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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 3I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 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. 405.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
234

skal ‘One must’

skulu (verb): shall, should, must

[1] skal: om. Flat

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’s ‘’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when < 1. sá (pron.): that (one), those

[1] þess’s (‘þess er’): þess Flat

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vápna ‘of weapons’

vápn (noun n.; °-s; -): weapon

[2] vápna: orða Bb

kennings

sennu vápna:
‘the flyting of weapons: ’
   = BATTLE

the flyting of weapons: → BATTLE
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sennu ‘the flyting’

1. senna (noun f.; °; -ur): quarrel

kennings

sennu vápna:
‘the flyting of weapons: ’
   = BATTLE

the flyting of weapons: → BATTLE
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dolga ‘of strife’

dolgr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ar): enemy, battle

kennings

dáðǫflgan bǫr fangs dolga
‘the deed-mighty tree of the tunic of strife ’
   = WARRIOR

the tunic of strife → MAIL-SHIRT
the deed-mighty tree of the MAIL-SHIRT → WARRIOR

notes

[3-4] bǫr fangs dolga ‘tree of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIOR]’: (a) Bǫr(r) (lit. ‘conifer’) is the base-word of this man-kenning, and dolga is gen. pl. of dolg n. ‘strife, enmity, combat’ (see HHund I 20/3, for the pl. meaning ‘battle, strife’). Gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ is also grammatically possible, but very unlikely since dolgr in kennings is usually the base-word. Fang, usually ‘grasp, hold’, here refers to a garment (Meissner 165; AEW: fang 2). (b) Gram ‘lord’, the alternative to bǫr, found in a single ÓTOdd ms. as well as most Hkr mss and all ÓT mss, would yield dáðǫflgan gram ‘deed-mighty lord’ and drengi fangs dolga. The latter phrase is explained by Kock (NN §2448) as ‘warriors of enemies’ tussle [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, where dolga is gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ and fang is ‘tussle, grappling, wrestling’, but his battle-kenning lacks solid parallels (the C14th fundr dolga ‘meeting of enemies’, Anon (FoGT) 18/4III, does not function as a kenning in its context) and drengr ‘warrior’ is unsatisfactory as a base-word of a warrior-kenning, as it is identical to the referent (Meissner 28-9). (c) The latter objection also applies to drengi fangs dolga ‘men of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, tentatively suggested in Hkr 1991. Gram is probably a corruption, inserted by a scribe who did not understand the kenning as it stood (ÍF 25; see also ÍF 26).

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dolga ‘of strife’

dolgr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ar): enemy, battle

kennings

dáðǫflgan bǫr fangs dolga
‘the deed-mighty tree of the tunic of strife ’
   = WARRIOR

the tunic of strife → MAIL-SHIRT
the deed-mighty tree of the MAIL-SHIRT → WARRIOR

notes

[3-4] bǫr fangs dolga ‘tree of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIOR]’: (a) Bǫr(r) (lit. ‘conifer’) is the base-word of this man-kenning, and dolga is gen. pl. of dolg n. ‘strife, enmity, combat’ (see HHund I 20/3, for the pl. meaning ‘battle, strife’). Gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ is also grammatically possible, but very unlikely since dolgr in kennings is usually the base-word. Fang, usually ‘grasp, hold’, here refers to a garment (Meissner 165; AEW: fang 2). (b) Gram ‘lord’, the alternative to bǫr, found in a single ÓTOdd ms. as well as most Hkr mss and all ÓT mss, would yield dáðǫflgan gram ‘deed-mighty lord’ and drengi fangs dolga. The latter phrase is explained by Kock (NN §2448) as ‘warriors of enemies’ tussle [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, where dolga is gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ and fang is ‘tussle, grappling, wrestling’, but his battle-kenning lacks solid parallels (the C14th fundr dolga ‘meeting of enemies’, Anon (FoGT) 18/4III, does not function as a kenning in its context) and drengr ‘warrior’ is unsatisfactory as a base-word of a warrior-kenning, as it is identical to the referent (Meissner 28-9). (c) The latter objection also applies to drengi fangs dolga ‘men of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, tentatively suggested in Hkr 1991. Gram is probably a corruption, inserted by a scribe who did not understand the kenning as it stood (ÍF 25; see also ÍF 26).

