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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magn 14II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi 14’ 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. 102-3.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonStanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi
1314

Ek ‘I’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

[1] Ek hef ekki (‘Ec hefi ecki’): Ekki hefik H, Hr

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hef ‘have’

hafa (verb): have

[1] Ek hef ekki (‘Ec hefi ecki’): Ekki hefik H, Hr;    hef (‘hefi’): ‘hofr’ 39, F

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ekki ‘nothing’

2. ekki (adv.): not

[1] Ek hef ekki (‘Ec hefi ecki’): Ekki hefik H, Hr

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annars ‘other’

1. annarr (pron.; °f. ǫnnur, n. annat; pl. aðrir): (an)other, second

[2] annars nema: so 39, F, E, J2ˣ, ‘anners nema’ Kˣ, ‘annat en’ H, ‘annat enn’ Hr

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nema ‘than’

2. nema (conj.): unless

[2] annars nema: so 39, F, E, J2ˣ, ‘anners nema’ Kˣ, ‘annat en’ H, ‘annat enn’ Hr

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sýgk ‘I suck’

súga (verb): [I suck, sucked]

[3] sýgk (‘syg ec’): ‘sykr’ Hr

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sǫltum ‘the salt’

saltr (adj.): [salt, salty]

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Liggr ‘lies’

liggja (verb): lie

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en ‘but’

2. en (conj.): but, and

notes

[5-6] en uggum alllítt Svía, kǫllum ‘but we fear the Swedes very little, I [lit. we] declare’: (a) The sense of the first four words is clearly that the speaker has little (or rather, by typical litotes, no) fear of the Swedes, but kǫllum is problematic. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 28), followed by Hkr 1991, 597, takes kǫllum as a separate asseveration, ‘as we declare’ (at því er vér köllum). Though attractively simple, the assumption of a verb kǫllum without a stated object is slightly problematic, and is adopted here with some reservation. As to the understood subject of kǫllum, the 1st pers. expressions in the first helmingr encourage the supposition that, as often, the pl. has sg. meaning here, hence ‘I declare’, and other plurals in the helmingr (oss ‘us’, uggum ‘we fear’ in l. 5, hǫfum ‘we have’ in l. 7) could refer to the skald either alone or with his companions. (b) The mss’ text could also be retained if kǫllum was taken as dat. pl. of kall n. ‘call, shout’, hence ‘I fear the shouting of the Swedes very little’, but ugga takes an acc. object, not a dat. one. (c) A more drastic solution is to emend uggum to ugga and kǫllum to kǫllumk, giving ‘I declare that I/we fear the Swedes very little (Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B, also Kock in Skald). This assumes a mistaken scribal ‘correction’ of inf. ugga to finite uggum, which would not be unlikely. (d) The H-Hr reading kǫrlum, dat. pl. of karl ‘man, (old) fellow’ is clearly secondary to kǫllum: a back-spelling that must have arisen at a time (after c. 1300) when [rl] had assimilated to [ll], and the stemma shows it to be secondary.

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uggum ‘we fear’

