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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magnfl 18II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 18’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 85-6.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonMagnússflokkr
171819

Flýði jarl af auðu
ótvínn skipi sínu
morð, þars Magnús gerði
meinfœrt þaðan Sveini.
Réð herkonungr hrjóða
hneitis egg í sveita;
sprændi blóð á brýndan
brand; vá gramr til landa.

Ótvínn jarl flýði morð af auðu skipi sínu, þars Magnús gerði Sveini meinfœrt þaðan. Herkonungr réð hrjóða egg hneitis í sveita; blóð sprændi á brýndan brand; gramr vá til landa.

The unwavering jarl fled the killing, from his empty ship, where Magnús made it perilous for Sveinn to go from there. The army-king painted [lit. did paint] the sword’s edge in gore; blood spurted onto the sharpened sword; the prince fought for lands.

Mss: (517r), papp18ˣ(222r), 39(17vb), F(41rb), E(9r), J2ˣ(254r-v) (Hkr); FskBˣ(58v), 51ˣ(53r), FskAˣ(222-223) (Fsk); H(12r), Hr(10vb) (H-Hr); Flat(191vb) (Flat)

Readings: [1] Flýði: ‘Fluðe’ FskAˣ, Hlýði Flat;    af: á 39;    auðu: ‘auð[…]’ 39, ‘oðru’ Flat    [2] ótvínn: so FskBˣ, 51ˣ, ‘otvin’ Kˣ, ‘vt vín’ 39, ‘ót vín’ F, ‘ottinn’ E, ‘otinn’ J2ˣ, ‘ut vinn’ FskAˣ, ‘otvín’ H, ‘ottvín’ Hr, ‘ættuin’ Flat    [3] morð: morðs F, ‘modr’ Flat;    þars (‘þar er’): þat er E, þar FskBˣ, Hr, ‘þer er’ FskAˣ, þeir er Flat    [4] ‑fœrt: so all others, ‑fǫr Kˣ    [5] Réð: rauð E, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, 51ˣ;    hrjóða: rjóða E, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Flat    [8] brand: brandi Flat;    landa: handa E, FskAˣ, Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 366-7, Skj BI, 337, Skald I, 170, NN §§806, 851, 1817; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 64, IV, 202, ÍF 28, 57-8, Hkr 1991, 594 (Mgóð ch. 33), F 1871, 189, E 1916, 30; Fsk 1902-3, 213 (ch. 42), ÍF 29, 223 (ch. 50); Fms 6, 84-5 (Mgóð ch. 40), Fms 12, 137; Flat 1860-8, III, 284, Andersson and Gade 2000, 125, 470 (MH).

Context: In Hkr and H-Hr this is cited in relation to the battle of Helgenæs (Helganes; see st. 17). Sveinn’s ships are all cleared, and he flees. In Fsk and Flat it is cited in relation to another encounter, south of Århus (Áróss) after the lapse of a winter; they follow the st. with a remark that it demonstrates that Magnús and his men called Sveinn ‘jarl’ while Sveinn called himself king, as did his men.

