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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 8I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 8’ 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. 674.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga
789

Ôleifr ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

[1] Ôleifr fellda: Ôleif felldan Holm2, J2ˣ, 73aˣ, 68, 325V, Bb

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fellda ‘down’

felldr (adj.): killed

[1] Ôleifr fellda: Ôleif felldan Holm2, J2ˣ, 73aˣ, 68, 325V, Bb

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ǫflgan ‘a powerful’

ǫflugr (adj.): mighty, strong

[2] ǫflgan: opt vann 61

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sóknþorinn ‘the battle-daring’

sóknþorinn (adj./verb p.p.): [battle-daring]

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sœkja ‘to seek’

sœkja (verb): seek, attack

[3] sœkja: ‘sǫcku’ J2ˣ, søkkva 61

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synjór ‘seigneur’

senjórr (noun m.): [Seigneur]

[4] synjór: so 325V, 325VII, Bb, Tóm, ‘sinnior’ Kˣ, J2ˣ, Holm4, ‘sinior’ Holm2, 68, ‘suinnor’ 73aˣ, ‘syniur’ 61, Flat

notes

[4] synjór ‘seigneur’: Although de Vries (AEW: sinjórr) claims that this adoption from OFr. seignor ‘lord’ is only spät bezeugt ‘attested late’, it occurs twice in Sigvatr’s poetry and may have been introduced by him; see Sigv Berv 18/4II and Note. The mss show uncertainty about the first syllable; here the rhyming context suggests syn- while in Berv 18/4II it suggests sin(n)-.

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þeirs ‘who’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[5] þeirs (‘þeir er’): þar er J2ˣ, 325V, er 61, Bb, Flat, Tóm, þeir 325VII

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austan ‘from the east’

austan (adv.): from the east

[5] austan: ‘æystan’ 325VII

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nenna ‘travel’

nenna (verb): strive, be inclined

[5] nenna: runnu J2ˣ, stefna 61, nefna 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm

notes

[5] nenna ‘travel’: The pres. tense seems to refer to the Swedes’ ongoing willingness to travel west to Norway, and perhaps to takes sides in Norwegian conflicts. Óláfr’s return to Norway from Russia in 1029 was via Sweden and Snorri (ÍF 27, 348) relates that he came with a troop of 480 men provided by the king of the Swedes. That Óláfr had hoped for more is implied by st. 9/1-4. It is suggested in Hkr 1893-1901, IV (also ÍF 27) that there is a still more specific allusion to Swedish support for the boy king Magnús Óláfsson on his return to Norway c. 1035; this would have obvious implications for the dating of the poem (see Introduction).

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óx ‘intensified’

vaxa (verb): grow, increase

[6] óx: hófsk 325V, Flat, Tóm, ‘hofizt’ Bb

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með ‘alongside’

með (prep.): with

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mart ‘much’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many

[7] mart: om. 73aˣ

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segik ‘I say’

segja (verb): say, tell

[7] segik (‘segi ec’): sveif J2ˣ, ek segi 73aˣ

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bert ‘plainly’

2. berr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): bare

[7] bert: beit 325V

notes

[7] bert ‘plainly’: An allusion to Sigvatr’s Bersǫglisvísur ‘Plain-speaking Vísur’ (Sigv BervII) seems likely, especially when Sigvatr himself uses the word bersǫgli ‘plain-speaking’ there (Sigv Berv 9/4II) and when the rare word synjórr/sinjórr occurs in both poems (see Note to l. 4 above).

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bjarta ‘the bright’

bjartr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): bright

[7] bjarta: ‘bjartu’ 73aˣ, hjarta 325VII

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[7-8] bjarta blóðrǫst ‘the bright current of blood’: Although kenning-like, this phrase has no real parallels. Battle-kennings with a base-word meaning ‘stream’ (cf. vápnrǫst ‘weapon-current’ in the C13th Anon (Stu) 43/2IV) do not have ‘blood’ as their determinant (Meissner 199-200), while those with ‘blood’ as their determinant have a word meaning ‘storm’ as their base-word (Meissner 186).

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blóð ‘of blood’

blóð (noun n.; °-s): blood < blóðrǫst (noun f.)

[8] blóð‑: blóð‑ corrected from hlóð‑ 325VII

notes

[7-8] bjarta blóðrǫst ‘the bright current of blood’: Although kenning-like, this phrase has no real parallels. Battle-kennings with a base-word meaning ‘stream’ (cf. vápnrǫst ‘weapon-current’ in the C13th Anon (Stu) 43/2IV) do not have ‘blood’ as their determinant (Meissner 199-200), while those with ‘blood’ as their determinant have a word meaning ‘storm’ as their base-word (Meissner 186).

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rǫst ‘current’

2. rǫst (noun f.; °; gen. rasta): current < blóðrǫst (noun f.)

notes

[7-8] bjarta blóðrǫst ‘the bright current of blood’: Although kenning-like, this phrase has no real parallels. Battle-kennings with a base-word meaning ‘stream’ (cf. vápnrǫst ‘weapon-current’ in the C13th Anon (Stu) 43/2IV) do not have ‘blood’ as their determinant (Meissner 199-200), while those with ‘blood’ as their determinant have a word meaning ‘storm’ as their base-word (Meissner 186).

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Svíar ‘the Swedes’

svíar (noun m.): Swedes

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

King Óláfr’s armour and weapons at the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad) are described.

[1-4]: (a) The present edn (with ÍF 27 and Hkr 1991) retains the version of l. 2 found in the main ms. and all other mss but one. This entails taking sœkja ǫflgan sigr ‘seek a powerful victory’ together, although it would be natural to read sœkja framm as an intransitive phrase meaning ‘advance’. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald; NN §660) prefer the reading opt vann sigr ‘he often won victory’ in l. 2, but since this is found only in 61 it is clearly secondary, and the repetition of vann from l. 1 may indicate corruption. Despite this common starting-point, the two eds construe the lines differently. Finnur Jónsson takes sóknþorinn ‘(the) battle-daring (one)’ (l. 3) as the subject of vann ‘won’ (l. 2). Kock argues that the helmingr consists of three end-stopped sentences (l. 1, l. 2, and ll. 3-4), with inn digri ‘the Stout (one)’ (l. 2) as the subject of vann, but there are no parallels to Óláfr being referred to by his epithet alone.

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