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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Óldr 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Óláfsdrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 368-9.

Steinn HerdísarsonÓláfsdrápa
12

Þjóð ‘people’

þjóð (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -/-u; -ir): people

notes

[1] mǫrg þjóð fórsk í móðu ‘many people died in the river’: Both Engl. sources and Anon Harst mention that people died in a river or marsh. See also Jones 2007, 173-95. The brook that now runs through the battlefield, the Germany Beck, certainly does not fit the description of a river in which people could have drowned (even allowing for topographical change since 1066), and Jones (2007, 193) suggests that high tide could have brought surges of muddy water from the Ouse up to the ford after the battle, thus creating a spectacle of fallen bodies pressed into the mud appearing to have drowned.

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fórsk ‘died’

fara (verb; ferr, fór, fóru, farinn): go, travel

notes

[1] mǫrg þjóð fórsk í móðu ‘many people died in the river’: Both Engl. sources and Anon Harst mention that people died in a river or marsh. See also Jones 2007, 173-95. The brook that now runs through the battlefield, the Germany Beck, certainly does not fit the description of a river in which people could have drowned (even allowing for topographical change since 1066), and Jones (2007, 193) suggests that high tide could have brought surges of muddy water from the Ouse up to the ford after the battle, thus creating a spectacle of fallen bodies pressed into the mud appearing to have drowned.

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mǫrg ‘Many’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many

notes

[1] mǫrg þjóð fórsk í móðu ‘many people died in the river’: Both Engl. sources and Anon Harst mention that people died in a river or marsh. See also Jones 2007, 173-95. The brook that now runs through the battlefield, the Germany Beck, certainly does not fit the description of a river in which people could have drowned (even allowing for topographical change since 1066), and Jones (2007, 193) suggests that high tide could have brought surges of muddy water from the Ouse up to the ford after the battle, thus creating a spectacle of fallen bodies pressed into the mud appearing to have drowned.

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[1] mǫrg þjóð fórsk í móðu ‘many people died in the river’: Both Engl. sources and Anon Harst mention that people died in a river or marsh. See also Jones 2007, 173-95. The brook that now runs through the battlefield, the Germany Beck, certainly does not fit the description of a river in which people could have drowned (even allowing for topographical change since 1066), and Jones (2007, 193) suggests that high tide could have brought surges of muddy water from the Ouse up to the ford after the battle, thus creating a spectacle of fallen bodies pressed into the mud appearing to have drowned.

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móðu ‘river’

1. móða (noun f.; °-u; -ur): river

notes

[1] mǫrg þjóð fórsk í móðu ‘many people died in the river’: Both Engl. sources and Anon Harst mention that people died in a river or marsh. See also Jones 2007, 173-95. The brook that now runs through the battlefield, the Germany Beck, certainly does not fit the description of a river in which people could have drowned (even allowing for topographical change since 1066), and Jones (2007, 193) suggests that high tide could have brought surges of muddy water from the Ouse up to the ford after the battle, thus creating a spectacle of fallen bodies pressed into the mud appearing to have drowned.

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sukknir ‘submerged’

[2] sukknir: sokknir Mork, Flat, H, Hr, Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘sæknir’ E

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ungan ‘young’

ungr (adj.): young

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ófár ‘not a few’

ófár (adj.): not a few

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Mǫrukára ‘Morcere’

notes

[4] Mǫrukára ‘Morcere’: Earl of Northumbria and the son of Earl Ælfgar of Mercia. He and his brother, Edwin, Earl of Mercia, opposed the Norw. troops at the battle of Fulford. All prose versions (incorrectly) infer from this st. that Morcar (still alive 1087) was killed in that battle.

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Fila ‘of the Filir’

Filir (noun m.): the Filir

[5] Fila: fira H, Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ

kennings

Framr dróttinn Fila
‘The outstanding lord of the Filir ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr

The outstanding lord of the Filir → NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr

notes

[5] dróttinn Fila ‘lord of the Filir [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr]’: Dróttinn fira ‘lord of men’ (so H, , 39, F, E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ) is possible, but less likely in view of the fact that, throughout the poem (sts 5/4, 6/3, 8/1, 12/1), Steinn identifies Óláfr as ‘lord of’ plus an ethnic name, and dróttinn Fila ‘lord of the Filir’ is also attested in st. 8/6. For the ethnic name, see Note to Grani Har 1/5.

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dróttinn ‘lord’

dróttinn (noun m.; °dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar): lord, master

kennings

Framr dróttinn Fila
‘The outstanding lord of the Filir ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr

The outstanding lord of the Filir → NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr

notes

[5] dróttinn Fila ‘lord of the Filir [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr]’: Dróttinn fira ‘lord of men’ (so H, , 39, F, E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ) is possible, but less likely in view of the fact that, throughout the poem (sts 5/4, 6/3, 8/1, 12/1), Steinn identifies Óláfr as ‘lord of’ plus an ethnic name, and dróttinn Fila ‘lord of the Filir’ is also attested in st. 8/6. For the ethnic name, see Note to Grani Har 1/5.

