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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 5I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 5’ 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. 563.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonNesjavísur
456

Teitr ‘Teitr’

Teitr (noun m.): [cheerful, Teitr]

[1] Teitr: Teit 73aˣ

notes

[1] Teitr: Although teitr could be the adj. ‘glad, cheerful’, it appears to be a pers. n. here, since Sigvatr uses the dual pron. (acc. and dat. okkr ‘us both’) in the stanza rather than the pl. seen consistently elsewhere in the poem. This Teitr is otherwise unknown but on the available onomastic evidence was probably a fellow Icelander (Lind 1905-15: Teitr). The stanza thus apparently addresses not the broader audience of the retinue addressed in st. 1 but instead an individual comrade. Among those who, on the basis of these features, regard st. 5 as a separate lausavísa, are Finnur Jónsson (Skj; LH I, 595) and Petersen (1946, 54-7), and Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson does not count it among the Nesv stanzas (ÍF 27, 61 n.). However, the preservation of the stanza between sts 4 and 7 in ÓH-Hkr, with the same routine introduction, svá segir Sigvatr ‘so says Sigvatr’, favours the present arrangement. Stanza 5 is included in Nesv in CPB (II, 119, 127-9), indeed the eds propose that the entire poem is addressed to Teitr. Fidjestøl also advocates inclusion, noting that Nesv appears to have been loosely-structured throughout (1982, 118; cf. Hellberg 1972, 24; Jesch 2001a, 209). Potential parallels to this incidental address occur in Sigv Vestv 1 and in Arn Magndr 4II (Poole 2005d, 192-5, though contrast Whaley 1998, 119 and Note to Arn Magndr 4/4II).

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sák ‘I saw’

2. sjá (verb): see

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okkr ‘of us both’

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

[1] okkr: ǫrt 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[1] í ítru: út J1ˣ, ítra J2ˣ, á ítru 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ

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ítru ‘glorious’

ítr (adj.): glorious

[1] í ítru: út J1ˣ, ítra J2ˣ, á ítru 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ

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valds ‘ruler’

valdr (noun m.): ruler < allvaldr (noun m.): mighty ruler

[2] ‑valds: ‑vals 972ˣ, ‑valdr Bb

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falla ‘fall’

falla (verb): fall

[2] falla: faldna J1ˣ

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gerðisk ‘was waged’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[3] gerðisk: þá var 61

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harðr ‘a hard’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

[3] harðr: hár J1ˣ, J2ˣ, hǫrð 68

kennings

harðr hjǫrdynr
‘a hard sword-din ’
   = BATTLE

a hard sword-din → BATTLE
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hjǫr ‘sword’

hjǫrr (noun m.): sword < hjǫrdynr (noun m.): [a sword-clash]hjǫrr (noun m.): sword < hjǫrdynr (noun m.): [a sword-clash]

kennings

harðr hjǫrdynr
‘a hard sword-din ’
   = BATTLE

a hard sword-din → BATTLE
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dynr ‘din’

dynr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ir): din < hjǫrdynr (noun m.): [a sword-clash]

[4] ‑dynr: ‑dyns 68, Bb

kennings

harðr hjǫrdynr
‘a hard sword-din ’
   = BATTLE

a hard sword-din → BATTLE
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svalar ‘chill’

svalr (adj.): cool

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brynjur ‘mail-shirts’

1. brynja (noun f.; °-u (dat. brynnoni Gibb 38⁹); -ur): mailcoat

[4] brynjur: ‘briyn(yir)’(?) Bb

notes

[4] brynjur ‘mail-shirts’: The skald lays emphasis upon his superb military equipment, which indicates the king’s special favour (cf. Graham-Campbell and Batey 1998, 35-6, 67).

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En ‘And’

2. en (conj.): but, and

[5] En: ok R686ˣ

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mín ‘my’

minn (pron.; °f. mín, n. mitt): my

[5] mín: minn J1ˣ, J2ˣ

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flug ‘the flight’

2. flug (noun n.): flight, ?precipice

kennings

flug fleina;
‘the flight of barbs; ’
   = BATTLE

the flight of barbs; → BATTLE

notes

[5] flug fleina ‘the flight of barbs [BATTLE]’: If a kenning, this is rather a marginal one, since it could also be taken in its restricted literal sense; and normally the base-word of battle-kennings has meanings such as ‘noise, speech, meeting, sport, storm’.

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fleina ‘of barbs’

fleinn (noun m.; °dat. fleini): spear

[5] fleina: flæma J2ˣ

kennings

flug fleina;
‘the flight of barbs; ’
   = BATTLE

the flight of barbs; → BATTLE

notes

[5] flug fleina ‘the flight of barbs [BATTLE]’: If a kenning, this is rather a marginal one, since it could also be taken in its restricted literal sense; and normally the base-word of battle-kennings has meanings such as ‘noise, speech, meeting, sport, storm’.

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falsk ‘hid itself’

2. fela (verb): hide

[6] falsk: falk R686ˣ, 68, ‘[…]alsk’ 325VI

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hjalm ‘helmet’

1. hjalmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): helmet

notes

[6] inn valska hjalm ‘the Frankish helmet’: On the adj. valskr, see Note to Sigv Víkv 6/5. Frankish swords were particularly prized in the Viking Age (Jesch 2001a, 78); perhaps the same applied to metal helmets, at a time when most fighters wore simple leather caps (Graham-Campbell and Batey 1998, 35-6).

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inn ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

notes

[6] inn valska hjalm ‘the Frankish helmet’: On the adj. valskr, see Note to Sigv Víkv 6/5. Frankish swords were particularly prized in the Viking Age (Jesch 2001a, 78); perhaps the same applied to metal helmets, at a time when most fighters wore simple leather caps (Graham-Campbell and Batey 1998, 35-6).

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valska ‘Frankish’

valskr (adj.): foreign, French

notes

[6] inn valska hjalm ‘the Frankish helmet’: On the adj. valskr, see Note to Sigv Víkv 6/5. Frankish swords were particularly prized in the Viking Age (Jesch 2001a, 78); perhaps the same applied to metal helmets, at a time when most fighters wore simple leather caps (Graham-Campbell and Batey 1998, 35-6).

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vissak ‘I knew’

1. vita (verb): know

[7] vissak: so all others, vísa ek Kˣ

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svá ‘to be thus’

svá (adv.): so, thus

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svǫrt ‘black’

svartr (adj.): black

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skǫr ‘hair’

skǫr (noun f.; °skarar; skarir): hair, planking

[8] skǫr: ‘skuar’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ

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við ‘against’

2. við (prep.): with, against

[8] við: var R686ˣ

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her ‘the army’

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

[8] her: hjǫr R686ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 75a, 73aˣ, 78aˣ

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gǫrva ‘prepared’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[8] gǫrva: gǫrvan Bb

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The stanza is introduced after st. 4, with the comment that although Sveinn jarl had a larger force King Óláfr had an elite and excellently equipped band on his ship.

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