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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 13II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 13’ 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. 590-1.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur
121314

of ‘from’

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

notes

[1, 4] ríða ofan of ǫxl ‘swing down from his shoulder’: The meaning ‘swing’ is well attested for ríða (LP); the warrior is presumably depicted as just about to strike a blow, or in mid-strike.

Close

ǫxl ‘shoulder’

ǫxl (noun f.; °axlar, dat. -u; axlir): shoulder

notes

[1, 4] ríða ofan of ǫxl ‘swing down from his shoulder’: The meaning ‘swing’ is well attested for ríða (LP); the warrior is presumably depicted as just about to strike a blow, or in mid-strike.

Close

útar ‘further out’

útarr (adv.): further out

notes

[1, 8] útar; framar ‘further out; further forward’: Útar is construed with á tjaldi, rather than meaning that the man stands ‘just inside the dwelling’, as Poole (2006, 153) would have it, while framar is taken to refer to the swinging/striking motion with the sword that the warrior depicted will not complete.

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aldrœnn ‘elderly’

aldrœnn (adj.): old, elderly

kennings

Aldrœnn sig-Freyr,
‘elderly battle-Freyr ’
   = WARRIOR

elderly battle-Freyr → WARRIOR
Close

stendr ‘stands’

standa (verb): stand

[2] stendr: maðr R702ˣ

Close

sig ‘battle’

sigr (noun m.; °sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar): victory < sigfreyr (noun m.)

kennings

Aldrœnn sig-Freyr,
‘elderly battle-Freyr ’
   = WARRIOR

elderly battle-Freyr → WARRIOR
Close

Freyr ‘Freyr’

Freyr (noun m.): (a god) < sigfreyr (noun m.)

kennings

Aldrœnn sig-Freyr,
‘elderly battle-Freyr ’
   = WARRIOR

elderly battle-Freyr → WARRIOR
Close

Svǫlnis ‘of Svǫlnir’s’

Svǫlnir (noun m.): Svǫlnir

[3] Svǫlnis: so R702ˣ, ‘saudins’ Flat

kennings

slíðrvǫnd Svǫlnis Vára
‘his scabbard-wand of Svǫlnir’s Várs ’
   = SWORD

Svǫlnir’s Várs → VALKYRIES
his scabbard-wand of VALKYRIES → SWORD
Close

Svǫlnis ‘of Svǫlnir’s’

Svǫlnir (noun m.): Svǫlnir

[3] Svǫlnis: so R702ˣ, ‘saudins’ Flat

kennings

slíðrvǫnd Svǫlnis Vára
‘his scabbard-wand of Svǫlnir’s Várs ’
   = SWORD

Svǫlnir’s Várs → VALKYRIES
his scabbard-wand of VALKYRIES → SWORD
Close

Vára ‘Várs’

2. Vár (noun f.; °-s; -): a goddess

kennings

slíðrvǫnd Svǫlnis Vára
‘his scabbard-wand of Svǫlnir’s Várs ’
   = SWORD

Svǫlnir’s Várs → VALKYRIES
his scabbard-wand of VALKYRIES → SWORD
Close

Vára ‘Várs’

2. Vár (noun f.; °-s; -): a goddess

kennings

slíðrvǫnd Svǫlnis Vára
‘his scabbard-wand of Svǫlnir’s Várs ’
   = SWORD

Svǫlnir’s Várs → VALKYRIES
his scabbard-wand of VALKYRIES → SWORD
Close

slíðr ‘scabbard’

2. slíðr (noun n.; °; -): sheath < slíðrvǫndr (adj.)

kennings

slíðrvǫnd Svǫlnis Vára
‘his scabbard-wand of Svǫlnir’s Várs ’
   = SWORD

Svǫlnir’s Várs → VALKYRIES
his scabbard-wand of VALKYRIES → SWORD

notes

[4] slíðrvǫnd ‘scabbard-wand’: LP translates this as frygtelig vånd ‘dreadful wand’ (similarly Poole 2006, 148). While this meaning of slíðr (as a compounding epithet) predominates in earlier poetry, the meaning ‘scabbard’ is better attested in the C12th, including several examples in Rǫgnvaldr’s own poetry (st. 17 below; RvHbreiðm Hl 18, 71, 74III), both as a simplex and in kennings. Admittedly, the resulting kenning is imperfect, as it contains an extra determinant, Svǫlnis Vára ‘Svǫlnir’s Várs’, and Poole’s solution remains a possibility.

Close

vǫnd ‘wand’

vǫndr (noun m.; °vandar, dat. vendi/vǫnd; vendir, acc. vǫndu/vendi): rod, want, mast < slíðrvǫndr (adj.)

kennings

slíðrvǫnd Svǫlnis Vára
‘his scabbard-wand of Svǫlnir’s Várs ’
   = SWORD

Svǫlnir’s Várs → VALKYRIES
his scabbard-wand of VALKYRIES → SWORD

notes

[4] slíðrvǫnd ‘scabbard-wand’: LP translates this as frygtelig vånd ‘dreadful wand’ (similarly Poole 2006, 148). While this meaning of slíðr (as a compounding epithet) predominates in earlier poetry, the meaning ‘scabbard’ is better attested in the C12th, including several examples in Rǫgnvaldr’s own poetry (st. 17 below; RvHbreiðm Hl 18, 71, 74III), both as a simplex and in kennings. Admittedly, the resulting kenning is imperfect, as it contains an extra determinant, Svǫlnis Vára ‘Svǫlnir’s Várs’, and Poole’s solution remains a possibility.

