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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 9I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 9’ 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. 569.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonNesjavísur
8910

vann ‘made’

2. vinna (verb): perform, work

[1] vann: corrected from hef 325VI

Close

ossa ‘our’

vér (pron.; °gen. vár, dat./acc. oss): we, us, our

[1] ossa: ‘oss a’ Holm2, 972ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 78aˣ, 68, 325VII, Tóm

Close

skjǫldu ‘shields’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

[1] skjǫldu: skjǫldum 325VI, 75a, 78aˣ

Close

aut ‘’

Close

auð ‘’

3. auðr (adj.): empty, barren < auðsær (adj.): [obvious]

[2] auðsætt: auðsær 325VII, ‘aut sætt’ Flat

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

sær ‘’

Close

sætt ‘obvious’

sættr (adj.): apparent, evident < auðsær (adj.): [obvious]

[2] auðsætt: auðsær 325VII, ‘aut sætt’ Flat

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

vas ‘was’

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

[2] vas (‘var’): er 325VII

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

þat ‘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

[2] þat: þar R686ˣ, 325V

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

rauða ‘red’

rauðr (adj.; °compar. -ari): red

[2] rauða: rauðu Bb

notes

[2, 3] rauða; hvítir ‘red; white’: Sigvatr contrasts the reddened state of the shields after the battle with their white pristine state on arrival. The ‘white’ might refer either to the natural colour of the wood used for the shield-board or to the colour in which it was painted (Foote and Wilson 1980, 278; Steuer 2004, 83-6; see also Falk 1914b, 128-32). The imagery of the red and white shield is also found in Sjórs Lv 3II.

Close

hljóms ‘clamour’

hljómr (noun m.; °dat. -i): sound

[3] hljóms: hljóm Holm2, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 78aˣ, 68, 61, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, ‘hlom’ 325V

kennings

hljóms hringmiðlǫndum.
‘sword-sharers of clamour’
   = WARRIORS

the sword-clamour. → BATTLE
to the sharers of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

hljóms ‘clamour’

hljómr (noun m.; °dat. -i): sound

[3] hljóms: hljóm Holm2, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 78aˣ, 68, 61, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, ‘hlom’ 325V

kennings

hljóms hringmiðlǫndum.
‘sword-sharers of clamour’
   = WARRIORS

the sword-clamour. → BATTLE
to the sharers of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

þás ‘that’

þás (conj.): when

[3] þás (‘þá er’): so papp18ˣ, Holm2, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 68, Holm4, Bb, þar er Kˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm

Close

hvítir ‘white’

hvítr (adj.; °-an; -ari, -astr): white

[3] hvítir: hvítr R686ˣ

notes

[2, 3] rauða; hvítir ‘red; white’: Sigvatr contrasts the reddened state of the shields after the battle with their white pristine state on arrival. The ‘white’ might refer either to the natural colour of the wood used for the shield-board or to the colour in which it was painted (Foote and Wilson 1980, 278; Steuer 2004, 83-6; see also Falk 1914b, 128-32). The imagery of the red and white shield is also found in Sjórs Lv 3II.

Close

kómu ‘came’

koma (verb; kem, kom/kvam, kominn): come

[3] kómu: komum 61

Close

hring ‘of the sword’

1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < hringmiðlandi (noun m.)1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < hringmiðluðr (adj./verb p.p.)1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < hringmiðlangr (adj.)1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword

[4] hring‑: hrings 78aˣ

kennings

hljóms hringmiðlǫndum.
‘sword-sharers of clamour’
   = WARRIORS

the sword-clamour. → BATTLE
to the sharers of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

hring ‘of the sword’

1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < hringmiðlandi (noun m.)1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < hringmiðluðr (adj./verb p.p.)1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < hringmiðlangr (adj.)1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword

[4] hring‑: hrings 78aˣ

kennings

hljóms hringmiðlǫndum.
‘sword-sharers of clamour’
   = WARRIORS

the sword-clamour. → BATTLE
to the sharers of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

miðlǫmðum ‘’

Close

mid ‘’

Close

miðlǫndum ‘to the sharers’

miðlandi (noun m.): sharer, mediator < hringmiðlandi (noun m.)

