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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Skúli Svǫlðr 2III

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2017, ‘Skúli Þorsteinsson, Poem about Svǫlðr 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 362.

Skúli ÞorsteinssonPoem about Svǫlðr
123

Fylgðak ‘I followed’

2. fylgja (verb): follow, accompany

[1] Fylgðak (‘Fylgða ek’): Fylgða er FskBˣ, ‘[…]ek’ 325VIII 1, fylgja ek Bb

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Frísa ‘the Frisians’’

Fríss (noun m.; °; -ir): Frisian

[1] Frísa: ‘frida’ Bb

kennings

dolgi Frísa
‘the Frisians’ enemy ’
   = Eiríkr

the Frisians’ enemy → Eiríkr

notes

[1] dolgi Frísa ‘the Frisians’ enemy [= Eiríkr]’: No other ruler in the surviving skaldic corpus is described as an enemy of the Frisians. This kenning is usually presumed to refer to Eiríkr jarl (see his Biography in Introduction to SkP I), son of Hákon jarl inn ríki ‘the Mighty’ and, after his victory at the battle of Svolder, ruler of Norway (as a vassal of the Danish king Knútr inn ríki, son of another of Svolder’s victors, Sveinn tjúguskegg ‘Forkbeard’), although no source associates Eiríkr with campaigns in Frisia (ÓT ch. 90, cited by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV, 97, does not in fact mention Frisia), and some have doubted the association with him (cf. the references in Baetke 1951, 93; Wood 1964, 180).  Baetke (1951, 93-4) argues that the kenning could refer to Eiríkr’s later campaigns in England. According to Hkr (ÓTHkr ch. 105, ÍF 26, 358), Skúli was Eiríkr’s forecastle man during the battle of Svolder; cf. also Egils saga (Eg ch. 87, ÍF 2, 300): Skúli var lengi í víking; hann var stafnbúi Eiríks jarls á Járnbarðanum, þá er Óláfr konungr Tryggvason fell ‘Skúli was for a long time on viking expeditions; he was Eiríkr jarl’s forecastle man on Járnbarðinn ‘Iron-prow’ when King Óláfr Tryggvason fell’.

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dolgi ‘enemy’

dolgr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ar): enemy, battle

kennings

dolgi Frísa
‘the Frisians’ enemy ’
   = Eiríkr

the Frisians’ enemy → Eiríkr

notes

[1] dolgi Frísa ‘the Frisians’ enemy [= Eiríkr]’: No other ruler in the surviving skaldic corpus is described as an enemy of the Frisians. This kenning is usually presumed to refer to Eiríkr jarl (see his Biography in Introduction to SkP I), son of Hákon jarl inn ríki ‘the Mighty’ and, after his victory at the battle of Svolder, ruler of Norway (as a vassal of the Danish king Knútr inn ríki, son of another of Svolder’s victors, Sveinn tjúguskegg ‘Forkbeard’), although no source associates Eiríkr with campaigns in Frisia (ÓT ch. 90, cited by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV, 97, does not in fact mention Frisia), and some have doubted the association with him (cf. the references in Baetke 1951, 93; Wood 1964, 180).  Baetke (1951, 93-4) argues that the kenning could refer to Eiríkr’s later campaigns in England. According to Hkr (ÓTHkr ch. 105, ÍF 26, 358), Skúli was Eiríkr’s forecastle man during the battle of Svolder; cf. also Egils saga (Eg ch. 87, ÍF 2, 300): Skúli var lengi í víking; hann var stafnbúi Eiríks jarls á Járnbarðanum, þá er Óláfr konungr Tryggvason fell ‘Skúli was for a long time on viking expeditions; he was Eiríkr jarl’s forecastle man on Járnbarðinn ‘Iron-prow’ when King Óláfr Tryggvason fell’.

