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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 11II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 11’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 588-9.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur
101112

kvezk ‘said that he’

2. kveðja (verb): say, greet

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Rǫgnvalds ‘of Rǫgnvaldr’

Rǫgnvaldr (noun m.): Rǫgnvaldr

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kemr ‘comes’

koma (verb; kem, kom/kvam, kominn): come

[3] kemr: so R702ˣ, fellr Flat

notes

[3] kemr ‘comes’: As pointed out by Kock (NN §2795), R702ˣ’s variant is required for the skothending.

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Gauts ‘of Gautr’

2. Gautr (noun m.): Gautr, Óðinn

kennings

gjalfr Gauts
‘the roaring sea of Gautr ’
   = POETRY

the roaring sea of Gautr → POETRY
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gjalfr ‘the roaring sea’

gjalfr (noun n.; °-s): surge, waves

[4] gjalfr: so R702ˣ, gjalfrs Flat

kennings

gjalfr Gauts
‘the roaring sea of Gautr ’
   = POETRY

the roaring sea of Gautr → POETRY
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jarlinn ‘the jarl’

jarl (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): poet, earl

[4] jarlinn: jarl R702ˣ

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sjalfan ‘himself’

sjalfr (adj.): self

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Veitk ‘I know’

1. vita (verb): know

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hratzk ‘overturned’

1. hrinda (verb): launch, propell

[5] hratzk: ‘hrꜳz’ Flat, ‘vazt’ R702ˣ

notes

[5] hratzk ‘overturned’: This emendation, first suggested in ÍF 34, assumes a m. v. form of the verb hrinda ‘push, shove, overturn’. As this verb is rarely if ever recorded in the m. v. form, its exact meaning is hard to deduce, though ‘he overturned himself in his promises’ would give the sense of someone who has gone back on his word.

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firum ‘to men’

firar (noun m.): men

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gekk ‘I went’

2. ganga (verb; geng, gekk, gengu, genginn): walk, go

notes

[7] gekk ‘I went’: Gekk must represent gekk ek ‘I went’: the 1st pers. sg. pron. is needed, but the alternative of inn gekk ek, þars brunnu eldar (as in R702ˣ, followed by Skj B) would require the pron. to bear the alliteration and would remove the kenning which indicates the menace felt by Rǫgnvaldr (see next Note). The mention of Óðinn in the first helmingr suggests that a parallel mention in the second helmingr is appropriate.

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Yggs ‘of Yggr’

1. Yggr (noun m.): Yggr

[7] Yggs: ek R702ˣ

kennings

eldar Yggs
‘the fires of Yggr ’
   = SWORDS

the fires of Yggr → SWORDS

notes

[7, 8] eldar Yggs ‘the fires of Yggr <= Óðinn> [SWORDS]’: The same kenning is used in Bjbp Jóms 26/1I, where the context (e.g. the verb kljúfa ‘cleave’) suggests that it refers to a ‘sword’ rather than more generically to a ‘weapon’, hence the translation adopted here. The implication is that Rǫgnvaldr is being received with swords rather than a welcoming hearth. The same kenning, with other names for Óðinn, occurs in earlier and contemporary poetry in GSúrs Lv 27/3V, KormǪ Sigdr 4/2III and HaukrV Ísldr 8/3IV. Bibire 1988 sees Odinic imagery and motifs throughout the st.

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þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

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eldar ‘the fires’

eldr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-(HómÍsl¹‰(1993) 24v²⁴); -ar): fire

kennings

eldar Yggs
‘the fires of Yggr ’
   = SWORDS

the fires of Yggr → SWORDS

notes

[7, 8] eldar Yggs ‘the fires of Yggr <= Óðinn> [SWORDS]’: The same kenning is used in Bjbp Jóms 26/1I, where the context (e.g. the verb kljúfa ‘cleave’) suggests that it refers to a ‘sword’ rather than more generically to a ‘weapon’, hence the translation adopted here. The implication is that Rǫgnvaldr is being received with swords rather than a welcoming hearth. The same kenning, with other names for Óðinn, occurs in earlier and contemporary poetry in GSúrs Lv 27/3V, KormǪ Sigdr 4/2III and HaukrV Ísldr 8/3IV. Bibire 1988 sees Odinic imagery and motifs throughout the st.

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kveldi ‘the evening’

kveld (noun n.; °-s): evening

[8] kveldi: kveldum R702ˣ

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After the shipwreck, Rǫgnvaldr sent twelve of his men to stay with Einarr in Gulberwick (Gullberuvík), either at the present farm called Wick (ÍF 34, 198 n. 1) or ‘the old farm of Trebister’ (Taylor 1938, 391 n. 4).

In contrast to the st., which states that Einarr was only willing to offer hospitality to the jarl, the saga says that Einarr would only accept these men if the jarl came too (the translation of the st. in Skj B seems to have been influenced by the prose). The prose context also implies that Rǫgnvaldr spoke this st. before going in to Einarr’s farm, while l. 7 of the st. suggests the opposite. — [5-6]: Skj B (followed by Orkn 1913-16) adopts R702ˣ’s readings throughout these ll., giving veitk at vatzk í heitum; hann var ekki firum þekkr, interpreted more or less as ‘I know that he got entangled in threats; he was not beloved of men’. This makes good enough sense in itself but it is not clear how it relates to the rest of the st. The reading adopted here (largely following ÍF 34) is admittedly awkward and also hard to reconcile with the rest of the st., but is chosen in an attempt to make sense of the main ms. Ultimately, the lack of a detailed and unambiguous context for the st. makes it difficult to arrive at a definitive interpretation.

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