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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 21I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 21’ 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. 689.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga
202122

Ôleifr ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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it ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

notes

[1] it øfra ‘higher up’: A n. acc. sg. phrase used adverbially; it can also mean ‘by the higher or inland route’ or ‘further in’ (Fritzner: efri 1b, c). The inland district of Norway known as Upplǫnd (cf. modern Oppland(ene)) is extensively mountainous. The reference of landi it øfra could be to the fact that Óláfr’s rule of Norway began there (LP: efri 1, and see st. 2 above), but here the phrase seems to stand metonymically for the whole of Norway.

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øfra ‘higher up’

efri (adj. comp.; °superl. efstr/øfstr (eft- [$1653$] 13r²³, etc.)): higher, highest

notes

[1] it øfra ‘higher up’: A n. acc. sg. phrase used adverbially; it can also mean ‘by the higher or inland route’ or ‘further in’ (Fritzner: efri 1b, c). The inland district of Norway known as Upplǫnd (cf. modern Oppland(ene)) is extensively mountainous. The reference of landi it øfra could be to the fact that Óláfr’s rule of Norway began there (LP: efri 1, and see st. 2 above), but here the phrase seems to stand metonymically for the whole of Norway.

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and ‘the proud’

2. ǫnd (noun f.; °andar, dat. ǫnd/ǫndu; andir): soul, breath < andprúðr (adj.)

[2] and‑: auð‑ 325V, ǫnd‑ Tóm

notes

[2] andprútt ‘proud-spirited’: Lit. ‘spirit-proud’, cf. hugprúðr, lit. ‘mind-proud’. The first element of this cpd is here interpreted, with previous eds, as ǫnd ‘spirit’. It is also possible to take it as the prefix and- ‘opposite’, giving something like ‘splendid to look at’ (cf. andlit ‘face’ and LP: andprúðr).

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prútt ‘spirited’

prúðr (adj.; °superl. -astr): magnificent, proud < andprúðr (adj.)

[2] ‑prútt: ‑prúðr 73aˣ, 61, Flat, ‑framt 325V, ‘firudt’ Bb

notes

[2] andprútt ‘proud-spirited’: Lit. ‘spirit-proud’, cf. hugprúðr, lit. ‘mind-proud’. The first element of this cpd is here interpreted, with previous eds, as ǫnd ‘spirit’. It is also possible to take it as the prefix and- ‘opposite’, giving something like ‘splendid to look at’ (cf. andlit ‘face’ and LP: andprúðr).

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hǫfuð ‘chief’

hǫfuð (noun n.; °-s; -): head

[2] hǫfuð: jǫfurr 325VI, 73aˣ, fyrir því 61, Flat, fyrir Tóm

notes

[2] hǫfuð ‘chief’: Lit. ‘head’. LP: hǫfuð 2 gives several examples where this word means ‘person, individual’. For a similar metonymic usage of hǫfuð, see ÞjóðA Sex 19/8II, though there the allusion seems to be to the ruler’s intellect, whereas here it is taken to allude to the ruler’s role, cf. hǫfðingi ‘chieftain’. Kock (NN §2261C) is justifiably sceptical about the Skj B translation skikkelse ‘form, figure’.

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landi ‘land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

[2] landi: land 325VI, landa 73aˣ

notes

[1] it øfra ‘higher up’: A n. acc. sg. phrase used adverbially; it can also mean ‘by the higher or inland route’ or ‘further in’ (Fritzner: efri 1b, c). The inland district of Norway known as Upplǫnd (cf. modern Oppland(ene)) is extensively mountainous. The reference of landi it øfra could be to the fact that Óláfr’s rule of Norway began there (LP: efri 1, and see st. 2 above), but here the phrase seems to stand metonymically for the whole of Norway.