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fangs ‘of the tunic’

fang (noun n.; °-s; *-): grasp, tunic

[3] fangs: vangs F

kennings

dáðǫflgan bǫr fangs dolga
‘the deed-mighty tree of the tunic of strife ’
   = WARRIOR

the tunic of strife → MAIL-SHIRT
the deed-mighty tree of the MAIL-SHIRT → WARRIOR

notes

[3-4] bǫr fangs dolga ‘tree of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIOR]’: (a) Bǫr(r) (lit. ‘conifer’) is the base-word of this man-kenning, and dolga is gen. pl. of dolg n. ‘strife, enmity, combat’ (see HHund I 20/3, for the pl. meaning ‘battle, strife’). Gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ is also grammatically possible, but very unlikely since dolgr in kennings is usually the base-word. Fang, usually ‘grasp, hold’, here refers to a garment (Meissner 165; AEW: fang 2). (b) Gram ‘lord’, the alternative to bǫr, found in a single ÓTOdd ms. as well as most Hkr mss and all ÓT mss, would yield dáðǫflgan gram ‘deed-mighty lord’ and drengi fangs dolga. The latter phrase is explained by Kock (NN §2448) as ‘warriors of enemies’ tussle [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, where dolga is gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ and fang is ‘tussle, grappling, wrestling’, but his battle-kenning lacks solid parallels (the C14th fundr dolga ‘meeting of enemies’, Anon (FoGT) 18/4III, does not function as a kenning in its context) and drengr ‘warrior’ is unsatisfactory as a base-word of a warrior-kenning, as it is identical to the referent (Meissner 28-9). (c) The latter objection also applies to drengi fangs dolga ‘men of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, tentatively suggested in Hkr 1991. Gram is probably a corruption, inserted by a scribe who did not understand the kenning as it stood (ÍF 25; see also ÍF 26).

Close

fangs ‘of the tunic’

fang (noun n.; °-s; *-): grasp, tunic

[3] fangs: vangs F

kennings

dáðǫflgan bǫr fangs dolga
‘the deed-mighty tree of the tunic of strife ’
   = WARRIOR

the tunic of strife → MAIL-SHIRT
the deed-mighty tree of the MAIL-SHIRT → WARRIOR

notes

[3-4] bǫr fangs dolga ‘tree of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIOR]’: (a) Bǫr(r) (lit. ‘conifer’) is the base-word of this man-kenning, and dolga is gen. pl. of dolg n. ‘strife, enmity, combat’ (see HHund I 20/3, for the pl. meaning ‘battle, strife’). Gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ is also grammatically possible, but very unlikely since dolgr in kennings is usually the base-word. Fang, usually ‘grasp, hold’, here refers to a garment (Meissner 165; AEW: fang 2). (b) Gram ‘lord’, the alternative to bǫr, found in a single ÓTOdd ms. as well as most Hkr mss and all ÓT mss, would yield dáðǫflgan gram ‘deed-mighty lord’ and drengi fangs dolga. The latter phrase is explained by Kock (NN §2448) as ‘warriors of enemies’ tussle [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, where dolga is gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ and fang is ‘tussle, grappling, wrestling’, but his battle-kenning lacks solid parallels (the C14th fundr dolga ‘meeting of enemies’, Anon (FoGT) 18/4III, does not function as a kenning in its context) and drengr ‘warrior’ is unsatisfactory as a base-word of a warrior-kenning, as it is identical to the referent (Meissner 28-9). (c) The latter objection also applies to drengi fangs dolga ‘men of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, tentatively suggested in Hkr 1991. Gram is probably a corruption, inserted by a scribe who did not understand the kenning as it stood (ÍF 25; see also ÍF 26).

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dáð ‘the deed’

dáð (noun f.; °; -ir): feat, deed < dáðǫflugr (adj.)dáð (noun f.; °; -ir): feat, deed

kennings

dáðǫflgan bǫr fangs dolga
‘the deed-mighty tree of the tunic of strife ’
   = WARRIOR

the tunic of strife → MAIL-SHIRT
the deed-mighty tree of the MAIL-SHIRT → WARRIOR
Close

aulfgan ‘’

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ǫflgan ‘mighty’

ǫflugr (adj.): mighty, strong < dáðǫflugr (adj.)

[4] ‑ǫflgan: ‘‑aulfgan’ J1ˣ, 54

kennings

dáðǫflgan bǫr fangs dolga
‘the deed-mighty tree of the tunic of strife ’
   = WARRIOR

the tunic of strife → MAIL-SHIRT
the deed-mighty tree of the MAIL-SHIRT → WARRIOR
Close

bǫr ‘tree’

bǫrr (noun m.): tree

[4] bǫr (‘bꜹr’): so F, bur FskBˣ, burr FskAˣ, ‘by’ Holm18, gram 310, Kˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 54, Bb, Flat

kennings

dáðǫflgan bǫr fangs dolga
‘the deed-mighty tree of the tunic of strife ’
   = WARRIOR

the tunic of strife → MAIL-SHIRT
the deed-mighty tree of the MAIL-SHIRT → WARRIOR

