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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Frag 2III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Fragments 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 294.

Markús SkeggjasonFragments
12

Hjartfœrra ‘of deer-traversed’

hjartfœrr (adj.): [deer-traversed]

kennings

Harri hjartfœrra hreinvazta
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas ’
   = RULER

deer-traversed reindeer-seas → EARTH
The lord of the EARTH → RULER

notes

[1] hjartfœrra (f. gen. pl.) ‘of deer-traversed’: I.e. a place that is passable (-fœrr) for deer or traversed by deer (see LP: hjartfœrr).

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Hjartfœrra ‘of deer-traversed’

hjartfœrr (adj.): [deer-traversed]

kennings

Harri hjartfœrra hreinvazta
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas ’
   = RULER

deer-traversed reindeer-seas → EARTH
The lord of the EARTH → RULER

notes

[1] hjartfœrra (f. gen. pl.) ‘of deer-traversed’: I.e. a place that is passable (-fœrr) for deer or traversed by deer (see LP: hjartfœrr).

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veit ‘knows’

1. vita (verb): know

notes

[1, 2] veit sik baztan ‘knows himself to be the best’: This formula also occurs in the split refrain (klofastef) of Steinn ÓldrII (for that refrain, see Note to Steinn Óldr 1/8II).

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harri ‘The lord’

1. harri (noun m.; °-a): lord

kennings

Harri hjartfœrra hreinvazta
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas ’
   = RULER

deer-traversed reindeer-seas → EARTH
The lord of the EARTH → RULER
Close

hrein ‘reindeer’

1. hreinn (noun m.; °; hreinar): reindeer < hreinvǫst (noun f.): [reindeer-seas]

kennings

Harri hjartfœrra hreinvazta
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas ’
   = RULER

deer-traversed reindeer-seas → EARTH
The lord of the EARTH → RULER

notes

[2] hreinvazta (f. gen. pl.) ‘reindeer-seas [EARTH]’: Vǫzt, from Proto-Nordic *waða-stō, originally meant ‘fishing ground’ (see AEW: vǫzt as well as Note to Bragi Frag 6/2), but by extension the word could mean ‘sea’ and function as a base-word in kennings for ‘earth, land’ (Meissner 87). It is not quite clear what the actual referent of harri hreinvazta ‘lord of the reindeer-seas’ is. In the present edn, the paraphrase is taken broadly as a kenning for ‘ruler’ (for that kenning pattern, see Meissner 352-3). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: hjartfœrr) interprets hreinvazta as ‘of the mountains’ and regards it as part of a kenning for ‘God’ in which a now lost determinant with the meaning ‘roof, hall’ was contained in the other, no longer extant couplet; i.e. ‘lord of the roof/hall of the mountains [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’. Although Finnur’s suggestion cannot be dismissed out of hand, it would be odd indeed for God (or Christ) to consider ‘himself to be the best’; rather, such a phrasing is much more suitable in a secular poem (cf. Note to ll. 1, 2 above and Steinn ÓldrII). Kock (NN §918) argues that nothing is missing here, and that the kenning harri hreinvazta, which he interprets as Fjällens herre ‘Lord of the mountains’, refers to a king of Norway. That is unlikely, however, because Markús is not associated with any Norwegian kings, only with kings of Denmark and with Ingi Steinkelsson of Sweden (see Markús’s Biography in SkP II).

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hrein ‘reindeer’

1. hreinn (noun m.; °; hreinar): reindeer < hreinvǫst (noun f.): [reindeer-seas]

kennings

Harri hjartfœrra hreinvazta
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas ’
   = RULER

deer-traversed reindeer-seas → EARTH
The lord of the EARTH → RULER

notes

[2] hreinvazta (f. gen. pl.) ‘reindeer-seas [EARTH]’: Vǫzt, from Proto-Nordic *waða-stō, originally meant ‘fishing ground’ (see AEW: vǫzt as well as Note to Bragi Frag 6/2), but by extension the word could mean ‘sea’ and function as a base-word in kennings for ‘earth, land’ (Meissner 87). It is not quite clear what the actual referent of harri hreinvazta ‘lord of the reindeer-seas’ is. In the present edn, the paraphrase is taken broadly as a kenning for ‘ruler’ (for that kenning pattern, see Meissner 352-3). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: hjartfœrr) interprets hreinvazta as ‘of the mountains’ and regards it as part of a kenning for ‘God’ in which a now lost determinant with the meaning ‘roof, hall’ was contained in the other, no longer extant couplet; i.e. ‘lord of the roof/hall of the mountains [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’. Although Finnur’s suggestion cannot be dismissed out of hand, it would be odd indeed for God (or Christ) to consider ‘himself to be the best’; rather, such a phrasing is much more suitable in a secular poem (cf. Note to ll. 1, 2 above and Steinn ÓldrII). Kock (NN §918) argues that nothing is missing here, and that the kenning harri hreinvazta, which he interprets as Fjällens herre ‘Lord of the mountains’, refers to a king of Norway. That is unlikely, however, because Markús is not associated with any Norwegian kings, only with kings of Denmark and with Ingi Steinkelsson of Sweden (see Markús’s Biography in SkP II).

