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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 6I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 6’ 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. 481.

Halldórr ókristniEiríksflokkr
567

heiptar ‘battle’

heift (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): hatred, enmity < heiftarnýtr (adj.)

notes

[1] heiptarnýta ‘battle-worthy’: Taken as a cpd here (see similar compounds, such as heiptarfullr ‘wrath-filled’, in LP). It could alternatively be read as two words (so Skj B, ÍF 26 and ÍF 29).

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nýta ‘worthy’

nýtr (adj.; °compar. -ri, superl. nýztr/nýtastr): useful, able < heiftarnýtr (adj.)

[1] ‑nýta: neyta Bb

notes

[1] heiptarnýta ‘battle-worthy’: Taken as a cpd here (see similar compounds, such as heiptarfullr ‘wrath-filled’, in LP). It could alternatively be read as two words (so Skj B, ÍF 26 and ÍF 29).

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reifr ‘hearted’

2. reifr (adj.): happy < hugreifr (adj.): glad-hearted

[2] ‑reifr: ‘reif[…]’ 325VIII 1

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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

[2] með: ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1

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Ôleifi ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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stǫkk ‘sprang’

1. støkkva (verb): (str.) leap, spring; scatter

[3] stǫkk: ‘stauk’ J1ˣ, ‘hné’ 310, hneig 4‑7

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of ‘across’

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

[3] of: á F, 310

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þengill ‘ruler [Eiríkr]’

þengill (noun m.): prince, ruler

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sína ‘his’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

[4] sína: ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1

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þás ‘when’

þás (conj.): when

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haf ‘of the ocean’

haf (noun n.; °-s; *-): sea < hafviti (noun m.)haf (noun n.; °-s; *-): sea < hafurta (noun f.)

kennings

hallands hafvita
‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

the ocean-beacon → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

notes

[5, 6] hallands hafvita ‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr]’: This kenning is problematic. Hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ (l. 5) can only be a kenning for ‘gold’ functioning as the determinant of a another kenning (or qualifying another noun), and the only apparent candidate for a base-word is hallands (l. 6), a word that can either denote the (then) Danish district of Halland or mean ‘of the rocky, mountainous land’. (a) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; following Konráð Gíslason 1892, 144) emends to hallendr (m. nom. pl.), a nomen agentis from the verb halla ‘pour out, lean to one side’ (see LP: halla), which he construes as the subject of hǫfðu ‘had’ (l. 5). Kock (Skald) adopts that emendation, but argues (NN §1975) that hallendr is used in the more general sense ‘diminishers’ (-förminskare). (b) Because all mss have a form of this word that ends in a gen. sg. ‑s, Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26; followed by ÍF 29 and, tentatively, the present edn), takes hallands as the gen. sg. of the agent noun hallandi (cf. the pl. hallendr above). The usual gen. sg. form of that noun is hallanda, but forms ending in ‑nds are attested in compounds (see ANG §422 Anm. 4). (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson also suggests tentatively that hallands could mean ‘of the rocky land [NORWAY]’ which could qualify gram ‘lord’ (l. 6) and refer to Óláfr as king of Norway. If so, the gold-kenning hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ can only be construed with skeiðum ‘with warships’ (l. 8), i.e. skeiðum hafvita ‘with warships of gold’, but that interpretation is at best tenuous.

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haf ‘of the ocean’

haf (noun n.; °-s; *-): sea < hafviti (noun m.)haf (noun n.; °-s; *-): sea < hafurta (noun f.)

kennings

hallands hafvita
‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

the ocean-beacon → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

notes

[5, 6] hallands hafvita ‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr]’: This kenning is problematic. Hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ (l. 5) can only be a kenning for ‘gold’ functioning as the determinant of a another kenning (or qualifying another noun), and the only apparent candidate for a base-word is hallands (l. 6), a word that can either denote the (then) Danish district of Halland or mean ‘of the rocky, mountainous land’. (a) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; following Konráð Gíslason 1892, 144) emends to hallendr (m. nom. pl.), a nomen agentis from the verb halla ‘pour out, lean to one side’ (see LP: halla), which he construes as the subject of hǫfðu ‘had’ (l. 5). Kock (Skald) adopts that emendation, but argues (NN §1975) that hallendr is used in the more general sense ‘diminishers’ (-förminskare). (b) Because all mss have a form of this word that ends in a gen. sg. ‑s, Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26; followed by ÍF 29 and, tentatively, the present edn), takes hallands as the gen. sg. of the agent noun hallandi (cf. the pl. hallendr above). The usual gen. sg. form of that noun is hallanda, but forms ending in ‑nds are attested in compounds (see ANG §422 Anm. 4). (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson also suggests tentatively that hallands could mean ‘of the rocky land [NORWAY]’ which could qualify gram ‘lord’ (l. 6) and refer to Óláfr as king of Norway. If so, the gold-kenning hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ can only be construed with skeiðum ‘with warships’ (l. 8), i.e. skeiðum hafvita ‘with warships of gold’, but that interpretation is at best tenuous.

