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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞSjár Þórdr 2I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar 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. 238.

Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson)Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar
123

Varði ‘defended’

3. verja (verb): defend

[1] Varði: ‘vadi’ 325IX 1 a, Bb

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varga ‘of outlaws’

vargr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): wolf

[1] varga: víga J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Bb, Flat

kennings

Myrðir varga
‘The killer of outlaws ’
   = JUST RULER = Hákon

The killer of outlaws → JUST RULER = Hákon

notes

[1] myrðir varga ‘the killer of outlaws [JUST RULER = Hákon]’: Skj B and Skald emend myrðir (nom.) ‘killer’ to myrði (acc.) and take the kenning as the object of the verb varði ‘defended’, hence ‘the front of the army defended the killer of outlaws widely’. That emendation is unnecessary in view of the prose context.

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myrðar ‘’

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myrðir ‘The killer’

myrðir (noun m.): killer

[1] myrðir: myrðar Flat

kennings

Myrðir varga
‘The killer of outlaws ’
   = JUST RULER = Hákon

The killer of outlaws → JUST RULER = Hákon

notes

[1] myrðir varga ‘the killer of outlaws [JUST RULER = Hákon]’: Skj B and Skald emend myrðir (nom.) ‘killer’ to myrði (acc.) and take the kenning as the object of the verb varði ‘defended’, hence ‘the front of the army defended the killer of outlaws widely’. That emendation is unnecessary in view of the prose context.

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vítt ‘widely’

víðr (adj.): far

notes

[2] vítt ‘widely’: The reference is presumably to Hákon moving about energetically in the van of his troops (cf. Context).

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slíta ‘tear apart’

slíta (verb): to tear

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jǫfur ‘prince’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

[3] jǫfur: áðr Flat

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vildu ‘they wanted’

vilja (verb): want, intend

[3] vildu: vilduð J1ˣ, J2ˣ, vildi 325IX 1 a, Bb, Flat

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eldask ‘to grow old’

1. elda (verb; °-ld-): make old

[3] eldask: aldir FskAˣ

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folk ‘of the army’

folk (noun n.): people

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at ‘in’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[4] at: á 61, FskBˣ, af Bb

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hófsk ‘began’

hefja (verb): lift, start

[5] hófsk: óf Flat

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þás ‘when’

þás (conj.): when

[5] þás (‘þá er’): so all others, þar er Kˣ

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arfi ‘the heir’

arfi (noun m.; °-a; -ar): heir, heiress

[5] arfi: arfa J1ˣ, J2ˣ

kennings

arfi Gunnhildar
‘the heir of Gunnhildr ’
   = Haraldr gráfeldr

the heir of Gunnhildr → Haraldr gráfeldr
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ótta ‘of the terror’

ótti (noun m.; °-a): fear

kennings

ótta golls,
‘of the terror of gold, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson

the terror of gold, → GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson

notes

[6, 7] vanr ótta golls ‘bereft of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson]’: (a) The kenning ótti golls ‘terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ is similar to ótti fengins golls ‘the terror of seized gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ in Arn Hryn 16/1, 3II (see also LP: ótti). (b) Bjarni Aðalbjarnason (ÍF 26) also adopts the variant vanr ‘bereft of’ but reads vanr ótta á flótta golls ‘bereft of fear of the flight of gold’ (so also ÍF 29). He takes this as a reference to the generosity of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, although, as Bjarni points out (ÍF 26, 191 n.), Haraldr was not known for his munificence (see also Eyv Lv 8-9, 11). A further objection is that the construction ótta á flótta ‘fear of the flight’ is unattested (the prep. should be at and not á; see Fritzner: ótti 1). (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) retain the unmetrical variant ‘valdi’ in place of vanr (l. 6). Skj B reads valdi (m. dat. sg.) ‘ruler’ and construes the unlikely kenning valdi ótta golls ‘the causer of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ as a dat. object for the verb hefjask upp ‘begin’ (l. 5). Kock (NN §2519; Skald) takes valdi as valði/valdi, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. of velja ‘choose’, and suggests the following reading: ótti golls valdi á flótta ‘the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN] chose to flee’, but the expression velja á flótta ‘choose to flee’ is attested nowhere. Furthermore, the disyllabic valdi makes l. 6 hypermetrical (elision is not possible in this position in a Type A-line), and the reading is not supported by the other ms. witnesses.