[4] ‑miðlǫndum: ‘midlǫmþom’ papp18ˣ, ‘mid lundum’ 972ˣ, 325V, miðlǫngum 325VI, 75a, 78aˣ, ‘miðluðum’ 73aˣ, 61

kennings

hljóms hringmiðlǫndum.
‘sword-sharers of clamour’
   = WARRIORS

the sword-clamour. → BATTLE
to the sharers of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2, 3, 4] þat vas auðsætt hljóms hringmiðlǫndum ‘that was obvious to the sharers of the sword-clamour [(lit. ‘sword-sharers of clamour’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: Sigvatr appeals to the shared experience of those who partook in the fight. An inverted kenning is assumed here, following previous eds. The cpd hringmiðlǫndum in itself would make sense as ‘ring-sharers’, with hring understood as ‘arm-ring’ or ‘finger-ring’, but in combination with the gen. hljóms ‘clamour’ it must be construed as a pars pro toto for ‘sword’ (cf. LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1). The interweaving of the kenning through the helmingr is typical of Sigvatr’s highly complex handling of word order.

Close

þingat ‘there’

þangat (adv.): there, thither

[4] þingat: ‘þingit’ 972ˣ, hingat 68

Close

Þar ‘There’

þar (adv.): there

[5] Þar: om. J1ˣ, J2ˣ

Close

ungan ‘the young’

ungr (adj.): young

[5] ungan: øngan Holm2, undan J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ǫngvan Tóm

notes

[5] ungan ‘young’: Óláfr’s birth can be placed at 995 (Johnsen 1916, 4), making him around twenty at the time of the battle.

Close

gǫngu ‘his advance’

1. ganga (noun f.): way

[5] gǫngu: so Holm2, 972ˣ, gengu Kˣ, papp18ˣ, R686ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 68, 61, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm

notes

[5] gǫngu ‘his advance’: The majority reading gengu, past inf. ‘to have gone’, may have arisen in well-intentioned error to supply an inf. following hykk ‘I think’, since the actual inf. gerðu ‘made’ is delayed until l. 8.

Close

gunn ‘a battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle < gunnsylgr (noun m.)gunnr (noun f.): battle < gunnsylgr (noun m.)

[6] gunnsylgs en vér fylgðum: gall strengr ein vá þengill R686ˣ

kennings

gunnsylgs.
‘a battle-draught.’
   = BLOOD

a battle-draught. → BLOOD
Close

sylgs ‘draught’

sylgr (noun m.; °dat. -): drink, draught < gunnsylgr (noun m.)

[6] gunnsylgs en vér fylgðum: gall strengr ein vá þengill R686ˣ;    ‑sylgs: ‑sylg Holm2, 972ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 78aˣ, 68, 325V, 325VII, Bb

kennings

gunnsylgs.
‘a battle-draught.’
   = BLOOD

a battle-draught. → BLOOD
Close

en ‘and’

2. en (conj.): but, and

[6] gunnsylgs en vér fylgðum: gall strengr ein vá þengill R686ˣ;    en: so Holm2, R686ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 61, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, er Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 972ˣ, 68

notes

[6] en vér fylgðum ‘and we followed’: The minority reading er (normalised es) gives the equally reasonable ‘whom we followed’.

Close

vér ‘we’

vér (pron.; °gen. vár, dat./acc. oss): we, us, our

[6] gunnsylgs en vér fylgðum: gall strengr ein vá þengill R686ˣ;    vér: vit Flat

notes

[6] en vér fylgðum ‘and we followed’: The minority reading er (normalised es) gives the equally reasonable ‘whom we followed’.

