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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 26I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 26’ 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. 928.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
252627

Val ‘in the falcon’

2. valr (noun m.; °-s): falcon < valstafn (noun m.)

[1] Valstafns: vark jafns 61, 53, 54, Bb(94rb), var jafn Flat

kennings

valstafns,
‘in the falcon-stem, ’
   = ARM

in the falcon-stem, → ARM

notes

[1] valstafns ‘in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: Another kenning referring to ‘arm’ as the perch of a hunting bird is found in st. 8/1, 4. Valstafn also occurs in Anon Gyð 6/4VII. — [1] vætki rofna valstafns ‘not giving way in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: (a) The line is problematic, but the present interpretation (which matches that of SHI 3 and Konráð Gíslason 1895-7) gives reasonable sense by taking rofna as the adjectival m. acc. pl. p. p. from rjúfa ‘to break’, hence, with the negative vætki, ‘not at all broken, not giving way or failing’. This is taken with the arm-kenning valstafns, hence ‘not giving way in the arm’ (cf. NS §137 for adj. + gen. constructions), and it qualifies hirðmeðr ‘retainers’ (l. 4), characterizing them as powerful warriors (and perhaps, in the context, climbers). (b) The reading of the ÓT mss, vask jafns rofnat, is still more difficult to construe. Finnur Jónsson’s solution (Skj B) involves emendation to (rofna) vizku ‘(deprived of) their wits’, as well as a complex word order. (c) This is rejected by Kock (NN §1183), whose interpretation involves postulating a verb *rafna ‘perform’ (cf. OE ræfnian ‘perform, carry out’).

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Val ‘in the falcon’

2. valr (noun m.; °-s): falcon < valstafn (noun m.)

[1] Valstafns: vark jafns 61, 53, 54, Bb(94rb), var jafn Flat

kennings

valstafns,
‘in the falcon-stem, ’
   = ARM

in the falcon-stem, → ARM

notes

[1] valstafns ‘in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: Another kenning referring to ‘arm’ as the perch of a hunting bird is found in st. 8/1, 4. Valstafn also occurs in Anon Gyð 6/4VII. — [1] vætki rofna valstafns ‘not giving way in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: (a) The line is problematic, but the present interpretation (which matches that of SHI 3 and Konráð Gíslason 1895-7) gives reasonable sense by taking rofna as the adjectival m. acc. pl. p. p. from rjúfa ‘to break’, hence, with the negative vætki, ‘not at all broken, not giving way or failing’. This is taken with the arm-kenning valstafns, hence ‘not giving way in the arm’ (cf. NS §137 for adj. + gen. constructions), and it qualifies hirðmeðr ‘retainers’ (l. 4), characterizing them as powerful warriors (and perhaps, in the context, climbers). (b) The reading of the ÓT mss, vask jafns rofnat, is still more difficult to construe. Finnur Jónsson’s solution (Skj B) involves emendation to (rofna) vizku ‘(deprived of) their wits’, as well as a complex word order. (c) This is rejected by Kock (NN §1183), whose interpretation involves postulating a verb *rafna ‘perform’ (cf. OE ræfnian ‘perform, carry out’).

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stafns ‘stem’

stafn (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): prow < valstafn (noun m.)

[1] Valstafns: vark jafns 61, 53, 54, Bb(94rb), var jafn Flat

kennings

valstafns,
‘in the falcon-stem, ’
   = ARM

in the falcon-stem, → ARM

notes

[1] valstafns ‘in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: Another kenning referring to ‘arm’ as the perch of a hunting bird is found in st. 8/1, 4. Valstafn also occurs in Anon Gyð 6/4VII. — [1] vætki rofna valstafns ‘not giving way in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: (a) The line is problematic, but the present interpretation (which matches that of SHI 3 and Konráð Gíslason 1895-7) gives reasonable sense by taking rofna as the adjectival m. acc. pl. p. p. from rjúfa ‘to break’, hence, with the negative vætki, ‘not at all broken, not giving way or failing’. This is taken with the arm-kenning valstafns, hence ‘not giving way in the arm’ (cf. NS §137 for adj. + gen. constructions), and it qualifies hirðmeðr ‘retainers’ (l. 4), characterizing them as powerful warriors (and perhaps, in the context, climbers). (b) The reading of the ÓT mss, vask jafns rofnat, is still more difficult to construe. Finnur Jónsson’s solution (Skj B) involves emendation to (rofna) vizku ‘(deprived of) their wits’, as well as a complex word order. (c) This is rejected by Kock (NN §1183), whose interpretation involves postulating a verb *rafna ‘perform’ (cf. OE ræfnian ‘perform, carry out’).