Close

vazta ‘seas’

vǫzt (noun f.; °; vaztir): °fiske- el. fangstplads < hreinvǫst (noun f.): [reindeer-seas]

kennings

Harri hjartfœrra hreinvazta
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas ’
   = RULER

deer-traversed reindeer-seas → EARTH
The lord of the EARTH → RULER

notes

[2] hreinvazta (f. gen. pl.) ‘reindeer-seas [EARTH]’: Vǫzt, from Proto-Nordic *waða-stō, originally meant ‘fishing ground’ (see AEW: vǫzt as well as Note to Bragi Frag 6/2), but by extension the word could mean ‘sea’ and function as a base-word in kennings for ‘earth, land’ (Meissner 87). It is not quite clear what the actual referent of harri hreinvazta ‘lord of the reindeer-seas’ is. In the present edn, the paraphrase is taken broadly as a kenning for ‘ruler’ (for that kenning pattern, see Meissner 352-3). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: hjartfœrr) interprets hreinvazta as ‘of the mountains’ and regards it as part of a kenning for ‘God’ in which a now lost determinant with the meaning ‘roof, hall’ was contained in the other, no longer extant couplet; i.e. ‘lord of the roof/hall of the mountains [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’. Although Finnur’s suggestion cannot be dismissed out of hand, it would be odd indeed for God (or Christ) to consider ‘himself to be the best’; rather, such a phrasing is much more suitable in a secular poem (cf. Note to ll. 1, 2 above and Steinn ÓldrII). Kock (NN §918) argues that nothing is missing here, and that the kenning harri hreinvazta, which he interprets as Fjällens herre ‘Lord of the mountains’, refers to a king of Norway. That is unlikely, however, because Markús is not associated with any Norwegian kings, only with kings of Denmark and with Ingi Steinkelsson of Sweden (see Markús’s Biography in SkP II).

Close

vazta ‘seas’

vǫzt (noun f.; °; vaztir): °fiske- el. fangstplads < hreinvǫst (noun f.): [reindeer-seas]

kennings

Harri hjartfœrra hreinvazta
‘The lord of deer-traversed reindeer-seas ’
   = RULER

deer-traversed reindeer-seas → EARTH
The lord of the EARTH → RULER

notes

[2] hreinvazta (f. gen. pl.) ‘reindeer-seas [EARTH]’: Vǫzt, from Proto-Nordic *waða-stō, originally meant ‘fishing ground’ (see AEW: vǫzt as well as Note to Bragi Frag 6/2), but by extension the word could mean ‘sea’ and function as a base-word in kennings for ‘earth, land’ (Meissner 87). It is not quite clear what the actual referent of harri hreinvazta ‘lord of the reindeer-seas’ is. In the present edn, the paraphrase is taken broadly as a kenning for ‘ruler’ (for that kenning pattern, see Meissner 352-3). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: hjartfœrr) interprets hreinvazta as ‘of the mountains’ and regards it as part of a kenning for ‘God’ in which a now lost determinant with the meaning ‘roof, hall’ was contained in the other, no longer extant couplet; i.e. ‘lord of the roof/hall of the mountains [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’. Although Finnur’s suggestion cannot be dismissed out of hand, it would be odd indeed for God (or Christ) to consider ‘himself to be the best’; rather, such a phrasing is much more suitable in a secular poem (cf. Note to ll. 1, 2 above and Steinn ÓldrII). Kock (NN §918) argues that nothing is missing here, and that the kenning harri hreinvazta, which he interprets as Fjällens herre ‘Lord of the mountains’, refers to a king of Norway. That is unlikely, however, because Markús is not associated with any Norwegian kings, only with kings of Denmark and with Ingi Steinkelsson of Sweden (see Markús’s Biography in SkP II).

Close

sik ‘himself’

sik (pron.; °gen. sín, dat. sér): (refl. pron.)

notes

[1, 2] veit sik baztan ‘knows himself to be the best’: This formula also occurs in the split refrain (klofastef) of Steinn ÓldrII (for that refrain, see Note to Steinn Óldr 1/8II).

Close

baztan ‘to be the best’

betri (adj. comp.; °superl. beztr/baztr; pos. „ góðr adj.): better, best

notes

[1, 2] veit sik baztan ‘knows himself to be the best’: This formula also occurs in the split refrain (klofastef) of Steinn ÓldrII (for that refrain, see Note to Steinn Óldr 1/8II).

Close

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

The kenning hreinvaztir lit. ‘reindeer-fishing-grounds’ is given in TGT among examples of metaphors, and the text explains that this entails kalla jǫrð sæ dýra ‘to call the earth the sea of animals’ (TGT 1927, 77).

[2]: For the internal rhyme vazt- : bazt-, see also Bragi Frag 6/2.

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