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vanr ‘bereft’

2. vanr (adj.): lacking

[6] vanr á: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Flat, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, valdi á Kˣ, vant á vant á Bb

notes

[6, 7] vanr ótta golls ‘bereft of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson]’: (a) The kenning ótti golls ‘terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ is similar to ótti fengins golls ‘the terror of seized gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ in Arn Hryn 16/1, 3II (see also LP: ótti). (b) Bjarni Aðalbjarnason (ÍF 26) also adopts the variant vanr ‘bereft of’ but reads vanr ótta á flótta golls ‘bereft of fear of the flight of gold’ (so also ÍF 29). He takes this as a reference to the generosity of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, although, as Bjarni points out (ÍF 26, 191 n.), Haraldr was not known for his munificence (see also Eyv Lv 8-9, 11). A further objection is that the construction ótta á flótta ‘fear of the flight’ is unattested (the prep. should be at and not á; see Fritzner: ótti 1). (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) retain the unmetrical variant ‘valdi’ in place of vanr (l. 6). Skj B reads valdi (m. dat. sg.) ‘ruler’ and construes the unlikely kenning valdi ótta golls ‘the causer of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ as a dat. object for the verb hefjask upp ‘begin’ (l. 5). Kock (NN §2519; Skald) takes valdi as valði/valdi, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. of velja ‘choose’, and suggests the following reading: ótti golls valdi á flótta ‘the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN] chose to flee’, but the expression velja á flótta ‘choose to flee’ is attested nowhere. Furthermore, the disyllabic valdi makes l. 6 hypermetrical (elision is not possible in this position in a Type A-line), and the reading is not supported by the other ms. witnesses.

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á ‘in’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[6] vanr á: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Flat, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, valdi á Kˣ, vant á vant á Bb

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golls ‘of gold’

gull (noun n.): gold

kennings

ótta golls,
‘of the terror of gold, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson

the terror of gold, → GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson

notes

[6, 7] vanr ótta golls ‘bereft of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson]’: (a) The kenning ótti golls ‘terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ is similar to ótti fengins golls ‘the terror of seized gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ in Arn Hryn 16/1, 3II (see also LP: ótti). (b) Bjarni Aðalbjarnason (ÍF 26) also adopts the variant vanr ‘bereft of’ but reads vanr ótta á flótta golls ‘bereft of fear of the flight of gold’ (so also ÍF 29). He takes this as a reference to the generosity of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, although, as Bjarni points out (ÍF 26, 191 n.), Haraldr was not known for his munificence (see also Eyv Lv 8-9, 11). A further objection is that the construction ótta á flótta ‘fear of the flight’ is unattested (the prep. should be at and not á; see Fritzner: ótti 1). (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) retain the unmetrical variant ‘valdi’ in place of vanr (l. 6). Skj B reads valdi (m. dat. sg.) ‘ruler’ and construes the unlikely kenning valdi ótta golls ‘the causer of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ as a dat. object for the verb hefjask upp ‘begin’ (l. 5). Kock (NN §2519; Skald) takes valdi as valði/valdi, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. of velja ‘choose’, and suggests the following reading: ótti golls valdi á flótta ‘the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN] chose to flee’, but the expression velja á flótta ‘choose to flee’ is attested nowhere. Furthermore, the disyllabic valdi makes l. 6 hypermetrical (elision is not possible in this position in a Type A-line), and the reading is not supported by the other ms. witnesses.

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es ‘because’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[7] es (‘er’): so 61, 325IX 1 a, Bb, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, en Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, Flat

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gramr ‘the ruler’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

[7] gramr vas (‘gramr var’): fell gramr Flat

notes

[7] gramr ‘the ruler’: The ruler fallen in flight must be the same person who is referred to as ótti golls ‘the terror of gold’ (ll. 6, 7), namely, Haraldr’s oldest and most distinguished brother, Gamli Eiríksson. Gamli had been killed when he fled from Hákon following the battle at Rastarkálfr on the island of Fræði (Frei), c. 955; see Gsind Hákdr 8, Eyv Lv 6, Glúmr Lv; ÍF 26, 179-81; ÍF 29, 81-2.

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vas ‘had’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[7] gramr vas (‘gramr var’): fell gramr Flat

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fallinn ‘fallen’

falla (verb): fall

[7] fallinn: at gunni Flat

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Gunn ‘of Gunn’

gunnr (noun f.): battle < Gunnhildr (noun f.): Gunnhildr

kennings

arfi Gunnhildar
‘the heir of Gunnhildr ’
   = Haraldr gráfeldr

the heir of Gunnhildr → Haraldr gráfeldr

notes

[8] Gunnhildar ‘of Gunnhildr’: Wife of Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’ Haraldsson; see skald Biography of Gunnhildr (Gunnh).

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hildar ‘hildr’

1. hildr (noun f.): battle < Gunnhildr (noun f.): Gunnhildr

kennings

arfi Gunnhildar
‘the heir of Gunnhildr ’
   = Haraldr gráfeldr

the heir of Gunnhildr → Haraldr gráfeldr

notes

[8] Gunnhildar ‘of Gunnhildr’: Wife of Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’ Haraldsson; see skald Biography of Gunnhildr (Gunnh).

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sunnan ‘from the south’

sunnan (adv.): (from the) south

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Hákon charges after his fleeing enemies at the front of his troops, striking them frequently and hard, when he is shot in the arm by an arrow apparently coming out of nowhere. The sons of Eiríkr escape on their ships with Hákon’s men in hot pursuit (so Hkr, ÓT, Flat; Fsk has no prose).

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