Notes: [All]: Flat cites both this st. and Okík Magn 1, implicitly crediting Þjóðólfr with both of them. — [2] ótvínn ‘unwavering’: The word is somewhat uncommon and the scribes were evidently puzzled, but -tvínn is secured by the rhyme and the sense ‘undivided, unwavering, resolute’ is compatible with the contexts (cf. Konráð Gíslason and Eiríkur Jónsson 1875-1889, II, 376, concluding a thorough discussion; see also Þfisk Lv 2/2 and Steinn Óldr 5/2). The nom. sg. adj. could grammatically qualify either of two subjects. (a) It is assumed here, and by most eds, to qualify jarl in l. 1. Although this may seem too complimentary an epithet for the fleeing enemy Sveinn, there is a nice irony in an enemy who is unwavering about escape. (b) Ótvínn is taken with Magnús by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Fsk 1902-3; Skj B); this is firmly rejected by Kock in NN §854. — [3] morð ‘the killing’: Flýði ‘fled’ (l. 2) is normally construed with both af auðu skipi sínu ‘from his empty ship’ (ll. 1, 2) and morð ‘the killing, battle’. In order to avoid this, Kock suggested, at least as an alternative, reading morð Magnús, in which Magnús (l. 3) is a subjective gen. Magnúss qualifying morð, hence ‘where Magnús’s killing made it grievous for Sveinn to go from there’ (NN §854). Konráð Gíslason had raised the possibility of gen. but was not satisfied by it (Konráð Gíslason and Eiríkur Jónsson 1875-1889, II, 374). — [4] meinfœrt þaðan ‘perilous to go from there’: To take þaðan with meinfœrt ‘perilous to go’, as here and in most of the eds listed above, avoids mentally detaching the adv. from the second cl., in which it is embedded. The juxtaposition of þar ‘there’ and þaðan ‘from there’ may appear awkward, but is not so if þaðan refers specifically to escaping from the ship (so Nj 1875-8, II, 374). Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B (though not, to judge from the punctuation, in Fsk 1902-3) takes it with flýði ‘fled’ in the first cl. (see Kock’s objections, NN §§806, 854). Since in Finnur’s interpretation meinfœrt is not connected with þaðan, it does not necessarily refer to Sveinn’s desperate flight, but is taken to mean ‘(Magnús made it) difficult (for Sveinn) to advance’. — [5] réð hrjóða ‘painted [lit. did paint]’: There is good ms. support for both hrjóða and the variant rjóða ‘redden’ (cf. the hrauð/rauð alternation in ÞjóðA Magn 1/1), but the metre favours hrjóða, which, as the cadence of a Type C l., must alliterate, and must alliterate with h- (i.e. with her- and hneitis). That rjóða is a secondary reading is also confirmed by the fact that it is the lectio facilior, since reddening a sword is such a stock item in battle descriptions. Hrjóða evidently cannot have its normal meaning of ‘clear’ here, but perhaps something akin to ‘decorate, paint’, a sense which could be influenced by rjóða but is also ancient, on the evidence of hroðit sigli, probably ‘adorned brooch’ (Sigsk 49, NK 215), and the OE p. p. hroden applied to precious objects and found in compounds such as goldhroden ‘adorned with gold’, applied to royal brides in Beowulf (ll. 614, 640, 1948, 2025). This would imply a verb *hrēodan, cognate with hrjóða. In the light of the OE compounds, it is possible that gollroðinn ‘gold-reddened’ should be read as gollhroðinn ‘gold-adorned’ in Akv 4 and perhaps Anon Krm 21VIII (LP). — [6] hneitis ‘sword’s’: Lit. ‘wounder’s’. The etymological sense seems to be ‘striker, wounder’, cf. hníta ‘strike, wound’. The word occurs in ESk Geisl 43/1VII as the name of Óláfr helgi’s sword, and it may be used consciously here and in Arn Magndr 1 and 13 to emphasise Magnús’s status as heir of the venerated king. — [6] egg (n. acc. sg.) ‘edge’: Could alternatively be n. acc. pl. ‘edges’.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Nj 1875-89 = Konráð Gíslason and Eiríkur Jónsson. 1875-89. Njála: Udgivet efter gamle håndskrifter. Íslendingasögur udgivne efter gamle haandskrifter af Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskrift-selskab 4. Copenhagen: Thiele.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  9. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  11. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  12. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  13. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  14. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  15. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  16. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  17. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  18. Internal references
  19. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ 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, pp. clxi-clxii.
  21. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  22. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  23. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  24. Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Krákumál 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 760.
  25. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 207-9.
  26. Not published: do not cite ()
  27. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 43’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 42-3.
  28. Not published: do not cite ()
  29. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddr kíkinaskáld, Poem about Magnús góði 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 32.
  30. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Óláfsdrápa 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 371-2.
  31. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorgils fiskimaðr, Lausavísur 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 334-5.
  32. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 88-9.
  33. Not published: do not cite ()
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