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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Hfl 9I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 9’ 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. 752.

Óttarr svartiHǫfuðlausn
8910

at ‘that’

4. at (conj.): that

[1] at: enn 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm

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þunga ‘heavy’

þungr (adj.): heavy

[1] þunga: þungum 73aˣ

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skipum ‘the ships’

skip (noun n.; °-s; -): ship

[2] skipum: með skip 68

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ferri ‘far from’

ferri (adv.): far, further

[2] ferri: færi Bb, Tóm

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rauð ‘they reddened’

rjóða (verb): to redden

[3] rauð: ‘hra[...]’ 325V

notes

[3] rauð ‘they reddened’: Skj B and ÍF 27 take rauð here as an impersonal verb with passive meaning (‘Ringmere Heath was reddened’), but it is possible to take herr þinn ‘your army’ as the understood subject (cf. ÞKolb Eirdr 15/7-8 rauð Hringmaraheiði | herr).

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Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’

Hringmaraheiðr (noun f.): [Ringmere Heath]

notes

[3] Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’: According to John of Worcester, Þorkell’s army fought a battle at Ringmere near Thetford in Norfolk, 5 May 1010, and the English were put to flight (Darlington and McGurk 1995-, II, 464-7; the ASC s. a. 1010 mentions the battle but does not specify the location). As Sigv Víkv 7/3 acknowledges, the local forces were led by the ealdorman (high-ranking nobleman) Ulfcytel, who is also named in Anon Liðs 6/2. For discussion of the p. n. Hringmaraheiðr see Townend (1998, 38-42). Óttarr’s use of the name matches that of Sigv Víkv 7/5 (stóð Hringmaraheiði) and ÞKolb Eirdr 15/7 (rauð Hringmaraheiði), though it is uncertain whose usage comes first. It has been argued that the attempt to incorporate the name into a dróttkvætt line led to a new metrical type, in which the first hending came in position 1 in the line, immediately before the first alliterating syllable (Kuhn 1969a, 416; Gade 2001b, 66-8).

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hlóð ‘heaped up’

2. hlaða (verb): heap, pile

[4] hlóð: ‘hlǫp’ J1ˣ

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blóði ‘with blood’

blóð (noun n.; °-s): blood

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Laut ‘bowed down’

1. lúta (verb): (strong)

[5] Laut: ‘hvit’ or ‘hrvt’ Bb

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fyr ‘before’

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

[5] fyr: frá J1ˣ, J2ˣ

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áðr ‘before’

áðr (adv.; °//): before

[5] áðr: áðr en Bb

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land ‘of the land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land < landfolk (noun n.): people of the country

[6] land‑: lands 325VI, 68, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[6] í gný: ‘ygní’ Bb, ‘j kny’ Tóm

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gný ‘the clash’

gnýr (noun m.): din, tumult

[6] í gný: ‘ygní’ Bb, ‘j kny’ Tóm

kennings

gný randa,
‘the clash of shields, ’
   = BATTLE

the clash of shields, → BATTLE
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randa ‘of shields’

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

[6] randa: branda Holm2, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 68, 61, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Tóm

kennings

gný randa,
‘the clash of shields, ’
   = BATTLE

the clash of shields, → BATTLE

notes

[6] randa ‘of shields’: Branda ‘of swords’, the majority reading here, is equally possible in the context.

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Engla ‘of the English’

Englar (noun m.): English people

notes

[7, 8] en mǫrg ferð Engla á flótta ‘and many a troop of the English [took] to flight’: (a) The ellipsis of a verb of motion is assumed here, as in Skj B, and mǫrg is construed with ferð Engla, hence ‘many a troop of the English’. This requires complex syntax but provides the most satisfactory subject for the en-clause in l. 8. (b) Kock (NN §1130 anm., followed by ÍF 27) argues that laut ‘bowed down’ should be understood as an instance of apo koinou, participating in both clauses and giving a (somewhat implausible) sense of ‘[bowed down] in flight’ in l. 8. Kock and ÍF 27 assume that landfolk ‘people of the land’ and ferð Engla stand in apposition as joint subjects of the main clause, though they differ in their interpretation of mǫrg ‘many’. Kock takes it as substantival, with the sense ‘a great number’, though m. nom. pl. margir ‘many (men)’ might have been expected in this context. ÍF 27 links mǫrg with an understood repetition of ferð Engla.

