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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Knútdr 7I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Knútsdrápa 7’ 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. 658.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonKnútsdrápa
678

Knútr ‘Knútr’

Knútr (noun m.): Knútr

[1] Knútr: Hnútr Bb

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vas ‘was’

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

[1] vas (‘var’): er J2ˣ, 73aˣ, Bb

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und ‘under’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[1] und: unn Tóm

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himnum ‘the heavens’

himinn (noun m.; °himins, dat. himni; himnar): heaven, sky

[1] himnum: ‘him[…]’ 325XI 1

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Hann ‘He’

hann (pron.; °gen. hans, dat. honum; f. hon, gen. hennar, acc. hana): he, she, it, they, them...

[2] Hann: ‘[…]’ 325XI 1, herr J2ˣ, 61, 325V, Bb, Flat, hinns FskBˣ, her DG8

notes

[2] frá ‘learned [news]’: There is a variety of ms. readings, and of interpretational possibilities, for the helmingr. Skj B, ÍF 27 and ÍF 29 all read frá for the last word in l. 2, but assume different objects (or none) for the verb: (a) ÍF 27, following in taking hann as the first word, assumes that frá is intransitive (see also ÓHLeg 1982); this interpretation is followed here. (b) Skj B prefers Her austan frá (‘He learned of an army from the east’). (c) ÍF 29 (following FskBˣ with reservations) gives Hinns austan frá | frið (‘the one who learned of peace from the east’). (d) Kock (Skald; NN §2516A) prefers a different interpretation for the line, and consequently for the helmingr as a whole, reading eygr as eykr, hence Herr austan ferr; | frið fylkis niðr | fránn eykr Dana ‘An army travels from the east; the valiant descendant of the ruler increases the peace of the Danes’.

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austan ‘from the east’

austan (adv.): from the east

[2] austan: ‘[…]an’ 325XI 1

notes

[2] frá ‘learned [news]’: There is a variety of ms. readings, and of interpretational possibilities, for the helmingr. Skj B, ÍF 27 and ÍF 29 all read frá for the last word in l. 2, but assume different objects (or none) for the verb: (a) ÍF 27, following in taking hann as the first word, assumes that frá is intransitive (see also ÓHLeg 1982); this interpretation is followed here. (b) Skj B prefers Her austan frá (‘He learned of an army from the east’). (c) ÍF 29 (following FskBˣ with reservations) gives Hinns austan frá | frið (‘the one who learned of peace from the east’). (d) Kock (Skald; NN §2516A) prefers a different interpretation for the line, and consequently for the helmingr as a whole, reading eygr as eykr, hence Herr austan ferr; | frið fylkis niðr | fránn eykr Dana ‘An army travels from the east; the valiant descendant of the ruler increases the peace of the Danes’.

Close

frá ‘learned’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

[2] frá: so FskBˣ, DG8, fram Kˣ, 325XI 1, Holm2, 68, Holm4, ferr J2ˣ, 61, 325V, Bb, Flat, ‘franin’ 321ˣ, fann 73aˣ, gram Tóm

notes

[2] frá ‘learned [news]’: There is a variety of ms. readings, and of interpretational possibilities, for the helmingr. Skj B, ÍF 27 and ÍF 29 all read frá for the last word in l. 2, but assume different objects (or none) for the verb: (a) ÍF 27, following in taking hann as the first word, assumes that frá is intransitive (see also ÓHLeg 1982); this interpretation is followed here. (b) Skj B prefers Her austan frá (‘He learned of an army from the east’). (c) ÍF 29 (following FskBˣ with reservations) gives Hinns austan frá | frið (‘the one who learned of peace from the east’). (d) Kock (Skald; NN §2516A) prefers a different interpretation for the line, and consequently for the helmingr as a whole, reading eygr as eykr, hence Herr austan ferr; | frið fylkis niðr | fránn eykr Dana ‘An army travels from the east; the valiant descendant of the ruler increases the peace of the Danes’.

Close

fríðr ‘the handsome’

fríðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): beautiful, fair

[3] fríðr: frið 325XI 1, Holm2, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, 68, Holm4, 61, 325V, Bb, Flat, FskBˣ, DG8, fram J2ˣ, ‘fidur’ Tóm

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

fylkis ‘of the ruler’

fylkir (noun m.): leader

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

fylkis ‘of the ruler’

fylkir (noun m.): leader

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

niðr ‘descendant’

1. niðr (noun m.; °-s; niðjar/niðir, acc. niði): son, kinsman, relative

[3] niðr: nið 325XI 1, 61, 325V, Bb, lið 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Flat, FskBˣ, DG8

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

frán ‘bright’

2. fránn (adj.): bright, shining < fráneygr (adj.)

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

eygr ‘eyed’

eygr (adj.): eyed < fráneygr (adj.)

