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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 6II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 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. 117-18.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
567

Þjóð veit, at hefr háðar
hvargrimmligar rimmur
(rofizk hafa opt fyr jǫfri)
átján Haraldr (sáttir).
Hǫss arnar rautt hvassar,
hróðigr konungr, blóði
— ímr gat krôs, hvars kómuð —
klœr, áðr hingat fœrir.

Þjóð veit, at Haraldr hefr háðar átján hvargrimmligar rimmur; sáttir hafa opt rofizk fyr jǫfri. Rautt hvassar klœr hǫss arnar blóði, hróðigr konungr, áðr fœrir hingat; ímr gat krôs, hvars kómuð.

People know that Haraldr has fought eighteen most ferocious battles; peace has [lit. treaties have] often been slashed at the hands of the ruler. You reddened the sharp claws of the grey eagle with blood, triumphant king, before you travelled here [to Norway]; the dark wolf got a morsel wherever you went.

Mss: (528v), 39(20rb), F(43rb), E(12r), J2ˣ(261v) (Hkr); H(26v), Hr(19vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] hvar‑: halir H, Hr    [3] rofizk: rofit H, Hr    [5] Hǫss (‘hꜹs’): hauss H;    rautt (‘rꜹðtu’): ‘rauzstu’ Hr;    hvassar: hvassan Hr    [7] krôs (‘kras’): so Hr, kárs Kˣ, H, ‘cars’ 39, ‘kars’ F, E, J2ˣ;    hvars: hvarf 39, hvar E, H, Hr;    kómuð: komu H    [8] fœrir: ‘færít’ F, ‘færim’ E, ‘færi’ Hr

Editions: Skj AI, 370, Skj BI, 340-1, Skald I, 171-2; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 92, IV, 210, ÍF 28, 82-3, Hkr 1991, 610 (HSig ch. 11), F 1871, 199, E 1916, 41; Fms 6, 159-60 (HSig ch. 10), Fms 12, 142.

Context: In Hkr, after triumphs in the land of the Saracens (Serkland) and Sicily (Sikiley), Haraldr returns to Constantinople (Miklagarðr) then journeys to Jerusalem. It is said that he fought eighteen pitched battles in the course of all his travels. In H-Hr, the summary follows a narrative about Haraldr’s defeat of a Sicilian city through feigning his own death.

Notes: [All]: The first helmingr uses 3rd pers. verbs to present common knowledge about Haraldr’s achievements; in the second Haraldr is addressed directly with 2nd pers. sg. rautt ‘you reddened’ and 2nd pers. pl. kómuð ‘you went’ as well as the apostrophe hróðigr konungr ‘triumphant king’. — [3, 4] sáttir hafa opt rofizk fyr jǫfri ‘peace has [lit. treatises have] often been slashed at the hands of the ruler’: This is assumed here to refer to Haraldr’s propensity for warfare. If sáttir referred to particular truces or treaties, the statement would present Haraldr unflatteringly as a breaker of them, but Finnur Jónsson may be correct in claiming (in Hkr 1893-1901, IV) that sáttir need only mean ‘peace’ in a general sense. — [7] ímr ‘the dark wolf’: The word etymologically embraces the sense ‘dark’ (AEW), and there may be play on the epithet hǫss ‘grey’, here applied to the eagle but to the wolf in the sole citation in Fritzner. — [7] krôs ‘a morsel’: Unusually, Hr is alone in having what seems to be the correct reading, and one wonders whether the other mss could contain a genuine, metathesised variant. The noun is f. and most often found in pl. krásir.

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. 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.
  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. Internal references
  12. 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].
  13. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ 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 (HSigII)
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