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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 2I

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 2’ 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. 491.

Þórðr KolbeinssonEiríksdrápa
123

text and translation

Mjǫk lét margar snekkjur
(mærðarǫrr) sem knǫrru
(óðr vex skalds) ok skeiðar
skjaldhlynr á brim dynja,
þás ólítinn útan
oddherðir fór gerða
— mǫrg vas lind fyr landi —
lǫnd síns fǫður rǫndu.

{Skjaldhlynr} lét mjǫk margar snekkjur sem knǫrru ok skeiðar dynja á brim — mærðarǫrr óðr skalds vex —, þás {oddherðir} fór ólítinn útan gerða lǫnd fǫður síns rǫndu; mǫrg lind vas fyr landi.
 
‘The shield-maple [WARRIOR] made very many warships, as well as merchant ships and longships, resound on the surf — the praise-liberal poetry of the skald grows —, when the point-hardener [WARRIOR] advanced at full strength from offshore to enclose the lands of his father with the shield; many a linden-shield was before the land.

notes and context

In Hkr and ÓT, Hákon jarl and Eiríkr jarl send for men and ships from Þrœndalǫg (Trøndelag), and send messengers to Mœrr (Møre), Raumsdalr (Romsdalen), and north to Naumudalr (Namdalen) and Hálogaland (Hålogaland). In Fsk and Jvs, this stanza and st. 3 (and in Fsk st. 4/1-4) are cited together as part of these texts’ accounts of the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen). The Jómsvíkingar, led by Búi digri ‘the Stout’ Vésetason, Vagn Ákason, and Sigvaldi Strút-Haraldsson, sail to Hjǫrungavágr, where they encounter Hákon, Eiríkr, and the three other sons of Hákon; each commands one of 180 well-equipped ships. In SnE (Skm), the stanza appears among others illustrating heiti for poetry. 

[1-4]: Þórðr catalogues the various types of ship in Eiríkr’s fleet. Skeiðar ‘longships’ (l. 3) are often thought of as longer than snekkjur ‘warships’ (l. 1), though they are not necessarily so (see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3II; Jesch 2001a, 123-4). Knǫrru (m. acc. pl.) in l. 2 is translated ‘merchant ships’ since knǫrr can denote a cargo ship (e.g. Ótt Hfl 14/2), and the prose of Jvs appears to equate pl. knerrir with kaupskip ‘merchant ships’ (although Fsk refers to both knerrir and kaupskip). It can, however, be used in contexts of conflict (Vígf Hák 1/8; Þhorn Harkv 7/5 and Note; Jesch 2001a, 128-32).

readings

sources

Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Þórðr Kolbeinsson, 3. Eiríksdrápa 2: AI, 213-14, BI, 203, Skald I, 106, NN §580; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 324, IV, 87, ÍF 26, 276, Hkr 1991, I, 185 (ÓTHkr ch. 37), F 1871, 120; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 181-2 (ch. 87); Fsk 1902-3, 92 (ch. 19), ÍF 29, 129-30 (ch. 21); Jvs 1879, 69-70; SnE 1848-87, I, 466-9, SnE 1931, 165, SnE 1998, I, 84, 206-7.

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