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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þhorn Gldr 8I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Glymdrápa 8’ 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. 88.

Þorbjǫrn hornklofiGlymdrápa
789

Men ‘ring’

2. men (noun n.; °; dat. menjum): neck-ring < menfergir (noun m.): necklace-oppressor

kennings

Margspakr menfergir
‘The very wise ring-destroyer ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

The very wise ring-destroyer → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

fergir ‘destroyer’

fergir (noun m.): destroyer < menfergir (noun m.): necklace-oppressor

kennings

Margspakr menfergir
‘The very wise ring-destroyer ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

The very wise ring-destroyer → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

marg ‘The very’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many < margspakr (adj.): sagacious, very wise2. margr (adj.; °-an): many

kennings

Margspakr menfergir
‘The very wise ring-destroyer ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

The very wise ring-destroyer → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

spakar ‘’

Close

spakr ‘wise’

spakr (adj.): quiet, gentle, wise < margspakr (adj.): sagacious, very wise

[2] ‑spakr: ‑spakar J1ˣ

kennings

Margspakr menfergir
‘The very wise ring-destroyer ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr

The very wise ring-destroyer → GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr
Close

Niðar ‘of Nidelven’

Nið (noun f.): Nidelven

[2] Niðar: viðar 54, Bb

kennings

lundr varga Niðar
‘the tree of the wolves of Nidelven ’
   = SEAFARER = Haraldr

the wolves of Nidelven → SHIPS
the tree of SHIPS → SEAFARER = Haraldr
Close

Niðar ‘of Nidelven’

Nið (noun f.): Nidelven

[2] Niðar: viðar 54, Bb

kennings

lundr varga Niðar
‘the tree of the wolves of Nidelven ’
   = SEAFARER = Haraldr

the wolves of Nidelven → SHIPS
the tree of SHIPS → SEAFARER = Haraldr
Close

varga ‘of the wolves’

vargr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): wolf

kennings

lundr varga Niðar
‘the tree of the wolves of Nidelven ’
   = SEAFARER = Haraldr

the wolves of Nidelven → SHIPS
the tree of SHIPS → SEAFARER = Haraldr
Close

varga ‘of the wolves’

vargr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): wolf

kennings

lundr varga Niðar
‘the tree of the wolves of Nidelven ’
   = SEAFARER = Haraldr

the wolves of Nidelven → SHIPS
the tree of SHIPS → SEAFARER = Haraldr
Close

lundr ‘the tree’

1. lundr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ar): grove, tree

[3] lundr: lund F, lunds J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 54, 761aˣ

kennings

lundr varga Niðar
‘the tree of the wolves of Nidelven ’
   = SEAFARER = Haraldr

the wolves of Nidelven → SHIPS
the tree of SHIPS → SEAFARER = Haraldr
Close

sandi ‘the shore’

sandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sand, beach

[3] sandi: landi 54, Bb

Close

sand ‘the shore’

sandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sand, beach < sandmen (noun n.)

[4] sandmens: landmens J1ˣ, 54, Bb, land mengs J2ˣ

kennings

sandmens;
‘the shore-ring; ’
   = SEA

the shore-ring; → SEA

notes

[4] í bý sandmens ‘into the settlement by the shore-ring [SEA]’: (a) Sandmen ‘shore-ring’ corresponds to the numerous sea-kennings based on the pattern ‘ring of the earth’ (Meissner 94-5); sandr is taken to mean sandy shore here (as it appears to in l. 3); see LP: sandr 3. The settlement is not identified in the stanza and its location remains uncertain. Several scholars accept the Hkr identification with the Isle of Man, while others write of a non-localisable settlement on the sea. (b) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 76-8) was at first doubtful about sandmens because sandr usually denotes the sandy sea-floor, so he considers preferring the reading landmens ‘of the land-ring’ (J1ˣ, 54, Bb); but see Nj 1875-8, II, 966.

Close

mengs ‘’

Close

mens ‘ring’

2. men (noun n.; °; dat. menjum): neck-ring < sandmen (noun n.)2. men (noun n.; °; dat. menjum): neck-ring < landmen (noun n.)

