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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 1I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 1’ 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. 403.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
12

Þar ‘There’

þar (adv.): there

[1] Þar: om. FskAˣ

notes

[1] þar hykk ‘there, I believe’: Elision makes this the equivalent of a single syllable.

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hykk ‘I certainly’

2. hyggja (verb): think, consider

notes

[1] þar hykk ‘there, I believe’: Elision makes this the equivalent of a single syllable.

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víst ‘battle’

1. víss (adj.): wise, certain(ly)

[1] víst til mjǫk: mjǫk til FskBˣ, víst er mjǫk 325VIII 1, til víst mjǫk 54, Bb

notes

[1] víst ‘certainly’: The adv. could alternatively qualify misstu ‘missed’. 

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til ‘too’

til (prep.): to

[1] víst til mjǫk: mjǫk til FskBˣ, víst er mjǫk 325VIII 1, til víst mjǫk 54, Bb

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mjǫk ‘much’

mjǫk (adv.): very, much

[1] víst til mjǫk: mjǫk til FskBˣ, víst er mjǫk 325VIII 1, til víst mjǫk 54, Bb

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misstu ‘missed’

2. missa (verb): lose, lack

[1] misstu: missti 61

notes

[1] misstu ‘missed’: A past inf. forming part of an acc. with inf. construction, missa being one of a few verbs to have a past inf. (ANG §529).

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mǫrg ‘many’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many

[2] mǫrg kom drótt: ‘drot kom […]’ 325VIII 1

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kom ‘took’

koma (verb; kem, kom/kvam, kominn): come

[2] mǫrg kom drótt: ‘drot kom […]’ 325VIII 1

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drótt ‘a band’

1. drótt (noun f.): troop

[2] mǫrg kom drótt: ‘drot kom […]’ 325VIII 1

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á ‘to’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[2] á: so all others, í Holm18

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framði ‘who’

(non-lexical)

[3] framði: so all others, samði Holm18

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þrǫskra ‘’

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þrœnzkra ‘of warriors’

þrœnzkr (adj.): from Trøndelag

[4] þrœnzkra: ‘[…]ra’ 325VIII 1, ‘kænskra’ 54, Bb

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Nœfr ‘The adept’

nœfr (adj.): adept

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‘fought’

1. vega (verb): strike, slay

[5] vá: corrected from þá FskBˣ

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all ‘mighty’

all- ((prefix)): very < allvaldr (noun m.): mighty ruler

[6] allvaldr: allvallda F, ‘allv[…]’ 325VIII 1

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valdr ‘ruler’

valdr (noun m.): ruler < allvaldr (noun m.): mighty ruler

[6] allvaldr: allvallda F, ‘allv[…]’ 325VIII 1

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sjalla ‘’

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tváa ‘two’

tveir (num. cardinal): two

[6] tváa snjalla: corrected from ‘íí skallda’ 325VIII 1

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snjalla ‘bold’

snjallr (adj.): quick, resourceful, bold

[6] tváa snjalla: corrected from ‘íí skallda’ 325VIII 1;    snjalla: ‘sialla’ Flat

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frægr ‘a famous’

frægr (adj.; °-jan/-an; compar. -ri, superl. -jastr/-astr/-str): famous, renowned < frægr (adj.): famous, renowned

[7] frægrs (‘fregr er’): frægð er FskBˣ, frægt er FskAˣ, J2ˣ, frægr einn er 325VIII 1

notes

[7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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s ‘it is’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am < frægr (adj.): famous, renowned

[7] frægrs (‘fregr er’): frægð er FskBˣ, frægt er FskAˣ, J2ˣ, frægr einn er 325VIII 1

notes

[7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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til ‘of’

til (prep.): to

[7] til slíks: slíkt J1ˣ, slíks corrected from ‘slikt’ J2ˣ, ‘[…]iks’ 325VIII 1

notes

[7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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slíks ‘such a thing’

2. slíkr (adj.): such

[7] til slíks: slíkt J1ˣ, slíks corrected from ‘slikt’ J2ˣ, ‘[…]iks’ 325VIII 1

notes

[7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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at ‘to’

5. at (nota): to (with infinitive)

notes

[7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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þiðr ‘’

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segja ‘tell’

segja (verb): say, tell

notes

[7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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siðr ‘custom’

siðr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -/-i; -ir, acc. -u): faith, morals

[8] siðr: ‘þiðr’ FskBˣ, suðr FskAˣ, sigr J1ˣ, J2ˣ, Bb

notes

[7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[8] ok: en Kˣ, om. 325VIII 1

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þriðja ‘the third’

þriði (num. ordinal): third

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

Most sources cite this stanza in support of their accounts of the disparity in size between Óláfr’s fleet and that of his enemies, just before they describe the battle of Svǫlðr; Fsk and Hkr use it in a more general way. The disparity is blamed in ÓTOdd and ÓT on the premature departure of part of Óláfr’s own fleet, and in HN and Ágr (neither of which cites the stanza), on its late arrival.

For the sea-battle at Svǫlðr c. 1000, see also Skúli SvǫlðrIII, Stefnir Lv 1, OSnorr Lv, Eþsk Couplet, Hókr Eirfl, ÞKolb Eirdr 8, and the later treatment in HSt Rst 15-23 and Anon Óldr 17-24. — [1-4]: The helmingr refers to a lack of gengis þrœnzkra drengja ‘the support of warriors from Trøndelag’ (ll. 1, 4), and to the flight of mǫrg drótt ‘many a band’ (l. 2), and it might be expected that these are the same thing, but this is unclear, as is the identity of these groups. Drótt could mean either the ruler’s personal retinue or just a troop in a battle; the epithet mǫrg ‘many’ would favour the latter, and with it the interpretation, ‘despite lacking a Trøndelag retinue, Óláfr [nevertheless] put many of the [enemy] drótt to flight’ (Ohlmarks 1958, 442). The troops from Trøndelag may be Eiríkr’s men, faithful to him as the jarl of Trøndelag rather than to the king (Ohlmarks loc. cit.; von See 1977a). Alternatively, Hallfreðr may be referring to the part of Óláfr’s own force which made itself unavailable just before the battle (see Context above), as according to HN (MHN 117-19) the missing men were from Trøndelag, but this tradition may itself be based on the present stanza rather than independent information. — [2]: Cf. Glúmr Gráf 2/2 and Hókr Eirfl 7/8 drótt kom mǫrg á flótta (325VIII 1’s defective text of l. 2 may also have had this ordering). Von See (1977a) suggests this is one of a series of polemical citations of Hókr Eirfl (composed for Óláfr’s adversary Eiríkr jarl), though this involves reversing the commonly-accepted dating of the two works. — [3]: Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) suggested that the aðalhending in this line is gram þann : framði, which involves the crossing of a word boundary (see Kristján Árnason 1991, 102-3), though only one consonant (in this case, the m) need agree to form a correct aðalhending.

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