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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 26aI

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 26a’ 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. 437.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
2526a26b

Hefk ‘I have’

hafa (verb): have

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jafri ‘’

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jǫfri ‘prince’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

[1] jǫfri: ‘iafri’ 325VIII 2 g, Bb

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hept ‘’

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heft ‘’

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heipt ‘strife’

heift (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): hatred, enmity < heiftfíkinn (adj./verb p.p.)

[2] heipt‑: ‘hept‑’ 54, 325VIII 2 g, ‘heft‑’ Bb

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varð ‘was’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[2] varð: var 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb

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ríkri ‘mightier’

ríkr (adj.): mighty, powerful, rich

[2] ríkri: ríki 325VIII 2 g, Bb

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nið ‘of the kin’

1. niðr (noun m.; °-s; niðjar/niðir, acc. niði): son, kinsman, relative < niðbyrðr (noun f.)1. niðr (noun m.; °-s; niðjar/niðir, acc. niði): son, kinsman, relative < niðbýr (noun m.): kin-dwelling

kennings

Norðra niðbyrði.
‘kin-burden of Norðri’
   = SKY

the kin of Norðri. → DWARFS
the burden of DWARFS → SKY

notes

[3] Norðra niðbyrði ‘the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]’: A reference to the cosmological myth in which the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri hold up the sky, which is made of the skull of the giant Ymir (SnE 2005, 12, 16). The choice of Norðri is metrically convenient, but also apt; ÍS II, 1232 translates undir norðurhimninum ‘under the northern sky’. This kenning, and features of st. 27, are echoed in Arn Þorfdr 24II: see Note to [All] ad loc.

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nið ‘of the kin’

1. niðr (noun m.; °-s; niðjar/niðir, acc. niði): son, kinsman, relative < niðbyrðr (noun f.)1. niðr (noun m.; °-s; niðjar/niðir, acc. niði): son, kinsman, relative < niðbýr (noun m.): kin-dwelling

kennings

Norðra niðbyrði.
‘kin-burden of Norðri’
   = SKY

the kin of Norðri. → DWARFS
the burden of DWARFS → SKY

notes

[3] Norðra niðbyrði ‘the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]’: A reference to the cosmological myth in which the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri hold up the sky, which is made of the skull of the giant Ymir (SnE 2005, 12, 16). The choice of Norðri is metrically convenient, but also apt; ÍS II, 1232 translates undir norðurhimninum ‘under the northern sky’. This kenning, and features of st. 27, are echoed in Arn Þorfdr 24II: see Note to [All] ad loc.

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byrði ‘the burden’

byrðr (noun f.; °byrðar, acc. byrði/byrð(GrgKonᴵ 205¹¹); byrðar, acc. byrðar/byrðir): burden, load < niðbyrðr (noun f.)

[3] ‑byrði: ‑byr 325VIII 2 g, Bb

kennings

Norðra niðbyrði.
‘kin-burden of Norðri’
   = SKY

the kin of Norðri. → DWARFS
the burden of DWARFS → SKY

notes

[3] Norðra niðbyrði ‘the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]’: A reference to the cosmological myth in which the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri hold up the sky, which is made of the skull of the giant Ymir (SnE 2005, 12, 16). The choice of Norðri is metrically convenient, but also apt; ÍS II, 1232 translates undir norðurhimninum ‘under the northern sky’. This kenning, and features of st. 27, are echoed in Arn Þorfdr 24II: see Note to [All] ad loc.

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narðra ‘’

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Norðra ‘of Norðri’

Norðri (noun m.): Norðri

[3] Norðra: ‘narðra’ 53

kennings

Norðra niðbyrði.
‘kin-burden of Norðri’
   = SKY

the kin of Norðri. → DWARFS
the burden of DWARFS → SKY

notes

[3] Norðra niðbyrði ‘the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]’: A reference to the cosmological myth in which the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri hold up the sky, which is made of the skull of the giant Ymir (SnE 2005, 12, 16). The choice of Norðri is metrically convenient, but also apt; ÍS II, 1232 translates undir norðurhimninum ‘under the northern sky’. This kenning, and features of st. 27, are echoed in Arn Þorfdr 24II: see Note to [All] ad loc.

Close

Norðra ‘of Norðri’

Norðri (noun m.): Norðri

[3] Norðra: ‘narðra’ 53

kennings

Norðra niðbyrði.
‘kin-burden of Norðri’
   = SKY

the kin of Norðri. → DWARFS
the burden of DWARFS → SKY

notes

[3] Norðra niðbyrði ‘the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]’: A reference to the cosmological myth in which the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri hold up the sky, which is made of the skull of the giant Ymir (SnE 2005, 12, 16). The choice of Norðri is metrically convenient, but also apt; ÍS II, 1232 translates undir norðurhimninum ‘under the northern sky’. This kenning, and features of st. 27, are echoed in Arn Þorfdr 24II: see Note to [All] ad loc.

