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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 7I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 7’ 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. 411.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
678

Varð ‘became’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[1] Varð of (‘Varð um’): verðum Flat

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B).

Close

of ‘around’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

[1] Varð of (‘Varð um’): verðum Flat

Close

Vinða ‘of Wends’

Vinðr (noun m.; °; vinðr/-ir): the Wends

kennings

myrði Vinða
‘the murderer of Wends ’
   = Óláfr

the murderer of Wends → Óláfr

notes

[1] myrði Vinða ‘the murderer of Wends [?= Óláfr]’: This kenning is ambiguous in its reference (compare Ohlmarks 1958, 446 with von See 1977a, 116). (a) ÓT’s prose suggests the referent here is Óláfr, and we do see him harrying the Wends in Hfr Óldr 1/5-8. According to ÓTOdd (ÍF 25, 312, 367) and, to a lesser degree, Fsk (ÍF 29, 147), the Wends supported Óláfr at Svǫlðr, which does not confirm a view of Óláfr as ‘the murderer of the Wends’, but the other early prose sources, Ágr and HN, speak only of Óláfr making unsuccessful attempts to raise Wendish or Slavic troops. Possibly this and similar skaldic allusions to hostility to the Wends are rather generic, referring to raiding of Slav territories on the Baltic, perhaps around the mouth of the Oder (see Morawiec 2006). (b) The kenning may denote Eiríkr jarl, since the same kenning is used of his father Hákon jarl in Eskál Vell 23/1. It also occurs in relation to Svǫlðr in Hókr Eirfl 6/7, where the referent is probably Óláfr but could be Eiríkr, and it is applied to the Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ in Anon (ÓTHkr) 1/3. However, it is unusual for Óláfr’s enemies to be the focus of the stanza; e.g. in st. 17 Eiríkr is referred to, but only in tandem with Óláfr.

Close

myrði ‘murderer’

myrðir (noun m.): killer

kennings

myrði Vinða
‘the murderer of Wends ’
   = Óláfr

the murderer of Wends → Óláfr

notes

[1] myrði Vinða ‘the murderer of Wends [?= Óláfr]’: This kenning is ambiguous in its reference (compare Ohlmarks 1958, 446 with von See 1977a, 116). (a) ÓT’s prose suggests the referent here is Óláfr, and we do see him harrying the Wends in Hfr Óldr 1/5-8. According to ÓTOdd (ÍF 25, 312, 367) and, to a lesser degree, Fsk (ÍF 29, 147), the Wends supported Óláfr at Svǫlðr, which does not confirm a view of Óláfr as ‘the murderer of the Wends’, but the other early prose sources, Ágr and HN, speak only of Óláfr making unsuccessful attempts to raise Wendish or Slavic troops. Possibly this and similar skaldic allusions to hostility to the Wends are rather generic, referring to raiding of Slav territories on the Baltic, perhaps around the mouth of the Oder (see Morawiec 2006). (b) The kenning may denote Eiríkr jarl, since the same kenning is used of his father Hákon jarl in Eskál Vell 23/1. It also occurs in relation to Svǫlðr in Hókr Eirfl 6/7, where the referent is probably Óláfr but could be Eiríkr, and it is applied to the Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ in Anon (ÓTHkr) 1/3. However, it is unusual for Óláfr’s enemies to be the focus of the stanza; e.g. in st. 17 Eiríkr is referred to, but only in tandem with Óláfr.

Close

víg ‘of the war’

víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígský (noun n.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígskýrr (adj.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)

[2] víg‑: vigg 53

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

víg ‘of the war’

víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígský (noun n.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígskýrr (adj.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)

[2] víg‑: vigg 53

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

víg ‘of the war’

víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígský (noun n.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígskýrr (adj.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)

[2] víg‑: vigg 53

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

víg ‘of the war’

víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígský (noun n.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígskýrr (adj.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígstyrr (noun m.)

[2] víg‑: vigg 53

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

ský*s ‘cloud’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud < vígský (noun n.)

[2] ‑ský*s: ‑styrs 54, ‑styrr Bb, skýrs 53, Flat

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

ský*s ‘cloud’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud < vígský (noun n.)

[2] ‑ský*s: ‑styrs 54, ‑styrr Bb, skýrs 53, Flat

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

ský*s ‘cloud’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud < vígský (noun n.)

[2] ‑ský*s: ‑styrs 54, ‑styrr Bb, skýrs 53, Flat

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

ský*s ‘cloud’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud < vígský (noun n.)

