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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

Logit ‘broken faith’

ljúga (verb): lie

Close

Baldr ‘The Baldr’

Baldr (noun m.): [Baldr, Baldur]

kennings

[Baldr] brynþings
‘[The Baldr] of the byrnie-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR = Sveinn

the byrnie-assembly → BATTLE
[The Baldr] of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Sveinn
Close

Baldri ‘the Baldr’

Baldr (noun m.): [Baldr, Baldur]

kennings

Baldri] fetilstinga,
‘the Baldr] of sword-belt stabbers, ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

sword-belt stabbers, → SWORDS
the Baldr] of SWORDS → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

bryn ‘of the byrnie’

1. brynja (noun f.; °-u (dat. brynnoni Gibb 38⁹); -ur): mailcoat < brynþing (noun n.): byrnie-assembly

kennings

[Baldr] brynþings
‘[The Baldr] of the byrnie-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR = Sveinn

the byrnie-assembly → BATTLE
[The Baldr] of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Sveinn
Close

bryn ‘of the byrnie’

1. brynja (noun f.; °-u (dat. brynnoni Gibb 38⁹); -ur): mailcoat < brynþing (noun n.): byrnie-assembly

kennings

[Baldr] brynþings
‘[The Baldr] of the byrnie-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR = Sveinn

the byrnie-assembly → BATTLE
[The Baldr] of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Sveinn
Close

þings ‘assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly < brynþing (noun n.): byrnie-assembly

[2] ‑þings: ‑þing Mork, H, Hr

kennings

[Baldr] brynþings
‘[The Baldr] of the byrnie-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR = Sveinn

the byrnie-assembly → BATTLE
[The Baldr] of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Sveinn
Close

þings ‘assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly < brynþing (noun n.): byrnie-assembly

[2] ‑þings: ‑þing Mork, H, Hr

kennings

[Baldr] brynþings
‘[The Baldr] of the byrnie-assembly ’
   = WARRIOR = Sveinn

the byrnie-assembly → BATTLE
[The Baldr] of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Sveinn
Close

fetil ‘of sword-belt’

fetill (noun m.; °dat. fatli/fetli; fetlar): strap, sword-belt < fetilstingr (noun m.): sword-belt stabbers

kennings

Baldri] fetilstinga,
‘the Baldr] of sword-belt stabbers, ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

sword-belt stabbers, → SWORDS
the Baldr] of SWORDS → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

fetil ‘of sword-belt’

fetill (noun m.; °dat. fatli/fetli; fetlar): strap, sword-belt < fetilstingr (noun m.): sword-belt stabbers

kennings

Baldri] fetilstinga,
‘the Baldr] of sword-belt stabbers, ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

sword-belt stabbers, → SWORDS
the Baldr] of SWORDS → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

stinga ‘stabbers’

stingr (noun m.; °; -ir): rod < fetilstingr (noun m.): sword-belt stabbers

kennings

Baldri] fetilstinga,
‘the Baldr] of sword-belt stabbers, ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

sword-belt stabbers, → SWORDS
the Baldr] of SWORDS → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

stinga ‘stabbers’

stingr (noun m.; °; -ir): rod < fetilstingr (noun m.): sword-belt stabbers

kennings

Baldri] fetilstinga,
‘the Baldr] of sword-belt stabbers, ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

sword-belt stabbers, → SWORDS
the Baldr] of SWORDS → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

linns ‘of the snake’

linnr (noun m.): snake

[3] linns: so all others, ‘liuz’ FskBˣ

kennings

linns láðbrjótr,
‘snake’s land-breaker’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

the land of the snake → GOLD
the breaker of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

notes

[3-4] linns láðbrjótr ‘the breaker of the land of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: This kenning is taken here, as by most eds, in apposition with the warrior-kenning built around Baldr. The main alternative, taken up in Fms 12, would be to read it as an apostrophe, presumably addressed to Haraldr.

Close

linns ‘of the snake’

linnr (noun m.): snake

[3] linns: so all others, ‘liuz’ FskBˣ

kennings

linns láðbrjótr,
‘snake’s land-breaker’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

the land of the snake → GOLD
the breaker of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

notes

[3-4] linns láðbrjótr ‘the breaker of the land of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: This kenning is taken here, as by most eds, in apposition with the warrior-kenning built around Baldr. The main alternative, taken up in Fms 12, would be to read it as an apostrophe, presumably addressed to Haraldr.

Close

sás ‘who’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

notes

[3, 4] sás á land … ráða fyrir ‘who has a land … to rule over’: Á is 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, have to’, which in the latter sense takes an inf. with (or as here) without at (see LP: eiga 8).

Close

land ‘a land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

notes

[3, 4] sás á land … ráða fyrir ‘who has a land … to rule over’: Á is 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, have to’, which in the latter sense takes an inf. with (or as here) without at (see LP: eiga 8).

Close

á ‘has’

2. eiga (verb; °á/eigr (præs. pl. 3. pers. eigu/eiga); átti, áttu; átt): own, have

notes

[3, 4] sás á land … ráða fyrir ‘who has a land … to rule over’: Á is 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, have to’, which in the latter sense takes an inf. with (or as here) without at (see LP: eiga 8).

Close

sunnar ‘farther south’

sunnar (adv.): further south

Close

láð ‘of the land’

2. láð (noun n.): earth, land < láðbrjótr (noun m.)

kennings

linns láðbrjótr,
‘snake’s land-breaker’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

the land of the snake → GOLD
the breaker of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

notes

[3-4] linns láðbrjótr ‘the breaker of the land of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: This kenning is taken here, as by most eds, in apposition with the warrior-kenning built around Baldr. The main alternative, taken up in Fms 12, would be to read it as an apostrophe, presumably addressed to Haraldr.