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vita ‘beacon’

viti (noun m.; °-a; -ar): beacon, marker < hafviti (noun m.)

[5] ‑vita: ‘‑urta’ 54, ‘‑vrta’ Bb

kennings

hallands hafvita
‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

the ocean-beacon → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

notes

[5, 6] hallands hafvita ‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr]’: This kenning is problematic. Hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ (l. 5) can only be a kenning for ‘gold’ functioning as the determinant of a another kenning (or qualifying another noun), and the only apparent candidate for a base-word is hallands (l. 6), a word that can either denote the (then) Danish district of Halland or mean ‘of the rocky, mountainous land’. (a) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; following Konráð Gíslason 1892, 144) emends to hallendr (m. nom. pl.), a nomen agentis from the verb halla ‘pour out, lean to one side’ (see LP: halla), which he construes as the subject of hǫfðu ‘had’ (l. 5). Kock (Skald) adopts that emendation, but argues (NN §1975) that hallendr is used in the more general sense ‘diminishers’ (-förminskare). (b) Because all mss have a form of this word that ends in a gen. sg. ‑s, Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26; followed by ÍF 29 and, tentatively, the present edn), takes hallands as the gen. sg. of the agent noun hallandi (cf. the pl. hallendr above). The usual gen. sg. form of that noun is hallanda, but forms ending in ‑nds are attested in compounds (see ANG §422 Anm. 4). (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson also suggests tentatively that hallands could mean ‘of the rocky land [NORWAY]’ which could qualify gram ‘lord’ (l. 6) and refer to Óláfr as king of Norway. If so, the gold-kenning hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ can only be construed with skeiðum ‘with warships’ (l. 8), i.e. skeiðum hafvita ‘with warships of gold’, but that interpretation is at best tenuous.

Close

vita ‘beacon’

viti (noun m.; °-a; -ar): beacon, marker < hafviti (noun m.)

[5] ‑vita: ‘‑urta’ 54, ‘‑vrta’ Bb

kennings

hallands hafvita
‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

the ocean-beacon → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

notes

[5, 6] hallands hafvita ‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr]’: This kenning is problematic. Hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ (l. 5) can only be a kenning for ‘gold’ functioning as the determinant of a another kenning (or qualifying another noun), and the only apparent candidate for a base-word is hallands (l. 6), a word that can either denote the (then) Danish district of Halland or mean ‘of the rocky, mountainous land’. (a) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; following Konráð Gíslason 1892, 144) emends to hallendr (m. nom. pl.), a nomen agentis from the verb halla ‘pour out, lean to one side’ (see LP: halla), which he construes as the subject of hǫfðu ‘had’ (l. 5). Kock (Skald) adopts that emendation, but argues (NN §1975) that hallendr is used in the more general sense ‘diminishers’ (-förminskare). (b) Because all mss have a form of this word that ends in a gen. sg. ‑s, Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26; followed by ÍF 29 and, tentatively, the present edn), takes hallands as the gen. sg. of the agent noun hallandi (cf. the pl. hallendr above). The usual gen. sg. form of that noun is hallanda, but forms ending in ‑nds are attested in compounds (see ANG §422 Anm. 4). (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson also suggests tentatively that hallands could mean ‘of the rocky land [NORWAY]’ which could qualify gram ‘lord’ (l. 6) and refer to Óláfr as king of Norway. If so, the gold-kenning hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ can only be construed with skeiðum ‘with warships’ (l. 8), i.e. skeiðum hafvita ‘with warships of gold’, but that interpretation is at best tenuous.

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hǫfðu ‘they had’

hafa (verb): have

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hallz ‘’

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hallands ‘of the diminisher’

hallandi (noun m.): [diminisher]

