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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 1I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 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. 471.

Halldórr ókristniEiríksflokkr
12

Út ‘’

út (adv.): out(side)

notes

[1] bauð út ‘summoned’: Bjóða út ‘summon’ is commonly used when a ruler summons his army or naval forces in preparation for a military campaign (see also Arn Magndr 2/1II).

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bauð ‘summoned’

bjóða (verb; °býðr; bauð, buðu; boðinn (buð- Thom¹ 5²n.)): offer, order, invite

notes

[1] bauð út ‘summoned’: Bjóða út ‘summon’ is commonly used when a ruler summons his army or naval forces in preparation for a military campaign (see also Arn Magndr 2/1II).

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jǫfra ‘of princes’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

kennings

Hneitir jǫfra,
‘The striker of princes, ’
   = RULER = Eiríkr

The striker of princes, → RULER = Eiríkr

notes

[1] hneitir jǫfra ‘the striker of princes [RULER]’: This kenning is also found in Sturl Hryn 5/1II (see Note there). Hneitir, which was also the name of King Óláfr Haraldsson’s famous sword, is derived from the rare verb hneita ‘cut, strike’ (see Notes to ESk Geisl 43VII [All] and Þul Sverða 2/7III).

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hneitir ‘The striker’

hneitir (noun m.): sword

[1] hneitir: meitir F

kennings

Hneitir jǫfra,
‘The striker of princes, ’
   = RULER = Eiríkr

The striker of princes, → RULER = Eiríkr

notes

[1] hneitir jǫfra ‘the striker of princes [RULER]’: This kenning is also found in Sturl Hryn 5/1II (see Note there). Hneitir, which was also the name of King Óláfr Haraldsson’s famous sword, is derived from the rare verb hneita ‘cut, strike’ (see Notes to ESk Geisl 43VII [All] and Þul Sverða 2/7III).

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él ‘the storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm < élmóðr (adj.)

[2] élmóðr: almrjóðr 53

kennings

gunnbliks él
‘storm-eager of battle-gleam’
   = BATTLE

the battle-gleam → SWORD
the storm of the SWORD → BATTLE
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móðr ‘eager for’

móðr (adj.): weary < élmóðr (adj.)

[2] élmóðr: almrjóðr 53

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Svíþjóðu ‘Sweden’

Svíþjóð (noun f.): [Sweden]

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sunnr ‘south’

sunnr (adv.): south

[3] sunnr: so 61, 53, suðr Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, svinnr 54, Bb, sunds Flat

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hell ‘’

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helt ‘steered’

halda (verb): hold, keep

[3] helt: hell Flat

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gramr ‘the ruler’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

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gunnar ‘battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle

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gunn ‘of the battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle < gunnblik (noun n.)

kennings

gunnbliks él
‘storm-eager of battle-gleam’
   = BATTLE

the battle-gleam → SWORD
the storm of the SWORD → BATTLE
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gunn ‘of the battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle < gunnblik (noun n.)

kennings

gunnbliks él
‘storm-eager of battle-gleam’
   = BATTLE

the battle-gleam → SWORD
the storm of the SWORD → BATTLE
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bliks ‘gleam’

blik (noun n.): gleam < gunnblik (noun n.)

kennings

gunnbliks él
‘storm-eager of battle-gleam’
   = BATTLE

the battle-gleam → SWORD
the storm of the SWORD → BATTLE
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bliks ‘gleam’

blik (noun n.): gleam < gunnblik (noun n.)

kennings

gunnbliks él
‘storm-eager of battle-gleam’
   = BATTLE

the battle-gleam → SWORD
the storm of the SWORD → BATTLE
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Hverr ‘Every’

2. hverr (pron.): who, whom, each, every

[5] Hverr: herja Flat

kennings

Hverr feitir hrægeitunga
‘Every fattener of carrion-birds ’
   = WARRIOR

carrion-birds → RAVENS/EAGLES
Every fattener of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR
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haulda ‘among freeholders’

hǫlðr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): man

[5] haulda: halda 61, hauldar Flat

notes

[5] haulda ‘among freeholders’: For this word and the form chosen here (rather than hǫlða) because of the internal rhyme -ild- : -auld-, see Note to Anon Nkt 15/2II.

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hræ ‘of carrion’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion < hrægeitungr (noun m.)

[6] hræ‑: ‘hra’ Flat

kennings

Hverr feitir hrægeitunga
‘Every fattener of carrion-birds ’
   = WARRIOR

carrion-birds → RAVENS/EAGLES
Every fattener of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR

notes

[6] hrægeitunga ‘of carrion-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES]’: Geitungr means ‘wasp’, but the word is used here and elsewhere to denote a kind of bird (see LP: geitungr and Notes to ESk Hardr II 3/1, 2II, Þul Fugla 1/5III). See also the kenning feitir folkstara ‘fattener of the war-starling [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR]’ in ÞjóðA Sex 11/5II.

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hræ ‘of carrion’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion < hrægeitungr (noun m.)

[6] hræ‑: ‘hra’ Flat

kennings

Hverr feitir hrægeitunga
‘Every fattener of carrion-birds ’
   = WARRIOR

carrion-birds → RAVENS/EAGLES
Every fattener of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR

notes

[6] hrægeitunga ‘of carrion-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES]’: Geitungr means ‘wasp’, but the word is used here and elsewhere to denote a kind of bird (see LP: geitungr and Notes to ESk Hardr II 3/1, 2II, Þul Fugla 1/5III). See also the kenning feitir folkstara ‘fattener of the war-starling [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR]’ in ÞjóðA Sex 11/5II.

