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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 13I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 13’ 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. 911.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
121314

Húns ‘bear’s’

2. húnn (noun m.; °; húnar/húnir, acc. húni): young

kennings

Hverja nótt húns
‘Every bear’s night ’
   = WINTER

Every bear’s night → WINTER
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nótt ‘night’

nótt (noun f.): night

kennings

Hverja nótt húns
‘Every bear’s night ’
   = WINTER

Every bear’s night → WINTER
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hverja ‘Every’

2. hverr (pron.): who, whom, each, every

kennings

Hverja nótt húns
‘Every bear’s night ’
   = WINTER

Every bear’s night → WINTER
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knôttu ‘’

knega (verb): to know, understand, be able to

notes

[1, 2] knôttu ... spenna ‘gripped’: Lit. ‘were able to grip’.

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konungs ‘retainers’

konungr (noun m.; °dat. -i, -s; -ar): king

[2] konungs: jǫfurs 53

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spenna ‘gripped’

2. spenna (verb): span, surround

[2] spenna: at spenna 54, Bb(91vb)

notes

[1, 2] knôttu ... spenna ‘gripped’: Lit. ‘were able to grip’.

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gylld ‘the gilded’

1. gylla (verb): gild

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grœðis ‘of the ocean’

grœðir (noun m.): ?healer, ?ocean

kennings

grœðis meldrar;
‘of the ocean of flour; ’
   = ALE

the ocean of flour; → ALE

notes

[3] grœðis meldrar ‘of the ocean of flour [ALE]’: Meldr ‘flour’ functions like the reference to malt or grain that is more usual in ale-kennings (cf. Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Meissner 433). Finnur Jónsson (LP: grœðir, meldr 2) sees meldr here as a synonym for the magic mill Grotti or Grótti which rests on the sea-bed and produces gold (see Grott). However, as Kock points out in NN §1175 it is difficult to see what meaning that could have; a gold-kenning would be out of place.

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meldrar ‘of flour’

meldr (noun m.): flour

kennings

grœðis meldrar;
‘of the ocean of flour; ’
   = ALE

the ocean of flour; → ALE

notes

[3] grœðis meldrar ‘of the ocean of flour [ALE]’: Meldr ‘flour’ functions like the reference to malt or grain that is more usual in ale-kennings (cf. Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Meissner 433). Finnur Jónsson (LP: grœðir, meldr 2) sees meldr here as a synonym for the magic mill Grotti or Grótti which rests on the sea-bed and produces gold (see Grott). However, as Kock points out in NN §1175 it is difficult to see what meaning that could have; a gold-kenning would be out of place.

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vísi ‘ruler’

vísi (noun m.; °-a): leader

[4] vísi: so 61, ‘vis(v)’(?) Bb(111vb), vísir 53, 54, Bb(91vb), Flat

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þaðra ‘there’

þaðra (adv.): there

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Víð ‘The widely’

víðr (adj.): far < víðfrægr (adj.): far-renowned

[5] Víðfrægr: om. Bb(91vb)

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velja ‘’

velja (verb): choose

notes

[5] téði velja ‘provided’: Téði (inf. tjá ‘show, report’) has a purely auxiliary function here. Velja, most often ‘choose’, has the sense ‘provide’ here; cf. st. 8/7.

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téði ‘provided’

tjá (verb): to put in order, prepare

notes

[5] téði velja ‘provided’: Téði (inf. tjá ‘show, report’) has a purely auxiliary function here. Velja, most often ‘choose’, has the sense ‘provide’ here; cf. st. 8/7.

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hús ‘house’

hús (noun n.; °-s; -): house < húskarl (noun m.): retainer

[6] húskǫrlum: hirðmǫnnum all others

notes

[6] húskǫrlum sínum ‘for his housecarls’: The king’s elite retainers or bodyguard. See Note to Okík Magn 2/6II. Here the ÓT mss have hirðmǫnnum ‘retainers’, which awkwardly repeats hirðmenn in l. 2.

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kǫrlum ‘carls’

karl (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): (old) man < húskarl (noun m.): retainer

[6] húskǫrlum: hirðmǫnnum all others

notes

[6] húskǫrlum sínum ‘for his housecarls’: The king’s elite retainers or bodyguard. See Note to Okík Magn 2/6II. Here the ÓT mss have hirðmǫnnum ‘retainers’, which awkwardly repeats hirðmenn in l. 2.

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sínum ‘for his’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

notes

[6] húskǫrlum sínum ‘for his housecarls’: The king’s elite retainers or bodyguard. See Note to Okík Magn 2/6II. Here the ÓT mss have hirðmǫnnum ‘retainers’, which awkwardly repeats hirðmenn in l. 2.

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einkar ‘exceptionally’

einkar (adv.): extremely

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mildum ‘generously’

mildr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -astr): mild, gentle, gracious, generous

notes

[7] mildum ‘generously’: (a) Kock (NN §1176) seems to be correct in taking this as an adverbial dat. Adverbial use of an adj. in the dat. pl. is possible, though restricted (see NS §110 Anm. 2 for examples such as stórum ‘greatly’, bráðum ‘hastily, soon’), and the sense could be ‘by generous (acts)’. (b) In terms of grammar, the most obvious solution is to take (einkar) mildum ‘(exceptionally) generous’ as an adj. qualifying húskǫrlum ‘retainers’ (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, followed by Skj B), but it seems unlikely that the housecarls, rather than the sovereign, are praised in this way.

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Óláfr ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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veg ‘the path’

1. vegr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -i/-; -ar/-ir, gen. -a/-na, acc. -a/-i/-u): way, path, side

kennings

veg sólar …
‘the path of the sun … ’
   = SKY

the path of the sun … → SKY
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sólar ‘of the sun’

sól (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): sun

kennings

veg sólar …
‘the path of the sun … ’
   = SKY

the path of the sun … → SKY
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The stanza illustrates how the king spent his winters in generous and convivial drinking with his men.

Similar praise of a ruler for generously providing for his men throughout the winter is found in Arn Þorfdr 2II, which also contains kennings for ‘winter’ and ‘ale’. — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see Note to st. 9/8.

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