[6] hallands: hall lands F, ‘hallz’ J2ˣ, ‘halldz’ 325VIII 1

kennings

hallands hafvita
‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

the ocean-beacon → GOLD
the diminisher of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr

notes

[5, 6] hallands hafvita ‘of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr]’: This kenning is problematic. Hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ (l. 5) can only be a kenning for ‘gold’ functioning as the determinant of a another kenning (or qualifying another noun), and the only apparent candidate for a base-word is hallands (l. 6), a word that can either denote the (then) Danish district of Halland or mean ‘of the rocky, mountainous land’. (a) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; following Konráð Gíslason 1892, 144) emends to hallendr (m. nom. pl.), a nomen agentis from the verb halla ‘pour out, lean to one side’ (see LP: halla), which he construes as the subject of hǫfðu ‘had’ (l. 5). Kock (Skald) adopts that emendation, but argues (NN §1975) that hallendr is used in the more general sense ‘diminishers’ (-förminskare). (b) Because all mss have a form of this word that ends in a gen. sg. ‑s, Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26; followed by ÍF 29 and, tentatively, the present edn), takes hallands as the gen. sg. of the agent noun hallandi (cf. the pl. hallendr above). The usual gen. sg. form of that noun is hallanda, but forms ending in ‑nds are attested in compounds (see ANG §422 Anm. 4). (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson also suggests tentatively that hallands could mean ‘of the rocky land [NORWAY]’ which could qualify gram ‘lord’ (l. 6) and refer to Óláfr as king of Norway. If so, the gold-kenning hafvita ‘of the ocean-beacon’ can only be construed with skeiðum ‘with warships’ (l. 8), i.e. skeiðum hafvita ‘with warships of gold’, but that interpretation is at best tenuous.

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gram ‘lord [Óláfr]’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

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snjallan ‘the valiant’

snjallr (adj.): quick, resourceful, bold

[6] snjallan: ‘[…]an’ 325VIII 1

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varð ‘took place’

1. verða (verb): become, be

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fyr ‘before’

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

[7] fyr: af Holm18, of 310, um FskAˣ, 4‑7

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Vinða ‘of Wends’

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

kennings

myrði Vinða.
‘the murderer of Wends. ’
   = Eiríkr

the murderer of Wends. → Eiríkr
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myrði ‘the murderer’

myrðir (noun m.): killer

kennings

myrði Vinða.
‘the murderer of Wends. ’
   = Eiríkr

the murderer of Wends. → Eiríkr
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vápn ‘a weapon’

vápn (noun n.; °-s; -): weapon < vápneiðr (noun m.)

kennings

vápneiðr
‘a weapon-oath ’
   = BATTLE

a weapon-oath → BATTLE

notes

[8] vápneiðr ‘a weapon-oath [BATTLE]’: This is a somewhat untraditional kenning for ‘battle’ but, as Kock (NN §1976) points out, words denoting ‘speech, song’ etc. do occur as base-words in battle-kennings (see, e.g., senna fráns leggbita ‘the flyting of the glittering leg-biter’, st. 4/6, 7 above, and senna vápna ‘the flyting of weapons’, Hfr ErfÓl 3/2). Skj B adopts the FskAˣ variant vápnreið ‘weapon-motion [BATTLE]’.

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eiðr ‘oath’

eiðr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -i/-: -ar): oath < vápneiðr (noun m.)

[8] ‑eiðr: ‘eirðr’ Holm18, reið FskAˣ

kennings

vápneiðr
‘a weapon-oath ’
   = BATTLE

a weapon-oath → BATTLE

notes

[8] vápneiðr ‘a weapon-oath [BATTLE]’: This is a somewhat untraditional kenning for ‘battle’ but, as Kock (NN §1976) points out, words denoting ‘speech, song’ etc. do occur as base-words in battle-kennings (see, e.g., senna fráns leggbita ‘the flyting of the glittering leg-biter’, st. 4/6, 7 above, and senna vápna ‘the flyting of weapons’, Hfr ErfÓl 3/2). Skj B adopts the FskAˣ variant vápnreið ‘weapon-motion [BATTLE]’.

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skeiðum ‘the warships’

1. skeið (noun f.; °-ar; -r/-ar/-ir): ship

[8] skeiðum: ‘ske[…]’ 325VIII 1

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

According to Hkr and ÓT, so many men have fallen on board Ormr inn langi that the ship is almost empty, and Eiríkr jarl’s men begin to board it. The remaining defenders retreat towards the stern of the ship where Óláfr is standing. The stanza is cited for its description of Eiríkr urging his men on. The narrative is briefer in Fsk and ÓTOdd: Óláfr’s men have retreated to the raised after-deck (lypting) of the ship, and Eiríkr’s men board and attack Óláfr from all sides.

[2]: The line recalls Hfr ErfÓl 27/2 hugreifum Ôleifi. — [7]: This line recalls both Eskál Vell 23/1 Varð fyr Vinða myrði and Hfr ErfÓl 7/1 varð of Vinða myrði. As in the latter poem, it is not quite clear whether myrði Vinða ‘the murderer of Wends’ refers to Óláfr or Eiríkr (see Note to Hfr ErfÓl 7/1). Von See (1977a, 116) argues that Halldórr could well have used the kenning consciously to eulogise Eiríkr by comparing him to his father Hákon (see Introduction above), and that interpretation has been adopted in the present edn.

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