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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Víkv 7I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Víkingarvísur 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. 544.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonVíkingarvísur
678

siunda ‘’

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sjaunda ‘for the seventh’

sjaundi (num. ordinal): [for seventh]

[1] sjaunda: ‘[…]vndi’ 325VI, ‘siunda’ Bb

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sverð ‘a sword’

sverð (noun n.; °-s; -): sword < sverðþing (noun n.): [a sword-assembly]

[2] sverðþing: sverða þing 78aˣ

kennings

sverðþing
‘a sword-assembly ’
   = BATTLE

a sword-assembly → BATTLE
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þing ‘assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly < sverðþing (noun n.): [a sword-assembly]

[2] sverðþing: sverða þing 78aˣ

kennings

sverðþing
‘a sword-assembly ’
   = BATTLE

a sword-assembly → BATTLE
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háit ‘held’

2. heyja (verb): fight, wage (battle)

[2] háit: hátt papp18ˣ, J2ˣ, 78aˣ, 61, 325V, Tóm, hart R686ˣ, ‘ha(it)’(?) 325VI

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verða ‘to be’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[2] verða: ‘[...]da’ 325VI

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endr ‘again’

endr (adv.): formerly, once, again

notes

[3] endr ‘again’: Endr can mean either ‘again’ or ‘formerly, long ago’ (Fritzner: endr 1, 2).

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á ‘in’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[3] á: om. Bb

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ul ‘’

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ylf ‘’

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Ulf ‘Ulfcytel’s’

1. ulfr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): wolf < Ulfkell (noun m.): [Ulfcytel]

[3] Ulf‑: ‘ul‑’ papp18ˣ, ‘ylf‑’ Bb

notes

[3] landi Ulfkels ‘Ulfcytel’s land’: East Anglia. Úlfkell is Ulfcytel, ealdorman (earl or chief nobleman) of the East Angles. Despite his Scandinavian name, he was a defender of English soil and is several times mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ASC) as a military leader opposing the viking raiders led by Þorkell. Úlfkell is also mentioned in Anon Liðs 6/2, where the form Ullkell appears to be required (see Note). His ON nickname snillingr would mean ‘man of valour’ or possibly ‘man of eloquence’.

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kels ‘’

-kell (noun m.): [kell] < Ulfkell (noun m.): [Ulfcytel]-kell (noun m.): [kell]

notes

[3] landi Ulfkels ‘Ulfcytel’s land’: East Anglia. Úlfkell is Ulfcytel, ealdorman (earl or chief nobleman) of the East Angles. Despite his Scandinavian name, he was a defender of English soil and is several times mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ASC) as a military leader opposing the viking raiders led by Þorkell. Úlfkell is also mentioned in Anon Liðs 6/2, where the form Ullkell appears to be required (see Note). His ON nickname snillingr would mean ‘man of valour’ or possibly ‘man of eloquence’.

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landi ‘land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

notes

[3] landi Ulfkels ‘Ulfcytel’s land’: East Anglia. Úlfkell is Ulfcytel, ealdorman (earl or chief nobleman) of the East Angles. Despite his Scandinavian name, he was a defender of English soil and is several times mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ASC) as a military leader opposing the viking raiders led by Þorkell. Úlfkell is also mentioned in Anon Liðs 6/2, where the form Ullkell appears to be required (see Note). His ON nickname snillingr would mean ‘man of valour’ or possibly ‘man of eloquence’.

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Ôleifr ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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máli ‘the tale’

1. mál (noun n.; °-s; -): speech, matter

[4] máli: môlum 61

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Stóð ‘stood over’

standa (verb): stand

notes

[5] stóð ‘stood over’: The transitive use of standa is rare. It mainly has the sense ‘overcome’ or ‘surprise’ (LP: standa 7), but since a statement that troops overcame a heath would be problematic, this contextual interpretation has been tentatively adopted. The image is perhaps comparable with Sigv ErfÓl 10/1, 2 Vítt vas fold und fótum ... mǫnnum ‘Far and wide the ground was under the feet of men’.

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Hringmara ‘Ringmere’

(non-lexical) < Hringmaraheiðr (noun f.): [Ringmere Heath]

notes

[5] Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’: The location of this battle is not known for certain, though there is a Ringmere Pit near Thetford in Norfolk which is a likely candidate (see also Note to Ótt Hfl 9/3, where the metre of the two lines is also discussed, and Townend 1998, 38-42). The battle is referred to in the ASC (s. a. 1010), though its location is not named in English sources before John of Worcester (Townend 1998, 41). These sources describe a battle between Ulfcytel’s forces and Viking invaders, which can be reconciled with Sigvatr’s stanza (which implies that Óláfr’s opponents were English) but not with Snorri’s prose. On the historical problems with the sources, and the possibility that Óláfr intially fought against the English but later for them, see Note to st. 6 [All].

