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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 19I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 19’ 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. 687.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga
181920

Hǫrð ‘a hard’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

[1] Hǫrðs (‘Hǫrð er’): ‘hǫr er’ 73aˣ, 325V, hǫrð var Tóm

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s ‘’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[1] Hǫrðs (‘Hǫrð er’): ‘hǫr er’ 73aˣ, 325V, hǫrð var Tóm

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síz ‘since’

síz (conj.): since

[1] síz hermenn: sú er menn Tóm

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menn ‘riors’

maðr (noun m.): man, person < hermaðr (noun m.): warrior

[1] síz hermenn: sú er menn Tóm

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firrðu ‘removed’

2. firra (verb): keep (from), remove

[1] firrðu: gerðu all others

notes

[1, 3] firrðu; auðn ‘removed; desolation’: Although both readings are found only in  (and papp18ˣ) they are adopted here as in previous eds. The variants in the remaining mss, respectively gerðu ‘made’ and ǫnd ‘breath’, do not give good sense.

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raufsk ‘was sundered’

rjúfa (verb): break

[2] raufsk: rauzk J2ˣ, raufi 321ˣ, rauf 73aˣ, 325V, rauzt Holm4, róf Bb

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fyr ‘in front’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

notes

[2] fyr gram ‘in front of the ruler’: Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) takes this instead as ‘by the king’, to give det hårde skjold kløvedes af kongen ‘the hard shield was sundered by the king’. However, this assumes a non-standard sense of fyr and sits uneasily with the otherwise elegaic tone of this stanza. A further possibility is that fyr has the sense ‘to the disadvantage or disfavour of’ (LP: fyr, fyrir B4).

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gram ‘of the ruler’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

notes

[2] fyr gram ‘in front of the ruler’: Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) takes this instead as ‘by the king’, to give det hårde skjold kløvedes af kongen ‘the hard shield was sundered by the king’. However, this assumes a non-standard sense of fyr and sits uneasily with the otherwise elegaic tone of this stanza. A further possibility is that fyr has the sense ‘to the disadvantage or disfavour of’ (LP: fyr, fyrir B4).

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lífi ‘from life’

líf (noun n.; °-s; -): life

[2] lífi: om. Bb

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auðn ‘desolation’

1. auðn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): wilderness, desolation

[3] auðn: ǫnd Holm2, J2ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, auð 321ˣ

notes

[1, 3] firrðu; auðn ‘removed; desolation’: Although both readings are found only in  (and papp18ˣ) they are adopted here as in previous eds. The variants in the remaining mss, respectively gerðu ‘made’ and ǫnd ‘breath’, do not give good sense. — [3] auðn ‘desolation’: Lit. ‘wilderness, desert’. For the comparison of mood and landscape, cf. Sigv Lv 24. The desolation of the land on the death of a ruler is also mentioned in Eyv Hák 21, Hfr ErfÓl 28 and ÞKolb Eirdr 10. In each case a word etymologically related to auðn (adj. auðr ‘desolate(d)’ or eyðask ‘to be/become deserted’) is used.

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auðn ‘desolation’

1. auðn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): wilderness, desolation

[3] auðn: ǫnd Holm2, J2ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, auð 321ˣ

notes

[1, 3] firrðu; auðn ‘removed; desolation’: Although both readings are found only in  (and papp18ˣ) they are adopted here as in previous eds. The variants in the remaining mss, respectively gerðu ‘made’ and ǫnd ‘breath’, do not give good sense. — [3] auðn ‘desolation’: Lit. ‘wilderness, desert’. For the comparison of mood and landscape, cf. Sigv Lv 24. The desolation of the land on the death of a ruler is also mentioned in Eyv Hák 21, Hfr ErfÓl 28 and ÞKolb Eirdr 10. In each case a word etymologically related to auðn (adj. auðr ‘desolate(d)’ or eyðask ‘to be/become deserted’) is used.

