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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magnfl 4II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 4’ 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. 68-9.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonMagnússflokkr

neyttir ‘used’

neyta (verb): use, enjoy

[1] neyttir: neytir F, E, J2ˣ


dolg ‘battle’

dolg (noun n.): battle, enemy < dolgstrangr (adj.)

[2] dolg‑: so 39, F, E, J2ˣ, dól‑ Kˣ, papp18ˣ


skipa ‘ships’

skip (noun n.; °-s; -): ship


[2] langra skipa ‘long ships’: Jesch (2001a, 123) argues that langskip is not a technical term, and is not specifically Viking.


langra ‘long’

langr (adj.; °compar. lengri, superl. lengstr): long


[2] langra skipa ‘long ships’: Jesch (2001a, 123) argues that langskip is not a technical term, and is not specifically Viking.


hǫfðu ‘steered’

hafa (verb): have


flausta ‘vessels’

flaust (noun n.): ship


gnauðuðu ‘roared’

gnauða (verb): roar

[5] gnauðuðu: ‘gneiðuðu’ E, geiguðu J2ˣ


hýnd ‘high-hoisted’

hýndr (adj./verb p.p.): high-hoisted

[6] hýnd: ‑hund E, J2ˣ


[6] hýnd ‘high-hoisted’: The sails are hoisted up as far as the húnn or mast-top (cf. st. 2/8; this is one of a number of echoes of st. 2).


stag ‘the forestay’

stag (noun n.; °-s; *-): forestay, stay

[6] stag: ‘stǫg’ E, ‘sto᷎g’ J2ˣ


[6] stag (n.) ‘forestay’: The sg. is retained in the Text and Translation, though after the pl. segl rýndu ‘sails conversed’, a pl. would be natural, and this is presumably the motivation for the variant stǫg and for Finnur’s translation tovene ‘ropes, cables’ (Hkr and Skj B) and Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s ‘stag (stög)’ (ÍF 28). The stag was seemingly a cable from the mast-top to the prow. For a similar nautical image, see Valg Har 6 and see Foote 1978, 60-1, who instances the word to refute claims that Viking Age ships had no standing rigging.


rýndu ‘conversed’

rýna (verb): [conversed]

[6] rýndu: ‘runðo’ E, ‘rynndu’ J2ˣ


vík ‘the sound’

vík (noun f.): bay


skar ‘sliced’

skera (verb): cut

[7] skar: ‘skra’ E, fal J2ˣ


eiki ‘oak’

eiki (noun n.): oak, oak ship

[7] eiki: so 39, F, J2ˣ, eyki Kˣ, papp18ˣ, æki E


[7] eiki (n. nom. sg.) ‘oak’: Probably a single vessel of oak, given the focus in l. 8 on Visundr. Finnur Jónsson in Hkr and Skj B assumes a sg. for pl. and translates ‘the ships’ (skibene).


Visundr ‘Visundr (‘Bison’)’

vísundr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): bison


[8] Visundr ‘(“Bison”)’: Hkr follows this st. with the remark that this magnificent vessel, with gold-adorned stems and more than thirty pairs of rowing benches, had been owned by Magnús’s father Óláfr. The ship-name also appears in Sigv ErfÓl 3/8I, Arn Hryn 9 and 16, and (as a kenning element) in Arn Magndr 4.


hneigði ‘plunged’

hníga (verb): sink, fall


þrǫm ‘rail’

þrǫmr (noun m.; °dat. þremi; gen. þrama): rail, rim

[8] þrǫm: ‘þraum’ E


[8] þrǫm (m. acc. sg.) ‘rail’: Jesch glosses þrǫmr as ‘rim, edge, rail’ (2001, 153) or ‘sheer-strake’ (141; the latter is defined in OED as ‘the uppermost strake of the side planking ... of a vessel’).


sveigðan ‘its curved’

sveigja (verb): bend

[8] sveigðan: sveigðir 39, E


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

Hearing of the death of Hǫrðaknútr in Denmark, Magnús sends envoys to Dan. magnates, reminding them that they had sworn loyalty to him as part of a pact he had made with Hǫrðaknútr. He vows to possess Denmark or die and then sets out with a great fleet.


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