Close

ofan ‘down’

ofan (adv.): down

notes

[1, 4] ríða ofan of ǫxl ‘swing down from his shoulder’: The meaning ‘swing’ is well attested for ríða (LP); the warrior is presumably depicted as just about to strike a blow, or in mid-strike.

Close

ríða ‘swing’

1. ríða (verb): ride

notes

[1, 4] ríða ofan of ǫxl ‘swing down from his shoulder’: The meaning ‘swing’ is well attested for ríða (LP); the warrior is presumably depicted as just about to strike a blow, or in mid-strike.

Close

þótt ‘even if’

þótt (conj.): although

Close

œgir ‘the threatener’

œgir (noun m.): terrifier

kennings

œgir ǫrbeiðanda
‘the threatener of arrow-requesters ’
   = WARRIOR

arrow-requesters → WARRIORS
the threatener of WARRIORS → WARRIOR
Close

ǫr ‘of arrow’

ǫr (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; ǫrvar/ǫrar): arrow < ǫrbeiðandi (noun m.)

kennings

œgir ǫrbeiðanda
‘the threatener of arrow-requesters ’
   = WARRIOR

arrow-requesters → WARRIORS
the threatener of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[6] ǫrbeiðanda ‘of arrow-requesters’: Bibire 1988 interprets the first element as ‘arrow’ (ǫr f.), but admits the possibility that it means ‘eager’ (as in LP), Poole (2006, 147) translates it as ‘frenzied’, while both Skj B and ÍF 34 paraphrase the whole expression rather than translating. While the adj. ǫrr, meaning both ‘quick’ (and therefore ‘bold, brave’) and ‘generous’ is used elsewhere by Rv (cf. sts 1/1, 12/6), both as a simplex and as the first element in a cpd, a weapon-word seems most appropriate in this context.

Close

ǫr ‘of arrow’

ǫr (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; ǫrvar/ǫrar): arrow < ǫrbeiðandi (noun m.)

kennings

œgir ǫrbeiðanda
‘the threatener of arrow-requesters ’
   = WARRIOR

arrow-requesters → WARRIORS
the threatener of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[6] ǫrbeiðanda ‘of arrow-requesters’: Bibire 1988 interprets the first element as ‘arrow’ (ǫr f.), but admits the possibility that it means ‘eager’ (as in LP), Poole (2006, 147) translates it as ‘frenzied’, while both Skj B and ÍF 34 paraphrase the whole expression rather than translating. While the adj. ǫrr, meaning both ‘quick’ (and therefore ‘bold, brave’) and ‘generous’ is used elsewhere by Rv (cf. sts 1/1, 12/6), both as a simplex and as the first element in a cpd, a weapon-word seems most appropriate in this context.

Close

beiðanda ‘requesters’

beiðandi (noun m.): requester, petitioner < ǫrbeiðandi (noun m.)

kennings

œgir ǫrbeiðanda
‘the threatener of arrow-requesters ’
   = WARRIOR

arrow-requesters → WARRIORS
the threatener of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[6] ǫrbeiðanda ‘of arrow-requesters’: Bibire 1988 interprets the first element as ‘arrow’ (ǫr f.), but admits the possibility that it means ‘eager’ (as in LP), Poole (2006, 147) translates it as ‘frenzied’, while both Skj B and ÍF 34 paraphrase the whole expression rather than translating. While the adj. ǫrr, meaning both ‘quick’ (and therefore ‘bold, brave’) and ‘generous’ is used elsewhere by Rv (cf. sts 1/1, 12/6), both as a simplex and as the first element in a cpd, a weapon-word seems most appropriate in this context.

Close

beiðanda ‘requesters’

beiðandi (noun m.): requester, petitioner < ǫrbeiðandi (noun m.)

kennings

œgir ǫrbeiðanda
‘the threatener of arrow-requesters ’
   = WARRIOR

arrow-requesters → WARRIORS
the threatener of WARRIORS → WARRIOR

notes

[6] ǫrbeiðanda ‘of arrow-requesters’: Bibire 1988 interprets the first element as ‘arrow’ (ǫr f.), but admits the possibility that it means ‘eager’ (as in LP), Poole (2006, 147) translates it as ‘frenzied’, while both Skj B and ÍF 34 paraphrase the whole expression rather than translating. While the adj. ǫrr, meaning both ‘quick’ (and therefore ‘bold, brave’) and ‘generous’ is used elsewhere by Rv (cf. sts 1/1, 12/6), both as a simplex and as the first element in a cpd, a weapon-word seems most appropriate in this context.

