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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þloft Tøgdr 5I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa 5’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 858.

Þórarinn loftungaTøgdrápa

Knôttu súðir
svangs mjǫk langar
byrrǫmm bera
brimdýr fyr Stim.
Svá liðu sunnan
svalheims valar,
at kom norðr í Nið
nýtr herflýtir.

{Byrrǫmm brimdýr} knôttu bera mjǫk langar súðir svangs fyr Stim. {Valar svalheims} liðu svá sunnan, at {nýtr herflýtir} kom norðr í Nið.

{The wind-strong surf-animals} [SHIPS] brought the very long planks of the hull past Stemmet. {The steeds of the cool world [sea]}} [SEA > SHIPS] travelled in such a way from the south, that {the capable army-speeder came north into Nidelven.

Mss: (428v) (Hkr); Holm2(57r), Bæb(2va-b), 68(56v), Holm4(54va) (ll. 1-4), 61(115vb), 325V(67va), 325VII(31r), 325XI 2 g(3rb) (ll. 1-3), Flat(118va-b), Tóm(145v-146r) (ÓH); DG8(96r) (ÓHLeg); 301ˣ(66r marg) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Knôttu: ‘Knattu⸜ð⸝’ 61, Flat, ‘K[…]ttv’ 325XI 2 g, ‘Knauttud’ Tóm;    súðir: suðr 68, 325VII    [2] svangs: svans 325XI 2 g, svang DG8;    langar: langir 68    [3] ‑rǫmm: raukn Bæb, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Tóm, 301ˣmarg, raun 68, ‘ra⸜o⸝kn’ 61, ‘rav[…]’ 325XI 2 g, ‘roknn’ Flat, ‘ronn’ DG8;    bera: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 g    [4] ‑dýr: kǫld 325VII, ‘dy’ DG8    [5] Svá liðu: ‘S[...]’ 301ˣmarg    [6] sval‑: svǫl 61, 325V, Flat, ‘saul’ Tóm;    valar: valir Bæb, 68, vǫlur 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, ‘valurr’ DG8, valur 301ˣmarg    [7] at: om. 325VII    [8] nýtr: ‘nyþr’ 301ˣmarg;    herflýtir: so Holm2, Bæb, 68, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, ‘h[…]flyter’ Kˣ, ‘hærr flyti’ DG8

Editions: Skj AI, 323-4, Skj BI, 299, Skald I, 152, NN §§2016, 3080; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 398, IV, 153, ÍF 27, 309-10 (ÓHHkr ch. 172); ÓH 1941, I, 475 (ch. 166), Flat 1860-8, II, 307; ÓHLeg 1922, 72, ÓHLeg 1982, 170-1; Fsk 1902-3, 173 n.

Context: See Context to st. 1 above.

Notes: [1] súðir ‘planks’: On this term see Jesch (2001a, 139-40). — [2] svangs ‘of the hull’: (a) Following ÍF 27, this preserves the ms. form by interpreting svangs as gen. sg. of *svangr, a strong variant of svangi, ‘(taut) belly’, and assuming that this qualifies súðir ‘planks’. The same approach is taken by CVC: svangi, which suggests ‘belly-boards’ for the phrase. (b) Skj B and Skald both emend to svǫng (n. nom. pl. adj.) ‘slim, slender’ agreeing with brimdýr ‘sea-animals [SHIPS]’. Though giving excellent sense, this has no ms. support. — [3] byrrǫmm ‘wind-strong’: A number of scribes have interpreted the second element of this cpd as raukn ‘draught animal(s)’, thus producing a kenning for ‘ships’ (cf., e.g., borðraukn ‘gunwale-animal’, sundraukn ‘inlet-animal’ in LP). Kock (Skald; NN §2016) also prefers this reading, construing byrraukn ‘wind-beasts’ in apposition to brimdýr ‘sea-animals’. — [4] Stim ‘Stemmet’: A mountain on the border between Nordmøre and Romsdalen. — [6] svalheims ‘of the cool world [sea]’: This expression for ‘sea’ is of a rare type, with an adj. rather than a noun as first element, but there are seeming parallels in ÞKolb Eirdr 4/2 glæheimr ‘the glistening world’ and later in Rv Lv 21/4II svalteigr ‘cool plot’, and the determinants of a number of sea-kennings stress aspects of coldness, in terms of ice or wind (see Meissner 93). CVC also records a noun sval n. ‘a cool breeze’, but no illustrative quotations are offered and the word is not in Fritzner or ONP. ÓHLeg 1982 suggests instead a kenning ‘swallow-world [SEA]’ with svala ‘swallow’ (the bird) as the first element, but this is unconvincing. — [6] valar ‘the steeds’: Valr, also a noun meaning ‘falcon’, occurs as the name of a legendary steed of one Vésteinn in a þula of horse-names in Anon Kálfv 2/1III; cf. also Þul Hesta 2/2III. It frequently functions as the base-word of ship-kennings on the pattern ‘horse of the sea’ (see LP: 1. valr and 2. Valr). Whether it is to be taken as a proper name or a common noun is often unclear. Meissner 211-2 takes it to be a simplex for ‘horse’, and no longer a proper name, as does ÍF 27, and this seems appropriate in the present context, where the noun is pl.  — [7] at ‘that’: This line has five syllables, rather than the usual four in tøglag. Kock (NN §3080) regards the inclusion of this element as a metrical fault, and it is accordingly omitted in Skald. — [7] Nið ‘Nidelven’: The river on which the city of Trondheim stands.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  8. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  9. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. 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.
  11. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  12. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  13. ONP = Degnbol, Helle et al., eds. 1989-. A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose / Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog. 1-. Copenhagen: The Arnamagnæan Commission.
  14. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  15. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  16. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  17. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  18. Internal references
  19. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Kálfsvísa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 666.
  21. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Hesta heiti 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 936.
  22. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 21’ 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. 599-600.
  23. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 4’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 494.

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