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felli ‘he died’

falla (verb): fall

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fimmtán ‘for fifteen’

fimmtán (num. cardinal): fifteen

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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[4] á: af 61

notes

[4] á því láni ‘on that allotted land’: Lit. ‘loan, gift’. As Kock points out (NN §2261), því ‘that’ would indicate a concept that has already been mentioned, and that is presumably landi ‘land’ (l. 2). Finnur Jónsson in Skj B translates ved (den ham givne) lykke ‘with the good fortune given to him’. Both Kock and Finnur choose prep. af, but it is the reading of 61 only and they interpret it differently. Sigvatr uses the word lán in Sigv Lv 29/3, where lán goðs ‘God’s gift’ refers to Magnús Óláfsson’s life and rule, and it is possible that the reference is to the Christian notion that the land ruled by an earthly monarch is only a loan from God. Although a connection with lén ‘land held in fief from the king’ is sometimes suggested (e.g. ÍF 27), the latter is a loan word from MHG (AEW: lén) and is not relevant here.

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því ‘that’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

notes

[4] á því láni ‘on that allotted land’: Lit. ‘loan, gift’. As Kock points out (NN §2261), því ‘that’ would indicate a concept that has already been mentioned, and that is presumably landi ‘land’ (l. 2). Finnur Jónsson in Skj B translates ved (den ham givne) lykke ‘with the good fortune given to him’. Both Kock and Finnur choose prep. af, but it is the reading of 61 only and they interpret it differently. Sigvatr uses the word lán in Sigv Lv 29/3, where lán goðs ‘God’s gift’ refers to Magnús Óláfsson’s life and rule, and it is possible that the reference is to the Christian notion that the land ruled by an earthly monarch is only a loan from God. Although a connection with lén ‘land held in fief from the king’ is sometimes suggested (e.g. ÍF 27), the latter is a loan word from MHG (AEW: lén) and is not relevant here.

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láni ‘allotted land’

lán (noun n.; °-s; -): loan, gift

[4] láni: ‘lanni’ 61, láði Bb, Flat, Tóm

notes

[4] á því láni ‘on that allotted land’: Lit. ‘loan, gift’. As Kock points out (NN §2261), því ‘that’ would indicate a concept that has already been mentioned, and that is presumably landi ‘land’ (l. 2). Finnur Jónsson in Skj B translates ved (den ham givne) lykke ‘with the good fortune given to him’. Both Kock and Finnur choose prep. af, but it is the reading of 61 only and they interpret it differently. Sigvatr uses the word lán in Sigv Lv 29/3, where lán goðs ‘God’s gift’ refers to Magnús Óláfsson’s life and rule, and it is possible that the reference is to the Christian notion that the land ruled by an earthly monarch is only a loan from God. Although a connection with lén ‘land held in fief from the king’ is sometimes suggested (e.g. ÍF 27), the latter is a loan word from MHG (AEW: lén) and is not relevant here.

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Hverr ‘Which’

2. hverr (pron.): who, whom, each, every

[5] Hverr hafi hers inn nørðra: enn hverr hans eð neðra 73aˣ

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hafi ‘had’

hafa (verb): have

[5] Hverr hafi hers inn nørðra: enn hverr hans eð neðra 73aˣ;    hafi: ‘[…]’ 325VI, om. 321ˣ

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hers ‘of the army’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host

[5] Hverr hafi hers inn nørðra: enn hverr hans eð neðra 73aˣ;    hers: hans 325VI, 325V, Bb, hann 321ˣ, ‘hęzt’ 61, ‘hælz’ 325VII, ‘fædzst’ Flat, ‘hefnzt’ Tóm

kennings

landreki hers inn fremri
‘better land-ruler of the army ’
   = KING

better land-ruler of the army → KING

notes

[5, 8] landreki hers ‘land-ruler of the army [KING]’: Landreki ‘land-ruler’ usually occurs without any qualifier in the praise poetry of the C11th (see Þul Konunga 2/6III), though later it can form the base-word of kennings, e.g. the C12th ESk Hardr II 1/6, 8II landreki Dana ‘land-ruler of the Danes [DANISH KING = Eiríkr]’. Kock (NN §§666, 2988C) argues for taking landreki hers together, which is the construal adopted here. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes hers ‘of the army’ with skjǫldungr ‘monarch’ in the intercalary, producing a more complex word order.

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inn ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

[5] Hverr hafi hers inn nørðra: enn hverr hans eð neðra 73aˣ;    inn: hit Flat, ins 325XI 2 n

notes

[5-6] inn nørðra enda heims ‘the more northerly end of the world’: For the idea of Norway as the northernmost land-mass, cf. SnE 2005, 6.