Close

reiðisk ‘gets angry’

4. reiða (verb): make angry

Close

brík ‘of the plank’

brík (noun f.; °-ar; -r): plank < bríkrunnr (noun m.)

[7] brík‑: blik Flat, R702ˣ

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR

notes

[7] bríkruðr ‘plank-tree’: The emendation of blik- ‘shimmer’ to brík ‘plank’ rather than of œgir ‘threatener’ to ægis ‘of the sea’ (l. 5), as in Skj B, Skald, ÍF 34 and Poole 2006, provides a warrior-kenning which is more appropriate to the content of the st. than the generous man-kenning of those interpretations. The emendation also simplifies the w. o. considerably and avoids an awkward tripartite l. (l. 5).

Close

brík ‘of the plank’

brík (noun f.; °-ar; -r): plank < bríkrunnr (noun m.)

[7] brík‑: blik Flat, R702ˣ

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR

notes

[7] bríkruðr ‘plank-tree’: The emendation of blik- ‘shimmer’ to brík ‘plank’ rather than of œgir ‘threatener’ to ægis ‘of the sea’ (l. 5), as in Skj B, Skald, ÍF 34 and Poole 2006, provides a warrior-kenning which is more appropriate to the content of the st. than the generous man-kenning of those interpretations. The emendation also simplifies the w. o. considerably and avoids an awkward tripartite l. (l. 5).

Close

ruðr ‘tree’

runnr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): bush, tree < bríkrunnr (noun m.)

[7] ‑ruðr: ‑rauðr R702ˣ

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR

notes

[7] bríkruðr ‘plank-tree’: The emendation of blik- ‘shimmer’ to brík ‘plank’ rather than of œgir ‘threatener’ to ægis ‘of the sea’ (l. 5), as in Skj B, Skald, ÍF 34 and Poole 2006, provides a warrior-kenning which is more appropriate to the content of the st. than the generous man-kenning of those interpretations. The emendation also simplifies the w. o. considerably and avoids an awkward tripartite l. (l. 5).

Close

bǫðvar* ‘of battle’

bǫð (noun f.; °-s; -): battle

[7] bǫðvar*: bǫðvars Flat, ‘bodvir’ R702ˣ

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR

notes

[7] bǫðvar* ‘of battle’: This emendation is first found (though not noted as such) in Orkn 1887.

Close

bǫðvar* ‘of battle’

bǫð (noun f.; °-s; -): battle

[7] bǫðvar*: bǫðvars Flat, ‘bodvir’ R702ˣ

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR

notes

[7] bǫðvar* ‘of battle’: This emendation is first found (though not noted as such) in Orkn 1887.

Close

bǫðvar* ‘of battle’

bǫð (noun f.; °-s; -): battle

[7] bǫðvar*: bǫðvars Flat, ‘bodvir’ R702ˣ

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR

notes

[7] bǫðvar* ‘of battle’: This emendation is first found (though not noted as such) in Orkn 1887.

Close

jǫkla ‘of the glaciers’

jǫkull (noun m.; °-s, dat. jǫkli; jǫklar): glacier

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

jǫkla ‘of the glaciers’

jǫkull (noun m.; °-s, dat. jǫkli; jǫklar): glacier

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

jǫkla ‘of the glaciers’

jǫkull (noun m.; °-s, dat. jǫkli; jǫklar): glacier

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

bein ‘The bandy-legged’

bein (noun n.; °-s; -): bone < beinrangr (adj.)

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

rangr ‘’

rangr (adj.): wrong, false < beinrangr (adj.)

kennings

Beinrangr bǫðvar* jǫkla bríkruðr
‘plank-tree of the glaciers of battle’
   = WARRIOR

the glaciers of battle → SWORDS
the plank of SWORDS → SHIELD
The bandy-legged tree of the SHIELD → WARRIOR
Close

framar ‘further forward’

framr (adj.; °compar. framari/fremri, superl. framastr/fremstr): outstanding, foremost

notes

[1, 8] útar; framar ‘further out; further forward’: Útar is construed with á tjaldi, rather than meaning that the man stands ‘just inside the dwelling’, as Poole (2006, 153) would have it, while framar is taken to refer to the swinging/striking motion with the sword that the warrior depicted will not complete.

Close

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

At Christmas time, Rǫgnvaldr jarl challenged Oddi to compose a st. (Oddi Lv 1) about one of his wall-hangings, at the same time as, and without using any of the words in, Rǫgnvaldr’s own st. on the same subject.

Both this st. and Oddi Lv 1 are interpreted here as referring to a wall-hanging that depicts a warrior prepared to attack a person or persons unknown. Rǫgnvaldr’s st. seems to make the point that, because of the static nature of the image, the warrior will never carry out his threat, however angry he gets. Oddi’s st. has more detail (the warrior is standing by a door, presumably to attack whoever comes out) and the poet enters into the spirit of the pictorial narrative by assuming an ongoing, rather than a static, situation. Detailed discussion of both sts, including previous interpretations and new readings of both, is offered by Poole 2006. The st. has clearly suffered in transmission and is impossible to construe without some kind of emendation; the interpretation offered here is one of several conceivable.

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