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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 15I

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 15’ 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. 510.

Þórðr KolbeinssonEiríksdrápa
141516

Hvatr ‘The brave’

hvatr (adj.; °-ari, -an; -astr): keen, brave

kennings

Hvatr Freyr folkstafns,
‘The brave Freyr of the battle-stem, ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-stem, → SWORD
The brave Freyr of the SWORD → WARRIOR
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Freyr ‘Freyr’

Freyr (noun m.): (a god)

kennings

Hvatr Freyr folkstafns,
‘The brave Freyr of the battle-stem, ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-stem, → SWORD
The brave Freyr of the SWORD → WARRIOR
Close

folk ‘of the battle’

folk (noun n.): people < folkstafn (noun m.): [battle-stem]

kennings

Hvatr Freyr folkstafns,
‘The brave Freyr of the battle-stem, ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-stem, → SWORD
The brave Freyr of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[2] folkstafns ‘of the battle-stem [SWORD]’: Finnur Jónsson interprets this as a shield-kenning (LP: folkstafn, and so ÍF 35), but this seems unlikely both because folk meaning ‘sword’ is at best extremely rare (LP: folk 4; Þul Sverða 10/8III) and because the base-word of shield-kennings usually denotes a broad, flat object, while stafn is ‘stem’, e.g. of a ship. Meissner 169 allows either ‘shield’ or ‘sword’ as the kenning’s referent.

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folk ‘of the battle’

folk (noun n.): people < folkstafn (noun m.): [battle-stem]

kennings

Hvatr Freyr folkstafns,
‘The brave Freyr of the battle-stem, ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-stem, → SWORD
The brave Freyr of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[2] folkstafns ‘of the battle-stem [SWORD]’: Finnur Jónsson interprets this as a shield-kenning (LP: folkstafn, and so ÍF 35), but this seems unlikely both because folk meaning ‘sword’ is at best extremely rare (LP: folk 4; Þul Sverða 10/8III) and because the base-word of shield-kennings usually denotes a broad, flat object, while stafn is ‘stem’, e.g. of a ship. Meissner 169 allows either ‘shield’ or ‘sword’ as the kenning’s referent.

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stafns ‘stem’

stafn (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): prow < folkstafn (noun m.): [battle-stem]

kennings

Hvatr Freyr folkstafns,
‘The brave Freyr of the battle-stem, ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-stem, → SWORD
The brave Freyr of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[2] folkstafns ‘of the battle-stem [SWORD]’: Finnur Jónsson interprets this as a shield-kenning (LP: folkstafn, and so ÍF 35), but this seems unlikely both because folk meaning ‘sword’ is at best extremely rare (LP: folk 4; Þul Sverða 10/8III) and because the base-word of shield-kennings usually denotes a broad, flat object, while stafn is ‘stem’, e.g. of a ship. Meissner 169 allows either ‘shield’ or ‘sword’ as the kenning’s referent.

Close

stafns ‘stem’

stafn (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): prow < folkstafn (noun m.): [battle-stem]

kennings

Hvatr Freyr folkstafns,
‘The brave Freyr of the battle-stem, ’
   = WARRIOR

the battle-stem, → SWORD
The brave Freyr of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[2] folkstafns ‘of the battle-stem [SWORD]’: Finnur Jónsson interprets this as a shield-kenning (LP: folkstafn, and so ÍF 35), but this seems unlikely both because folk meaning ‘sword’ is at best extremely rare (LP: folk 4; Þul Sverða 10/8III) and because the base-word of shield-kennings usually denotes a broad, flat object, while stafn is ‘stem’, e.g. of a ship. Meissner 169 allows either ‘shield’ or ‘sword’ as the kenning’s referent.

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solldid ‘’

Close

sollit ‘swollen’

1. svella (verb): swell

[3] sollit: ‘solldid’ 873ˣ

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sjaldan ‘seldom’

sjaldan (adv.): seldom

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sverðs ‘of the sword’

sverð (noun n.; °-s; -): sword

kennings

spor eggja sverðs
‘tracks of the edges of the sword ’
   = WOUNDS

tracks of the edges of the sword → WOUNDS
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eggja ‘of the edges’

1. egg (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -ju/-): edge, blade

kennings

spor eggja sverðs
‘tracks of the edges of the sword ’
   = WOUNDS

tracks of the edges of the sword → WOUNDS
Close

spor ‘tracks’

spor (noun n.; °-s; -): track

kennings

spor eggja sverðs
‘tracks of the edges of the sword ’
   = WOUNDS

tracks of the edges of the sword → WOUNDS
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leggi ‘the limbs’

leggr (noun m.; °-jar, dat. -; -ir): limb

notes

[4] leggi ‘the limbs’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; also Kock in NN §2755 and Skald) emends to leggja ‘lay’, interpreting vann leggja as a periphrastic construction equivalent to lagði ‘laid’. Vinna does not function periphrastically with infinitives elsewhere, however, and as E. Olsen (1934, 203-4) showed it is possible to make good sense of the mss’ readings. Olsen’s construal is followed here (and in ÍF 35), notwithstanding Kock’s objections (NN §2755), which include the point that it is counter-intuitive to interpret flotna ‘men’ in the prepositional phrase á flotna (l. 1) as anything other than acc. pl. Kock also notes the close correspondence between l. 4 of this stanza and Tindr Hákdr 4/4, which suggests that Þórðr is here indebted to Tindr’s poem on Eiríkr’s father, Hákon (E. Olsen 1934, 264; see also Note to st. 2/7, above).

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opt ‘often’

opt (adv.): often

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olli ‘caused’

valda (verb): cause

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rauð ‘reddened’

rjóða (verb): to redden

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Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’

Hringmaraheiðr (noun f.): [Ringmere Heath]

notes

[7] Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’: Hringmaraheiðr is given as the location of a battle between Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ Strút-Haraldsson (with Óláfr Haraldsson) and Ealdorman Ulfcytel in Sigv Víkv 7/5 and Ótt Hfl 9/3 (see Notes to these), and John of Worcester records a battle ad locum qui Ringmere dicitur ‘at a place which is called Ringmere’ under the year 1010 (Darlington and McGurk 1995-, II, 464). Ringmere Pit, near Thetford in Norfolk, has been suggested as the battle’s location (Stevenson 1896, 302). The 1010 battle cannot be that referred to by Þórðr: either he borrowed details from Sigvatr’s and Óttarr’s poems, in which case his account of this part of Knútr’s English campaign is fabricated (A. Campbell 1971, 15), or Hringmaraheiðr was of sufficient strategic importance to be the site of more than one battle (Poole 1987, 280). See further Townend (1998, 38-42). For the suggestion that the challenge of incorporating the name Hringmaraheiðr in the dróttkvætt line resulted in a new metrical form, see Note to Ótt Hfl 9/3.

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herr ‘the army’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host

[8] herr: herr or her 873ˣ, her 41ˣ

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Engla ‘of the English’

Englar (noun m.): English people

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þvera ‘’

þvera (verb)

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þverra ‘diminish’

1. þverra (verb): diminish

[8] þverra: ‘þuera’ 41ˣ

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At Hringmaraheiðr (Ringmere Heath) Eiríkr fights for a second time against the English.

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