Close

fekk ‘I got’

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

[2] fekk: so FskBˣ, F, fekk ek Holm18, 310, FskAˣ, Kˣ, J2ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 53, 54, 325VIII 2 b, Flat, ‘fekek’ J1ˣ, ‘fesk ek’ Bb

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ungr ‘young’

ungr (adj.): young

Close

þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

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spjǫr ‘spears’

spjǫr (noun n.): spear

[2] spjǫr: spǫrr 54, Bb

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sungu ‘sang’

syngja (verb): sing

[2] sungu: ‘[…]gv’ 325VIII 1

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fiðr ‘find’

2. finna (verb): find, meet

[3] fiðr: finnr FskBˣ, FskAˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 53, 54, Bb, 325VIII 2 b, Flat

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ǫld ‘people’

ǫld (noun f.; °; aldir): people, age

[3] ǫld: ‘ald’ Bb

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at ‘’

4. at (conj.): that

[3] at: so FskBˣ, FskAˣ, at ek Holm18, 310, Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 53, 54, Bb, 325VIII 2 b, Flat

Close

aldr ‘’

aldr (noun m.; °aldrs, dat. aldri; aldrar): life, age < aldrbót (noun f.): fame

notes

[4] aldrbót ‘renown’: Lit. ‘life-betterment’, i.e. that which makes the duration of one’s life (aldr in its usual sense of ‘lifespan’) worth living through. The only other skaldic instance of aldrbót (translated as ‘solace, life-reward’) is Anon (TGT) 15/2, where ‘fame’ would fit as well as ‘joy’, the translation of Finnur Jónsson and Meissner (Skj BI, 601 fryd ‘joy’; Meissner 436 Freude ‘joy’).

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bót ‘renown’

bót (noun f.; °-ar; bǿtr): compensation < aldrbót (noun f.): fame

[4] ‑bót: so 310, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Kˣ, F, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, 325VIII 2 b, Flat, ‘bott’ Holm18, J1ˣ, ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1

notes

[4] aldrbót ‘renown’: Lit. ‘life-betterment’, i.e. that which makes the duration of one’s life (aldr in its usual sense of ‘lifespan’) worth living through. The only other skaldic instance of aldrbót (translated as ‘solace, life-reward’) is Anon (TGT) 15/2, where ‘fame’ would fit as well as ‘joy’, the translation of Finnur Jónsson and Meissner (Skj BI, 601 fryd ‘joy’; Meissner 436 Freude ‘joy’).

Close

Sig ‘Sig’

sigr (noun m.; °sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar): victory < Sigvaldi (noun m.): Sigvaldi

notes

[4] Sigvalda ‘Sigvaldi’: Sigvaldi Strút-Haraldsson was a Danish jarl from Jómsborg (Wollin) and an ally of Eiríkr jarl and Sveinn tjúguskegg. He accompanied Óláfr Tryggvason on his way to Svolder, but stayed away with his ships during the battle itself (see ÓTHkr chs 99-105, 112, ÍF 26, 350-8, 367; Hók EirflI).

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valda ‘valdi’

1. valdi (noun m.): ruler < Sigvaldi (noun m.): Sigvaldi

[4] ‑valda: ‑valdi 54, Bb, 325VIII 2 b

notes

[4] Sigvalda ‘Sigvaldi’: Sigvaldi Strút-Haraldsson was a Danish jarl from Jómsborg (Wollin) and an ally of Eiríkr jarl and Sveinn tjúguskegg. He accompanied Óláfr Tryggvason on his way to Svolder, but stayed away with his ships during the battle itself (see ÓTHkr chs 99-105, 112, ÍF 26, 350-8, 367; Hók EirflI).

Close

þás ‘when ’

þás (conj.): when

[5] þás (‘þa er’): þar er Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 53, Bb, Flat, þar 54, 325VIII 2 b

Close

til ‘’

til (prep.): to

[5] til: ‘‑ít’ 325VIII 1

Close

móts ‘’

1. mót (noun n.; °; -): meeting

[5] móts: ‘mæz’ FskBˣ

Close

við ‘against’

2. við (prep.): with, against

[5] við: viðr FskAˣ

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mœti ‘the meeter’

mœtir (noun m.): meeter

[5] mœti: mætan 61, 53, 54, Bb, 325VIII 2 b, Flat

kennings

mœti malmþings
‘the meeter of the metal-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR

the metal-assembly → BATTLE
the meeter of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

malm ‘of the metal’

malmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): metal < malmþing (noun n.): weapon-assembly

[6] malm‑: mál‑ Kˣ

kennings

mœti malmþings
‘the meeter of the metal-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR

the metal-assembly → BATTLE
the meeter of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

malm ‘of the metal’

malmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): metal < malmþing (noun n.): weapon-assembly

[6] malm‑: mál‑ Kˣ

kennings

mœti malmþings
‘the meeter of the metal-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR

the metal-assembly → BATTLE
the meeter of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

