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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
345

Djarft neyttir þú, dróttinn
dolgstrangr, skipa langra,
af þvít ýtar hǫfðu
austr sjau tøgu flausta.
Suðr gnauðuðu súðir;
segl hýnd við stag rýndu;
vík skar vandlangt eiki;
Visundr hneigði þrǫm sveigðan.

Þú neyttir langra skipa djarft, dolgstrangr dróttinn, af þvít ýtar hǫfðu sjau tøgu flausta austr. Súðir gnauðuðu suðr; hýnd segl rýndu við stag; vandlangt eiki skar vík; Visundr hneigði sveigðan þrǫm.

You used long ships boldly, battle-strong lord, as men steered seventy vessels eastwards. Strakes roared south; high-hoisted sails conversed with the forestay; the tall-masted oak sliced the sound; Visundr (‘Bison’) plunged its curved rail.

Mss: (506v), papp18ˣ(213v), 39(15ra), F(39ra), E(6r), J2ˣ(247a) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] neyttir: neytir F, E, J2ˣ    [2] dolg‑: so 39, F, E, J2ˣ, dól‑ Kˣ, papp18ˣ    [5] gnauðuðu: ‘gneiðuðu’ E, geiguðu J2ˣ    [6] hýnd: ‑hund E, J2ˣ;    stag: ‘stǫg’ E, ‘sto᷎g’ J2ˣ;    rýndu: ‘runðo’ E, ‘rynndu’ J2ˣ    [7] skar: ‘skra’ E, fal J2ˣ;    vand‑: vann‑ 39;    ‑langt: lǫng F;    eiki: so 39, F, J2ˣ, eyki Kˣ, papp18ˣ, æki E    [8] þrǫm: ‘þraum’ E;    sveigðan: sveigðir 39, E

Editions: Skj AI, 361-2, Skj BI, 333, Skald I, 168; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 36, IV, 192, ÍF 28, 33-4, Hkr 1991, 577-8 (Mgóð ch. 19), F 1871, 178, E 1916, 19.

Context: 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.

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

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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  5. OED = Murray, J. A. H. et al., eds. 1884-1928. The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon. 2nd edn 1989. Simpson, J. A. and E. S. C. Weiner, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  9. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  11. Foote, Peter G. 1978. ‘Wrecks and Rhymes’. In Andersson et al. 1978, 57-66. Rpt in Foote 1984a, 222-35.
  12. Internal references
  13. 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].
  14. Not published: do not cite (RunVI)
  15. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 9’ 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. 193-4.
  16. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 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. 212-13.
  17. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 3’ 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. 668.
  18. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 6’ 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. 305-6.
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