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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 15II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 15’ 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. 127-8.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
141516

upplenzkr ‘Oppland’

upplenzkr (adj.): [Oppland]

notes

[1, 2] inn snjalli upplenzkr hilmir ‘the valiant Oppland king’: Upplenzkr hilmir may be deliberately chosen to counter the claim of Hákon Ívarsson to power in Opplandene (the provinces of Upplǫnd, Norway). See Note to Hharð Gamv 6/2. As a m. nom. sg., inn snjalli ‘the valiant’ could qualify hilmir ‘king’ in l. 2, hence forming two couplets, as assumed here and by most eds, but it could also qualify landreki ‘land-ruler’ in l. 4 (also referring to Haraldr), as assumed in Fms 12 (reading oddviti ‘leader’) and by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, Fsk 1902-3 and Skj B. This avoids assuming that both a strong (upplenzkr) and a weak adj. (snjalli) qualify the same noun, but that is within the bounds of skaldic practice (cf. ÞjóðA Run 3/3, 4 and Note).

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hilmir ‘king’

hilmir (noun m.): prince, protector

notes

[1, 2] inn snjalli upplenzkr hilmir ‘the valiant Oppland king’: Upplenzkr hilmir may be deliberately chosen to counter the claim of Hákon Ívarsson to power in Opplandene (the provinces of Upplǫnd, Norway). See Note to Hharð Gamv 6/2. As a m. nom. sg., inn snjalli ‘the valiant’ could qualify hilmir ‘king’ in l. 2, hence forming two couplets, as assumed here and by most eds, but it could also qualify landreki ‘land-ruler’ in l. 4 (also referring to Haraldr), as assumed in Fms 12 (reading oddviti ‘leader’) and by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, Fsk 1902-3 and Skj B. This avoids assuming that both a strong (upplenzkr) and a weak adj. (snjalli) qualify the same noun, but that is within the bounds of skaldic practice (cf. ÞjóðA Run 3/3, 4 and Note).

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alla ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

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inn ‘The’

2. inn (art.): the

notes

[1, 2] inn snjalli upplenzkr hilmir ‘the valiant Oppland king’: Upplenzkr hilmir may be deliberately chosen to counter the claim of Hákon Ívarsson to power in Opplandene (the provinces of Upplǫnd, Norway). See Note to Hharð Gamv 6/2. As a m. nom. sg., inn snjalli ‘the valiant’ could qualify hilmir ‘king’ in l. 2, hence forming two couplets, as assumed here and by most eds, but it could also qualify landreki ‘land-ruler’ in l. 4 (also referring to Haraldr), as assumed in Fms 12 (reading oddviti ‘leader’) and by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, Fsk 1902-3 and Skj B. This avoids assuming that both a strong (upplenzkr) and a weak adj. (snjalli) qualify the same noun, but that is within the bounds of skaldic practice (cf. ÞjóðA Run 3/3, 4 and Note).

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snjalli ‘valiant’

snjallr (adj.): quick, resourceful, bold

notes

[1, 2] inn snjalli upplenzkr hilmir ‘the valiant Oppland king’: Upplenzkr hilmir may be deliberately chosen to counter the claim of Hákon Ívarsson to power in Opplandene (the provinces of Upplǫnd, Norway). See Note to Hharð Gamv 6/2. As a m. nom. sg., inn snjalli ‘the valiant’ could qualify hilmir ‘king’ in l. 2, hence forming two couplets, as assumed here and by most eds, but it could also qualify landreki ‘land-ruler’ in l. 4 (also referring to Haraldr), as assumed in Fms 12 (reading oddviti ‘leader’) and by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, Fsk 1902-3 and Skj B. This avoids assuming that both a strong (upplenzkr) and a weak adj. (snjalli) qualify the same noun, but that is within the bounds of skaldic practice (cf. ÞjóðA Run 3/3, 4 and Note).

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hremsur ‘shafts’

1. hremsa (noun f.; °-u; -ur): [shafts, Hremsa]

[3] hremsur: ‘hræsur’ 39

notes

[3] hremsur ‘shafts’: I.e. arrows; see Note to l. 8 below.

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lét ‘made’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[3] lét: læt 39

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hlífr ‘shields’

hlíf (noun f.; °-ar; -ar): shield, defence

notes

[4] hlífr ‘shields’: This monosyllabic pl. of hlíf f. is required by the metre, but the normal form is hlífar (ANG §375).

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land ‘the land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land < landreki (noun m.): land-ruler

[4] landreki: landreka E, ‘oduiti’ Mork, oddviti Flat, H, Hr

notes

[4] landreki ‘the land-ruler’: The variant oddviti ‘leader, the one who fights in the point or van (oddr)’ provides equally good sense and metre to the main reading.

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reki ‘ruler’

reki (noun m.; °-a; -ar): ruler < landreki (noun m.): land-ruler

[4] landreki: landreka E, ‘oduiti’ Mork, oddviti Flat, H, Hr

notes

[4] landreki ‘the land-ruler’: The variant oddviti ‘leader, the one who fights in the point or van (oddr)’ provides equally good sense and metre to the main reading.

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Bryn ‘on the byrnie’

1. brynja (noun f.; °-u (dat. brynnoni Gibb 38⁹); -ur): mailcoat

[5] Brynmǫnnum: búandmǫnnum F, brynjaðra H, Hr

notes

[5] brynmǫnnum ‘on the byrnie-men’: Although this cpd does not, judging by LP, occur elsewhere, whereas búand-, the reading of F, does, there seems no strong reason to choose the minority reading here, as Finnur does in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B. He evidently concurred with Konráð Gíslason’s sense that brynmǫnnum does not give the impression of being authentic; Konráð suggested brynnjörðum smó benjar, without explaining further (he cites SHI 6, 292, which has Mucro cruentus penetravit colonorum loricas ‘Bloodied point pierced the mailcoats of the inhabitants’) or búandmǫnnum ‘farmers’ (Nj 1875-8, II, 311). Brynmǫnnum, however, seems a reasonable expression for warriors (cf. other compounds in bryn(j)-, brynju- ‘byrnie, mailcoat’ in LP) and provides a better skothending than búand-. It is retained in most eds.