Close

láð ‘of the land’

2. láð (noun n.): earth, land < láðbrjótr (noun m.)

kennings

linns láðbrjótr,
‘snake’s land-breaker’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

the land of the snake → GOLD
the breaker of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

notes

[3-4] linns láðbrjótr ‘the breaker of the land of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: This kenning is taken here, as by most eds, in apposition with the warrior-kenning built around Baldr. The main alternative, taken up in Fms 12, would be to read it as an apostrophe, presumably addressed to Haraldr.

Close

brjótr ‘the breaker’

brjótr (noun m.): breaker < láðbrjótr (noun m.)

kennings

linns láðbrjótr,
‘snake’s land-breaker’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

the land of the snake → GOLD
the breaker of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn

notes

[3-4] linns láðbrjótr ‘the breaker of the land of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: This kenning is taken here, as by most eds, in apposition with the warrior-kenning built around Baldr. The main alternative, taken up in Fms 12, would be to read it as an apostrophe, presumably addressed to Haraldr.

Close

fyrir ‘over’

fyrir (prep.): for, before, because of

notes

[3, 4] sás á land … ráða fyrir ‘who has a land … to rule over’: Á is 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, have to’, which in the latter sense takes an inf. with (or as here) without at (see LP: eiga 8).

Close

ráða ‘to rule’

ráða (verb): advise, rule, interpret, decide

notes

[3, 4] sás á land … ráða fyrir ‘who has a land … to rule over’: Á is 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, have to’, which in the latter sense takes an inf. with (or as here) without at (see LP: eiga 8).

Close

Sjá ‘That’

1. sjá (pron.; °gen. þessa dat. þessum/þeima, acc. þenna; f. sjá/þessi; n. þetta, dat. þessu/þvísa; pl. þessir): this

[5] Sjá mun (‘sia man’): ‘sia munn’ FskAˣ, þó er sjá Mork, Flat, þá er sjá H, Hr

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr

notes

[5] sjá ... mun ‘that, ... must be’: The Fsk readings point to sjá mun, which gives good sense, and is adopted here since FskBˣ is the main ms. for this st. The variant Þós sjá ‘And yet that’ (Mork, Flat) is also viable (and is adopted in Skj B and Skald) as is Þás sjá ‘Then that’ (H, Hr).

Close

mun ‘must be’

munu (verb): will, must

[5] Sjá mun (‘sia man’): ‘sia munn’ FskAˣ, þó er sjá Mork, Flat, þá er sjá H, Hr

notes

[5] sjá ... mun ‘that, ... must be’: The Fsk readings point to sjá mun, which gives good sense, and is adopted here since FskBˣ is the main ms. for this st. The variant Þós sjá ‘And yet that’ (Mork, Flat) is also viable (and is adopted in Skj B and Skald) as is Þás sjá ‘Then that’ (H, Hr).

Close

Njǫrðr ‘Njǫrðr’

Njǫrðr (noun m.): Njǫrðr

[5] Njǫrðr: so all others, Njǫrð FskBˣ

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

inn ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

[5] inn: er H, ‘vr’ Hr

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

nørðri ‘more northerly’

nyrðri (adj. comp.; °superl. nyrztr): farther north

[5] nørðri: ‘nerdre’ Flat

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

norðr ‘in the north’

2. norðr (adv.): north

notes

[6] norðr ‘in the north’: This could technically be an adj. ‘northern’ or adv. ‘in/towards the north’, and could qualify either the warrior-kenning Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða ‘Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields’ (ll. 5-6), or gramr ‘lord’ (l. 7). Since the warrior is already described as inn nørðri ‘the one further north’ (l. 5) it must refer to the gramr ‘lord’ (l. 7), and since this lord is addressed with the 2nd pers. sg. est ‘you are’ it is presumably Haraldr. Otherwise it might have been tempting to take (frœkn) norðr as ‘bold [if you go] north’, a jibe at Sveinn matching the point in the first helmingr that his rightful territory is farther south.

Close

glymhríðar ‘of the clashing storm’

glymhríð (noun f.): [clashing storm]

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

glymhríðar ‘of the clashing storm’

glymhríð (noun f.): [clashing storm]

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

borða ‘of shields’

borð (noun n.; °-s; -): side, plank, board; table

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

borða ‘of shields’

borð (noun n.; °-s; -): side, plank, board; table

kennings

Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða
‘That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields ’
   = WARRIOR = Haraldr

the clashing storm of shields → BATTLE
That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr of the BATTLE → WARRIOR = Haraldr
Close

frœkn ‘bold’

frœkn (adj.): brave, bold

[7] frœkn ok: flestum FskAˣ

Close

ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[7] frœkn ok: flestum FskAˣ

Close

málari ‘to his word’

máll (adj.): beloved, prattling < fastmáll (adj.)

[8] ‑málari: ‘‑mælare’ Flat

Close

hôla ‘vastly’

hála (adv.): vastly

[8] hôla (‘hala’): halla Flat

notes

[8] hôla ‘vastly’: The adv. is assumed here to modify fastmálari ok fremri ‘more true to your word and more outstanding’ (ll. 7-8). It is instead taken with frœkn ‘bold’ (l. 7) in Skj B, but this entails an awkward w. o., to which Kock objected in NN §870.

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

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’.

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