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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 6II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 6’ 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. 581-2.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur
567

Aldr ‘always’

aldr (noun m.; °aldrs, dat. aldri; aldrar): life, age

[1] Aldr: so R702ˣ, Aldri Flat

Close

hefk ‘I have’

hafa (verb): have

[1] hefk (‘hefig’): so R702ˣ, ‘ef ek’ Flat

Close

frétt ‘understood’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

[1] frétt: so R702ˣ, ‘freitt’ Flat

Close

þats ‘that’

þats (conj.): that, which

[1] þats: þar er Flat, R702ˣ

notes

[1] þats ‘that’: This emendation was first proposed in Skj B.

Close

feldu ‘wrapped themselves’

3. fella (verb): fell, kill

Close

frán ‘of snake’

1. fránn (noun m.): snake(?) < fránstallr (noun m.)

[2] frán‑: so R702ˣ, fram Flat

kennings

fránstalls;
‘of snake-support; ’
   = GOLD

snake-support; → GOLD

notes

[2] fránstalls ‘of snake-support [GOLD]’: Previous eds have found the interpretation of this difficult. Orkn 1887 emends the reading of R702ˣ to fránstall, but does not explain the word. Skj B (followed in Orkn 1913-16) emends to faldstall ‘support of the headdress’ i.e. ‘head’ and construes konur feldu faldstall... ‘women wrapped their heads...’ which fits the context, but the echoing of feld- and fald- (with the same semantic range) is neither fortunate nor supported by the mss. Along the same lines, Kock (NN §2062) also considers the simpler emendation to framstall which he imagines could mean ‘forehead’, before rejecting it for an interpretation which keeps fránstalls. He suggests that it refers to a lysande (fornämt) säte ‘shining (distinguished) seat’ and that fránstalls konur are analogous to hásætismenn ‘people who sit in the high seat’, but this sits ill with the connotations of the first element, which is often associated with the shining skin of snakes (LP: fránn, adj.). ÍF 34 (followed by Bibire 1988) keeps the reading of Flat and adopts Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s interpretation (LP 1860: framstall) of it as pars rei anterior ‘the front part of something’ and therefore pars potior et dignior, making the women matronæ honoratiores ‘high-ranking’ (as translated by Bibire). The most likely explanation is that fránstall is a gold-kenning (for fránn as a snake-heiti see SnE 1848-87, II, 458) and that Rǫgnvaldr is contrasting the more usual headgear of fine ladies with the mare’s tail worn by Ragna.

Close

stalls ‘support’

stallr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): seat, stall, support < fránstallr (noun m.)

kennings

fránstalls;
‘of snake-support; ’
   = GOLD

snake-support; → GOLD

notes

[2] fránstalls ‘of snake-support [GOLD]’: Previous eds have found the interpretation of this difficult. Orkn 1887 emends the reading of R702ˣ to fránstall, but does not explain the word. Skj B (followed in Orkn 1913-16) emends to faldstall ‘support of the headdress’ i.e. ‘head’ and construes konur feldu faldstall... ‘women wrapped their heads...’ which fits the context, but the echoing of feld- and fald- (with the same semantic range) is neither fortunate nor supported by the mss. Along the same lines, Kock (NN §2062) also considers the simpler emendation to framstall which he imagines could mean ‘forehead’, before rejecting it for an interpretation which keeps fránstalls. He suggests that it refers to a lysande (fornämt) säte ‘shining (distinguished) seat’ and that fránstalls konur are analogous to hásætismenn ‘people who sit in the high seat’, but this sits ill with the connotations of the first element, which is often associated with the shining skin of snakes (LP: fránn, adj.). ÍF 34 (followed by Bibire 1988) keeps the reading of Flat and adopts Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s interpretation (LP 1860: framstall) of it as pars rei anterior ‘the front part of something’ and therefore pars potior et dignior, making the women matronæ honoratiores ‘high-ranking’ (as translated by Bibire). The most likely explanation is that fránstall is a gold-kenning (for fránn as a snake-heiti see SnE 1848-87, II, 458) and that Rǫgnvaldr is contrasting the more usual headgear of fine ladies with the mare’s tail worn by Ragna.

Close

allar ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

[2] allar: alla R702ˣ

Close

verðrat ‘will not be’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[3] verðrat: ‘verdat’ R702ˣ

Close

menja ‘of neck-ornaments’

2. men (noun n.; °; dat. menjum): neck-ring

kennings

myrðir menja
‘the murderer of neck-ornaments ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

the murderer of neck-ornaments → GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr
Close

myrðir ‘the murderer’

myrðir (noun m.): killer

kennings

myrðir menja
‘the murderer of neck-ornaments ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

the murderer of neck-ornaments → GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr
Close

mjúkorðr ‘gentle in his speech’

mjúkorðr (adj.): gentle in speech

[4] mjúkorðr: ‘mik‑o᷎rdz’ R702ˣ

Close

Hlǫkk ‘the Hlǫkk’

2. Hlǫkk (noun f.): Hlǫkk

kennings

Hlǫkk haukstrindar
‘the Hlǫkk of the hawk-land ’
   = WOMAN = Ragna

the hawk-land → ARM
the Hlǫkk of the ARM → WOMAN = Ragna
Close

hauk ‘of the hawk’

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

[6] hauk‑: so R702ˣ, hodd‑ Flat

kennings

Hlǫkk haukstrindar
‘the Hlǫkk of the hawk-land ’
   = WOMAN = Ragna

the hawk-land → ARM
the Hlǫkk of the ARM → WOMAN = Ragna

notes

[6] haukstrindar ‘of the hawk-land’: While hoddstrind is a possible woman-kenning, meaning ‘treasure-ground’, Flat’s gen. sg. form hoddstrindar cannot be construed with Hlǫkk as required by the sense of the st.

