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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 10I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 10’ 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. 415.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
91011

Sukku niðr af Naðri
naddfárs í bǫð sárir
baugs — gerðut við vægjask —
verkendr meginserkjar.
Vanr mun Ormr, þótt Ormi
alldýrr konungr stýri,
hvars skríðr með lið lýða,
lengi slíkra drengja.

{Sárir verkendr {meginserkjar {baugs {naddfárs}}}} sukku niðr af Naðri í bǫð; gerðut vægjask við. Ormr mun lengi vanr slíkra drengja, hvars skríðr með lið lýða, þótt alldýrr konungr stýri Ormi.

{Wounded workers {of the mighty shirt {of the ring {of point-harm}}}} [BATTLE > SHIELD > MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS] sank down off Naðr (‘Adder’) in battle; they did not yield. Ormr (‘Serpent’) will long lack such warriors, wherever it glides with a company of men, though a very eminent king may command Ormr.

Mss: FskAˣ(140) (Fsk); Holm18(53r), 310(89), 4-7(1va) (ÓTOdd); Kˣ(212v-213r), F(36rb), 325VIII 1(5va), J1ˣ(132r), J2ˣ(115r) (Hkr); 61(67vb), 53(64vb), 54(64vb), Bb(100va), Flat(64vb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Sukku: ‘sukk[...]’ 325VIII 1    [2] nadd‑: ‘nað‑’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 53, ‘nad‑’ 54, Bb    [3] baugs: bǫðs J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    gerðut (‘gerðoð’): gerðusk 310, Kˣ, Flat, gerðu F, ‘[…]vt’ 325VIII 1;    vægjask: ‘vegia’ J1ˣ, ‘vegiar’ J2ˣ, ‘vęigiaz’ Bb    [4] verkendr: ‘verkomendr’ 54, Bb;    megin: so Kˣ, F, 325VIII 1, Heðins FskAˣ, Holm18, 310, 4‑7, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, Flat, ‘hendiss’ 54, Bb;    serkjar: om. Bb    [5] Vanr: vant 4‑7, ‘[…]nr’ 325VIII 1;    mun: munat F;    þótt: at Bb, af Flat    [7] hvars (‘hvars hann’): so Holm18, 310, Kˣ, F, þar er hann FskAˣ, þars 4‑7, 53, ‘[…]vars hann’ 325VIII 1, þars hann J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, þar 54, Bb, hvars er hann Flat;    skríðr: skreið 4‑7, skirðr 325VIII 1;    lið: ‘liþ’ apparently corrected from ‘lyþ’ 310    [8] lengi: lengri Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 162, Skj BI, 153, Skald I, 83, NN §§476, 2051A; Fsk 1902-3, 129 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 157 (ch. 24); ÓTOdd 1932, 224, ÍF 25, 339-40; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 447, IV, 99, ÍF 26, 361-2, Hkr 1991, I, 245 (ÓTHkr ch. 107), F 1871, 163; SHI 2, 313, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 274 (ch. 251), Flat 1860-8, I, 486.

Context: Óláfr’s men leap on to Ormr inn langi’s gunwales in their eagerness to reach their enemies; many end up in the sea.

