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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 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. 167-8.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonLausavísur
234

text and translation

[Logit hefr Baldr at Baldri]
brynþings fetilstinga,
linns, sás land á sunnar,
láðbrjótr, fyrir ráða.
Sjá mun Njǫrðr inn nørðri
(norðr) glymhríðar borða
(gramr est frœkn) ok fremri
fastmálari hôla.

{[Baldr] {brynþings}} [hefr logit at {Baldri] {fetilstinga}}, {{linns láð}brjótr}, sás á land sunnar ráða fyrir. {Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr {glymhríðar borða}} mun hôla fastmálari ok fremri; gramr, est frœkn norðr.
 
‘[The Baldr <god>] of the byrnie-assembly [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Sveinn] [has broken faith with the Baldr <god>] of sword-belt stabbers [SWORDS > WARRIOR = Haraldr (= me)], the breaker of the land of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn] who has a land farther south to rule over. That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr <god> of the clashing storm of shields [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Haraldr] must be vastly more true to his word and more outstanding; lord, you are bold in the north.

notes and context

Haraldr, responding to a challenge from King Sveinn of Denmark, brings his fleet to the Götaälv (Elfr) but learns that Sveinn is still south in Jylland (or Sjælland, H-Hr). He initiates a st. (Hharð Lv 5/1) and the rest is completed by Þjóðólfr (ll. 2-7).

This campaign took place c. two years after the events described in Lv 2; for other relevant poetry see Þfagr Sveinn 2-9, Stúfr Stúfdr 6 and Anon (HSig) 2. — [1]: The first l. is attributed to King Haraldr in the prose sources: see Context. — [2]: The two compounds brynþings ‘of the byrnie-assembly [BATTLE]’ and fetilstinga ‘of sword-belt stabbers [SWORDS]’ clearly provide the determinant(s) to the warrior-kennings of which nom. sg. Baldr and dat. sg. Baldri in l. 1 are the base-words. The question is, whether brynþings fetilstinga belong together or not, and there is no way to arbitrate certainly between the possibilities. (a) The two compounds are assumed here to qualify one ‘Baldr’ each: Baldr brynþings ‘the Baldr of the byrnie-assembly’ and Baldri fetilstinga ‘the Baldr of sword-belt stabbers’, yielding two warrior-kennings (so Skj B and Gade). (b) Kock in NN §253 and §1079D, citing parallels in Gsindr Hákdr 6I, Tindr Lv 1V and Bjhit Lv 19V, argues for brynþings fetilstinga ‘of the sword’s mighty assembly’ (svärdens häftiga mötes), with bryn- related to bruna/bryna ‘rush’. This is in his view a unitary phrase, a single determinant which Baldr and Baldr share, reinforcing the sense of ‘the one warrior and the other’.

readings

sources

Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson, 4. Lausavísur 12: AI, 379-80, BI, 349-50, Skald I, 176, NN §§253, 870, 1079D; Fsk 1902-3, 256 (ch. 46), ÍF 29, 256 (ch. 55); Mork 1928-32, 162, Andersson and Gade 2000, 199, 476 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 339 (MH); Fms 6, 257-8 (HSig ch. 51), Fms 12, 151.

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