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norðr ‘in the north’

2. norðr (adv.): north

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goð ‘a god’

1. guð (noun m.; °***guðrs, guðis, gus): (Christian) God < goðfaðir (noun m.): [a godfather]

notes

[4] goðfǫður ‘a godfather’: This word is unique to Hallfreðr within skaldic poetry, occurring only here and in the counterpart Hfr ErfÓl 26b/4, and there are few prose instances (Fritzner: guðfaðir). The adoption of the word may have been influenced by OE godfæder. Sigv Lv 19 similarly commemorates Óláfr Haraldsson’s standing godfather to Sigvatr’s daughter Tófa. Hallfreðr’s conversion and baptism, with Óláfr as his sponsor, is a major event in Hallfr (ÍF 8, 153-9), and the anguish of religious transition is recorded in Hfr Lv 6-10V (Hallfr 9-13).

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fǫður ‘father’

faðir (noun m.): father < goðfaðir (noun m.): [a godfather]

notes

[4] goðfǫður ‘a godfather’: This word is unique to Hallfreðr within skaldic poetry, occurring only here and in the counterpart Hfr ErfÓl 26b/4, and there are few prose instances (Fritzner: guðfaðir). The adoption of the word may have been influenced by OE godfæder. Sigv Lv 19 similarly commemorates Óláfr Haraldsson’s standing godfather to Sigvatr’s daughter Tófa. Hallfreðr’s conversion and baptism, with Óláfr as his sponsor, is a major event in Hallfr (ÍF 8, 153-9), and the anguish of religious transition is recorded in Hfr Lv 6-10V (Hallfr 9-13).

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þess ‘for the’

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

[5] þess’s (‘þess er’): þess 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb

kennings

margaukanda móts mækis, þess
‘for the much-increaser of the meeting of the sword ’
   = WARRIOR

the meeting of the sword → BATTLE
for the much-increaser of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
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’s ‘who’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[5] þess’s (‘þess er’): þess 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb

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breiðan ‘the broad’

breiðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): broad, wide

kennings

breiðan barðmána
‘the broad prow-moon. ’
   = SHIELD

the broad prow-moon. → SHIELD
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barð ‘prow’

kennings

breiðan barðmána
‘the broad prow-moon. ’
   = SHIELD

the broad prow-moon. → SHIELD
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mána ‘moon’

kennings

breiðan barðmána
‘the broad prow-moon. ’
   = SHIELD

the broad prow-moon. → SHIELD
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gankanda ‘’

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margaukanda ‘much-increaser’

margaukandi (noun m.): [much-increaser]

[7] margaukanda: ‘mar gankanda’ 325VIII 2 g, Bb

kennings

margaukanda móts mækis, þess
‘for the much-increaser of the meeting of the sword ’
   = WARRIOR

the meeting of the sword → BATTLE
for the much-increaser of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[7-8] margaukanda móts mækis ‘much-increaser of the meeting of the sword [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’: The ms. reading mót (nom./acc. sg. of mót n. ‘meeting’, or adv. ‘in return for, against, towards’) is difficult, as ‘meeting’ must be gen. if the whole is to form a single kenning. (a) The emendation above, which follows Skj B, may find slight ms. support from Bb’s ‘mott’ (though Bb is generally unreliable) and gives straightforward sense and conventional kennings. (b) Mót margaukanda mækis ‘against/in return for the much-increaser of the sword [WARRIOR]’ seems the only possible interpretation of the ms. readings, but the placing of mót would be problematic, and firm early parallels are lacking for the use of a base-word like aukandi with a weapon-heiti, rather than battle-heiti (see comments on sverða herðendr at Meissner 338).

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mækis ‘of the sword’

mækir (noun m.): sword

kennings

margaukanda móts mækis, þess
‘for the much-increaser of the meeting of the sword ’
   = WARRIOR

the meeting of the sword → BATTLE
for the much-increaser of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[7-8] margaukanda móts mækis ‘much-increaser of the meeting of the sword [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’: The ms. reading mót (nom./acc. sg. of mót n. ‘meeting’, or adv. ‘in return for, against, towards’) is difficult, as ‘meeting’ must be gen. if the whole is to form a single kenning. (a) The emendation above, which follows Skj B, may find slight ms. support from Bb’s ‘mott’ (though Bb is generally unreliable) and gives straightforward sense and conventional kennings. (b) Mót margaukanda mækis ‘against/in return for the much-increaser of the sword [WARRIOR]’ seems the only possible interpretation of the ms. readings, but the placing of mót would be problematic, and firm early parallels are lacking for the use of a base-word like aukandi with a weapon-heiti, rather than battle-heiti (see comments on sverða herðendr at Meissner 338).