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nørðra ‘more northerly’

nyrðri (adj. comp.; °superl. nyrztr): farther north

[5] Hverr hafi hers inn nørðra: enn hverr hans eð neðra 73aˣ;    nørðra: ‘na(i)rdra’(?) Bb

notes

[5-6] inn nørðra enda heims ‘the more northerly end of the world’: For the idea of Norway as the northernmost land-mass, cf. SnE 2005, 6.

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heims ‘of the world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

[6] heims: heim Holm2

notes

[5-6] inn nørðra enda heims ‘the more northerly end of the world’: For the idea of Norway as the northernmost land-mass, cf. SnE 2005, 6.

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enda ‘end’

endi (noun m.): end

[6] enda: ‘end[…]’ 325VI

notes

[5-6] inn nørðra enda heims ‘the more northerly end of the world’: For the idea of Norway as the northernmost land-mass, cf. SnE 2005, 6.

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sér ‘’

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

[6] sér: ‘[…]’ 325VI, svá Tóm

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kenndan ‘claimed’

kenna (verb): know, teach

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skjǫldungr ‘The monarch’

skjǫldungr (noun m.): king

[7] skjǫldungr: so Holm2, 61, 325V, 325VII, 325XI 2 n, Bb, Flat, Tóm, skjǫldr Kˣ, skjaldar 325VI, 321ˣ, 73aˣ

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helzk ‘survived’

halda (verb): hold, keep

[7] helzk: helt 73aˣ, 61, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm

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skyldi ‘he should have’

skulu (verb): shall, should, must

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skemr ‘for a shorter time’

skammr (adj.): short

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land ‘land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land < landreki (noun m.): land-ruler

[8] landreki: landrekan 325VII

kennings

landreki hers inn fremri
‘better land-ruler of the army ’
   = KING

better land-ruler of the army → KING

notes

[5, 8] landreki hers ‘land-ruler of the army [KING]’: Landreki ‘land-ruler’ usually occurs without any qualifier in the praise poetry of the C11th (see Þul Konunga 2/6III), though later it can form the base-word of kennings, e.g. the C12th ESk Hardr II 1/6, 8II landreki Dana ‘land-ruler of the Danes [DANISH KING = Eiríkr]’. Kock (NN §§666, 2988C) argues for taking landreki hers together, which is the construal adopted here. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes hers ‘of the army’ with skjǫldungr ‘monarch’ in the intercalary, producing a more complex word order.

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reki ‘ruler’

reki (noun m.; °-a; -ar): ruler < landreki (noun m.): land-ruler

[8] landreki: landrekan 325VII

kennings

landreki hers inn fremri
‘better land-ruler of the army ’
   = KING

better land-ruler of the army → KING

notes

[5, 8] landreki hers ‘land-ruler of the army [KING]’: Landreki ‘land-ruler’ usually occurs without any qualifier in the praise poetry of the C11th (see Þul Konunga 2/6III), though later it can form the base-word of kennings, e.g. the C12th ESk Hardr II 1/6, 8II landreki Dana ‘land-ruler of the Danes [DANISH KING = Eiríkr]’. Kock (NN §§666, 2988C) argues for taking landreki hers together, which is the construal adopted here. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes hers ‘of the army’ with skjǫldungr ‘monarch’ in the intercalary, producing a more complex word order.

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inn ‘’

2. inn (art.): the

[8] inn (‘hinn’): enn Holm2, 73aˣ, om. 61, 325VII, en Bb

kennings

landreki hers inn fremri
‘better land-ruler of the army ’
   = KING

better land-ruler of the army → KING
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fremri ‘better’

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

[8] fremri: fremra 325VII

kennings

landreki hers inn fremri
‘better land-ruler of the army ’
   = KING

better land-ruler of the army → KING
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Óláfr is said to have been king for fifteen years at the time of his death, since the departure of Sveinn jarl Hákonarson. He had gained the title of king from the people of Upplǫnd (Opplandene) the winter before.

[1]: The line has the same unusual metrical structure as st. 2/1 (see Note to st. 2/1-4).

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