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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 40III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 40’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1149.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal
394041

hildi ‘battle’

1. hildr (noun f.): battle

notes

[1] hildi ‘battle’: Altered in R to hjaldr ‘battle, noise’ (R*); cf. hjaldri ‘battle’ (l. 5).

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barra ‘violent’

3. barr (adj.): ready

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mælingum ‘a niggard’

mælingr (noun m.): [a niggard]

[2] mælingum: so all others, by correction R

notes

[2] mælingum ‘a niggard’: Lit. ‘niggards’. The first four letters in ‘męlingvm’ are blotched in R, and the word has been altered (R*). It is not possible to establish what the original reading would have been. Mælingr lit. ‘one who measures out goods (in small portions)’, a hap. leg., is derived from the weak verb mála ‘measure’ (see AEW: mælingr).

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ferri ‘far from’

ferri (adv.): far, further

[2] ferri: færri W(145), fyrri U, ‘fęrrí’ W(106)

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gerir ‘gains’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[3] gerir: so Tˣ, W(145), U, gerir(?) R, á W(106), A

notes

[3] gerir ‘gains’: Lit. ‘does’. In R the original word, which is difficult to discern, has been altered to ‘a’ (R*) in keeping with the reading of l. 7, which is also the reading of W(106) and A (TGT).

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hǫpp ‘good luck’

hopp (noun n.): good luck

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stœrri ‘the greater’

stórr (adj.): large, great

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kann ‘knows how’

kunna (verb): know, can, be able

[4] kann: kom U

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þverra ‘diminish’

1. þverra (verb): diminish

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Veldr ‘causes’

valda (verb): cause

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hertogi ‘The war-leader’

hertogi (noun m.): duke

notes

[5] hertogi ‘the war-leader’: Skúli received the title of hertogi ‘duke’ in 1237. This was the first time that honorific was used in Norway, and it is doubtful whether Snorri could have used the word in that meaning as early as 1223. See also Sturl Hákkv 23/8II.

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first ‘farthest from’

firri (adj. comp.; °superl. -str): [farthest from]

[6] first: firstr W(145)

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blikur ‘a’

1. blika (noun f.; °-u): [gleam, a] < blikurmaðr (noun m.)

[6] blikur‑: so Tˣ, U, bliknir R, blikurs W(145)

notes

[6] blikurmanni ‘a miser’: So , U (hap. leg.). R has ‘blicner’, but the superscript abbreviation ‑er has been altered (R*), and the new abbreviation appears to stand for ‑ar, although it could possibly be an abbreviated ‑ur. The metre requires a short first syllable (blik- rather than blikn-). Blikurmaðr is derived from the impersonal weak verb blikra ‘become scared’ (lit. ‘become pale with fear’; cf. LP: blikurmaðr and AEW: blikra).

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manni ‘miser’

maðr (noun m.): man, person < blikurmaðr (noun m.)

notes

[6] blikurmanni ‘a miser’: So , U (hap. leg.). R has ‘blicner’, but the superscript abbreviation ‑er has been altered (R*), and the new abbreviation appears to stand for ‑ar, although it could possibly be an abbreviated ‑ur. The metre requires a short first syllable (blik- rather than blikn-). Blikurmaðr is derived from the impersonal weak verb blikra ‘become scared’ (lit. ‘become pale with fear’; cf. LP: blikurmaðr and AEW: blikra).

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hǫpp ‘good luck’

hopp (noun n.): good luck

[7] hǫpp: happ U

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sýnni ‘clearly’

sýnn (adj.): visible

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vélir ‘tricks’

véla (verb): betray, trick

[8] vélir: vellir W(168)

notes

[8] vélir blik spannar ‘tricks the gleam of the grip [GOLD]’: This means that the war-leader causes gold to get lost, i.e. is generous.

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blik ‘the gleam’

blik (noun n.): gleam

kennings

blik spannar.
‘the gleam of the grip. ’
   = GOLD

the gleam of the grip. → GOLD

notes

[8] vélir blik spannar ‘tricks the gleam of the grip [GOLD]’: This means that the war-leader causes gold to get lost, i.e. is generous.

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spannar ‘of the grip’

spǫnn (noun f.; °spannar; gen. spanna): grip

[8] spannar: corrected from spakar W(168)

kennings

blik spannar.
‘the gleam of the grip. ’
   = GOLD

the gleam of the grip. → GOLD

notes

[8] vélir blik spannar ‘tricks the gleam of the grip [GOLD]’: This means that the war-leader causes gold to get lost, i.e. is generous.

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

This alternation of questions and answers is called greppaminni ‘poets’ reminder’. The metre is dróttkvætt. In TGT the first helmingr illustrates anaphora, that is, the repetition of the same word at the beginning of each line. In the additions to Skm (W(168)), ll. 7-8 are given (slightly incorrectly) as an example of a man-kenning whose determinant is ‘gold’.

Similar question-answer sequences occur in RvHbreiðm Hl 45-6 (see Hl 1941, 125-6). See also FoGT (SnE 1848-87, II, 248), Anon Lil 62VII, SvB Lv 4V (Gr 36) and Grett Lv 20V (Gr 37) (for further literature see Vésteinn Ólason 1969, Foote 1982, 114, SnE 2007, 61 and Lönnroth 2009). — The heading in is 32. — [1-4]: In ms. A the lines were originally given in the order 1-4-3. Line 2 was added in the left margin in the same hand, and the correct order of lines is indicated by superscript notations.

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