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stafns ‘stem’

stafn (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): prow < valstafn (noun m.)

[1] Valstafns: vark jafns 61, 53, 54, Bb(94rb), var jafn Flat

kennings

valstafns,
‘in the falcon-stem, ’
   = ARM

in the falcon-stem, → ARM

notes

[1] valstafns ‘in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: Another kenning referring to ‘arm’ as the perch of a hunting bird is found in st. 8/1, 4. Valstafn also occurs in Anon Gyð 6/4VII. — [1] vætki rofna valstafns ‘not giving way in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: (a) The line is problematic, but the present interpretation (which matches that of SHI 3 and Konráð Gíslason 1895-7) gives reasonable sense by taking rofna as the adjectival m. acc. pl. p. p. from rjúfa ‘to break’, hence, with the negative vætki, ‘not at all broken, not giving way or failing’. This is taken with the arm-kenning valstafns, hence ‘not giving way in the arm’ (cf. NS §137 for adj. + gen. constructions), and it qualifies hirðmeðr ‘retainers’ (l. 4), characterizing them as powerful warriors (and perhaps, in the context, climbers). (b) The reading of the ÓT mss, vask jafns rofnat, is still more difficult to construe. Finnur Jónsson’s solution (Skj B) involves emendation to (rofna) vizku ‘(deprived of) their wits’, as well as a complex word order. (c) This is rejected by Kock (NN §1183), whose interpretation involves postulating a verb *rafna ‘perform’ (cf. OE ræfnian ‘perform, carry out’).

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vætki ‘not giving’

vættki (noun n.; °vettugis/vettergis, dat. vettugi): nothing

[1] vætki: so all others, ‘vatki’ Bb(112rb)

notes

[1] vætki rofna valstafns ‘not giving way in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: (a) The line is problematic, but the present interpretation (which matches that of SHI 3 and Konráð Gíslason 1895-7) gives reasonable sense by taking rofna as the adjectival m. acc. pl. p. p. from rjúfa ‘to break’, hence, with the negative vætki, ‘not at all broken, not giving way or failing’. This is taken with the arm-kenning valstafns, hence ‘not giving way in the arm’ (cf. NS §137 for adj. + gen. constructions), and it qualifies hirðmeðr ‘retainers’ (l. 4), characterizing them as powerful warriors (and perhaps, in the context, climbers). (b) The reading of the ÓT mss, vask jafns rofnat, is still more difficult to construe. Finnur Jónsson’s solution (Skj B) involves emendation to (rofna) vizku ‘(deprived of) their wits’, as well as a complex word order. (c) This is rejected by Kock (NN §1183), whose interpretation involves postulating a verb *rafna ‘perform’ (cf. OE ræfnian ‘perform, carry out’).

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rofna ‘way’

rofna (verb): broken

[1] rofna: rofnat 61, 53, 54, Bb(94rb), rofnaðr Flat

notes

[1] vætki rofna valstafns ‘not giving way in the falcon-stem [ARM]’: (a) The line is problematic, but the present interpretation (which matches that of SHI 3 and Konráð Gíslason 1895-7) gives reasonable sense by taking rofna as the adjectival m. acc. pl. p. p. from rjúfa ‘to break’, hence, with the negative vætki, ‘not at all broken, not giving way or failing’. This is taken with the arm-kenning valstafns, hence ‘not giving way in the arm’ (cf. NS §137 for adj. + gen. constructions), and it qualifies hirðmeðr ‘retainers’ (l. 4), characterizing them as powerful warriors (and perhaps, in the context, climbers). (b) The reading of the ÓT mss, vask jafns rofnat, is still more difficult to construe. Finnur Jónsson’s solution (Skj B) involves emendation to (rofna) vizku ‘(deprived of) their wits’, as well as a complex word order. (c) This is rejected by Kock (NN §1183), whose interpretation involves postulating a verb *rafna ‘perform’ (cf. OE ræfnian ‘perform, carry out’).

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frák ‘I have heard’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

[2] frák (‘ek fra’): so all others, ek sá Bb(112rb)

notes

[2] frák ‘I have heard’: This, the reading of the ÓT mss, is preferable to sák ‘I saw’ in Bb(112rb), since Hallar-Steinn could not claim to be an eye-witness.

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tvenna ‘that two’

tvennr (adj.): two

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haus ‘head’

hauss (noun m.; °hauss, dat. hausi/haus; hausar): skull

notes

[3, 4] veðja haus manns ljósum hringi ‘bet a man’s head [and] a shining ring’: Veðja ‘to bet, wager’ takes a dat. object, as seen in ljósum hringi ‘a shining ring’. Haus (manns) seems to be used in an equivalent way to denote the other part of the reciprocal wager, and it is taken as such by the ÓT compiler, but dat. hausi (manns) ‘(a man’s) head’ would be expected; haus must therefore be taken as an endingless dat.