[4] sandmens: landmens J1ˣ, 54, Bb, land mengs J2ˣ

kennings

sandmens;
‘the shore-ring; ’
   = SEA

the shore-ring; → SEA

notes

[4] í bý sandmens ‘into the settlement by the shore-ring [SEA]’: (a) Sandmen ‘shore-ring’ corresponds to the numerous sea-kennings based on the pattern ‘ring of the earth’ (Meissner 94-5); sandr is taken to mean sandy shore here (as it appears to in l. 3); see LP: sandr 3. The settlement is not identified in the stanza and its location remains uncertain. Several scholars accept the Hkr identification with the Isle of Man, while others write of a non-localisable settlement on the sea. (b) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 76-8) was at first doubtful about sandmens because sandr usually denotes the sandy sea-floor, so he considers preferring the reading landmens ‘of the land-ring’ (J1ˣ, 54, Bb); but see Nj 1875-8, II, 966.

Close

í ‘into’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[4] í bý sandmens ‘into the settlement by the shore-ring [SEA]’: (a) Sandmen ‘shore-ring’ corresponds to the numerous sea-kennings based on the pattern ‘ring of the earth’ (Meissner 94-5); sandr is taken to mean sandy shore here (as it appears to in l. 3); see LP: sandr 3. The settlement is not identified in the stanza and its location remains uncertain. Several scholars accept the Hkr identification with the Isle of Man, while others write of a non-localisable settlement on the sea. (b) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 76-8) was at first doubtful about sandmens because sandr usually denotes the sandy sea-floor, so he considers preferring the reading landmens ‘of the land-ring’ (J1ˣ, 54, Bb); but see Nj 1875-8, II, 966.

Close

‘the settlement’

býr (noun m.; °býjar/bjár/bjór/bjárs, dat. -; gen. býa/bjá, dat. bjóm/bjám, acc. býi/býa/bjá): dwelling, down

[4] bý: gný 54, Bb

notes

[4] í bý sandmens ‘into the settlement by the shore-ring [SEA]’: (a) Sandmen ‘shore-ring’ corresponds to the numerous sea-kennings based on the pattern ‘ring of the earth’ (Meissner 94-5); sandr is taken to mean sandy shore here (as it appears to in l. 3); see LP: sandr 3. The settlement is not identified in the stanza and its location remains uncertain. Several scholars accept the Hkr identification with the Isle of Man, while others write of a non-localisable settlement on the sea. (b) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 76-8) was at first doubtful about sandmens because sandr usually denotes the sandy sea-floor, so he considers preferring the reading landmens ‘of the land-ring’ (J1ˣ, 54, Bb); but see Nj 1875-8, II, 966.

Close

áðr ‘before’

áðr (adv.; °//): before

notes

[5] áðr ‘before’: Whereas earlier commentators (Nj 1875-8, II, 384; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) prefer a translation as adv. ‘earlier’ (see Note to [All] above), a consensus later develops that the word must be a conj. ‘before’ (LP: áðr; ÍF 26; NN §234 Anm.; von See 1977b, 68), particularly following Holtsmark’s study (1927, 51) of áðr-clauses. Moreover Hofmann (1978-9, 69) notes the importance of the position of the verb. When áðr appears as an adv., the verb follows it immediately, but as a conj. áðr calls for a verb-final construction.

Close

eljum ‘’

Close

æljan ‘’

Close

eljun ‘the mettle’

eljun (noun f.; °eljunar): energy < eljunfróðr (adj.)eljun (noun f.; °eljunar): energy < eljun (noun f.): energy

[5] eljun‑: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 761aˣ, ‘ælian‑’ Kˣ, ‘eljum‑’ 54, Bb

kennings

eljunfróðum þverri Skota.
‘the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. ’
   = Haraldr

the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. → Haraldr

notes

[5] eljunfróðum ‘mettle-wise’: The adj. should be viewed as a copulative cpd, i.e. ‘mettlesome and wise’ rather than ‘wise in mettle’, as its semantic content results from the sum of its individual parts (Krahe and Meid 1969, 25). This is the reading of the main ms. , and it is supported by margspakr ‘very wise’ in l. 2 (ÓT 1892, 350). The mss also offer a variant eljunprúðum which might be secondary (cf. Note to st. 6/8).

