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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 15II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 15’ 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. 592-3.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur
141516

Fróða ‘of Fróði’

Fróði (noun m.): Fróði

[2] Fróða meldrs at góðu: fegurð þín konan svinna R702ˣ

kennings

meldrs Fróða.
‘the meal of Fróði. ’
   = GOLD

the meal of Fróði. → GOLD

notes

[2] meldrs Fróða ‘the meal of Fróði <legendary king> [GOLD]’: This refers to the story of the magic quern Grotti, which grinds out gold for the legendary Dan. king Fróði (SnE 1998, I, 51-8). Here, meldr refers to the product of grinding (‘meal, flour’), but more commonly means ‘the act of grinding’ in OIcel. (cf. SnSt Ht 43III; SnE 1998, I, 53, 57) and indeed the kenning often includes the name of one of the slave-women who did the grinding (e.g. meldr Fenju ‘Fenja’s flour’ in ESk Øxfl 6/6, 7III). Since the whole point of the story is that King Fróði had slaves to do his grinding, meldr must have the meaning ‘meal, flour’ here. This meaning is also found in the dialects of Faroe, Shetland and Orkney and it may be evidence of non-Icel. usage here. The more usual form of this kenning is mjǫl Fróða  ‘Fróði’s meal’ (e.g. Egill Hfl 17/8V).

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meldrs ‘the meal’

meldr (noun m.): flour

[2] Fróða meldrs at góðu: fegurð þín konan svinna R702ˣ;    meldrs: so Flat, meldr 325I

kennings

meldrs Fróða.
‘the meal of Fróði. ’
   = GOLD

the meal of Fróði. → GOLD

notes

[2] meldrs Fróða ‘the meal of Fróði <legendary king> [GOLD]’: This refers to the story of the magic quern Grotti, which grinds out gold for the legendary Dan. king Fróði (SnE 1998, I, 51-8). Here, meldr refers to the product of grinding (‘meal, flour’), but more commonly means ‘the act of grinding’ in OIcel. (cf. SnSt Ht 43III; SnE 1998, I, 53, 57) and indeed the kenning often includes the name of one of the slave-women who did the grinding (e.g. meldr Fenju ‘Fenja’s flour’ in ESk Øxfl 6/6, 7III). Since the whole point of the story is that King Fróði had slaves to do his grinding, meldr must have the meaning ‘meal, flour’ here. This meaning is also found in the dialects of Faroe, Shetland and Orkney and it may be evidence of non-Icel. usage here. The more usual form of this kenning is mjǫl Fróða  ‘Fróði’s meal’ (e.g. Egill Hfl 17/8V).

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at ‘in’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[2] Fróða meldrs at góðu: fegurð þín konan svinna R702ˣ

notes

[2] at góðu ‘in beauty’: Lit. ‘in goodness’ so, by extension ‘in its quality (of beauty)’ (cf. LP: góðr 10).

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góðu ‘beauty’

góðr (adj.): good

[2] Fróða meldrs at góðu: fegurð þín konan svinna R702ˣ

notes

[2] at góðu ‘in beauty’: Lit. ‘in goodness’ so, by extension ‘in its quality (of beauty)’ (cf. LP: góðr 10).

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vel ‘pretty much’

vel (adv.): well, very

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skúfaðra ‘with locks’

skúfaðr (adj./verb p.p.): [with locks]

[3] skúfaðra: skapaðra R702ˣ

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vífa ‘women’

víf (noun n.): woman, wife

[3] vífa: so Flat, ‘vipi’ 325I, ‘viva’ corrected from ‘vipa’ R702ˣ

notes

[3] vífa ‘women’: Both 325I and R702ˣ presumably had exemplars that used insular <v>, hence their spelling of this word with a <p>.

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Skorð ‘The prop’

skorð (noun f.): prop

kennings

Skorð haukvallar
‘The prop of the hawk-field ’
   = WOMAN

the hawk-field → ARM
The prop of the ARM → WOMAN
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lætr ‘lets’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

notes

[6, 7] lætr hár falla á herðar sér ‘lets her hair fall onto her shoulders’: The saga prose notes that Ermingerðr hafði laust hárit, sem meyjum er títt at hafa, ok hafði lagt gullhlað um enni sér ‘had loose hair, as is the custom with unmarried women, and had put a gold band around her forehead’. See also Note to Árm Lv 3/7.