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manns ‘a man’s’

maðr (noun m.): man, person

notes

[3, 4] veðja haus manns ljósum hringi ‘bet a man’s head [and] a shining ring’: Veðja ‘to bet, wager’ takes a dat. object, as seen in ljósum hringi ‘a shining ring’. Haus (manns) seems to be used in an equivalent way to denote the other part of the reciprocal wager, and it is taken as such by the ÓT compiler, but dat. hausi (manns) ‘(a man’s) head’ would be expected; haus must therefore be taken as an endingless dat.

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hringi ‘ring’

1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword

notes

[3, 4] veðja haus manns ljósum hringi ‘bet a man’s head [and] a shining ring’: Veðja ‘to bet, wager’ takes a dat. object, as seen in ljósum hringi ‘a shining ring’. Haus (manns) seems to be used in an equivalent way to denote the other part of the reciprocal wager, and it is taken as such by the ÓT compiler, but dat. hausi (manns) ‘(a man’s) head’ would be expected; haus must therefore be taken as an endingless dat.

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ljósum ‘shining’

ljóss (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): bright

[3] ljósum: lausum 54, Bb(94rb)

notes

[3, 4] veðja haus manns ljósum hringi ‘bet a man’s head [and] a shining ring’: Veðja ‘to bet, wager’ takes a dat. object, as seen in ljósum hringi ‘a shining ring’. Haus (manns) seems to be used in an equivalent way to denote the other part of the reciprocal wager, and it is taken as such by the ÓT compiler, but dat. hausi (manns) ‘(a man’s) head’ would be expected; haus must therefore be taken as an endingless dat.

Close

veðja ‘bet’

veðja (verb): [bet]

[4] veðja: at veðja 54, Bb(94rb)

notes

[3, 4] veðja haus manns ljósum hringi ‘bet a man’s head [and] a shining ring’: Veðja ‘to bet, wager’ takes a dat. object, as seen in ljósum hringi ‘a shining ring’. Haus (manns) seems to be used in an equivalent way to denote the other part of the reciprocal wager, and it is taken as such by the ÓT compiler, but dat. hausi (manns) ‘(a man’s) head’ would be expected; haus must therefore be taken as an endingless dat.

Close

Her ‘very’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host < hermargr (adj.): a great deal

notes

[5] hermart ‘very much’: The form mart rather than margt is indicated by the hending with snyrtir; cf. also st. 34/1. Syntactically, Kock (NN §1184) takes the word with lézk ‘declared’ (l. 6) rather than with framði ‘performed’ (l. 7), producing a simpler word order but less good sense.

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mart ‘much’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many < hermargr (adj.): a great deal

notes

[5] hermart ‘very much’: The form mart rather than margt is indicated by the hending with snyrtir; cf. also st. 34/1. Syntactically, Kock (NN §1184) takes the word with lézk ‘declared’ (l. 6) rather than with framði ‘performed’ (l. 7), producing a simpler word order but less good sense.

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hjǫrva ‘of swords’

hjǫrr (noun m.): sword

kennings

Hvárr snyrtir hjǫrva
‘Each polisher of swords ’
   = WARRIOR

Each polisher of swords → WARRIOR
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snyrtir ‘polisher’

snyrtir (noun m.): polisher

kennings

Hvárr snyrtir hjǫrva
‘Each polisher of swords ’
   = WARRIOR

Each polisher of swords → WARRIOR
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hvárr ‘Each’

hvárr (pron.): who, which, what, whether

kennings

Hvárr snyrtir hjǫrva
‘Each polisher of swords ’
   = WARRIOR

Each polisher of swords → WARRIOR
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lézk ‘claimed’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[6] lézk: ‘bet(z)’(?) Bb(94rb)

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grams ‘of the prince’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

[6] grams: gramr 54, Bb(94rb)

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styrremðr ‘the battle-mighty’

styrremðr (adj./verb p.p.): [battle-mighty]

[7] styrremðr: so 61, Bb(94rb), Flat, styr réð Bb(112rb), styrr eðr 53, ‘styremdr’ 54

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fœrri ‘he was more agile’

fœrr (adj.): capable

[8] fœrri: ferri 53

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

This and the following two stanzas illustrate a narrative about a rock-climbing incident. Two of Óláfr’s retainers bet on who will be the fastest to climb a high and precipitous crag. One wagers his head, the other a gold ring.

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