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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 4I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 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. 407.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
345

lopti ‘the sky’

loft (noun n.): air, sky

notes

[All]: The parallelism of lopt ‘sky, air’ in the first helmingr and lǫg ‘sea’ in the second (lopt ok lǫg is a common phrase in prose, with the connotation ‘everywhere’), and repeated use of framm ‘forward’, gives the stanza a powerful sense of co-ordinated, sequenced, all-encompassing action.

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liðu ‘travelled’

liða (verb): travel

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gǫrva ‘precisely’

gǫrva (adv.): fully

[2] gǫrva: gervar 325VIII 2 b

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flaug ‘The flight’

flaug (noun f.): flight

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bauga ‘of rings’

baugr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): ring

kennings

brjótendr bauga
‘breakers of rings ’
   = GENEROUS MEN

breakers of rings → GENEROUS MEN
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brjótendr ‘breakers’

brjótandi (noun m.): [breakers, breaker]

kennings

brjótendr bauga
‘breakers of rings ’
   = GENEROUS MEN

breakers of rings → GENEROUS MEN
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Orð ‘report’

orð (noun n.; °-s; -): word

[5] Orð: orðit 325VIII 2 b

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hitt ‘That’

2. inn (art.): the

[5] hitt: om. Bb

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hvarkunnt ‘widely-known’

hvarkunnr (adj.): [widely-known]

[6] hvarkunnt: so 53, 54, Bb, hvarkunnr 61, Flat, hver kunnr 325VIII 2 b

notes

[6] hvarkunnt ‘widely-known’: Both main readings, hvarkunnt and hvarkunnr, have ms. support from more than one branch of the ÓT stemma. (a) The majority reading hvarkunnt (n. nom. sg. adj.) ‘widely-known’ is taken here with orð ‘report, tale, story’, and mest ‘most’ with hvarkunnt, an interpretation first proposed by Reichardt (1928, 55-7). (b) Ms. 61’s hvarkunnr is also possible, giving hvarkunnr dróttinn minn ‘my widely-known lord’. In this case hitt vas mest orð would mean ‘that was the tale of most [people]’ (Konráð Gíslason 1892, 144) or ‘[people] spoke most about that’ (Skj B). (c) A conceivable alternative, suggested by Kock (NN §1084), is to take harðast ‘hardest’ and mest ‘most’ in apposition.

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fyr ‘’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

[6] fyr: við 53

notes

[6] fyr sunnan lǫg ‘south over the sea’: The battle of Svǫlðr is described as taking place ‘in the south’ or ‘over the sea’ several times in the poem (cf. sts 4/6, 6/4, 19/4, 22/5); austr ‘east’ is mentioned once (st. 22/2), though the syntax is ambiguous. As Baetke (1951, 65-99, especially 89) notes, ‘east’ would suggest the Baltic region to a Norse audience, while ‘south’ and ‘over the sea’, although vague in themselves, support other evidence which suggests Svǫlðr was off the southern coast of the Baltic rather than in the Øresund, as other scholars have suggested. However, the question of the location of the battle remains unresolved; see Andersen (1977, 104-5) for a concise summary of the debate.

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lǫg ‘the sea’

lǫgr (noun m.; °lagar, dat. legi): sea

notes

[All]: The parallelism of lopt ‘sky, air’ in the first helmingr and lǫg ‘sea’ in the second (lopt ok lǫg is a common phrase in prose, with the connotation ‘everywhere’), and repeated use of framm ‘forward’, gives the stanza a powerful sense of co-ordinated, sequenced, all-encompassing action. — [6] fyr sunnan lǫg ‘south over the sea’: The battle of Svǫlðr is described as taking place ‘in the south’ or ‘over the sea’ several times in the poem (cf. sts 4/6, 6/4, 19/4, 22/5); austr ‘east’ is mentioned once (st. 22/2), though the syntax is ambiguous. As Baetke (1951, 65-99, especially 89) notes, ‘east’ would suggest the Baltic region to a Norse audience, while ‘south’ and ‘over the sea’, although vague in themselves, support other evidence which suggests Svǫlðr was off the southern coast of the Baltic rather than in the Øresund, as other scholars have suggested. However, the question of the location of the battle remains unresolved; see Andersen (1977, 104-5) for a concise summary of the debate.

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lǫg ‘the sea’

lǫgr (noun m.; °lagar, dat. legi): sea

notes

[All]: The parallelism of lopt ‘sky, air’ in the first helmingr and lǫg ‘sea’ in the second (lopt ok lǫg is a common phrase in prose, with the connotation ‘everywhere’), and repeated use of framm ‘forward’, gives the stanza a powerful sense of co-ordinated, sequenced, all-encompassing action. — [6] fyr sunnan lǫg ‘south over the sea’: The battle of Svǫlðr is described as taking place ‘in the south’ or ‘over the sea’ several times in the poem (cf. sts 4/6, 6/4, 19/4, 22/5); austr ‘east’ is mentioned once (st. 22/2), though the syntax is ambiguous. As Baetke (1951, 65-99, especially 89) notes, ‘east’ would suggest the Baltic region to a Norse audience, while ‘south’ and ‘over the sea’, although vague in themselves, support other evidence which suggests Svǫlðr was off the southern coast of the Baltic rather than in the Øresund, as other scholars have suggested. However, the question of the location of the battle remains unresolved; see Andersen (1977, 104-5) for a concise summary of the debate.

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sunnan ‘south’

sunnan (adv.): (from the) south

notes

[6] fyr sunnan lǫg ‘south over the sea’: The battle of Svǫlðr is described as taking place ‘in the south’ or ‘over the sea’ several times in the poem (cf. sts 4/6, 6/4, 19/4, 22/5); austr ‘east’ is mentioned once (st. 22/2), though the syntax is ambiguous. As Baetke (1951, 65-99, especially 89) notes, ‘east’ would suggest the Baltic region to a Norse audience, while ‘south’ and ‘over the sea’, although vague in themselves, support other evidence which suggests Svǫlðr was off the southern coast of the Baltic rather than in the Øresund, as other scholars have suggested. However, the question of the location of the battle remains unresolved; see Andersen (1977, 104-5) for a concise summary of the debate.

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malma ‘of metal weapons’

malmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): metal

kennings

gnaustan malma
‘the clashing of metal weapons ’
   = BATTLE

the clashing of metal weapons → BATTLE

notes

[7] gnaustan malma ‘the clashing of metal weapons [BATTLE]’: Malma is gen. pl., lit. ‘of metals’, i.e. metal weapons. The only occurrences of gnaustan ‘clashing, gnashing, tumult’ in the skaldic corpus are here and in st. 22/2, though HSt Rst 18/4 has the closely related noise-word gnaust.

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gnaustan ‘the clashing’

gnaustan (noun f.): [clashing]

kennings

gnaustan malma
‘the clashing of metal weapons ’
   = BATTLE

the clashing of metal weapons → BATTLE

notes

[7] gnaustan malma ‘the clashing of metal weapons [BATTLE]’: Malma is gen. pl., lit. ‘of metals’, i.e. metal weapons. The only occurrences of gnaustan ‘clashing, gnashing, tumult’ in the skaldic corpus are here and in st. 22/2, though HSt Rst 18/4 has the closely related noise-word gnaust.

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

The stanza is cited in support of the statement that Óláfr fought the most valiantly of all the men at Svǫlðr.

The introduction in ÓT names the source poem as ÓláfsdrápaDrápa about Óláfr’.

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