Notes: [1] af Naðri ‘off Naðr (“Adder”)’: A pun on the name of Óláfr’s longship Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’. Similar puns or ofljóst expressions, referring to the ship by means of other terms for ‘snake’, ‘serpent’ or ‘dragon’, occur in sts 14/2 and 16/4 below and widely elsewhere, e.g. Hókr Eirfl 3/8, 8/6, HSt Rst 18/2, 23/4, Anon Óldr 21/4, Anon Ól 4/6. The witty repetition of the name of this famous ship here and in st. 16 may be one reason why these stanzas were so widely preserved. Ormr is also named directly twice in l. 5 of the present stanza and frequently elsewhere, e.g. sts 17/1, 24/5 below, Hókr Eirfl 3/4, HSt Rst 15/5, Anon Óldr 19/6, Anon Ól 6/2. For the ship, see Note to Hókr Eirfl 3/4. — [2-4]: The overall meaning is clear, with verkendr ‘workers’, albeit unparalleled, as the base-word of a warrior-kenning which is the subject of sukku ‘sank’; but the gen. nouns naddfárs, baugs, Heðins and serkjar are difficult to account for in the absence of another base-word. The minority reading megin- is therefore adopted here in preference to Heðins (see Notes to ll. 2 and 4 below). — [2] naddfárs ‘of point-harm [BATTLE]’: This word is difficult to accommodate in the syntax, particularly in interpretations based on Heðins in l. 4. (a) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B) emends -fárs to -fár, hence vægjask við naddbaugs fár ‘to yield/spare themselves in the spear-harm of the ring’, where naddbaugr is (tentatively) ‘spear-ring’, hence ‘shield’ and its fár ‘harm’ is ‘battle’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV). (b) ÍF 26, ÍF 29, Hkr 1991 and ÍF 25 attach naddfárs ‘of point-harm’ to bǫð ‘battle’ to form an expression for ‘battle’. But bǫð naddfárs is not a true kenning, as the base-word bǫð ‘battle’ is the same as the referent; moreover, ‘battle’ is the primary meaning of naddfárs as well. (c) Similar objections exist to suggestions made by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI 2; LP (1860): naddfár). (d) Kock (NN §476) reads naddfárs í bǫð as a loose periphrasis meaning ‘in spear-battle’. (e) Hkr 1991 reads af Naðri naddfárs as ‘from Naðr [where there was] point-harm’. (f) Naddfárs could be regarded as an adverbial gen. of place, ‘in the point-harm [BATTLE]’, with gerðut vægjask við ‘did not yield’ (see NS §141, though the parallels are not exact; also Poole 2004). — [4] megin- ‘mighty’: (a) This, the reading of some Hkr mss, provides the best solution to the helmingr’s excess of nominal elements and is adopted here, although, since Heðins is shared by all other ms. groupings, megin may be suspected to be a post-compositional lectio facilior. (b) Another interpretation involving megin yields verkendr meginserkjar baugs ‘workers of the mighty shirt of the ring [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, but this leaves naddfárs to be accounted for, and the solutions mentioned in the Note to l. 2. are not wholly satisfactory. (c) The majority reading Heðins may be influenced by the occurrence of the name in sts 12/4 (see Note) and 24/3, 4. If correct, it could be accommodated by reading verkendr baugs serkjar Heðins ‘workers of the snake of the shirt of Heðinn <legendary hero> [MAIL-SHIRT > SWORD > WARRIORS]’, following a tentative suggestion by Ólafur Halldórsson in ÍF 25. Baugr m., normally ‘ring’, could be taken to mean ‘snake, coiling creature’ on the basis of its appearance in snake-kennings of the pattern ‘baugr of the earth’ (LP: baugr 1). (d) See SHI for a different interpretation. — [7] hvars ‘wherever’: Þars ‘where’, the reading of many mss, also makes sense but is less emphatic. — [7] skríðr ‘it glides’: Hann ‘it’ (referring to the ship Ormr inn langi) is inserted in most mss before skríðr to clarify the syntax, but it renders the line hypermetric.

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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. 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.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. 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.
  8. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  9. ÓTOdd 1932 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1932. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar af Oddr Snorrason munk. Copenhagen: Gad.
  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. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  15. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  16. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  17. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  18. Poole, Russell. 2004. ‘Adverbial Genitives in Skaldic Poetry’. MS 104, 115-31.
  19. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  20. Internal references
  21. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  22. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 19’ 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. 1050.
  23. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 21’ 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. 1052.
  24. Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr’ 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. 469.
  25. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason 4’ 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. 1065.
  26. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason 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. 1067.
  27. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 15’ 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. 913.
  28. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 18’ 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. 918.
  29. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 3’ 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. 475.
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