[4] ‑eygr: ‘æyct’ DG8

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

Dana ‘of the Danes’

Danr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ir): Dane

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

Dana ‘of the Danes’

Danr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ir): Dane

kennings

fríðr, fráneygr niðr fylkis Dana.
‘the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of the ruler of the Danes. ’
   = Knútr

the ruler of the Danes. → Sveinn
the handsome, bright-eyed descendant of SVEINN → Knútr
Close

Skreið ‘glided’

skríða (verb): creep, glide

[5] Skreið: ‘[…]’ 325XI 1, skeið 61, Tóm, skriðu FskBˣ, DG8

Close

vestan ‘from the west’

vestan (prep.): from the west

[5] vestan: austan 68, vestar DG8

Close

viðr ‘ship’

1. viðr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ir, acc. -u/-i): wood, tree

[5] viðr: veðr 61, ‘ver’ FskBˣ, DG8

notes

[5] viðr ‘the ship’: Lit. ‘wood’, but the word can also stand alone as a term for ‘ship’ (LP: viðr 5; Jesch 2001a, 134). It is not necessary to combine it with varr ‘sea’ to form a kenning, as Skj B does (see Note to l. 6).

Close

varr ‘The sea’

1. varr (noun m.): wake < varrglæstr (adj./verb p.p.)

[6] varr‑: var all

notes

[6] varrglæstr ‘sea-splendid’: The mss clearly indicate ‘var’, often writing <v> plus superscript tittle. (a) The first element alliterates and carries strong stress, and is taken in this edn, as in most others, as varr ‘sea’, which combines with glæstr to form a cpd adj. ‘sea-splendid’ qualifying viðr ‘ship’ (so also NN §649, Skald and ÍF 29). In Skj B it is taken with viðr to form, through tmesis, a kenning for ‘ship’. (b) ‘Var’ in the mss is taken as the 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. ‘was’ in ÍF 27, with the normalised spelling var. This produces the short clause var glæstr ‘it [the ship] was spendid’. However, var ‘was’ is less likely to carry strong stress, and the appropriate form for Sigvatr’s time is vas, which would leave the line without aðalhending.

Close

glæstr ‘splendid’

glæsa (verb): adorn < varrglæstr (adj./verb p.p.)

[6] ‑glæstr: glæst 61, 325V, hvert FskBˣ, hvert or hverr DG8

notes

[6] varrglæstr ‘sea-splendid’: The mss clearly indicate ‘var’, often writing <v> plus superscript tittle. (a) The first element alliterates and carries strong stress, and is taken in this edn, as in most others, as varr ‘sea’, which combines with glæstr to form a cpd adj. ‘sea-splendid’ qualifying viðr ‘ship’ (so also NN §649, Skald and ÍF 29). In Skj B it is taken with viðr to form, through tmesis, a kenning for ‘ship’. (b) ‘Var’ in the mss is taken as the 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. ‘was’ in ÍF 27, with the normalised spelling var. This produces the short clause var glæstr ‘it [the ship] was spendid’. However, var ‘was’ is less likely to carry strong stress, and the appropriate form for Sigvatr’s time is vas, which would leave the line without aðalhending.

Close

sás ‘which’

sás (conj.): the one who

[6] sás (‘sa er’): er FskBˣ, DG8

Close

út ‘out’

út (adv.): out(side)

[7] út: unz 61, útan Bb, Flat

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andskota ‘the enemy’

andskoti (noun m.; °-a; -ar): enemy, devil

kennings

andskota Aðalráðs
‘the enemy of Æthelred ’
   = Knútr

the enemy of Æthelred → Knútr
Close

Aðal ‘of Æthel’

aðal (noun n.): inherited land; Æthel- < Aðalráðr (noun m.): [Æthelred]

[8] Aðal‑: ‘[…]’ 325XI 1

kennings

andskota Aðalráðs
‘the enemy of Æthelred ’
   = Knútr

the enemy of Æthelred → Knútr
Close

ráðs ‘red’

-ráðr (adj.): -ful < Aðalráðr (noun m.): [Æthelred]

kennings

andskota Aðalráðs
‘the enemy of Æthelred ’
   = Knútr

the enemy of Æthelred → Knútr
Close

þaðan ‘from there’

þaðan (adv.): from there

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

In ÓH-Hkr, sts 7-8 are quoted as a pair following an account of the splendour of Knútr’s fleet. In Fsk and ÓHLeg, they are also paired, and are the first stanzas of Sigvatr’s poem to be quoted; they are adduced in corroboration of a brief account of the allied attack on Denmark by Óláfr and Ǫnundr, and Knútr’s response by bringing a great fleet from England.

ÓH-Hkr identify sts 7-8 as from Sigvatr’s Knútsdrápa, and Fsk and ÓHLeg refer to the erfidrápa ‘memorial drápa’ that Sigvatr composed about Knútr. — [1]: The line opens the klofastef ‘split refrain’; see Note to st. 3/1 above. 

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