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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 5I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 5’ 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. 902.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
456

Óláfr ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

Close

allra ‘of any’

allr (adj.): all

notes

[1] allra jǫfra ‘of any ruler’: Lit. ‘of all rulers’. Jǫfra does not alliterate in l. 1 (while Óláfr and allra do); this is among the indicators of a date no earlier than the late C12th.

Close

jǫfra ‘ruler’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

notes

[1] allra jǫfra ‘of any ruler’: Lit. ‘of all rulers’. Jǫfra does not alliterate in l. 1 (while Óláfr and allra do); this is among the indicators of a date no earlier than the late C12th.

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ótt ‘fear’

ótti (noun m.; °-a): fear < óttlauss (adj.): fearless

[2] óttlaust: allfljótt all others

notes

[2] óttlaust ‘fearlessly’: Allfljótt ‘very fast’ found in the ÓT mss is also feasible.

Close

laust ‘lessly’

lauss (adj.; °compar. lausari): loose, free, without < óttlauss (adj.): fearless

[2] óttlaust: allfljótt all others

notes

[2] óttlaust ‘fearlessly’: Allfljótt ‘very fast’ found in the ÓT mss is also feasible.

Close

nam ‘began’

1. nema (verb): to take

[2] nam: réð all others

notes

[2] nam ... brjóta ‘began ... to destroy’: The auxiliary nam, lit. ‘took’, could alternatively be taken as merely a pleonastic auxiliary, hence nam brjóta ‘destroyed’. The same would apply to réð, lit. ‘decided’ in the ÓT tradition.

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brjóta ‘to destroy’

brjóta (verb; °brýtr; braut, brutu; brotinn): to break, destroy

[2] brjóta: ‘biota’ 54

notes

[2] nam ... brjóta ‘began ... to destroy’: The auxiliary nam, lit. ‘took’, could alternatively be taken as merely a pleonastic auxiliary, hence nam brjóta ‘destroyed’. The same would apply to réð, lit. ‘decided’ in the ÓT tradition.

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Vinða ‘of the Wends’

Vinðr (noun m.; °; vinðr/-ir): the Wends

[3] Vinða: so all others, ‘vi(ar)nda’(?) Bb(111va)

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borgir ‘the strongholds’

borg (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -; -ir): city, stronghold

[3] borgir: borgar 62, Flat

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vestr ‘in the west’

2. vestr (adv.): west, in the west

notes

[4] vestr ‘in the west’: Wendland is situated to the west from the perspective of Garðar (Russia). An alternative possibility is that the stanza indicates the range of Óláfr’s campaigns, with vestr referring, as frequently, to the British Isles. However, the use of ok ‘and’ in l. 2 would suggest that the two actions in ll. 1-4 are geographically close rather than distant.

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hernað ‘raiding campaign’

hernaðr (noun m.): raiding campaign

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Hræ ‘of the corpse’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion < hrælinnr (noun m.): corpse-snake

[5] Hrælinns: hrundusk 53, 54, ‘hrunnoz’ Bb(16vb), hrælindr 62, hrænaðrs Flat

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

Hræ ‘of the corpse’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion < hrælinnr (noun m.): corpse-snake

[5] Hrælinns: hrundusk 53, 54, ‘hrunnoz’ Bb(16vb), hrælindr 62, hrænaðrs Flat

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

Hræ ‘of the corpse’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion < hrælinnr (noun m.): corpse-snake

[5] Hrælinns: hrundusk 53, 54, ‘hrunnoz’ Bb(16vb), hrælindr 62, hrænaðrs Flat

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

linns ‘serpent’

linnr (noun m.): snake < hrælinnr (noun m.): corpse-snake

[5] Hrælinns: hrundusk 53, 54, ‘hrunnoz’ Bb(16vb), hrælindr 62, hrænaðrs Flat

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

linns ‘serpent’

linnr (noun m.): snake < hrælinnr (noun m.): corpse-snake

[5] Hrælinns: hrundusk 53, 54, ‘hrunnoz’ Bb(16vb), hrælindr 62, hrænaðrs Flat

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

linns ‘serpent’

linnr (noun m.): snake < hrælinnr (noun m.): corpse-snake

[5] Hrælinns: hrundusk 53, 54, ‘hrunnoz’ Bb(16vb), hrælindr 62, hrænaðrs Flat

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

hverju ‘every’

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

[5] hverju: ‘hueru’ Flat

Close

hljóm ‘of the noise’

hljómr (noun m.; °dat. -i): sound < hljómváttandi (noun m.)

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

hljóm ‘of the noise’

hljómr (noun m.; °dat. -i): sound < hljómváttandi (noun m.)

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

váttandi ‘witness’

váttandi (noun m.): [witness] < hljómváttandi (noun m.)

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[6, 8] -váttandi; dóms ‘witness; of the verdict’: This is the only record of váttandi ‘witness’ in the skaldic corpus, and as the base-word of the warrior-kenning it extends the legal metaphor established by dóms ‘verdict’, base-word of the battle-kenning. Such legal vocabulary is relatively rare, though cf. Hókr Eirfl 6/8 vápneiðr ‘weapon-oath [BATTLE]’, and see Notes to Hfr ErfÓl 8/1, 8/4.

Close

knátti ‘’

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

[6] knátti: mátti all others

notes

[6, 7] knátti ráða sigri ‘won victory’: Lit. ‘was able to command victory’. 

Close

sókn ‘The attack’

sókn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): attack, fight < sóknbráðr (adj.): [attack-swift]

[7] sóknbráðr: sannfróðr all others

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[7] sóknbráðr ‘attack-swift’: This, with -ráð-, produces an aðalhending in an odd line, where a skothending would be usual, but this licence is common in Rst; see Introduction. The alternative sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ in the ÓT mss produces a skothending.