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Engla ‘of the English’

1. engill (noun m.; °engils; englar): angel

kennings

stríði Engla,
‘the opponent of the English, ’
   = Óláfr

the opponent of the English, → Óláfr
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stríði ‘the opponent’

2. stríð (noun n.; °-s; -): affliction

[3] stríði: sendi J2ˣ, Holm4, 61, Flat, strindi 73aˣ

kennings

stríði Engla,
‘the opponent of the English, ’
   = Óláfr

the opponent of the English, → Óláfr
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ómjúk ‘unyielding’

ómjúkr (adj.): [unyielding]

notes

[4] ómjúk ‘unyielding’: Following Kock (NN §1117) and ÍF 27, the adj. is construed with auðn ‘desolation’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) construes it with hlíf ‘shield’.

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sjúkan ‘the wounded’

sjúkr (adj.): ill, sick

notes

[4] sjúkan ‘wounded’: Lit. ‘sick, ill’. Kock (NN §§1117, 2480E) points out that the adj. can have both meanings; cf., e.g., Blakkr Lv 2/6II.

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Ǫr ‘The bold’

ǫrr (adj.): generous, brave

[5] Ǫr: of 61, auk Bb, ok Flat, Tóm

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Ôleifs ‘of Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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fjǫrvi ‘the life’

fjǫr (noun n.): life

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þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

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klauf ‘clove’

kljúfa (verb): cleave

[6] klauf: hlaup Bb, ‘[…]’ Flat

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folks ‘of the army’

folk (noun n.): people

[7] folks: fjúks Tóm

notes

[7] fylkir folks ‘the leader of the army’: Folk can mean either ‘army’ or ‘battle’ (LP: folk 1, 2). (a) Kock’s suggestion (NN §2479) is adopted here, of construing folks ‘army’ with fylkir ‘leader’. (b) Alternatively, ǫld ǫr folks would give ‘the troop bold in battle’ (as in Skj B and ÍF 27). This entails a more complex word order.

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odda ‘of points’

oddr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): point of weapon

kennings

fund odda,
‘the meeting of points, ’
   = BATTLE

the meeting of points, → BATTLE

notes

[7, 8] gekk fund odda ‘advanced into the meeting of points [BATTLE]’: This absolute usage of ganga + acc. is not common, but seems to mean ‘be present at’ (LP: ganga 2; Fritzner: ganga 10).

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gekk ‘advanced into’

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

[7] gekk: komsk 321ˣ, fekk 73aˣ, Tóm

notes

[7, 8] gekk fund odda ‘advanced into the meeting of points [BATTLE]’: This absolute usage of ganga + acc. is not common, but seems to mean ‘be present at’ (LP: ganga 2; Fritzner: ganga 10).

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fylkir ‘the leader’

fylkir (noun m.): leader

notes

[7] fylkir folks ‘the leader of the army’: Folk can mean either ‘army’ or ‘battle’ (LP: folk 1, 2). (a) Kock’s suggestion (NN §2479) is adopted here, of construing folks ‘army’ with fylkir ‘leader’. (b) Alternatively, ǫld ǫr folks would give ‘the troop bold in battle’ (as in Skj B and ÍF 27). This entails a more complex word order.

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fund ‘the meeting’

fundr (noun m.): discovery, meeting

[8] fund: fundr Holm4

kennings

fund odda,
‘the meeting of points, ’
   = BATTLE

the meeting of points, → BATTLE

notes

[7, 8] gekk fund odda ‘advanced into the meeting of points [BATTLE]’: This absolute usage of ganga + acc. is not common, but seems to mean ‘be present at’ (LP: ganga 2; Fritzner: ganga 10).

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Dagr ‘Dagr’

2. Dagr (noun m.): Dagr

notes

[8] Dagr: Dagr Hringsson, a distant relative of the king (ÍF 27, 348), fought with his troop on Óláfr’s side (cf. Þorm Lv 22/4), but was eventually overpowered by the farmers’ army in a phase of the battle known as Dagshríð ‘Dagr’s blizzard’ (ÍF 27, 386; cf. Þorm Lv 24/8).

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Stanzas 19 and 20 follow on from some comments on the date and time of Óláfr’s death and are introduced as Sigvatr’s words about the close of the battle.

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