[2] ‑ský*s: ‑styrs 54, ‑styrr Bb, skýrs 53, Flat

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’.

Close

lusek ‘’

Close

lýsik ‘I proclaim’

2. lýsa (verb): illuminate, show

[2] lýsik: ‘lusek’ Bb

Close

ramr ‘mighty’

rammr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): mighty

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B).

Close

randar ‘of the rim’

rǫnd (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; rendr/randir): shield, shield-rim

[3] randar: randa 54, Bb

kennings

himni randar,
‘the heaven of the rim, ’
   = SHIELD

the heaven of the rim, → SHIELD

notes

[3] randar ‘of the rim’: The variant randa ‘of the rims’ (so 54, Bb) is also possible; see Meissner 39-40.

Close

himni ‘the heaven’

himinn (noun m.; °himins, dat. himni; himnar): heaven, sky

kennings

himni randar,
‘the heaven of the rim, ’
   = SHIELD

the heaven of the rim, → SHIELD
Close

rymr ‘Roaring’

rymr (noun m.): roar

kennings

Rymr vígský*s
‘Roaring of the war-cloud ’
   = BATTLE

the war-cloud → SHIELD
Roaring of the SHIELD → BATTLE

notes

[1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B).

Close

knôttu ‘’

knega (verb): to know, understand, be able to

notes

[4] knôttu glymja ‘resounded’: The verb knôttu (inf. kná) can have the full sense ‘were able’, but here appears to be merely an auxiliary.

Close

spjǫr ‘spears’

spjǫr (noun n.): spear

[4] spjǫr: spjǫrr Flat

Close

glymja ‘resounded’

glymja (verb): resound

Close

Hirðir ‘guardian’

hirðir (noun m.; °hirðis/hirðirs, dat. & acc. hirði; hirðar/hirðir): guardian, keeper, pastor

[5] Hirðir: hirðar all

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER

notes

[5] hirðir ‘guardian’: Corruption in all mss of an original hirðir (m. nom. sg.) to hirðar (nom. pl. of hirðir m., or gen. sg. of hirð f. ‘household troop’) is puzzling, but as the helmingr stands in the mss the sg. verb stózk við ‘withstood’ lacks a sg. subject and the adj. varghollr (m. nom. sg.) ‘wolf-gracious’ a noun. The emendation seems to have been first proposed by Guðbrandur Vigfússon and Möbius (1860, 208), and it is adopted by all subsequent eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s attempt to retain hirðar in SHI 2 is unconvincing and he retreats from it in LP (1860): hirðir). A nom. subject must otherwise be sought (unconventionally) in the previous helmingr, or varghollr taken as a substantive. But further syntactical problems follow in the train of both these solutions (cf. SHI), and the emendation seems unavoidable.

Close

stózk ‘withstood’

standa (verb): stand

Close

við ‘by’

2. við (prep.): with, against

[5] við: vit Flat

Close

harðan ‘the hard’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

kennings

harðan hnitvegg
‘the hard clash-wall, ’
   = SHIELD

the hard clash-wall, → SHIELD
Close

hnit ‘clash’

hnit (noun n.): [clash] < hnitveggr (noun m.)

[6] hnit‑: so 53, Flat, hinn 54, Bb

kennings

harðan hnitvegg
‘the hard clash-wall, ’
   = SHIELD

the hard clash-wall, → SHIELD
Close

vegg ‘wall’

1. veggr (noun m.; °-jar/-s(Páll²A 257³³), dat. -/-i(kun defin.); -ir): wall < hnitveggr (noun m.)

kennings

harðan hnitvegg
‘the hard clash-wall, ’
   = SHIELD

the hard clash-wall, → SHIELD
Close

með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

[6] með: so 53, Flat, en 54, Bb

Close

fjǫl ‘a multitude’

fjǫlð (noun f.): multitude

notes

[6] fjǫl ‘a multitude’: This n. form (LP: 2. fjǫl), rather than the synonymous long-stemmed fjǫlð f. (‘fiold’) which appears in the mss, is required to avoid breach of Craigie’s Law (on which, see Gade 1995a, 29-30). Its adoption constitutes a normalisation on metrical grounds rather than an emendation; for a further instance see Eskál Vell 19/2.