Close

fylgðum ‘followed’

2. fylgja (verb): follow, accompany

[6] gunnsylgs en vér fylgðum: gall strengr ein vá þengill R686ˣ

notes

[6] en vér fylgðum ‘and we followed’: The minority reading er (normalised es) gives the equally reasonable ‘whom we followed’.

Close

blóðs ‘of blood’

blóð (noun n.; °-s): blood

[7] blóðs: blóð R686ˣ, 972ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 68, 61, gjóð Holm4, bráð 325V, 325VII, Tóm, brátt Flat

kennings

svǫrr blóðs
‘the bird of blood ’
   = RAVEN/EAGLE

the bird of blood → RAVEN/EAGLE

notes

[7] svǫrr blóðs ‘the bird of blood [RAVEN/EAGLE]’: The species of the svǫrr remains unidentified (cf. NN §451A), and the rarity of this base-word evidently caused confusion in transmission. The variant svanr ‘swan’, although well represented, is probably the result of scribal emendation. Also productive of confusion is Sigvatr’s contrived placement of the two gen.-case nouns gunnsylgs ‘of battle-draught’ and blóðs ‘of blood’ in advance of the base-word svǫrr ‘bird’, so that the listener must decide which connects to svǫrr and which to fekk ‘gained’ (which in this sense takes a gen. object). The solution adopted here follows Kock (NN §485); Finnur Jónsson’s gunnsvǫrr fekk blóðs sylg ‘the battle-bird [RAVEN] got blood to drink’ (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) unnecessarily assumes tmesis of the cpd; Sigvatr is not otherwise known for his use of this device.

Close

fesk ‘’

Close

fekk ‘gained’

2. fá (verb; °fǽr; fekk, fengu; fenginn): get, receive

[7] fekk: ‘f(e)ll’(?) 61, ‘fesk’ Bb, gekk Tóm

Close

gannr ‘’

Close

síǫr ‘’

Close

svǫrr ‘the bird’

svǫrr (noun m.): [bird]

[7] svǫrr: ‘su ǫr’ papp18ˣ, svanr R686ˣ, 972ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 325V, Flat, saur J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ‘síǫr’ 68, sjór 61, tafn Holm4, ‘gannr’ 325VII, svart Tóm

kennings

svǫrr blóðs
‘the bird of blood ’
   = RAVEN/EAGLE

the bird of blood → RAVEN/EAGLE

notes

[7] svǫrr blóðs ‘the bird of blood [RAVEN/EAGLE]’: The species of the svǫrr remains unidentified (cf. NN §451A), and the rarity of this base-word evidently caused confusion in transmission. The variant svanr ‘swan’, although well represented, is probably the result of scribal emendation. Also productive of confusion is Sigvatr’s contrived placement of the two gen.-case nouns gunnsylgs ‘of battle-draught’ and blóðs ‘of blood’ in advance of the base-word svǫrr ‘bird’, so that the listener must decide which connects to svǫrr and which to fekk ‘gained’ (which in this sense takes a gen. object). The solution adopted here follows Kock (NN §485); Finnur Jónsson’s gunnsvǫrr fekk blóðs sylg ‘the battle-bird [RAVEN] got blood to drink’ (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) unnecessarily assumes tmesis of the cpd; Sigvatr is not otherwise known for his use of this device.

Close

þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

[7] þars (‘þar er’): þar 325VII

Close

slædduzt ‘’

Close

slæfðuz ‘’

Close

slioðuz ‘’

Close

slæðusk ‘were blunted’

2. slœða (verb): [were blunted]

[7] slæðusk: ‘slædast’ 972ˣ, sæfðusk 325VI, 68, 61, ‘slæfðuz’ 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 325V, ‘slioðuz’ Holm4, slæður Bb, ‘slædduzt’ Tóm

Close

huerd ‘’

Close

sverð ‘swords’

sverð (noun n.; °-s; -): sword

[8] sverð: ‘huerd’ 972ˣ, sverðs Bb

Close

gerðu ‘made’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[8] gerðu: ‘gerðri’ 73aˣ, gerði Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Flat, gjǫrðisk Tóm

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