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geitunga ‘birds’

geitungr (noun m.): wasp, bird < hrægeitungr (noun m.)

kennings

Hverr feitir hrægeitunga
‘Every fattener of carrion-birds ’
   = WARRIOR

carrion-birds → RAVENS/EAGLES
Every fattener of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR

notes

[6] hrægeitunga ‘of carrion-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES]’: Geitungr means ‘wasp’, but the word is used here and elsewhere to denote a kind of bird (see LP: geitungr and Notes to ESk Hardr II 3/1, 2II, Þul Fugla 1/5III). See also the kenning feitir folkstara ‘fattener of the war-starling [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR]’ in ÞjóðA Sex 11/5II.

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geitunga ‘birds’

geitungr (noun m.): wasp, bird < hrægeitungr (noun m.)

kennings

Hverr feitir hrægeitunga
‘Every fattener of carrion-birds ’
   = WARRIOR

carrion-birds → RAVENS/EAGLES
Every fattener of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR

notes

[6] hrægeitunga ‘of carrion-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES]’: Geitungr means ‘wasp’, but the word is used here and elsewhere to denote a kind of bird (see LP: geitungr and Notes to ESk Hardr II 3/1, 2II, Þul Fugla 1/5III). See also the kenning feitir folkstara ‘fattener of the war-starling [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR]’ in ÞjóðA Sex 11/5II.

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feitir ‘fattener’

feitir (noun m.): fattener

[6] feitir: feittir J1ˣ, reitir 54, Bb, feitra Flat

kennings

Hverr feitir hrægeitunga
‘Every fattener of carrion-birds ’
   = WARRIOR

carrion-birds → RAVENS/EAGLES
Every fattener of RAVENS/EAGLES → WARRIOR
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môr ‘the seagull’

már (noun m.): gull

kennings

môr sára
‘the seagull of wounds ’
   = RAVEN/EAGLE

the seagull of wounds → RAVEN/EAGLE
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á ‘at’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[7] á sæ ‘at sea’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, II, 221) assign this prepositional phrase to the first clause, which results in a tripartite line and tortuous syntax. The present edn follows NN §554 and ÍF 26.

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‘sea’

sjór (noun m.): sea

notes

[7] á sæ ‘at sea’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, II, 221) assign this prepositional phrase to the first clause, which results in a tripartite line and tortuous syntax. The present edn follows NN §554 and ÍF 26.

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sára ‘of wounds’

2. sár (noun n.; °-s; -): wound

kennings

môr sára
‘the seagull of wounds ’
   = RAVEN/EAGLE

the seagull of wounds → RAVEN/EAGLE
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

According to Hkr (ÓT closely similar), King Sveinn tjúguskjegg ‘Fork-beard’ of Denmark sends messengers to his son-in-law King Óláfr sœnski ‘the Swede’ Eiríksson of Sweden and to Eiríkr jarl, who is staying with Óláfr. The purpose of this mission is to incite Óláfr and Eiríkr to join Sveinn in an attack on Óláfr Tryggvason, who is on his way to Vinðland (Wendland). They gather troops from all over Sweden and set out for Denmark, but when they arrive, Óláfr has already sailed east through the Baltic.

For the sea-battle at Svǫlðr c. 1000, see also Hfr ErfÓl 1-24, Skúli SvǫlðrIII, Stefnir Lv 1 (cf. OSnorr Lv), Eþsk Couplet, ÞKolb Eirdr 8, and the later treatment in HSt Rst 15-23 and Anon Óldr 17 ‑24. — [4]: The line recalls GSúrs Lv 8/4V (Gísl 11) gunnbliks þáa miklu. — [5-8]: This helmingr has presented problems for earlier eds, and the solution adopted here attempts to make syntactical sense of it while avoiding emendation. (a) In the present version the kenning feitir hrægeitunga ‘fattener of carrion-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR]’ (l. 6) is construed with hverr ‘every’ (l. 5; see Fritzner: hverr 6) and haulda ‘among freeholders’ (lit. ‘of freeholders’, l. 5) is taken as a gen. attributive to that noun phrase. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B, following Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, II, 221) emends haulda (l. 5) to hildar ‘of battle’, which he construes as the determinant to môr ‘seagull’ (l. 7), hence môr hildar ‘the seagull of battle [RAVEN/EAGLE]’, while sára ‘of wounds’ (l. 7) is taken with sylg (l. 8), hence sylg sára ‘a drink of wounds [BLOOD]’. This has the advantage of accounting for haulda, which is somewhat superfluous in interpretation (a), and for , which is somewhat underspecified if separated from sára. However, as Kock (NN §554) points out, that interpretation involves an emendation that goes against all ms. witnesses and results in a convoluted word order. (c) Kock (NN §554; Skald) emends feitir (m. nom. sg.) ‘fattener’ to feiti (dat. sg), and takes the kenning feiti hrægeitunga ‘fattener of carrion-birds’ as an apposition to Eireki (m. dat. sg.) in l. 8. (d) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s version (ÍF 26) is the closest to the present interpretation, but he construes the kenning as an apposition to hverr haulda: hverr haulda, feitir hrægeitunga lit. ‘each of freeholders, fattener of carrion-birds’, glossing this Hver maður, sem barðagamaður var ‘Each man who was a warrior’. But the appositional constructions assumed here and in (c) are awkward. (e) Bjarni Fidjestøl (1982, 194; citing Sveinbjörn Egilsson in Fms 12, 56, Konráð Gíslason 1892, 142 and (erroneously) ÍF 26), entertains the possibility that feitir hrægeitunga could be a form of address. While that might be an option, the only other stanza that addresses Eiríkr directly gives the verb in 2nd pers. pl. (fœrðuð ‘you brought’, st. 5/5). — [8]: This line recalls Hfr ErfÓl 15/8 sylg Ôleifi fylgja.

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