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ferð ‘ troop’

ferð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir/-arMork 196¹²)): host, journey

notes

[7, 8] en mǫrg ferð Engla á flótta ‘and many a troop of the English [took] to flight’: (a) The ellipsis of a verb of motion is assumed here, as in Skj B, and mǫrg is construed with ferð Engla, hence ‘many a troop of the English’. This requires complex syntax but provides the most satisfactory subject for the en-clause in l. 8. (b) Kock (NN §1130 anm., followed by ÍF 27) argues that laut ‘bowed down’ should be understood as an instance of apo koinou, participating in both clauses and giving a (somewhat implausible) sense of ‘[bowed down] in flight’ in l. 8. Kock and ÍF 27 assume that landfolk ‘people of the land’ and ferð Engla stand in apposition as joint subjects of the main clause, though they differ in their interpretation of mǫrg ‘many’. Kock takes it as substantival, with the sense ‘a great number’, though m. nom. pl. margir ‘many (men)’ might have been expected in this context. ÍF 27 links mǫrg with an understood repetition of ferð Engla.

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at ‘to’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[7] at: á 68, 61, 75c, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm

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ótt ‘frantically’

notes

[8] ótt ‘frantically’: Adverbial n. form from the adj. óðr ‘mad, frantic’. Kock (NN §1130 anm.) takes it with the remainder of l. 8.

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mǫrg ‘many a’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many

notes

[7, 8] en mǫrg ferð Engla á flótta ‘and many a troop of the English [took] to flight’: (a) The ellipsis of a verb of motion is assumed here, as in Skj B, and mǫrg is construed with ferð Engla, hence ‘many a troop of the English’. This requires complex syntax but provides the most satisfactory subject for the en-clause in l. 8. (b) Kock (NN §1130 anm., followed by ÍF 27) argues that laut ‘bowed down’ should be understood as an instance of apo koinou, participating in both clauses and giving a (somewhat implausible) sense of ‘[bowed down] in flight’ in l. 8. Kock and ÍF 27 assume that landfolk ‘people of the land’ and ferð Engla stand in apposition as joint subjects of the main clause, though they differ in their interpretation of mǫrg ‘many’. Kock takes it as substantival, with the sense ‘a great number’, though m. nom. pl. margir ‘many (men)’ might have been expected in this context. ÍF 27 links mǫrg with an understood repetition of ferð Engla.

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á ‘to’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[7, 8] en mǫrg ferð Engla á flótta ‘and many a troop of the English [took] to flight’: (a) The ellipsis of a verb of motion is assumed here, as in Skj B, and mǫrg is construed with ferð Engla, hence ‘many a troop of the English’. This requires complex syntax but provides the most satisfactory subject for the en-clause in l. 8. (b) Kock (NN §1130 anm., followed by ÍF 27) argues that laut ‘bowed down’ should be understood as an instance of apo koinou, participating in both clauses and giving a (somewhat implausible) sense of ‘[bowed down] in flight’ in l. 8. Kock and ÍF 27 assume that landfolk ‘people of the land’ and ferð Engla stand in apposition as joint subjects of the main clause, though they differ in their interpretation of mǫrg ‘many’. Kock takes it as substantival, with the sense ‘a great number’, though m. nom. pl. margir ‘many (men)’ might have been expected in this context. ÍF 27 links mǫrg with an understood repetition of ferð Engla.

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flótta ‘flight’

flótti (noun m.): flight, fleeing

notes

[7, 8] en mǫrg ferð Engla á flótta ‘and many a troop of the English [took] to flight’: (a) The ellipsis of a verb of motion is assumed here, as in Skj B, and mǫrg is construed with ferð Engla, hence ‘many a troop of the English’. This requires complex syntax but provides the most satisfactory subject for the en-clause in l. 8. (b) Kock (NN §1130 anm., followed by ÍF 27) argues that laut ‘bowed down’ should be understood as an instance of apo koinou, participating in both clauses and giving a (somewhat implausible) sense of ‘[bowed down] in flight’ in l. 8. Kock and ÍF 27 assume that landfolk ‘people of the land’ and ferð Engla stand in apposition as joint subjects of the main clause, though they differ in their interpretation of mǫrg ‘many’. Kock takes it as substantival, with the sense ‘a great number’, though m. nom. pl. margir ‘many (men)’ might have been expected in this context. ÍF 27 links mǫrg with an understood repetition of ferð Engla.

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

Óláfr, together with King Aðalráðr (Æthelred), wins a great victory at Hringmaraheiðr (Ringmere Heath).

For the battle at Ringmere Heath, see also Sigv Víkv 7. See ÞKolb Eirdr 15 for what seems to be a later battle at the same place.

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