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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Frag 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments 3’ 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. 161-2.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonFragments
234

él ‘The storms’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm

kennings

Él skips Ullar
‘The storms of Ullr’s ship ’
   = BATTLES

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
The storms of the SHIELD → BATTLES
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yngva ‘the prince’

Yngvi (noun m.): Yngvi, prince

[1] yngva: so Tˣ, A, C, unga R, W, ‘yng[...]’ U

notes

[1] yngva ‘the prince’: Since this is clearly the generic term for ‘prince, king’, the capital letter printed in Skj B is probably unnecessary (though see Note below). The alternative reading unga would, as an adj., have no suitable noun phrase to qualify. Faulkes points out that although ‘vnga’ in R would normally be read as unga ‘young’, <y> and <u> alternate in the scribe’s orthography; he accordingly prints yng<v>a in his text (SnE 1998, I, 69, 143).

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Ullar ‘of Ullr’s’

Ullr (noun m.): Ullr

[2] Ullar skips með fullu: ‘[...]v’ U

kennings

Él skips Ullar
‘The storms of Ullr’s ship ’
   = BATTLES

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
The storms of the SHIELD → BATTLES

notes

[2] skips Ullar ‘Ullr’s <god’s> ship [SHIELD]’: The reason for this frequently-used kenning-type is not recorded. LP’s explanation that Ullr had a ship named Skjǫldr ‘shield’ may be correct, but it is not confirmed by SnE, as the LP reference to it might imply. See further Note to Gamlkan Has 64/2VII.

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Ullar ‘of Ullr’s’

Ullr (noun m.): Ullr

[2] Ullar skips með fullu: ‘[...]v’ U

kennings

Él skips Ullar
‘The storms of Ullr’s ship ’
   = BATTLES

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
The storms of the SHIELD → BATTLES

notes

[2] skips Ullar ‘Ullr’s <god’s> ship [SHIELD]’: The reason for this frequently-used kenning-type is not recorded. LP’s explanation that Ullr had a ship named Skjǫldr ‘shield’ may be correct, but it is not confirmed by SnE, as the LP reference to it might imply. See further Note to Gamlkan Has 64/2VII.

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skips ‘ship’

skip (noun n.; °-s; -): ship

[2] Ullar skips með fullu: ‘[...]v’ U;    skips: skíðs C

kennings

Él skips Ullar
‘The storms of Ullr’s ship ’
   = BATTLES

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
The storms of the SHIELD → BATTLES

notes

[2] skips Ullar ‘Ullr’s <god’s> ship [SHIELD]’: The reason for this frequently-used kenning-type is not recorded. LP’s explanation that Ullr had a ship named Skjǫldr ‘shield’ may be correct, but it is not confirmed by SnE, as the LP reference to it might imply. See further Note to Gamlkan Has 64/2VII.

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skips ‘ship’

skip (noun n.; °-s; -): ship

[2] Ullar skips með fullu: ‘[...]v’ U;    skips: skíðs C

kennings

Él skips Ullar
‘The storms of Ullr’s ship ’
   = BATTLES

Ullr’s ship → SHIELD
The storms of the SHIELD → BATTLES

notes

[2] skips Ullar ‘Ullr’s <god’s> ship [SHIELD]’: The reason for this frequently-used kenning-type is not recorded. LP’s explanation that Ullr had a ship named Skjǫldr ‘shield’ may be correct, but it is not confirmed by SnE, as the LP reference to it might imply. See further Note to Gamlkan Has 64/2VII.

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með ‘at’

með (prep.): with

[2] Ullar skips með fullu: ‘[...]v’ U

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fullu ‘full strength’

2. fullr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): full, complete

[2] Ullar skips með fullu: ‘[...]v’ U

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þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

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samnagla ‘of the rivet’

samnagli (noun m.): [rivet]

kennings

slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla
‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet ’
   = SWORDS

sheath-covered masts of the rivet → SWORDS

notes

[3-4] slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla ríða ‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet [SWORDS] ride high’: Samnagli only otherwise occurs among sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 12/2III; many of these refer literally to parts of swords, and since samnagli here seems to be a determinant to siglur it probably has the specific sense ‘rivet’, lit. ‘together-nail’ (on a sword), which forms a kenning for ‘sword’ with siglur ‘masts’. The adj. slíðrdúkaðar ‘sheath-covered’, as well as being decorative, further disambiguates the kenning, reinforcing its reference to ‘sword’, though since dúkr refers to cloth, there is also a hint at a sail on a mast, hence slíðrdúkaðar siglur may amount to ‘masts of the rivet [SWORDS], whose sail is a sheath’. The verb ríða ‘ride, swing high’ is appropriate both to the metaphorical masts and sails and to the literal swords; the verb is elsewhere predicated of both swords (as in Rv Lv 17) and banners.