Close

víðis ‘of the ocean’

víðir (noun m.): ocean

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

víðis ‘of the ocean’

víðir (noun m.): ocean

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

valti ‘’

Close

vælti ‘’

Close

velti ‘of the rolling’

veltir (noun m.): [rolling, Toppler] < veltireið (noun f.)veltir (noun m.): [rolling, Toppler] < veltireyðr (noun f.): rolling-rorqual

[7] velti‑: so 53, Flat, ‘vællte’ 54, ‘vallte’ Bb

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER

notes

[7] veltireiðar ‘of the rolling wagon’: Reiðar ‘of the wagon’ seems to underlie the ms. readings ‘reydar’ and meiðar. Veltimeiðar ‘of the rolling tree’ in 53 and Flat is possible, as words meaning ‘tree’ are common as base-words of ship-kennings, but the verbal epithet velti- ‘rolling’ makes more sense with reið ‘wagon’ than with meið- ‘tree’. This is especially so in light of the tendency for such epithets to reinforce the literal sense of the base-word, rather than correcting it as the determinant does (see the examples in Meissner 56-8).

Close

velti ‘of the rolling’

veltir (noun m.): [rolling, Toppler] < veltireið (noun f.)veltir (noun m.): [rolling, Toppler] < veltireyðr (noun f.): rolling-rorqual

[7] velti‑: so 53, Flat, ‘vællte’ 54, ‘vallte’ Bb

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER

notes

[7] veltireiðar ‘of the rolling wagon’: Reiðar ‘of the wagon’ seems to underlie the ms. readings ‘reydar’ and meiðar. Veltimeiðar ‘of the rolling tree’ in 53 and Flat is possible, as words meaning ‘tree’ are common as base-words of ship-kennings, but the verbal epithet velti- ‘rolling’ makes more sense with reið ‘wagon’ than with meið- ‘tree’. This is especially so in light of the tendency for such epithets to reinforce the literal sense of the base-word, rather than correcting it as the determinant does (see the examples in Meissner 56-8).

Close

reiðar ‘wagon’

1. reið (noun f.; °-ar; -ir/-ar): riding; chariot < veltireið (noun f.)

[7] ‑reiðar: ‘reydar’ 54, Bb, meiðar 53, Flat

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER

notes

[7] veltireiðar ‘of the rolling wagon’: Reiðar ‘of the wagon’ seems to underlie the ms. readings ‘reydar’ and meiðar. Veltimeiðar ‘of the rolling tree’ in 53 and Flat is possible, as words meaning ‘tree’ are common as base-words of ship-kennings, but the verbal epithet velti- ‘rolling’ makes more sense with reið ‘wagon’ than with meið- ‘tree’. This is especially so in light of the tendency for such epithets to reinforce the literal sense of the base-word, rather than correcting it as the determinant does (see the examples in Meissner 56-8).

Close

reiðar ‘wagon’

1. reið (noun f.; °-ar; -ir/-ar): riding; chariot < veltireið (noun f.)

[7] ‑reiðar: ‘reydar’ 54, Bb, meiðar 53, Flat

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER

notes

[7] veltireiðar ‘of the rolling wagon’: Reiðar ‘of the wagon’ seems to underlie the ms. readings ‘reydar’ and meiðar. Veltimeiðar ‘of the rolling tree’ in 53 and Flat is possible, as words meaning ‘tree’ are common as base-words of ship-kennings, but the verbal epithet velti- ‘rolling’ makes more sense with reið ‘wagon’ than with meið- ‘tree’. This is especially so in light of the tendency for such epithets to reinforce the literal sense of the base-word, rather than correcting it as the determinant does (see the examples in Meissner 56-8).

Close

varg ‘The wolf’

vargr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): wolf < varghollr (adj.): wolf-gracious

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

hollr ‘gracious’

hollr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): loyal < varghollr (adj.): wolf-gracious

kennings

Varghollr hirðir veltireiðar víðis
‘The wolf-gracious guardian of the rolling wagon of the ocean ’
   = SEAFARER

the rolling wagon of the ocean → SHIP
The wolf-gracious guardian of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

þrimu ‘an onslaught’

þrima (noun f.): battle, din

Close

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

Óláfr and his men have repelled the Danish attack, and now it is the turn of the Swedes.

Mss 54 and Bb attribute this stanza to Hallar-Steinn (cf. Note to st. 2 [All]), but it cannot be from the stefjabálkr ‘refain section’ of his Rekstefja ‘Poem with split refrains’ (HSt Rst), since it lacks the stef ‘refrain’ that gives that poem its name, and the subject-matter precludes it from belonging to the upphaf ‘beginning’ or slœmr ‘conclusion’ of Rst.

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