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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hákkv 20II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 20’ 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, p. 714.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHákonarkviða
192021

Reið blóðlaukr
á berum knerri
örvar áss
járni slunginn,
en gandreið
grænna skjalda
Svölnis vegg
sleit á lopti.

{Blóðlaukr}, slunginn járni, reið á {berum knerri {áss örvar}}, en {gandreið grænna skjalda} sleit {vegg Svölnis} á lopti.

{The blood-mast} [SWORD], encircled by iron, swung onto {the bare ship {of the god of the arrow}} [= Ullr > SHIELD], and {the riding troll-women of green shields} [AXES] tore {the wall of Svǫlnir <= Óðinn>} [SHIELD] in the air.

Mss: E(177v-178r), F(111rb-va), 81a(109vb), Flat(179ra) (Hák)

Readings: [1] ‑laukr: so F, 81a, ‘laúgr’ E, ‑ugr Flat    [3] örvar: örva F;    áss: ás all    [7] vegg: egg F

Editions: Skj AII, 114, Skj BII, 122-3, Skald II, 66, NN §§1354, 1355; E 1916, 606, F 1871, 518, Hák 1910-86, 567, Flat 1860-8, III, 155.

Context: The Birkibeinar sundered byrnies and shields, and most of Skúli’s men fell (see st. 19 above).

Notes: [1] blóðlaukr ‘the blood-mast [SWORD]’: So NN §1354 (= LP: laukr 2), which preserves the nautical imagery. LP: 1. laukr gives the base-word as ‘leek’ (‘blood-leek’, i.e. ‘sword’) here, which is also possible. — [2-3] berum knerri áss örvar ‘the bare ship of the god of the arrow [= Ullr > SHIELD]’: The god Ullr was known for his hunting attributes (see SnE 1998, I, 19). His ship was a shield (see SnE 1998, I, 67 and n.). The rationale for this kenning type is not clear. See Note to ÞjóðA Frag 3/2. See also Sturl Hryn 15/6. — [5] gandreið ‘the riding troll-women’: This base-word is difficult. Gandr was a staff used by troll-women and witches in ceremonies involving witchcraft, and gandreið usually refers to troll-women riding through the air on such staffs. The kenning ‘riding troll-women of green shields’ is a regular kenning for ‘axes’ (see Meissner 148). However, gandr can also mean ‘wolf’, and LP: gandreið glosses the kenning gandreið grænna skjalda as sværdenes bevegelse ‘the motion of the swords’, in which the second element of the cpd gandreið is derived from reiða ‘swing’ and gandr grænna skjalda ‘the wolf of green shields’ is taken to mean ‘sword’ (so also NN §1355). Skj B gives the translation sværdenes regn ‘the swords’ rain’, which is not transparent. — [6] grænna skjalda ‘of green shields’: For shields painted green, see Falk 1914, 147.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  8. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  11. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. Hák 1910-86 = Kjær, Albert and Ludvig Holm-Olsen, eds. 1910-86. Det Arnamagnæanske haandskrift 81a fol. (Skálholtsbók yngsta) indeholdende Sverris saga, Bǫglungasǫgur, Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar. Oslo: Den norske historiske kildeskriftkommission and Kjeldeskriftfondet.
  13. Internal references
  14. Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 15’ 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. 692-3.
  15. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments 3’ 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. 161-2.
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