Close

fróðum ‘wise’

fróðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): wise < eljunfróðr (adj.)fróðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): wisefróðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): wise

[5] ‑fróðum: ‑prúðum J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 54, Bb, 761aˣ

kennings

eljunfróðum þverri Skota.
‘the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. ’
   = Haraldr

the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. → Haraldr

notes

[5] eljunfróðum ‘mettle-wise’: The adj. should be viewed as a copulative cpd, i.e. ‘mettlesome and wise’ rather than ‘wise in mettle’, as its semantic content results from the sum of its individual parts (Krahe and Meid 1969, 25). This is the reading of the main ms. , and it is supported by margspakr ‘very wise’ in l. 2 (ÓT 1892, 350). The mss also offer a variant eljunprúðum which might be secondary (cf. Note to st. 6/8).

Close

allr ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

Close

Skota ‘of Scots’

Skotr (noun m.): Scot

kennings

eljunfróðum þverri Skota.
‘the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. ’
   = Haraldr

the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. → Haraldr

notes

[6] þverri Skota ‘the destroyer of Scots [= Haraldr]’: (a) Contrary to nearly all other eds, the present edn follows a suggestion of Hofmann (1978-9, 69-70) and assumes that the contiguous words Skota þverri form a kenning for Haraldr. This interpretation has the advantage of being compatible with herr varð flœja seið lǫgðis ‘the host had to flee from the incantation of the sword [BATTLE]’ in ms. Kˣ. (b) Other eds have chosen the reading eiðs ‘of the isthmus’ (761aˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ) instead of seið ‘incantation’ and combine it with lǫgðis ‘of the sword’ to form a shield-kenning ‘land of the sword’, which they further combine with þverri ‘destroyer’ to form a warrior-kenning (Nj 1875-8, II, 386, 388; ÓT 1892, 350; ÍF 26; von See 1977b, 68). However, a majority of mss have a form of seið (seið, seiðs, seiði), and it would be more likely for an original s- to be dropped here, where two s’s are in contact, than for one to have been inserted (Holtsmark 1927, 9).

Close

þverri ‘destroyer’

þverrir (noun m.): dminisher

kennings

eljunfróðum þverri Skota.
‘the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. ’
   = Haraldr

the mettle-wise destroyer of Scots. → Haraldr

notes

[6] þverri Skota ‘the destroyer of Scots [= Haraldr]’: (a) Contrary to nearly all other eds, the present edn follows a suggestion of Hofmann (1978-9, 69-70) and assumes that the contiguous words Skota þverri form a kenning for Haraldr. This interpretation has the advantage of being compatible with herr varð flœja seið lǫgðis ‘the host had to flee from the incantation of the sword [BATTLE]’ in ms. Kˣ. (b) Other eds have chosen the reading eiðs ‘of the isthmus’ (761aˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ) instead of seið ‘incantation’ and combine it with lǫgðis ‘of the sword’ to form a shield-kenning ‘land of the sword’, which they further combine with þverri ‘destroyer’ to form a warrior-kenning (Nj 1875-8, II, 386, 388; ÓT 1892, 350; ÍF 26; von See 1977b, 68). However, a majority of mss have a form of seið (seið, seiðs, seiði), and it would be more likely for an original s- to be dropped here, where two s’s are in contact, than for one to have been inserted (Holtsmark 1927, 9).

Close

lǫgðis ‘of the sword’

lǫgðir (noun m.): sword

kennings

seið lǫgðis
‘from the incantation of the sword ’
   = BATTLE

from the incantation of the sword → BATTLE
Close

seið ‘from the incantation’

1. seiðr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -i/-): spell, magic

[7] seið: eiðs J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 761aˣ, seiðs 54, seiði Bb

kennings

seið lǫgðis
‘from the incantation of the sword ’
   = BATTLE

from the incantation of the sword → BATTLE
Close

af ‘out of’

af (prep.): from

Close

láði ‘the land’

2. láð (noun n.): earth, land

kennings

láði lœbrautar
‘the land of the pollack-path ’
   = ISLAND

the pollack-path → SEA
the land of the SEA → ISLAND
Close

‘of the pollack’

lýr (noun m.): pollack, fish < lœbraut (noun f.)