ugga (verb): to fear, suspect

[5] uggum: yggum J2ˣ

notes

[5-6] en uggum alllítt Svía, kǫllum ‘but we fear the Swedes very little, I [lit. we] declare’: (a) The sense of the first four words is clearly that the speaker has little (or rather, by typical litotes, no) fear of the Swedes, but kǫllum is problematic. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 28), followed by Hkr 1991, 597, takes kǫllum as a separate asseveration, ‘as we declare’ (at því er vér köllum). Though attractively simple, the assumption of a verb kǫllum without a stated object is slightly problematic, and is adopted here with some reservation. As to the understood subject of kǫllum, the 1st pers. expressions in the first helmingr encourage the supposition that, as often, the pl. has sg. meaning here, hence ‘I declare’, and other plurals in the helmingr (oss ‘us’, uggum ‘we fear’ in l. 5, hǫfum ‘we have’ in l. 7) could refer to the skald either alone or with his companions. (b) The mss’ text could also be retained if kǫllum was taken as dat. pl. of kall n. ‘call, shout’, hence ‘I fear the shouting of the Swedes very little’, but ugga takes an acc. object, not a dat. one. (c) A more drastic solution is to emend uggum to ugga and kǫllum to kǫllumk, giving ‘I declare that I/we fear the Swedes very little (Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B, also Kock in Skald). This assumes a mistaken scribal ‘correction’ of inf. ugga to finite uggum, which would not be unlikely. (d) The H-Hr reading kǫrlum, dat. pl. of karl ‘man, (old) fellow’ is clearly secondary to kǫllum: a back-spelling that must have arisen at a time (after c. 1300) when [rl] had assimilated to [ll], and the stemma shows it to be secondary.

Close

alllítt ‘very little’

alllítt (adv.): very little

notes

[5-6] en uggum alllítt Svía, kǫllum ‘but we fear the Swedes very little, I [lit. we] declare’: (a) The sense of the first four words is clearly that the speaker has little (or rather, by typical litotes, no) fear of the Swedes, but kǫllum is problematic. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 28), followed by Hkr 1991, 597, takes kǫllum as a separate asseveration, ‘as we declare’ (at því er vér köllum). Though attractively simple, the assumption of a verb kǫllum without a stated object is slightly problematic, and is adopted here with some reservation. As to the understood subject of kǫllum, the 1st pers. expressions in the first helmingr encourage the supposition that, as often, the pl. has sg. meaning here, hence ‘I declare’, and other plurals in the helmingr (oss ‘us’, uggum ‘we fear’ in l. 5, hǫfum ‘we have’ in l. 7) could refer to the skald either alone or with his companions. (b) The mss’ text could also be retained if kǫllum was taken as dat. pl. of kall n. ‘call, shout’, hence ‘I fear the shouting of the Swedes very little’, but ugga takes an acc. object, not a dat. one. (c) A more drastic solution is to emend uggum to ugga and kǫllum to kǫllumk, giving ‘I declare that I/we fear the Swedes very little (Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B, also Kock in Skald). This assumes a mistaken scribal ‘correction’ of inf. ugga to finite uggum, which would not be unlikely. (d) The H-Hr reading kǫrlum, dat. pl. of karl ‘man, (old) fellow’ is clearly secondary to kǫllum: a back-spelling that must have arisen at a time (after c. 1300) when [rl] had assimilated to [ll], and the stemma shows it to be secondary.

Close

Svía ‘the Swedes’

Svíar (noun m.): Swedes

notes

[5-6] en uggum alllítt Svía, kǫllum ‘but we fear the Swedes very little, I [lit. we] declare’: (a) The sense of the first four words is clearly that the speaker has little (or rather, by typical litotes, no) fear of the Swedes, but kǫllum is problematic. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 28), followed by Hkr 1991, 597, takes kǫllum as a separate asseveration, ‘as we declare’ (at því er vér köllum). Though attractively simple, the assumption of a verb kǫllum without a stated object is slightly problematic, and is adopted here with some reservation. As to the understood subject of kǫllum, the 1st pers. expressions in the first helmingr encourage the supposition that, as often, the pl. has sg. meaning here, hence ‘I declare’, and other plurals in the helmingr (oss ‘us’, uggum ‘we fear’ in l. 5, hǫfum ‘we have’ in l. 7) could refer to the skald either alone or with his companions. (b) The mss’ text could also be retained if kǫllum was taken as dat. pl. of kall n. ‘call, shout’, hence ‘I fear the shouting of the Swedes very little’, but ugga takes an acc. object, not a dat. one. (c) A more drastic solution is to emend uggum to ugga and kǫllum to kǫllumk, giving ‘I declare that I/we fear the Swedes very little (Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B, also Kock in Skald). This assumes a mistaken scribal ‘correction’ of inf. ugga to finite uggum, which would not be unlikely. (d) The H-Hr reading kǫrlum, dat. pl. of karl ‘man, (old) fellow’ is clearly secondary to kǫllum: a back-spelling that must have arisen at a time (after c. 1300) when [rl] had assimilated to [ll], and the stemma shows it to be secondary.