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heiði ‘Heath’

3. heiðr (noun f.; °heiðar, dat./acc heiði; heiðar): heath < Hringmaraheiðr (noun f.): [Ringmere Heath]

notes

[5] Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’: The location of this battle is not known for certain, though there is a Ringmere Pit near Thetford in Norfolk which is a likely candidate (see also Note to Ótt Hfl 9/3, where the metre of the two lines is also discussed, and Townend 1998, 38-42). The battle is referred to in the ASC (s. a. 1010), though its location is not named in English sources before John of Worcester (Townend 1998, 41). These sources describe a battle between Ulfcytel’s forces and Viking invaders, which can be reconciled with Sigvatr’s stanza (which implies that Óláfr’s opponents were English) but not with Snorri’s prose. On the historical problems with the sources, and the possibility that Óláfr intially fought against the English but later for them, see Note to st. 6 [All].

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herfall ‘slaying of the army’

herfall (noun n.): [slaying of army]

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þar ‘there’

þar (adv.): there

[6] þar: þá R686ˣ, þat J2ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 61

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alla ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

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Ellu ‘of Ælla’

Ella (noun m.): Ella, Ælla, Ælle

[7] Ellu: ‘elle’ 68

kennings

Kind Ellu
‘The offspring of Ælla ’
   = Englishmen

The offspring of Ælla → Englishmen

notes

[7] kind Ellu ‘the offspring of Ælla [= Englishmen]’: The allusion may be to the Northumbrian king Ælla who according to the ASC (s. a. 867) was not of royal birth and was killed by the Danes at York in 867, yet who appears in skaldic poetry as ‘a defining ancestor for the Anglo-Saxon royal house’ (see Note to Sigv Knútdr 1/1 and Townend 1997).

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kind ‘The offspring’

kind (noun f.; °-ar; -r): offspring, race

kennings

Kind Ellu
‘The offspring of Ælla ’
   = Englishmen

The offspring of Ælla → Englishmen

notes

[7] kind Ellu ‘the offspring of Ælla [= Englishmen]’: The allusion may be to the Northumbrian king Ælla who according to the ASC (s. a. 867) was not of royal birth and was killed by the Danes at York in 867, yet who appears in skaldic poetry as ‘a defining ancestor for the Anglo-Saxon royal house’ (see Note to Sigv Knútdr 1/1 and Townend 1997).

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es ‘where’

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

[7] es (‘er’): en Holm2, R686ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 68, 61, 75c, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm

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olli ‘caused’

valda (verb): cause

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arf ‘inheritance’

arfr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-(Frost— 215¹²); -ar): inheritance < arfvǫrðr (noun m.)

kennings

arfvǫrðr Haralds
‘the guardian of Haraldr’s inheritance ’
   = Óláfr

the guardian of Haraldr’s inheritance → Óláfr

notes

[8] arfvǫrðr ‘the guardian ... of inheritance’: Hofmann (1955, 81) argues for English influence on arfvǫrðr, but see Note to st. 1/4 above.

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vǫrðr ‘the guardian’

vǫrðr (noun m.; °varðar, dat. verði/vǫrð; verðir, acc. vǫrðu): guardian, defender < arfvǫrðr (noun m.)

kennings

arfvǫrðr Haralds
‘the guardian of Haraldr’s inheritance ’
   = Óláfr

the guardian of Haraldr’s inheritance → Óláfr

notes

[8] arfvǫrðr ‘the guardian ... of inheritance’: Hofmann (1955, 81) argues for English influence on arfvǫrðr, but see Note to st. 1/4 above.

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Haralds ‘of Haraldr’s’

Haraldr (noun m.): Haraldr

[8] Haralds: Haraldr R686ˣ

kennings

arfvǫrðr Haralds
‘the guardian of Haraldr’s inheritance ’
   = Óláfr

the guardian of Haraldr’s inheritance → Óláfr
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starfi ‘exertion’

starf (noun n.; °-s; *-): exertion, task, trouble

[8] starfi: starfa J2ˣ

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

Óláfr spends the winter with King Aðalráðr (Æthelred) in England and they jointly fight and win a battle against Úlfkell (Ulfcytel) snillingr at Hringmaraheiðr (Ringmere Heath).

For the battle at Ringmere Heath, see also Ótt Hfl 9, and for a seemingly later encounter in the same place, see ÞKolb Eirdr 15. — [7-8] es arfvǫrðr Haralds olli starfi ‘where the guardian of Haraldr’s inheritance [= Óláfr] caused exertion’: As noted in ÍF 27, the subordinate clause could be taken with either of the other clauses in the helmingr. The analysis of the kenning is uncertain. (a) Structurally, it is taken here as a simple kenning in which arfvǫrðr, lit. ‘inheritance-guardian’ is equivalent to arfi ‘heir’, frequent in kennings (LP: arfi). It is assumed that the kenning designates Óláfr as the son of his father Haraldr grenski ‘from Grenland’ Guðrøðarson (so also Krag 1989, 297-8). (b) It has often been interpreted as a reference to Óláfr’s distant ancestor Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ and his unification of Norway. If so, the phrase could be construed as an inverted tvíkent kenning, ‘the guardian of the inheritance of Haraldr [NORWAY > = Óláfr]’.

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