[8] lœ‑: lað‑ 54, Bb

kennings

láði lœbrautar
‘the land of the pollack-path ’
   = ISLAND

the pollack-path → SEA
the land of the SEA → ISLAND

notes

[8] lœbrautar ‘of the pollack-path [SEA]’: The first element of the cpd has been subject to various interpretations: (a) - as from lœr, lýr ‘pollack’; lœbraut ‘pollack-path’ is then a sea-kenning which combines with láð ‘land’ to form an island-kenning (Nj 1875-8, II, 386-7; ÓT 1892, 350; ÍF 26; von See 1977b, 68; Hofmann 1978-9, 70; Hkr 1991 and this edn). The word form - seems to be unique. Elsewhere the word appears as lýr, often as a determinant in sea-kennings, as in lýbraut ‘pollack-path’ in Þuríðr Lv 1/5V (Heið 4), an exact parallel to the present kenning; see also LP: lýr. The form lœ- cannot be explained easily. It could be regarded as poetic licence and an attempt to adapt the word to the inf. flœja ‘flee’. Alternatively, lýbraut and flýja might originally have formed the aðalhending, then, since both flýja and flœja existed as derivatives of Gmc fliuhan (ANG §§98.2, 230.2, 488 Anm. 2, 513 Anm. 3) flœja could have replaced flýja, which in turn would have caused the change from - to - in order to preserve the aðalhending. (b) ‘harm, deceit, woe’. As læbraut ‘path of harm’, this cpd has been arranged into various kennings with lǫgðis (s)eiðs (see Meissner 74; Holtsmark 1927, 9-11; Fidjestøl 1982, 79-80). The complexity of these kennings makes each of them doubtful, however, and more importantly - could not form an exact aðalhending with flœja in the C10th.

Close

‘of the pollack’

lýr (noun m.): pollack, fish < lœbraut (noun f.)

[8] lœ‑: lað‑ 54, Bb

kennings

láði lœbrautar
‘the land of the pollack-path ’
   = ISLAND

the pollack-path → SEA
the land of the SEA → ISLAND

notes

[8] lœbrautar ‘of the pollack-path [SEA]’: The first element of the cpd has been subject to various interpretations: (a) - as from lœr, lýr ‘pollack’; lœbraut ‘pollack-path’ is then a sea-kenning which combines with láð ‘land’ to form an island-kenning (Nj 1875-8, II, 386-7; ÓT 1892, 350; ÍF 26; von See 1977b, 68; Hofmann 1978-9, 70; Hkr 1991 and this edn). The word form - seems to be unique. Elsewhere the word appears as lýr, often as a determinant in sea-kennings, as in lýbraut ‘pollack-path’ in Þuríðr Lv 1/5V (Heið 4), an exact parallel to the present kenning; see also LP: lýr. The form lœ- cannot be explained easily. It could be regarded as poetic licence and an attempt to adapt the word to the inf. flœja ‘flee’. Alternatively, lýbraut and flýja might originally have formed the aðalhending, then, since both flýja and flœja existed as derivatives of Gmc fliuhan (ANG §§98.2, 230.2, 488 Anm. 2, 513 Anm. 3) flœja could have replaced flýja, which in turn would have caused the change from - to - in order to preserve the aðalhending. (b) ‘harm, deceit, woe’. As læbraut ‘path of harm’, this cpd has been arranged into various kennings with lǫgðis (s)eiðs (see Meissner 74; Holtsmark 1927, 9-11; Fidjestøl 1982, 79-80). The complexity of these kennings makes each of them doubtful, however, and more importantly - could not form an exact aðalhending with flœja in the C10th.

Close

brautar ‘path’

1. braut (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; -ir): path, way; away < lœbraut (noun f.)1. braut (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; -ir): path, way; away < láðbraut (noun f.)