Close

bráðr ‘swift’

bráðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): quick(ly) < sóknbráðr (adj.): [attack-swift]

[7] sóknbráðr: sannfróðr all others

kennings

Sóknbráðr hrælinns hljómváttandi
‘noise-witness of the corpse-serpent’
   = WARRIOR

the corpse-serpent → SWORD
the noise of the SWORD → BATTLE
The attack-swift witness of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[7] sóknbráðr ‘attack-swift’: This, with -ráð-, produces an aðalhending in an odd line, where a skothending would be usual, but this licence is common in Rst; see Introduction. The alternative sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ in the ÓT mss produces a skothending.

Close

sigri ‘victory’

sigr (noun m.; °sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar): victory

notes

[6, 7] knátti ráða sigri ‘won victory’: Lit. ‘was able to command victory’. 

Close

ráða ‘won’

ráða (verb): advise, rule, interpret, decide

notes

[6, 7] knátti ráða sigri ‘won victory’: Lit. ‘was able to command victory’. 

Close

Svǫlnis ‘of Svǫlnir’

Svǫlnir (noun m.): Svǫlnir

[8] Svǫlnis dóms: snælinns dóm 53

kennings

dóms Svǫlnis.
‘of the verdict of Svǫlnir. ’
   = BATTLE

the verdict of Svǫlnir. → BATTLE

notes

[8] í rómu dóms Svǫlnis ‘in the tumult of the verdict of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: This seems the best solution, though the expression is somewhat overloaded, since róma ‘tumult’ most frequently functions as a heiti for ‘battle’ (LP: róma 2). Editions based on ÓT (Fms 12, 36; Skj B) take it in that sense, and construe sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ with dóms Svǫlnis, hence ‘truly wise or skilled in battle’.

Close

dóms ‘of the verdict’

dómr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): judgement; court; -dom, -ness (suffix)

[8] Svǫlnis dóms: snælinns dóm 53

kennings

dóms Svǫlnis.
‘of the verdict of Svǫlnir. ’
   = BATTLE

the verdict of Svǫlnir. → BATTLE

notes

[6, 8] -váttandi; dóms ‘witness; of the verdict’: This is the only record of váttandi ‘witness’ in the skaldic corpus, and as the base-word of the warrior-kenning it extends the legal metaphor established by dóms ‘verdict’, base-word of the battle-kenning. Such legal vocabulary is relatively rare, though cf. Hókr Eirfl 6/8 vápneiðr ‘weapon-oath [BATTLE]’, and see Notes to Hfr ErfÓl 8/1, 8/4. — [8] í rómu dóms Svǫlnis ‘in the tumult of the verdict of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: This seems the best solution, though the expression is somewhat overloaded, since róma ‘tumult’ most frequently functions as a heiti for ‘battle’ (LP: róma 2). Editions based on ÓT (Fms 12, 36; Skj B) take it in that sense, and construe sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ with dóms Svǫlnis, hence ‘truly wise or skilled in battle’.

Close

dóms ‘of the verdict’

dómr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): judgement; court; -dom, -ness (suffix)

[8] Svǫlnis dóms: snælinns dóm 53

kennings

dóms Svǫlnis.
‘of the verdict of Svǫlnir. ’
   = BATTLE

the verdict of Svǫlnir. → BATTLE

notes

[6, 8] -váttandi; dóms ‘witness; of the verdict’: This is the only record of váttandi ‘witness’ in the skaldic corpus, and as the base-word of the warrior-kenning it extends the legal metaphor established by dóms ‘verdict’, base-word of the battle-kenning. Such legal vocabulary is relatively rare, though cf. Hókr Eirfl 6/8 vápneiðr ‘weapon-oath [BATTLE]’, and see Notes to Hfr ErfÓl 8/1, 8/4. — [8] í rómu dóms Svǫlnis ‘in the tumult of the verdict of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: This seems the best solution, though the expression is somewhat overloaded, since róma ‘tumult’ most frequently functions as a heiti for ‘battle’ (LP: róma 2). Editions based on ÓT (Fms 12, 36; Skj B) take it in that sense, and construe sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ with dóms Svǫlnis, hence ‘truly wise or skilled in battle’.

Close

í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[8] í: ‘[...]’ 62

notes

[8] í rómu dóms Svǫlnis ‘in the tumult of the verdict of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: This seems the best solution, though the expression is somewhat overloaded, since róma ‘tumult’ most frequently functions as a heiti for ‘battle’ (LP: róma 2). Editions based on ÓT (Fms 12, 36; Skj B) take it in that sense, and construe sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ with dóms Svǫlnis, hence ‘truly wise or skilled in battle’.

Close

rómu ‘the tumult’

róma (noun f.): battle

notes

[8] í rómu dóms Svǫlnis ‘in the tumult of the verdict of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: This seems the best solution, though the expression is somewhat overloaded, since róma ‘tumult’ most frequently functions as a heiti for ‘battle’ (LP: róma 2). Editions based on ÓT (Fms 12, 36; Skj B) take it in that sense, and construe sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ with dóms Svǫlnis, hence ‘truly wise or skilled in battle’.

Close

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

The stanza concludes a detailed account of Óláfr harrying a city in Vinðland (Wendland).

The stanza is printed as st. 3 in previous eds following the order in ÓT, and the motivation and sequence of events is uncertain; see Introduction. For Óláfr’s attack on the Wends, see also Hfr Óldr 1/7-8.

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