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flótta ‘those who fled’

flótti (noun m.): flight, fleeing

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framr ‘The outstanding’

framr (adj.; °compar. framari/fremri, superl. framastr/fremstr): outstanding, foremost

[6] framr: fram H, Hr, F

kennings

Framr dróttinn Fila
‘The outstanding lord of the Filir ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr

The outstanding lord of the Filir → NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr
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ramri ‘a frantic’

rammr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): mighty

[6] ramri: ‘ramer’ Flat

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Rík ‘Proud-’

ríkr (adj.): mighty, powerful, rich < ríklundaðr (adj./verb p.p.): proud-minded

notes

[8] ríklundaðr veit undir ... ‘proud-minded knows beneath [the sun] ...’: This l. is part of a klofastef (‘split refrain’), which is completed or repeated in the final ll. of sts 4-6, 8, 12-14. The entire refrain reads as follows: ríklundaðr veit undir | sik beztan gram miklu | Óláfr borinn sólu, i.e. ríklundaðr Óláfr veit sik borinn miklu beztan gram undir sólu ‘proud-minded Óláfr knows himself to be the very best ruler born beneath the sun’. The scribes of the mss of Hkr, H-Hr and Fsk evidently did not understand the l. and tried to make syntactic sense of it in different ways.

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lundaðr ‘minded’

lundaðr (adj./verb p.p.): minded < ríklundaðr (adj./verb p.p.): proud-minded

[8] ‑lundaðr: ‑lundar Flat

notes

[8] ríklundaðr veit undir ... ‘proud-minded knows beneath [the sun] ...’: This l. is part of a klofastef (‘split refrain’), which is completed or repeated in the final ll. of sts 4-6, 8, 12-14. The entire refrain reads as follows: ríklundaðr veit undir | sik beztan gram miklu | Óláfr borinn sólu, i.e. ríklundaðr Óláfr veit sik borinn miklu beztan gram undir sólu ‘proud-minded Óláfr knows himself to be the very best ruler born beneath the sun’. The scribes of the mss of Hkr, H-Hr and Fsk evidently did not understand the l. and tried to make syntactic sense of it in different ways.

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veit ‘knows’

1. vita (verb): know

[8] veit undir: veik undan Flat, E, vítt undan H, Hr, vatt undir Kˣ, 39, J2ˣ, vátt undir F, helt undan FskAˣ

notes

[8] ríklundaðr veit undir ... ‘proud-minded knows beneath [the sun] ...’: This l. is part of a klofastef (‘split refrain’), which is completed or repeated in the final ll. of sts 4-6, 8, 12-14. The entire refrain reads as follows: ríklundaðr veit undir | sik beztan gram miklu | Óláfr borinn sólu, i.e. ríklundaðr Óláfr veit sik borinn miklu beztan gram undir sólu ‘proud-minded Óláfr knows himself to be the very best ruler born beneath the sun’. The scribes of the mss of Hkr, H-Hr and Fsk evidently did not understand the l. and tried to make syntactic sense of it in different ways.

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undir ‘beneath [the sun]’

undir (prep.): under

[8] veit undir: veik undan Flat, E, vítt undan H, Hr, vatt undir Kˣ, 39, J2ˣ, vátt undir F, helt undan FskAˣ

notes

[8] ríklundaðr veit undir ... ‘proud-minded knows beneath [the sun] ...’: This l. is part of a klofastef (‘split refrain’), which is completed or repeated in the final ll. of sts 4-6, 8, 12-14. The entire refrain reads as follows: ríklundaðr veit undir | sik beztan gram miklu | Óláfr borinn sólu, i.e. ríklundaðr Óláfr veit sik borinn miklu beztan gram undir sólu ‘proud-minded Óláfr knows himself to be the very best ruler born beneath the sun’. The scribes of the mss of Hkr, H-Hr and Fsk evidently did not understand the l. and tried to make syntactic sense of it in different ways.

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

Sts 1-3 describe the battle of Fulford near the River Ouse in Northumbria (20 September 1066) between the Norw. army under the leadership of Óláfr’s father, Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, and the Engl. troops of Earls Morcere (Mǫrukári) and Waltheof (Valþjófr) recte Edwin.

The battle of Fulford is also commemorated in Arn Hardr 7-9 and Anon Harst. Fulford is located two miles downstream from York, on the River Ouse. — [5]: The l. echoes Grani Har 1/5.

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