Close

mækis ‘of the sword’

mækir (noun m.): sword

kennings

margaukanda móts mækis, þess
‘for the much-increaser of the meeting of the sword ’
   = WARRIOR

the meeting of the sword → BATTLE
for the much-increaser of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[7-8] margaukanda móts mækis ‘much-increaser of the meeting of the sword [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’: The ms. reading mót (nom./acc. sg. of mót n. ‘meeting’, or adv. ‘in return for, against, towards’) is difficult, as ‘meeting’ must be gen. if the whole is to form a single kenning. (a) The emendation above, which follows Skj B, may find slight ms. support from Bb’s ‘mott’ (though Bb is generally unreliable) and gives straightforward sense and conventional kennings. (b) Mót margaukanda mækis ‘against/in return for the much-increaser of the sword [WARRIOR]’ seems the only possible interpretation of the ms. readings, but the placing of mót would be problematic, and firm early parallels are lacking for the use of a base-word like aukandi with a weapon-heiti, rather than battle-heiti (see comments on sverða herðendr at Meissner 338).

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móts ‘of the meeting’

1. mót (noun n.; °; -): meeting

[8] móts: mót 61, 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, ‘mott’ Bb

kennings

margaukanda móts mækis, þess
‘for the much-increaser of the meeting of the sword ’
   = WARRIOR

the meeting of the sword → BATTLE
for the much-increaser of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[7-8] margaukanda móts mækis ‘much-increaser of the meeting of the sword [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’: The ms. reading mót (nom./acc. sg. of mót n. ‘meeting’, or adv. ‘in return for, against, towards’) is difficult, as ‘meeting’ must be gen. if the whole is to form a single kenning. (a) The emendation above, which follows Skj B, may find slight ms. support from Bb’s ‘mott’ (though Bb is generally unreliable) and gives straightforward sense and conventional kennings. (b) Mót margaukanda mækis ‘against/in return for the much-increaser of the sword [WARRIOR]’ seems the only possible interpretation of the ms. readings, but the placing of mót would be problematic, and firm early parallels are lacking for the use of a base-word like aukandi with a weapon-heiti, rather than battle-heiti (see comments on sverða herðendr at Meissner 338).

Close

móts ‘of the meeting’

1. mót (noun n.; °; -): meeting

[8] móts: mót 61, 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, ‘mott’ Bb

kennings

margaukanda móts mækis, þess
‘for the much-increaser of the meeting of the sword ’
   = WARRIOR

the meeting of the sword → BATTLE
for the much-increaser of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[7-8] margaukanda móts mækis ‘much-increaser of the meeting of the sword [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’: The ms. reading mót (nom./acc. sg. of mót n. ‘meeting’, or adv. ‘in return for, against, towards’) is difficult, as ‘meeting’ must be gen. if the whole is to form a single kenning. (a) The emendation above, which follows Skj B, may find slight ms. support from Bb’s ‘mott’ (though Bb is generally unreliable) and gives straightforward sense and conventional kennings. (b) Mót margaukanda mækis ‘against/in return for the much-increaser of the sword [WARRIOR]’ seems the only possible interpretation of the ms. readings, but the placing of mót would be problematic, and firm early parallels are lacking for the use of a base-word like aukandi with a weapon-heiti, rather than battle-heiti (see comments on sverða herðendr at Meissner 338).

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aldrigi ‘never’

aldrigi (adv.): never

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bótir ‘compensation’

bót (noun f.; °-ar; bǿtr): compensation

[8] bótir: bóta 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb

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

The fame of the battle of Svǫlðr, which resulted in the defeat of the most famous king in the Nordic lands, will live on.

[1-4]: This helmingr is transmitted not only by the kings’ sagas but also by the sagas of Icelanders, in this case Hallfr (ÍF 8, 155), albeit with a different text of ll. 1-2 (cf. the similar case of Eskál Lv 1-2). The ms. transmission is further complicated by the fact that Hallfr is interpolated into ÓT as well as being preserved separately. The two helmingar are printed as separate entities in Skj and Skald, as ErfÓl 26 and 28/1-4. This edn regards them as variants, but prints them separately in order to reflect their textual differences and their different prose contexts. The version printed here is preserved within the main text of ÓT, while the Hallfr version is printed in SkP V, Poetry from the Sagas of Icelanders, as Hfr ErfÓl 26bV (Hallfr 7). This edn thus adopts the position of Krijn (1931, 121), who argues that the Hallfr version is a variant of ErfÓl 26a/1-4. She points out that orðinn, the p. p. of verða ‘to become’, has a different meaning in each version, meaning ‘lost’ here, but ‘become’ in st. 26/4bV (þanns vas orðinn ‘who had become’). Fidjestøl (1982, 58-9) suggests that misunderstanding of the unusual sense of orðinn in st. 26a/4 might have been the impetus for oral variation. The view of the texts as variants in fact goes back to Árni Magnússon (761bˣ, 175v), who wrote st. 26b/1-2 alongside st. 26a/1-2.

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