kennings

láði lœbrautar
‘the land of the pollack-path ’
   = ISLAND

the pollack-path → SEA
the land of the SEA → ISLAND

notes

[8] lœbrautar ‘of the pollack-path [SEA]’: The first element of the cpd has been subject to various interpretations: (a) - as from lœr, lýr ‘pollack’; lœbraut ‘pollack-path’ is then a sea-kenning which combines with láð ‘land’ to form an island-kenning (Nj 1875-8, II, 386-7; ÓT 1892, 350; ÍF 26; von See 1977b, 68; Hofmann 1978-9, 70; Hkr 1991 and this edn). The word form - seems to be unique. Elsewhere the word appears as lýr, often as a determinant in sea-kennings, as in lýbraut ‘pollack-path’ in Þuríðr Lv 1/5V (Heið 4), an exact parallel to the present kenning; see also LP: lýr. The form lœ- cannot be explained easily. It could be regarded as poetic licence and an attempt to adapt the word to the inf. flœja ‘flee’. Alternatively, lýbraut and flýja might originally have formed the aðalhending, then, since both flýja and flœja existed as derivatives of Gmc fliuhan (ANG §§98.2, 230.2, 488 Anm. 2, 513 Anm. 3) flœja could have replaced flýja, which in turn would have caused the change from - to - in order to preserve the aðalhending. (b) ‘harm, deceit, woe’. As læbraut ‘path of harm’, this cpd has been arranged into various kennings with lǫgðis (s)eiðs (see Meissner 74; Holtsmark 1927, 9-11; Fidjestøl 1982, 79-80). The complexity of these kennings makes each of them doubtful, however, and more importantly - could not form an exact aðalhending with flœja in the C10th.

Close

brautar ‘path’

1. braut (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; -ir): path, way; away < lœbraut (noun f.)1. braut (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; -ir): path, way; away < láðbraut (noun f.)

kennings

láði lœbrautar
‘the land of the pollack-path ’
   = ISLAND

the pollack-path → SEA
the land of the SEA → ISLAND

notes

[8] lœbrautar ‘of the pollack-path [SEA]’: The first element of the cpd has been subject to various interpretations: (a) - as from lœr, lýr ‘pollack’; lœbraut ‘pollack-path’ is then a sea-kenning which combines with láð ‘land’ to form an island-kenning (Nj 1875-8, II, 386-7; ÓT 1892, 350; ÍF 26; von See 1977b, 68; Hofmann 1978-9, 70; Hkr 1991 and this edn). The word form - seems to be unique. Elsewhere the word appears as lýr, often as a determinant in sea-kennings, as in lýbraut ‘pollack-path’ in Þuríðr Lv 1/5V (Heið 4), an exact parallel to the present kenning; see also LP: lýr. The form lœ- cannot be explained easily. It could be regarded as poetic licence and an attempt to adapt the word to the inf. flœja ‘flee’. Alternatively, lýbraut and flýja might originally have formed the aðalhending, then, since both flýja and flœja existed as derivatives of Gmc fliuhan (ANG §§98.2, 230.2, 488 Anm. 2, 513 Anm. 3) flœja could have replaced flýja, which in turn would have caused the change from - to - in order to preserve the aðalhending. (b) ‘harm, deceit, woe’. As læbraut ‘path of harm’, this cpd has been arranged into various kennings with lǫgðis (s)eiðs (see Meissner 74; Holtsmark 1927, 9-11; Fidjestøl 1982, 79-80). The complexity of these kennings makes each of them doubtful, however, and more importantly - could not form an exact aðalhending with flœja in the C10th.

Close

varð ‘had’

1. verða (verb): become, be

[8] varð: var Bb

Close

flegja ‘’

Close

flœja ‘to flee’

flœja (verb): flee

[8] flœja: ‘flegia’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 761aˣ

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

King Haraldr learns that vikings overwintering in the British Isles are harrying in his kingdom, and goes to the Orkneys, Shetland and Scotland to fight them there. When he arrives on Mǫn (the Isle of Man), he discovers that the population has fled with their possessions to Scotland, so he cannot seize any booty.

In discussions of the stanza, the primary question has been whether both helmingar refer to the same event or each refers to a separate one, as the prose of Hkr indicates. (a) Because áðr ‘before’ is best taken as a conj. rather than an adv. (see Note to l. 5), one could assume either separate events (Holtsmark 1927, 52) or a single incident of attack and flight (von See 1977b, 69-70; Hofmann 1978-9, 69-70). (b) Acceptance of Hkr’s representation leads early eds (Nj 1875-8, II, 384; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) to understand áðr as an adv. and to assume each helmingr refers to a different event. — [1-4]: This helmingr is given extra ornamentation through the use of dunhent in margar | margspakar : vargar and sandi | sandmens : randir (Fidjestøl 1982, 219; Naumann 1998, 239).

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