Close

hauk ‘of the hawk’

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

[6] hauk‑: so R702ˣ, hodd‑ Flat

kennings

Hlǫkk haukstrindar
‘the Hlǫkk of the hawk-land ’
   = WOMAN = Ragna

the hawk-land → ARM
the Hlǫkk of the ARM → WOMAN = Ragna

notes

[6] haukstrindar ‘of the hawk-land’: While hoddstrind is a possible woman-kenning, meaning ‘treasure-ground’, Flat’s gen. sg. form hoddstrindar cannot be construed with Hlǫkk as required by the sense of the st.

Close

strindar ‘land’

strind (noun f.): land < haukstrind (noun f.)

kennings

Hlǫkk haukstrindar
‘the Hlǫkk of the hawk-land ’
   = WOMAN = Ragna

the hawk-land → ARM
the Hlǫkk of the ARM → WOMAN = Ragna

notes

[6] haukstrindar ‘of the hawk-land’: While hoddstrind is a possible woman-kenning, meaning ‘treasure-ground’, Flat’s gen. sg. form hoddstrindar cannot be construed with Hlǫkk as required by the sense of the st.

Close

strindar ‘land’

strind (noun f.): land < haukstrind (noun f.)

kennings

Hlǫkk haukstrindar
‘the Hlǫkk of the hawk-land ’
   = WOMAN = Ragna

the hawk-land → ARM
the Hlǫkk of the ARM → WOMAN = Ragna

notes

[6] haukstrindar ‘of the hawk-land’: While hoddstrind is a possible woman-kenning, meaning ‘treasure-ground’, Flat’s gen. sg. form hoddstrindar cannot be construed with Hlǫkk as required by the sense of the st.

Close

sér ‘her’

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

[6] sér: so R702ˣ, sem Flat

Close

skrýðisk ‘got dressed up’

2. skrýða (verb): adorn, clothe

Close

bræði ‘the feeder’

bræðir (noun m.): feeder

kennings

bræði bengagls.
‘the feeder of the wound-gosling.’
   = WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr

the wound-gosling. → RAVEN/EAGLE
the feeder of the RAVEN/EAGLE → WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr
Close

ben ‘of the wound’

1. ben (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -; -jar , gen. -a(var. EiðKrC 402¹³: AM 77 4°— “D”)): wound < bengagl (noun n.)

kennings

bræði bengagls.
‘the feeder of the wound-gosling.’
   = WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr

the wound-gosling. → RAVEN/EAGLE
the feeder of the RAVEN/EAGLE → WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr
Close

ben ‘of the wound’

1. ben (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -; -jar , gen. -a(var. EiðKrC 402¹³: AM 77 4°— “D”)): wound < bengagl (noun n.)

kennings

bræði bengagls.
‘the feeder of the wound-gosling.’
   = WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr

the wound-gosling. → RAVEN/EAGLE
the feeder of the RAVEN/EAGLE → WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr
Close

gagls ‘gosling’

gagl (noun n.): gosling < bengagl (noun n.)

kennings

bræði bengagls.
‘the feeder of the wound-gosling.’
   = WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr

the wound-gosling. → RAVEN/EAGLE
the feeder of the RAVEN/EAGLE → WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr
Close

gagls ‘gosling’

gagl (noun n.): gosling < bengagl (noun n.)

kennings

bræði bengagls.
‘the feeder of the wound-gosling.’
   = WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr

the wound-gosling. → RAVEN/EAGLE
the feeder of the RAVEN/EAGLE → WARRIOR = Rǫgnvaldr
Close

merar ‘a mare’s’

merr (noun f.; °merar/marar(DN I (1356) 276¹); merar/marar(Gulᴵ 75²⁰)): mare

notes

[8] tagli merar ‘a mare’s tail’: It is not clear who is insulting whom here. Rǫgnvaldr accuses Ragna of wearing a mare’s tail around her neck and the association of women and mares (particularly their hindquarters) implies a strong sexuality (cf. ÍF 28, 155 and ÍF 29, 269). At the same time, it is conceivable that Rǫgnvaldr thinks Ragna is impugning his masculinity by presenting him with a token from a female animal. The saga-author may have seen it this way, as Ragna goes on to claim that the horsehair is in fact from a stallion, as if she were asserting her own ability to behave like a man. And indeed she gets what she wants, though only after she has covered herself in a more conventional silk headdress. See also Clunies Ross 1992a.

Close

tagli ‘tail’

tagl (noun n.; °; *-): [tail]

notes

[8] tagli merar ‘a mare’s tail’: It is not clear who is insulting whom here. Rǫgnvaldr accuses Ragna of wearing a mare’s tail around her neck and the association of women and mares (particularly their hindquarters) implies a strong sexuality (cf. ÍF 28, 155 and ÍF 29, 269). At the same time, it is conceivable that Rǫgnvaldr thinks Ragna is impugning his masculinity by presenting him with a token from a female animal. The saga-author may have seen it this way, as Ragna goes on to claim that the horsehair is in fact from a stallion, as if she were asserting her own ability to behave like a man. And indeed she gets what she wants, though only after she has covered herself in a more conventional silk headdress. See also Clunies Ross 1992a.

Close

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

After Hallr Þórarinsson’s unsuccessful attempt to join Rǫgnvaldr’s court (cf. Hbreiðm Lv), his hostess Ragna goes to see the jarl, wearing some kind of headdress made of red horsehair; the st. is Rǫgnvaldr’s response to her appearance.

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