víðra landa {sunda {valbrands}}}}.

{The payer {of the coil of the arm}} [ARM-RING > GENEROUS MAN = Hákon] let {war-needles} [SPEARS] clash together over the heads {of the slain bestowers {of the tumult of Valþǫgn <valkyrie>}} [(lit. ‘tumult-bestowers of Valþǫgn’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]. There {the Njǫrðr <god> {of the voice {of the high moon of the spear}}} [SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon] went from {the weapon-wounded Njǫrðr <god> {of the wide lands {of the inlets {of the slaughter-fire}}}} [SWORD > BLOOD > SHIELDS > WARRIOR = Guthormr Eiríksson].

Mss: (95v), 39(1va-b), F(16vb), J1ˣ(57v), J2ˣ(54r) (Hkr); 61(5va), 53(4va), 325IX 1 a(2ra), Bb(7rb), Flat(8ra) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] ‑þagnar: so 53, ‑þǫgnir Kˣ, 39, 61, ‑rǫgnir F, ‘‑þamar’ J1ˣ, ‘‑þꜹnar’ J2ˣ, ‑þǫgnar 325IX 1 a, Bb, ‑þegnar Flat;    lét: réð 53, 325IX 1 a, Bb    [2] ‑nestr: ‑nest J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    saman: sama J1ˣ    [3] handar: hand J1ˣ, hríðar Flat;    vafs: ‘nafs’ 39, F, varps Flat;    of: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 325IX 1 a, af Kˣ, 39, F, ok Bb, Flat    [4] hlym‑: hlýðin‑ 53, ‘hlyttr‑’ Flat;    ‑mildingum: ‘‑minndingom’ 39, ‑milding 53, ‑mildingr 325IX 1 a, Bb, Flat;    gildir: gildit 39, F, gildar 61, 325IX 1 a, gildan Bb, gildi Flat    [5] Nirði: niðri 53, ‘nírdrí’ Bb    [6] nadds: ‘nandz’ J1ˣ, naddrs Flat    [7] ‑brands: ‑brandr 39, 53, 325IX 1 a, ‑braut Flat    [8] sunda: lét sunda Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 63, Skj BI, 56, Skald I, 34-5, NN §§146, 1079, 1932; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 197, IV, 50, ÍF 26, 174, Hkr 1991, I, 110-1 (HákGóð ch. 19), F 1871, 76; Fms 1, 38, Fms 12, 27-8, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 37-8 (ch. 24), Flat 1860-8, I, 58 .

Context: Hákon learns that the Eiríkssynir (or Gunnhildarsynir) have entered Vík (Viken), putting Tryggvi Óláfsson to flight and raiding extensively. He defeats them at Ǫgvaldsnes (Avaldsnes, Rogaland) and they flee, weakened by the death of their leader Guthormr Eiríksson in the battle.

Notes: [1] Valþagnar ‘of Valþǫgn <valkyrie>’: On this proper noun, see Finnur Jónsson (1884, 87).  — [2] vígnestr (f. acc. pl.) ‘war-needles [SPEARS]’: The kenning could mean either ‘spears’ (Finnur Jónsson 1884, 88-9; Skj B) or ‘swords’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV;  ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). Meissner 156 lists it among sword-kennings but also mentions ‘spear’ and ‘shield’ as possibilities. — [3, 4] gildir vafs handar ‘the payer of the coil of the arm [ARM-RING > GENEROUS MAN = Hákon]’: This reflects derivation of gildir from gilda ‘give value, validate’ or gjalda ‘to pay’ (Meissner 293-4; cf. Hkr 1893-1901, IV). The heiti vaf ‘coil, wrapper’ occurs only twice in the poetic corpus (Finnur Jónsson 1884, 88-9; cf. AEW: vaf). — [5-8]: Remarkable is the construction of two kennings upon the base-word Njǫrðr (nom. sg.) and Nirði (dat. sg.) ‘Njǫrðr <god>’, though cf. a similar use of Baldr in Hharð Lv 5II, continued in ÞjóðA Lv 3II. The first kenning refers to Hákon, the second to his slain opponent, Guthormr Eiríksson. The detailed analysis of the helmingr, and particularly of l. 8 sunda ‘of the inlets’, however, presents difficulties. (a) It is assumed here, with most previous eds (including ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, with differences of detail) that gen. pl. sunda forms a blood-kenning with one or other of the two kennings in the helmingr. In the construal shown above, the sword-kenning is the determinant of the blood-kenning. A variation on this is to read Njǫrðr raddar sunda hámána nadds ‘Njǫrðr of the voice of the inlets of the high moon of the spear [SHIELD > BLOOD > BATTLE > WARRIOR]’ where the shield-kenning is the determinant of the blood-kenning, but this is not a known pattern (cf. the blood-kennings in Meissner 204-5). Neither solution is unproblematic, since the battle-kenning in l. 6 and the shields-kenning in l. 7 are both logically complete without the addition of sunda ‘of the inlets’. (b) Finnur Jónsson’s analysis (1884, 90; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; tacit in Skj B; LP: hômáni, valbrandr; cf. Björn Magnússon Ólsen 1886, 192) involves two cases of tmesis: há-raddar ‘loud voice’ and val-sunda ‘corpse-inlets’, but this is unnecessary (Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 129). (c) Kock (NN §1932, modifying a solution proposed in NN §1079A) reads sunda víðra landa valbrands vápnunduðum ‘wounded by the weapon of the inlets of the wide lands of the slaughter-fire [SWORD > SHIELDS > BLOOD]’, i.e. ‘wounded by a bloody weapon’, but the syntax implicit in this postulated use of the kenning to qualify vápn ‘weapon’ is dubious (cf. Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 129). — [6] hámána ‘of the high moon’: This, the base-word in a shield-kenning, has been interpreted as a reference to a long shield (Meissner 62) or a shield held high (Kock, NN §146).

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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  7. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  13. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  14. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  15. Finnur Jónsson. 1884. Kritiske studier over en del af de ældste norske og islandske skjaldekvad. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  16. Sahlgren, Jöran. 1927-8. Eddica et Scaldica. Fornvästnordiska studier I-II. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  17. Björn Magnússon Ólsen. 1886. ‘Bemærkninger til to vers af Guthormr Sindre’. ÅNOH, 190-203.
  18. Internal references
  19. Not published: do not cite (HákGóðII)
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 5’ 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, p. 47.
  21. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 3’ 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, pp. 167-8.
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