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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 7II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 7’ 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. 118-19.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
678

Stólþengils lét stinga
— styrjǫld vas þá byrjuð —
eyðir augu bæði
út heiðingja sútar.
Lagði allvaldr Egða
austr á bragning hraustan
gráligt mark, en Girkja
gǫtu illa fór stillir.

{{Eyðir sútar} heiðingja} lét stinga út bæði augu stólþengils; þá vas styrjǫld byrjuð. {Allvaldr Egða} lagði gráligt mark á hraustan bragning austr, en {stillir Girkja} fór illa gǫtu.

{{The destroyer of the care} [GLADDENER] of the wolf [lit. heath-goer]} [WARRIOR] had both eyes of the emperor stabbed out; war was under way then. {The overlord of the Egðir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] placed a hostile mark on the daring prince in the east, and {the ruler of the Greeks} [= Michael] travelled a dire road.

Mss: (530r), 39(20vb), F(43va), E(12v), J2ˣ(262v) (Hkr); FskAˣ(239-240), 301ˣ(88v) (Fsk, ll. 1-4); Mork(3r) (Mork); H(28r), Hr(20vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] lét: bauð FskAˣ, bað Mork    [2] styrjǫld: ‘styiolld’ E;    byrjuð: byrjað FskAˣ    [3] eyðir: ‘ꝍyðr’ FskAˣ;    augu: so 39, F, E, augun Kˣ, J2ˣ, Mork, H, Hr, ‘oughum’ FskAˣ, ‘augun’ or ‘augum’ 301ˣ    [6] hraustan: so F, E, Mork, H, Hr, raustan Kˣ, 39, J2ˣ    [7] en: so 39, E, H, enn Kˣ, F, J2ˣ, á Mork, Hr;    Girkja: so 39, F, J2ˣ, Mork, grikkja Kˣ, E, H, Hr    [8] gǫtu: gat F

Editions: Skj AI, 370, Skj BI, 340, Skald I, 171; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 96, IV, 212, ÍF 28, 86-7, Hkr 1991, 613 (HSig ch. 14), F 1871, 201, E 1916, 42; Fsk 1902-3, 229 (ch. 43), ÍF 29, 235-6 (ch. 51); Mork 1928-32, 83-4, Andersson and Gade 2000, 147, 472 (MH); Fms 6, 167-8 (HSig ch. 14), Fms 12, 143.

Context: Haraldr is imprisoned at the command of the Byzantine emperor (Grikkjakonungr) Constantine IX Monomachos, but is rescued following miraculous intervention by Óláfr helgi. Haraldr’s Væringjar seize and blind the emperor. ÞSkegg Hardr is quoted, then this st. After the citation, Hkr, Fsk and Mork emphasise that all the poems about Haraldr agree it was the emperor himself whom he blinded.

Notes: [All]: The same event seems to be depicted in st. 8, and ÞSkegg Hardr likewise records the blinding of the stólþengill ‘emperor’ in a helmingr apparently about Haraldr, though Haraldr is not directly said to order the mutilation. — [All]: The st. is missing from an otherwise complete text in FskBˣ. — [1] stólþengils ‘of the emperor’: Lit. ‘throne-lord’s’. Frank (1978, 134) notes that this term encapsulates awe at the magnificence of the Byzantine imperial throne, of which there is an account from c. 950 (see also Note to ÞSkegg Hardr l. 3). The victim here seems to be to Michael Kalaphates (Michael V), and if so, the reference to Constantine in the ON prose sources is incorrect (although Michael’s uncle and counsellor, Constantine, was also blinded on the same occasion; see Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 94). Michael’s brief reign in Constantinople in spring 1042 ended with accusations of treachery and tyranny, and a bloody uprising in which he was blinded. The order for this was given, with the authority of the city prefect, by the leader of the military rebels, who could well have been Haraldr Sigurðarson (Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 93-4; see also Note to Valg Har 4 [All]). — [3, 4] eyðir sútar heiðingja ‘the destroyer of the care [GLADDENER] of the wolf [lit. heath-goer] [WARRIOR]’: The kenning expresses in condensed form the same idea as that in st. 4: the warrior ends the wolf’s sorrow or hunger (i.e. cheers or feeds it) by making his enemy into carrion. As a weak gen., heiðingja (nom. sg. heiðingi) could be either sg. or pl. It is compounded from heiðr f. ‘heath, moor’ and gangja, cf. ganga ‘go’ (AEW: heiðingi). For kennings of this type, see Note to Arn Hryn 7/1, 2. — [5, 6] allvaldr Egða; bragning ‘the overlord of the Egðir [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr]; prince’: Frank notes that these two terms also co-occur in the contemporary Stúfr Stúfdr 4. — [7] gráligt mark ‘a hostile mark’: ‘Hostile, malicious’ is the normal sense of adj. gráligt, but its etymological sense ‘greyish’ may perhaps also resonate with the mention in the first helmingr of the proverbially grey wolf. For possible influence of the st., and especially of this phrase, on Theodoricus’s Historia, see Frank 1978, 124. — [8] fór illa gǫtu ‘travelled a dire road’: The sense is clearly figurative, cf. the use of gǫtur ‘ways’ in Anon Sól 31, 36 and 52VII, though no direct parallels to the idiom are offered in LP or Fritzner.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Frank, Roberta. 1978. Old Norse Court Poetry: The Dróttkvætt Stanza. Islandica 42. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  8. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  9. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  13. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  14. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  15. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  16. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  17. Sigfús Blöndal. 1978. The Varangians of Byzantium: An Aspect of Byzantine Military History. Trans. and rev. Benedikt S. Benedikz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. First published 1954 as Væringja saga. Reykjavík: Ísafoldarprentsmiðja.
  18. Theodoricus = Theodrici monachi historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium. In MHN 1-68.
  19. Internal references
  20. (forthcoming), ‘ Unattributed, Morkinskinna’ 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. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=87> (accessed 24 September 2021)
  21. (forthcoming), ‘ Heimskringla, Haralds saga Sigurðssonar’ 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. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=142> (accessed 24 September 2021)
  22. (forthcoming), ‘ Unattributed, Magnúss saga góða ok Haralds harðráða’ 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. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=147> (accessed 24 September 2021)
  23. Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 31’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 316-17.
  24. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Þórarinn Skeggjason, Haraldsdrápa’ 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. 294-5. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1423> (accessed 24 September 2021)
  25. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 7’ 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. 191-2.
  26. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 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, p. 354.
  27. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 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, p. 303.
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