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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 13I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 13’ 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. 679.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga
121314

Geir- hykk grimmligt vôru
gunnreifum Ôleifi
loghreytǫndum líta
lóns í -hvassar sjónir.
Þorðut þrœnzkir fyrðar
— þótti hersa dróttinn
ógurligr — í augu
ormfrôn séa hônum.

Hykk {{lóns log}hreytǫndum} vôru grimmligt líta í geirhvassar sjónir gunnreifum Ôleifi. Þrœnzkir fyrðar þorðut séa í ormfrôn augu hônum; {dróttinn hersa} þótti ógurligr.

I think it was fearful {for the distributors {of the flame of the lagoon}} [(lit. ‘flame-distributors of the lagoon’) GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] to look into the spear-sharp eyes of battle-glad Óláfr. The men from Trøndelag did not dare to look into his snake-bright eyes; {the lord of hersar} [KING = Óláfr] seemed terrifying.

Mss: (469v) (Hkr); Holm2(67v), J2ˣ(226r), 321ˣ(254), Holm4(63rb), 61(125rb), 325V(80va), 325VII(38r), Flat(124va), Tóm(155v) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Geir: so 321ˣ, geirs all others;    hykk: ‘hugg’ 321ˣ, om. 325V;    ‑ligt: ‑lig J2ˣ;    vôru: ríki 61, væri Flat    [2] ‑reifum: ‑reipum 321ˣ    [3] log‑: lof‑ Holm2, 321ˣ, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm;    ‑hreytǫndum: ‘‑røtondum’ Holm2, ‑hreytendum J2ˣ, ‘‑reitundum’ Holm4, ‘‑rækindvm’ 61, ‑rennundum 325V, ‘‑hrækundum’ with ‘rekiondom’ in the margin 325VII, ‘‑rækendum’ Flat, Tóm    [4] lóns: léons 321ˣ, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm;    í: með with ‘i’ written above 325VII    [5] Þorðut: þorðu ei Flat;    þrœnzkir: Þrœndr 325V, Þrœndir Tóm;    fyrðar: virðar Holm2, J2ˣ, 321ˣ, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm    [7] ógur‑: œgi‑ Holm2, J2ˣ, Holm4, 325V;    augu: augum 321ˣ    [8] orm‑: orms 61;    ‑frôn: ‘prans’ 321ˣ, frôns 61, 325V;    séa hônum: hônum séa Tóm

Editions: Skj AI, 260, Skj BI, 242, Skald I, 125; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 489, IV, 168, ÍF 27, 380, Hkr 1991, II, 530 (ÓHHkr ch. 226); ÓH 1941, I, 571 (ch. 224), Flat 1860-8, II, 355; Jón Skaptason 1983, 168, 304.

Context: Óláfr breaks forward from his own shield-wall and the farmers are frightened at the sight of his face.

Notes: [All]: On the literary topos of the terrifying glance of the ruler, see Marold (1998a). As noted by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV), Snorri Sturluson may well have used this stanza when describing Óláfr as having exceptional eyes: beautiful and so piercing as to be terrifying to look at when he was angry (ÍF 27, 4). — [1, 4] geirhvassar sjónir ‘the spear-sharp eyes’: The majority reading geirs, lit. ‘of the spear’, is problematic, being not essential to the sense or syntax of the stanza. (a) The 321ˣ reading geir is adopted here, and the assumption made that it (or possibly geirs) is the first element of a cpd adj. geir(s)hvass ‘spear-sharp’, with tmesis. The cpd is thus parallel with ormfrôn ‘snake-bright’ in l. 8, also describing Óláfr’s eyes; cf. also compounds such as egghvass ‘blade-sharp’, eitrhvass ‘poison-sharp’. (b) The majority form geirs could be taken, as in ÍF 27, as a descriptive gen. (cf. NS §127, though the examples do not extend to the use of gen. as a compressed simile as would be assumed here). (c) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B), followed by Kock (Skald), emends gunn- ‘battle’ (l. 2) to gný- ‘tumult’ to produce gnýreifum geirs ‘glad in the tumult of the spear [BATTLE]’. — [5] fyrðar ‘the men’: The variant reading virðar is synonymous, and equally satisfactory. — [6] hersa ‘of hersar’: Hersir (nom. sg.) refers to a Norwegian district chieftain, i.e. a nobleman of lesser rank than a jarl. The term is also used in sts 20/2, 28/3.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  5. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  6. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. Jón Skaptason. 1983. ‘Material for an Edition and Translation of the Poems of Sigvat Þórðarson, skáld’. Ph.D. thesis. State University of New York at Stony Brook. DAI 44: 3681A.
  11. Marold, Edith. 1998a. ‘Die Augen des Herrschers’. In Meier 1998, 7-29.
  12. Internal references
  13. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
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