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hár ‘hair’

2. hár (noun n.; °-s; -): hair

notes

[6, 7] lætr hár falla á herðar sér ‘lets her hair fall onto her shoulders’: The saga prose notes that Ermingerðr hafði laust hárit, sem meyjum er títt at hafa, ok hafði lagt gullhlað um enni sér ‘had loose hair, as is the custom with unmarried women, and had put a gold band around her forehead’. See also Note to Árm Lv 3/7.

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á ‘onto’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[6, 7] lætr hár falla á herðar sér ‘lets her hair fall onto her shoulders’: The saga prose notes that Ermingerðr hafði laust hárit, sem meyjum er títt at hafa, ok hafði lagt gullhlað um enni sér ‘had loose hair, as is the custom with unmarried women, and had put a gold band around her forehead’. See also Note to Árm Lv 3/7.

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herðar ‘shoulders’

herðr (noun f.; °-ar(Thom² 447¹³); -ar): shoulder

notes

[6, 7] lætr hár falla á herðar sér ‘lets her hair fall onto her shoulders’: The saga prose notes that Ermingerðr hafði laust hárit, sem meyjum er títt at hafa, ok hafði lagt gullhlað um enni sér ‘had loose hair, as is the custom with unmarried women, and had put a gold band around her forehead’. See also Note to Árm Lv 3/7.

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hauk ‘of the hawk’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk < haukvǫllr (noun m.)

kennings

Skorð haukvallar
‘The prop of the hawk-field ’
   = WOMAN

the hawk-field → ARM
The prop of the ARM → WOMAN
Close

hauk ‘of the hawk’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk < haukvǫllr (noun m.)

kennings

Skorð haukvallar
‘The prop of the hawk-field ’
   = WOMAN

the hawk-field → ARM
The prop of the ARM → WOMAN
Close

vallar ‘field’

vǫllr (noun m.; °vallar, dat. velli; vellir acc. vǫllu/velli): plain, field < haukvǫllr (noun m.)

kennings

Skorð haukvallar
‘The prop of the hawk-field ’
   = WOMAN

the hawk-field → ARM
The prop of the ARM → WOMAN
Close

vallar ‘field’

vǫllr (noun m.; °vallar, dat. velli; vellir acc. vǫllu/velli): plain, field < haukvǫllr (noun m.)

kennings

Skorð haukvallar
‘The prop of the hawk-field ’
   = WOMAN

the hawk-field → ARM
The prop of the ARM → WOMAN
Close

sér ‘her’

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

notes

[6, 7] lætr hár falla á herðar sér ‘lets her hair fall onto her shoulders’: The saga prose notes that Ermingerðr hafði laust hárit, sem meyjum er títt at hafa, ok hafði lagt gullhlað um enni sér ‘had loose hair, as is the custom with unmarried women, and had put a gold band around her forehead’. See also Note to Árm Lv 3/7.

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falla ‘fall’

falla (verb): fall

notes

[6, 7] lætr hár falla á herðar sér ‘lets her hair fall onto her shoulders’: The saga prose notes that Ermingerðr hafði laust hárit, sem meyjum er títt at hafa, ok hafði lagt gullhlað um enni sér ‘had loose hair, as is the custom with unmarried women, and had put a gold band around her forehead’. See also Note to Árm Lv 3/7.

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rauð ‘reddened’

rjóða (verb): to redden

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ilka ‘the claws’

ilki (noun m.): [claws]

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gult ‘yellow’

gull (noun n.): gold

[8] gult: gull Flat

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

Having arrived in Narbonne, Rǫgnvaldr and his crusaders are invited to a feast by Ermingerðr, who is described as a drottning ‘queen’ and the daughter of the recently-deceased jarl of the town. Ermingerðr enters the hall with her women, carrying a golden vessel to serve Rǫgnvaldr, who grabs her hand and places her on his lap, ok tǫluðu mart um daginn ‘and they spoke about many things during the day’.

The visit to Narbonne happened in the summer of 1151. Ermingerðr is Ermengard, Viscountess of Narbonne, daughter of Aymeri IV. She inherited the town at a young age (her date of birth is not known) when her two brothers predeceased her father. After some turbulent years and, despite two marriages of convenience, she ruled Narbonne in her own right from the 1140s and was an energetic and effective ruler until her death in 1196. She appears widely in troubadour poetry and she was probably a patron of this genre. For a full study of her life and rule, see Cheyette 2001 and Caille 2005, chs 10-11; for detailed discussion of the troubadour connection, see Finlay 1995.

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