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mǫnnum ‘men’

maðr (noun m.): man, person

[5] Brynmǫnnum: búandmǫnnum F, brynjaðra H, Hr

notes

[5] brynmǫnnum ‘on the byrnie-men’: Although this cpd does not, judging by LP, occur elsewhere, whereas búand-, the reading of F, does, there seems no strong reason to choose the minority reading here, as Finnur does in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B. He evidently concurred with Konráð Gíslason’s sense that brynmǫnnum does not give the impression of being authentic; Konráð suggested brynnjörðum smó benjar, without explaining further (he cites SHI 6, 292, which has Mucro cruentus penetravit colonorum loricas ‘Bloodied point pierced the mailcoats of the inhabitants’) or búandmǫnnum ‘farmers’ (Nj 1875-8, II, 311). Brynmǫnnum, however, seems a reasonable expression for warriors (cf. other compounds in bryn(j)-, brynju- ‘byrnie, mailcoat’ in LP) and provides a better skothending than búand-. It is retained in most eds.

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smó ‘pierced’

smjúga (verb): [pierced, creeping]

notes

[5] smó ‘pierced’: This is an alternative form to smaug, the 3rd pers. sg. pret. of smjúga ‘creep, pierce’ (cf. ANG §486 Anm.).

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stóðu ‘penetrated’

standa (verb): stand

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flugr ‘the flight’

flugr (noun m.): [flight]

[7] flugr: ‘flygr’ H, Hr

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óx ‘increased’

vaxa (verb): grow, increase

[7] óx: af H, Hr

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fannings ‘of †fanning’s†’

[7] fannings: so 39, F, J2ˣ, Hr, ‘famnings’ Kˣ, ‘fafnis’ E, ‘fannigs’ H

notes

[7] fannings: This is a major difficulty, though probably a localised one, and the word is left untranslated above. The ms. evidence, the metre and the context point to a m. or n. gen. sg. word or phrase of this form, perhaps with the sense ‘prince’; but no such word is recorded. (a) The root fann- could point to a derivative of fǫnn f. ‘snow(drift)’, but this scarcely helps in this context. (b) Kock adopted the E reading fáfnis, at first taking this as a term for ‘spear’, though without fully accounting for its function in l. 7 (§2031), then as a term for ‘(dragon-)ship’, hence vigra fáfnis ‘the ship’s spears’ (NN §3230, comparing dreki in st. 13/2 and naðr in st. 14/8). This latter solution is adopted in ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B) emends to fylkis ‘prince’s’, as well as unnecessarily splitting l. 7 by taking fylkis with gjǫld Finna ‘the tribute of the Saami’s prince [ARROWS]’ rather than with vigra ‘spears’.

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Finna ‘of the Saami’

Finnr (noun m.): Saami (person)

kennings

gjǫld Finna
‘the tribute of the Saami ’
   = ARROWS

the tribute of the Saami → ARROWS

notes

[8] gjǫld Finna ‘the tribute of the Saami [ARROWS]’: This kenning recalls gjǫld Finns in Hskv Útdr 10/3, and the sg. Finns may be more original, since the allusion seems to be to Gusi(r), legendary king of the Saami, who had three magic arrows, the Gusisnautar, whose names were Flaug ‘Flight’, Fífa and Hremsa ‘Shaft’ (Ket ch. 3 and Forað Lv 6VIII; also Ǫrv ch. 4). Hence hremsur ‘shafts’ in l. 3 alludes to the same motif, and flugr ‘flight’ in l. 7 may play on Flaug. (And hence it is tempting to wonder whether the problematic fannings, fáfnir etc. in l. 7 could conceal a version of Fífa.) The legend was well enough known to generate other skaldic vocabulary, e.g. nautar Gusis ‘Gusir’s gifts’ in Refr Ferðv 5/4III and see LP: Gusi.

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gjǫld ‘the tribute’

gjald (noun n.): payment, reward, return

kennings

gjǫld Finna
‘the tribute of the Saami ’
   = ARROWS

the tribute of the Saami → ARROWS

notes

[8] gjǫld Finna ‘the tribute of the Saami [ARROWS]’: This kenning recalls gjǫld Finns in Hskv Útdr 10/3, and the sg. Finns may be more original, since the allusion seems to be to Gusi(r), legendary king of the Saami, who had three magic arrows, the Gusisnautar, whose names were Flaug ‘Flight’, Fífa and Hremsa ‘Shaft’ (Ket ch. 3 and Forað Lv 6VIII; also Ǫrv ch. 4). Hence hremsur ‘shafts’ in l. 3 alludes to the same motif, and flugr ‘flight’ in l. 7 may play on Flaug. (And hence it is tempting to wonder whether the problematic fannings, fáfnir etc. in l. 7 could conceal a version of Fífa.) The legend was well enough known to generate other skaldic vocabulary, e.g. nautar Gusis ‘Gusir’s gifts’ in Refr Ferðv 5/4III and see LP: Gusi.

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skjǫldum ‘shields’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

[8] skjǫldum: skinnom 39, skjǫldu H, skjǫld í skjǫldu Hr

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The battle at the Nissan (Niz) continues into the night, with King Haraldr shooting continuously. Fsk, Mork, Flat specify that he sits in the front rowing bench of his ship.

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