notes

[3-4] bǫr fangs dolga ‘tree of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIOR]’: (a) Bǫr(r) (lit. ‘conifer’) is the base-word of this man-kenning, and dolga is gen. pl. of dolg n. ‘strife, enmity, combat’ (see HHund I 20/3, for the pl. meaning ‘battle, strife’). Gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ is also grammatically possible, but very unlikely since dolgr in kennings is usually the base-word. Fang, usually ‘grasp, hold’, here refers to a garment (Meissner 165; AEW: fang 2). (b) Gram ‘lord’, the alternative to bǫr, found in a single ÓTOdd ms. as well as most Hkr mss and all ÓT mss, would yield dáðǫflgan gram ‘deed-mighty lord’ and drengi fangs dolga. The latter phrase is explained by Kock (NN §2448) as ‘warriors of enemies’ tussle [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, where dolga is gen. pl. of dolgr m. ‘enemy’ and fang is ‘tussle, grappling, wrestling’, but his battle-kenning lacks solid parallels (the C14th fundr dolga ‘meeting of enemies’, Anon (FoGT) 18/4III, does not function as a kenning in its context) and drengr ‘warrior’ is unsatisfactory as a base-word of a warrior-kenning, as it is identical to the referent (Meissner 28-9). (c) The latter objection also applies to drengi fangs dolga ‘men of the tunic of strife [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, tentatively suggested in Hkr 1991. Gram is probably a corruption, inserted by a scribe who did not understand the kenning as it stood (ÍF 25; see also ÍF 26).

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her ‘of the army’s’

[5] hertryggðar: herr tryggvir FskAˣ, hertryggvan 310, ‘her tygðar’ Kˣ, herdyggvir F, ‘hratt ygþar’ 54, ‘hratt ygdar’ Bb

kennings

hnekkir hertryggðar
‘the confounder of the army’s security ’
   = WARRIOR

the confounder of the army’s security → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 6] hnekkir hertryggðar ‘the confounder of the army’s security [WARRIOR]’: Óláfr is here portrayed as one who crushes his enemies’ hubris (Nj 1875-8, II, 388-9). The ms. paradosis for -tryggðar suggests scribal confusion.

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yggðar ‘’

-yggð (noun f.)

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yggðar ‘’

-yggð (noun f.)

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tygðar ‘’

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tryggðar ‘security’

[5] hertryggðar: herr tryggvir FskAˣ, hertryggvan 310, ‘her tygðar’ Kˣ, herdyggvir F, ‘hratt ygþar’ 54, ‘hratt ygdar’ Bb

kennings

hnekkir hertryggðar
‘the confounder of the army’s security ’
   = WARRIOR

the confounder of the army’s security → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 6] hnekkir hertryggðar ‘the confounder of the army’s security [WARRIOR]’: Óláfr is here portrayed as one who crushes his enemies’ hubris (Nj 1875-8, II, 388-9). The ms. paradosis for -tryggðar suggests scribal confusion.

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hnekkir ‘the confounder’

hnekkir (noun m.): subduer

kennings

hnekkir hertryggðar
‘the confounder of the army’s security ’
   = WARRIOR

the confounder of the army’s security → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 6] hnekkir hertryggðar ‘the confounder of the army’s security [WARRIOR]’: Óláfr is here portrayed as one who crushes his enemies’ hubris (Nj 1875-8, II, 388-9). The ms. paradosis for -tryggðar suggests scribal confusion.

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þess ‘of this’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

kennings

þess sessa þjóðar
‘of this bench-mate of the people ’
   = RULER

this bench-mate of the people → RULER
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lifa ‘live on’

lifa (verb): live

[7] lifa: lifir Holm18

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þjóðar ‘of the people’

þjóð (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -/-u; -ir): people

[7] þjóðar: þjóðir Flat

kennings

þess sessa þjóðar
‘of this bench-mate of the people ’
   = RULER

this bench-mate of the people → RULER
Close

sessa ‘bench-mate’

sessi (noun m.; °-a; -ar): bench-mate

[7] sessa: hressar 310, hnossa Flat

kennings

þess sessa þjóðar
‘of this bench-mate of the people ’
   = RULER

this bench-mate of the people → RULER
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flótta ‘flight’

flótti (noun m.): flight, fleeing

[8] flótta: sporði Holm18

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

Óláfr’s captains suggest the fleet sail on from Svǫlðr rather than fight against overwhelming odds, but Óláfr declares neither he nor his men will think of fleeing.

[7-8]: Glúmr Gráf 8/3 and BjBp Jóms 41/8 are further examples of the topos of the lasting fame of a king’s or hero’s þróttarorð ‘forceful words’ (lit. ‘words of power, endurance’); see also Jesch (2001a, 217). Þróttarorð is treated as a cpd in this edn on grounds of its recurrence in Gráf and Jóms; it could alternatively be treated as two words (as in Skj B; ÍF 25; ÍF 26).

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