Close

kǫllum ‘I [lit. we] declare’

kalla (verb): call

[6] kǫllum: kǫrlum H, Hr

notes

[5-6] en uggum alllítt Svía, kǫllum ‘but we fear the Swedes very little, I [lit. we] declare’: (a) The sense of the first four words is clearly that the speaker has little (or rather, by typical litotes, no) fear of the Swedes, but kǫllum is problematic. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 28), followed by Hkr 1991, 597, takes kǫllum as a separate asseveration, ‘as we declare’ (at því er vér köllum). Though attractively simple, the assumption of a verb kǫllum without a stated object is slightly problematic, and is adopted here with some reservation. As to the understood subject of kǫllum, the 1st pers. expressions in the first helmingr encourage the supposition that, as often, the pl. has sg. meaning here, hence ‘I declare’, and other plurals in the helmingr (oss ‘us’, uggum ‘we fear’ in l. 5, hǫfum ‘we have’ in l. 7) could refer to the skald either alone or with his companions. (b) The mss’ text could also be retained if kǫllum was taken as dat. pl. of kall n. ‘call, shout’, hence ‘I fear the shouting of the Swedes very little’, but ugga takes an acc. object, not a dat. one. (c) A more drastic solution is to emend uggum to ugga and kǫllum to kǫllumk, giving ‘I declare that I/we fear the Swedes very little (Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B, also Kock in Skald). This assumes a mistaken scribal ‘correction’ of inf. ugga to finite uggum, which would not be unlikely. (d) The H-Hr reading kǫrlum, dat. pl. of karl ‘man, (old) fellow’ is clearly secondary to kǫllum: a back-spelling that must have arisen at a time (after c. 1300) when [rl] had assimilated to [ll], and the stemma shows it to be secondary.

Close

drýgt ‘gone through’

[7] drýgt: drjúgt 39, F, ‘drygz’ J2ˣ, ‘drykt’ H, Hr

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hǫfum ‘we have’

hafa (verb): have

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vás ‘hardship’

vás (noun n.; °-s; dat. -um): hardship

[7] vás: om. J2ˣ

notes

[7] vás ‘hardship’: Cf. Note to st. 11/7-8.

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vísa ‘the prince’s sake’

vísi (noun m.; °-a): leader

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Skán ‘of Skan’

skán (noun f.): [Skan] < Skáneyrr (noun f.)

notes

[8] Skáneyrar (gen. sg.) ‘of Skanör’: A triangular eyrr ‘isthmus, peninsula’ in the south-west of Skåne.

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eyrar ‘ör’

eyrr (noun f.): land-spit < Skáneyrr (noun f.)

[8] ‑eyrar: ‑unga F, ‑eyjar E, J2ˣ, H, Hr

notes

[8] Skáneyrar (gen. sg.) ‘of Skanör’: A triangular eyrr ‘isthmus, peninsula’ in the south-west of Skåne.

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síða ‘The broad coast’

1. síða (noun f.; °-u; -ur): side

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

As Sveinn Úlfsson flees east across Skåne (Skáney), Magnús and his troops return to their ships and hastily set off east round the coast.

The introductory words are Þá kvað Þjóðólfr (þetta) ‘Then Þjóðólfr recited (this)’ in H-Hr and all Hkr mss (except F, which has svá segir Þjóðólfr ‘so says Þjóðólfr’), a formula normally associated with lvv. extemporised in the midst of the action, though Þjóðólfr is not depicted as doing this here. On issues of reconstruction, see Introduction to ÞjóðA Magnfl.

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