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siglur ‘masts’

1. sigla (noun f.; °-u): mast

[3] siglur: ‘[...]’ C

kennings

slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla
‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet ’
   = SWORDS

sheath-covered masts of the rivet → SWORDS

notes

[3-4] slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla ríða ‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet [SWORDS] ride high’: Samnagli only otherwise occurs among sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 12/2III; many of these refer literally to parts of swords, and since samnagli here seems to be a determinant to siglur it probably has the specific sense ‘rivet’, lit. ‘together-nail’ (on a sword), which forms a kenning for ‘sword’ with siglur ‘masts’. The adj. slíðrdúkaðar ‘sheath-covered’, as well as being decorative, further disambiguates the kenning, reinforcing its reference to ‘sword’, though since dúkr refers to cloth, there is also a hint at a sail on a mast, hence slíðrdúkaðar siglur may amount to ‘masts of the rivet [SWORDS], whose sail is a sheath’. The verb ríða ‘ride, swing high’ is appropriate both to the metaphorical masts and sails and to the literal swords; the verb is elsewhere predicated of both swords (as in Rv Lv 17) and banners.

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slíðr ‘sheath’

1. slíðr (noun f.; °; slíðrir/slíðrar): [tough, sheath] < slíðrdúkaðr (adj./verb p.p.)

kennings

slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla
‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet ’
   = SWORDS

sheath-covered masts of the rivet → SWORDS

notes

[3-4] slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla ríða ‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet [SWORDS] ride high’: Samnagli only otherwise occurs among sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 12/2III; many of these refer literally to parts of swords, and since samnagli here seems to be a determinant to siglur it probably has the specific sense ‘rivet’, lit. ‘together-nail’ (on a sword), which forms a kenning for ‘sword’ with siglur ‘masts’. The adj. slíðrdúkaðar ‘sheath-covered’, as well as being decorative, further disambiguates the kenning, reinforcing its reference to ‘sword’, though since dúkr refers to cloth, there is also a hint at a sail on a mast, hence slíðrdúkaðar siglur may amount to ‘masts of the rivet [SWORDS], whose sail is a sheath’. The verb ríða ‘ride, swing high’ is appropriate both to the metaphorical masts and sails and to the literal swords; the verb is elsewhere predicated of both swords (as in Rv Lv 17) and banners.

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dúkaðar ‘covered’

dúka (verb): [covered] < slíðrdúkaðr (adj./verb p.p.)

[4] ‑dúkaðar: ‘‑dukanþar’ U, ‑dúkaðir A

kennings

slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla
‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet ’
   = SWORDS

sheath-covered masts of the rivet → SWORDS

notes

[3-4] slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla ríða ‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet [SWORDS] ride high’: Samnagli only otherwise occurs among sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 12/2III; many of these refer literally to parts of swords, and since samnagli here seems to be a determinant to siglur it probably has the specific sense ‘rivet’, lit. ‘together-nail’ (on a sword), which forms a kenning for ‘sword’ with siglur ‘masts’. The adj. slíðrdúkaðar ‘sheath-covered’, as well as being decorative, further disambiguates the kenning, reinforcing its reference to ‘sword’, though since dúkr refers to cloth, there is also a hint at a sail on a mast, hence slíðrdúkaðar siglur may amount to ‘masts of the rivet [SWORDS], whose sail is a sheath’. The verb ríða ‘ride, swing high’ is appropriate both to the metaphorical masts and sails and to the literal swords; the verb is elsewhere predicated of both swords (as in Rv Lv 17) and banners.

Close

ríða ‘ride high’

1. ríða (verb): ride

[4] ríða: ‘[...]ða’ U

notes

[3-4] slíðrdúkaðar siglur samnagla ríða ‘sheath-covered masts of the rivet [SWORDS] ride high’: Samnagli only otherwise occurs among sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 12/2III; many of these refer literally to parts of swords, and since samnagli here seems to be a determinant to siglur it probably has the specific sense ‘rivet’, lit. ‘together-nail’ (on a sword), which forms a kenning for ‘sword’ with siglur ‘masts’. The adj. slíðrdúkaðar ‘sheath-covered’, as well as being decorative, further disambiguates the kenning, reinforcing its reference to ‘sword’, though since dúkr refers to cloth, there is also a hint at a sail on a mast, hence slíðrdúkaðar siglur may amount to ‘masts of the rivet [SWORDS], whose sail is a sheath’. The verb ríða ‘ride, swing high’ is appropriate both to the metaphorical masts and sails and to the literal swords; the verb is elsewhere predicated of both swords (as in Rv Lv 17) and banners.

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

The helmingr is within a sequence of skaldic citations illustrating shield-kennings. It is cited with the words Askr Ullar, sem hér er ‘Ullr’s ash, as it stands here’ (R, Tˣ, W,C) or Askr Ullar, sem Þjóðólfr kvað ‘Ullr’s ash, as Þjóðólfr said’ (U, A), which is noteworthy both because Þjóðólfr is not named in all mss and because skip Ullar ‘Ullr’s ship’ rather than the more specific askr Ullar is the expression in the st. itself.

The st. is attributed to Þjóðólfr in A and U, and this has been generally accepted. R, , W, C cite Refr Frag 3III, and then Anon (SnE) 7III and the Þjóðólfr fragment, both with the words sem hér er ‘as it stands here’ ( lacks Anon (SnE) 7III).

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