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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 1I

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 1’ 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. 489.

Þórðr KolbeinssonEiríksdrápa
12

sannliga ‘in truth’

sannliga (adv.): truly

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sunnan ‘from the south’

sunnan (adv.): (from the) south

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sôusk ‘feared’

2. sjá (verb): see

[2] sôusk: ‘satz’ 54, Bb

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vítt ‘widely’

víðr (adj.): far

[2] vítt: vík F, om. J1ˣ, vit 325VIII 1

notes

[2] vítt ‘widely’: This could alternatively be taken as the adj. ‘widespread’ qualifying stríð (n. acc. sg.) ‘strife’ (so Skj B; ÍF 26). In this case stríð, being sg., would not be qualified by stór ‘great’ (see Note to l. 4).

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ítrir ‘excellent’

ítr (adj.): glorious

[2] ítrir: so J1ˣ, 61, 54, Bb, háska Kˣ, J2ˣ, ríkir F, 325VIII 1

notes

[2] ítrir ‘excellent’: The variants to this word in the cadence of l. 2 give rise to various possible readings of the helmingr, none of which is wholly unproblematic. (a) Ítrir in J1ˣ and the ÓT mss gives the syntax and sense shown above (similarly Skj B; ÍF 26). Another m. nom. pl. adj., ríkir ‘powerful’, in F and 325VIII 1 supports the syntax suggested by ítrir, though ríkir itself appears to be corrupt. Ítrir ‘excellent’ is a slightly unexpected epithet for fearful búendr ‘farmers’, since it usually qualifies words for warriors, rulers and deities (LP: ítr), and Kock (NN §579) signals unease. However, these farmers are the countrymen of the hero Eiríkr, and the adj. could serve to show that the attacking force was sufficient to terrify even the bold. Alternatively, the epithet could be ironic. (b) Háska ‘danger’ is the reading of the main ms. and of J2ˣ, representing both branches of the Hkr stemma. It gives good sense if it is taken in apposition with stór stríð ‘great strife’, as it is by Kock (Skald; NN §§579, 1854B), who also construes of meiðir stála ‘because of the trees of steel [WARRIORS]’ with stór stríð. However, an aðalhending sôusk: hásk- would be imperfect.

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of ‘about’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

[3] of (‘um’): apparently corrected from ‘v(ið)(?)’ 325VIII 1

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stála ‘of steel’

1. stál (noun n.; °-s; -): steel, weapon, prow

[3] stála: stalla 325VIII 1

kennings

meiða stála
‘trees of steel ’
   = WARRIORS

trees of steel → WARRIORS
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smeiiða ‘’

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meiða ‘trees’

meiðr (noun m.): beam, tree

[3] meiða: ‘smeiiða’ 325VIII 1

kennings

meiða stála
‘trees of steel ’
   = WARRIORS

trees of steel → WARRIORS
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stór ‘great’

stórr (adj.): large, great

notes

[4] stór ‘great’: This is interpreted here as a n. acc. pl. adj. qualifying stríð ‘strife, afflictions’ (so also Skald; NN §579). It could alternatively be stór- as an uninflected first element in an otherwise unattested cpd stórhersǫgur ‘great war-stories’ (so Skj B; ÍF 26). This produces a somewhat simpler word order, with l. 4 as a syntactic unit. However, stór- commonly compounds with simplex nominals but only rarely with cpd ones, and in all mss stór is very clearly written, and presumably understood, as a separate word.

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frá ‘heard’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

[5] frá: frá ek F, Bb

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Sveiða ‘of Sveiði’

Sveiði (noun m.): Sveiði

[5] Sveiða: senda Bb

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
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Sveiða ‘of Sveiði’

Sveiði (noun m.): Sveiði

[5] Sveiða: senda Bb

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

Sveiða ‘of Sveiði’

Sveiði (noun m.): Sveiði

[5] Sveiða: senda Bb

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
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sunnr ‘in the south’

sunnr (adv.): south

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dregnum ‘the worn’

2. draga (verb; °dregr; dró, drógu; dreginn/droget(Hirð NKS 1642 4° 146v²⁹; cf. [$962$])): drag, pull, draw

[6] dregnum: drǫgnum J1ˣ, 61, 54

notes

[6] dregnum hlunni ‘the worn launching-roller’: So Konráð Gíslason (1892, 146-7) and most eds. The reference is to the wear and tear on the rollers through launching ships or pulling them ashore. See further Note to Sturl Hryn 12/4II, where the same phrase occurs. Kock (NN §1106) takes dregnum with skeiðum ‘warships’ (l. 8), but the resulting word order is awkward.

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hlunni ‘launching-roller’

hlunnr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): roller

notes

[6] dregnum hlunni ‘the worn launching-roller’: So Konráð Gíslason (1892, 146-7) and most eds. The reference is to the wear and tear on the rollers through launching ships or pulling them ashore. See further Note to Sturl Hryn 12/4II, where the same phrase occurs. Kock (NN §1106) takes dregnum with skeiðum ‘warships’ (l. 8), but the resulting word order is awkward.

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vatngs ‘’

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vangs ‘of the field’

1. vangr (noun m.): field, plain

[7] vangs: vagns corrected from ‘aagns’ F, ‘vatngs’ J1ˣ

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

vangs ‘of the field’

1. vangr (noun m.): field, plain

[7] vangs: vagns corrected from ‘aagns’ F, ‘vatngs’ J1ˣ

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

vangs ‘of the field’

1. vangr (noun m.): field, plain

[7] vangs: vagns corrected from ‘aagns’ F, ‘vatngs’ J1ˣ

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

á ‘onto’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[7] á: af F

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of ‘had been’

4. of (particle): (before verb)

[7] of (‘vm’): om. J1ˣ

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vigg ‘of the steed’

viggr (noun m.): horse < viggmeiðr (noun m.)

[8] vigg‑: víg‑ F, J1ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

vigg ‘of the steed’

viggr (noun m.): horse < viggmeiðr (noun m.)

[8] vigg‑: víg‑ F, J1ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

meiðr ‘The tree’

meiðr (noun m.): beam, tree < viggmeiðr (noun m.)meiðr (noun m.): beam, tree < viggmeiðr (noun m.)

[8] ‑meiðr: so F, J1ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb, om. Kˣ, J2ˣ

kennings

Sveiða vangs viggmeiðr
‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’
   = SEAFARER

the field of Sveiði → SEA
the steed of the SEA → SHIP
The tree of the SHIP → SEAFARER
Close

Dana ‘of the Danes’

danr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ir): Dane

notes

[8] Dana ‘of the Danes’: The forces led by the Jómsvíkingar at the battle of Hjǫrungavágr are said to have comprised Danes and Wends (see also sts 4/4 and 5/2; cf. Tindr Hákdr 4/1, 6/4, 9/4; Þskúm Lv 1/10; Vígf Hák 1/7). 

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skeiðum ‘warships’

1. skeið (noun f.; °-ar; -r/-ar/-ir): ship

[8] skeiðum: skeiða Bb

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

In Raumaríki (Romerike), Eiríkr jarl hears that the Jómsvíkingar are preparing for war. He gathers a force and sets off for Upplǫnd (Opplandene) and thence to Þrándheimr (Trøndelag) to join his father, Hákon jarl.

Stanzas 1-5 describe the attack on Norway which culminated in the battle at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen, c. 985); on the battle and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [5]: Cf. Hallv Knútdr 1/1III Súðlǫngum komt Sveiða, lit. ‘long-planked you came/brought of Sveiði’.

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