þings ‘assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly < malmþing (noun n.): weapon-assembly

[6] ‑þings: ‘[…]s’ 325VIII 1

kennings

mœti malmþings
‘the meeter of the metal-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR

the metal-assembly → BATTLE
the meeter of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

þings ‘assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly < malmþing (noun n.): weapon-assembly

[6] ‑þings: ‘[…]s’ 325VIII 1

kennings

mœti malmþings
‘the meeter of the metal-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR

the metal-assembly → BATTLE
the meeter of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

í ‘into’

í (prep.): in, into

[6] í: ok 325VIII 2 b

Close

dyn ‘the din’

dynr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ir): din

kennings

dyn hjalma
‘the din of helmets ’
   = BATTLE

the din of helmets → BATTLE
Close

hjalma ‘of helmets’

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

kennings

dyn hjalma
‘the din of helmets ’
   = BATTLE

the din of helmets → BATTLE
Close

sunnr ‘south’

sunnr (adv.): south

[7] sunnr: so 61, 53, 54, Flat, suðr Holm18, 310, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VIII 1, svinnr 54, Bb, ‘svns’ 325VIII 2 b

Close

fyr ‘before’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

[7] fyr: frá 54, 325VIII 2 b, Flat, frá ek Bb

Close

Svǫlðrar ‘of Svolder’

Svǫldr (noun f.): [Svǫlðr, Svolder]

[7] Svǫlðrar: ‘suólþar’ J1ˣ, ‘svolðar’ 325VIII 1, ‘sualldrar’ 53

notes

[7] mynni Svǫlðrar ‘the mouth of Svolder’: This phrase, with st. 4/2 the only skaldic mention of the name, suggests Svolder (Svǫlðr) was a river or inlet, rather than an islet as in most prose (and perhaps some other skaldic) sources. The location of this battle site is a classic Streitfrage of Norse historiography. Baetke (1951) reviews the evidence and concludes Svolder was the body of water between Vorpommern and the islands of the southern Baltic, while another body of opinion (e.g. Megaard 1999, 49; Rasmussen 2000), usually associated with the Swedish historian Lauritz Weibull, favours a site in or near the Øresund; Andersen (1977, 104-5) gives an excellent concise summary of the debate.

Close

mynni ‘the mouth’

mynni (noun n.; °-s; gen. -a): mouth

[7] mynni: munni FskBˣ, J1ˣ, ‘myðe’ FskAˣ, minni Kˣ, 325VIII 1, 53, 54, Bb, 325VIII 2 b, Flat

notes

[7] mynni Svǫlðrar ‘the mouth of Svolder’: This phrase, with st. 4/2 the only skaldic mention of the name, suggests Svolder (Svǫlðr) was a river or inlet, rather than an islet as in most prose (and perhaps some other skaldic) sources. The location of this battle site is a classic Streitfrage of Norse historiography. Baetke (1951) reviews the evidence and concludes Svolder was the body of water between Vorpommern and the islands of the southern Baltic, while another body of opinion (e.g. Megaard 1999, 49; Rasmussen 2000), usually associated with the Swedish historian Lauritz Weibull, favours a site in or near the Øresund; Andersen (1977, 104-5) gives an excellent concise summary of the debate.

Close

sár ‘wound’

2. sár (noun n.; °-s; -): wound < sárlaukr (noun m.)

kennings

roðinn sárlauk
‘the reddened wound-leek ’
   = SWORD

the reddened wound-leek → SWORD
Close

lauk ‘leek’

laukr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): leek, mast < sárlaukr (noun m.)

[8] ‑lauk: ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1, ‘lavk i’ 325VIII 2 b, ‑lauks Flat

kennings

roðinn sárlauk
‘the reddened wound-leek ’
   = SWORD

the reddened wound-leek → SWORD
Close

roðinn ‘the reddened’

roðinn (adj.): reddened

kennings

roðinn sárlauk
‘the reddened wound-leek ’
   = SWORD

the reddened wound-leek → SWORD
Close

bôrum ‘we [I] bore ’

3. bera (verb; °berr; bar, báru; borinn): bear, carry

[8] bôrum: bôru 325VIII 2 b, Flat

Close

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

This stanza is cited in the sagas’ description of the battle of Svolder as proof that Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson, who seems not to have played a prominent part according to their other sources, was in fact present.

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