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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 2II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 165-6.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonLausavísur
123

skal ‘shall’

skulu (verb): shall, should, must

[1] skal: skal ek FskBˣ, Mork, Flat

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sunnar ‘further south’

sunnar (adv.): further south

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segik ‘I speak’

segja (verb): say, tell

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spô ‘prophecy’

1. spá (noun f.; °-r; -r/-ir): prophecy

[2] spô: svá Hr

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aukum ‘will increase’

1. auka (verb; °eykr; jók, jóku/juku): (str. intrans.) increase

[3] aukum: ‘okom’ FskAˣ

notes

[3] aukum kaf ‘we will increase the plunging’: Kock in NN §3086 objects to the interpretation of kaf as ‘diving, plunging’ (in Skj B, also here), arguing that the word refers not to the action of diving but to ‘the deep’ (dybet). His proposed interpretation gives ‘we increase the deep with the anchor’, i.e. ‘we cast the anchor’. However, this seems rather implausible (plunging an anchor causes a minimal rise in sea-level), and although most of the few examples of kaf in LP do refer to the sea, ‘diving’ is a meaning well recorded in prose (Fritzer: kaf 4, and cf. the verb kafa ‘dive’).

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kaf ‘the plunging’

kaf (noun n.; °; *-): deep sea

notes

[3] aukum kaf ‘we will increase the plunging’: Kock in NN §3086 objects to the interpretation of kaf as ‘diving, plunging’ (in Skj B, also here), arguing that the word refers not to the action of diving but to ‘the deep’ (dybet). His proposed interpretation gives ‘we increase the deep with the anchor’, i.e. ‘we cast the anchor’. However, this seems rather implausible (plunging an anchor causes a minimal rise in sea-level), and although most of the few examples of kaf in LP do refer to the sea, ‘diving’ is a meaning well recorded in prose (Fritzer: kaf 4, and cf. the verb kafa ‘dive’).

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kald ‘cold’

kaldr (adj.; °compar. -ari): cold < kaldnefr (noun m.)

[4] kald‑: kall‑ H, Hr

notes

[4] kaldnefr ‘cold-beak [the anchor]’: This prioritises the Hkr reading (-nefr also in H, Hr) and adopts a traditional interpretation. Editing the Mork text alone, Gade suggests that ‘calldnez’ represents kaldnets. Combined with the Mork reading skal ek in l. 1 (also Fsk Bˣ and Flat), this gives skalk halda kaldnets furu fleini ‘I shall hold the fir-tree of the cold trawl net [SHIP] with the anchor-fluke’.

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nefr ‘beak [the anchor]’

-nefr (adj.): [beak [anchor]] < kaldnefr (noun m.)

[4] ‑nefr: ‘‑nez’ Mork, ‑geðr Flat

notes

[4] kaldnefr ‘cold-beak [the anchor]’: This prioritises the Hkr reading (-nefr also in H, Hr) and adopts a traditional interpretation. Editing the Mork text alone, Gade suggests that ‘calldnez’ represents kaldnets. Combined with the Mork reading skal ek in l. 1 (also Fsk Bˣ and Flat), this gives skalk halda kaldnets furu fleini ‘I shall hold the fir-tree of the cold trawl net [SHIP] with the anchor-fluke’.

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furu ‘the fir vessel’

1. fura (noun f.): fir vessel

[4] furu: skipum Flat

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Hkr and H-Hr: Haraldr, in his second year as sole king of Norway, takes a fleet south to Jylland (Jutland) and raids there. He anchors in the Randersfjord (Goðnarfjǫrðr), and composes HHarð Lv 4, bidding Þjóðólfr to compose in reply, which he does in Lv 2. FskBˣ treats the helmingar as a single st. by Þjóðólfr while Mork (with a hint of doubt) and Flat attribute it to Haraldr.

This campaign of 1048 is also commemorated in Hharð Lv 4, Bǫlv Hardr 8, Grani Har 1-2 and Anon (HSig) 1. — As noted above, this helmingr forms a single st. with Hharð Lv 4 in some sources. That st. is among those collected by Perkins (1984-5, 194-5) in support of his thesis that skaldic poetry originated in rowing chants. As in ÞjóðA Har 6, the ll. are rich in vocabulary relating to anchors: kaldnefr ‘cold-beak’ (l. 4), fleinn, usually ‘arrow(-barb)’ or ‘spear(-point)’ (l. 2), and krókr ‘hook’ (l. 3), often referring to a fish-hook. Viking Age anchors such as that in the Ladby ship (Jesch 2001a, 169) were similar to modern ones, with a main shaft or stock and curved, pointed flukes or bills to each side.

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