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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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TorfE Lv 2I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Torf-Einarr Rǫgnvaldsson, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 133.

Torf-Einarr RǫgnvaldssonLausavísur
123

sekr ‘convicted’

sekr (adj.; °-jan/-an): guilty

[1] sekr: ‘sek[…]’ 53, sénn 332ˣ, Flat, R702ˣ

notes

[1] sekr at sauðum ‘convicted for sheep’: (a) The reading sekr ‘convicted, outlawed’ in Hkr and ÓT is also adopted in Skj B and Skald, and apparently yields the sense in ll. 1-4 that while others kill sheep Torf-Einarr has killed a prince. This entails the slight difficulty that sekr at normally means ‘sentenced to’ not ‘sentenced for’ (von See 1960, 39). (b) The sense of the Orkn variant sénn at sauðum ‘seen with sheep’ is obscure, but the image could continue the contrast between Torf-Einarr as avenger and his apathetic brothers (cf. Note to Lv 1/7 sitr þetta), who here devote themselves to their appearance (fǫgru skeggi ‘handsome beard’) and to farm-work.

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at ‘for’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[1] at: so 332ˣ, Flat, R702ˣ, um Kˣ, F, 61, 54, Bb, 761bˣ, of J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ‘[…]’ 53

notes

[1] sekr at sauðum ‘convicted for sheep’: (a) The reading sekr ‘convicted, outlawed’ in Hkr and ÓT is also adopted in Skj B and Skald, and apparently yields the sense in ll. 1-4 that while others kill sheep Torf-Einarr has killed a prince. This entails the slight difficulty that sekr at normally means ‘sentenced to’ not ‘sentenced for’ (von See 1960, 39). (b) The sense of the Orkn variant sénn at sauðum ‘seen with sheep’ is obscure, but the image could continue the contrast between Torf-Einarr as avenger and his apathetic brothers (cf. Note to Lv 1/7 sitr þetta), who here devote themselves to their appearance (fǫgru skeggi ‘handsome beard’) and to farm-work.

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sauðum ‘sheep’

sauðr (noun m.; °-ar/-s dat.-/-i; -ir): sheep

[1] sauðum: so 332ˣ, Flat, R702ˣ, sauði Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, 761bˣ

notes

[1] sekr at sauðum ‘convicted for sheep’: (a) The reading sekr ‘convicted, outlawed’ in Hkr and ÓT is also adopted in Skj B and Skald, and apparently yields the sense in ll. 1-4 that while others kill sheep Torf-Einarr has killed a prince. This entails the slight difficulty that sekr at normally means ‘sentenced to’ not ‘sentenced for’ (von See 1960, 39). (b) The sense of the Orkn variant sénn at sauðum ‘seen with sheep’ is obscure, but the image could continue the contrast between Torf-Einarr as avenger and his apathetic brothers (cf. Note to Lv 1/7 sitr þetta), who here devote themselves to their appearance (fǫgru skeggi ‘handsome beard’) and to farm-work.

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seggr ‘a man’

seggr (noun m.; °; -ir): man

[2] seggr: ‘s[…]’ 53

notes

[2] seggr með fǫgru skeggi ‘a man with a handsome beard’: The intention behind this phrase is unclear. Mundal (1993, 258) interprets it as a vocative, separate from the adj. margr and apostrophising King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, but that seems forced. The reading fǫgru ‘handsome’ is to be preferred over breiðu ‘broad’, though both make sense, because it appears in mss of Orkn as well as of Hkr and ÓT; breiðu is printed in Orkn 1913-16, von See (1960) and ÍF 34.

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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

notes

[2] seggr með fǫgru skeggi ‘a man with a handsome beard’: The intention behind this phrase is unclear. Mundal (1993, 258) interprets it as a vocative, separate from the adj. margr and apostrophising King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, but that seems forced. The reading fǫgru ‘handsome’ is to be preferred over breiðu ‘broad’, though both make sense, because it appears in mss of Orkn as well as of Hkr and ÓT; breiðu is printed in Orkn 1913-16, von See (1960) and ÍF 34.

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fǫgru ‘a handsome’

fagr (adj.; °fagran; compar. fegri, superl. fegrstr): fair, beautiful

[2] fǫgru: breiðu 332ˣ, R702ˣ

notes

[2] seggr með fǫgru skeggi ‘a man with a handsome beard’: The intention behind this phrase is unclear. Mundal (1993, 258) interprets it as a vocative, separate from the adj. margr and apostrophising King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, but that seems forced. The reading fǫgru ‘handsome’ is to be preferred over breiðu ‘broad’, though both make sense, because it appears in mss of Orkn as well as of Hkr and ÓT; breiðu is printed in Orkn 1913-16, von See (1960) and ÍF 34.

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skeggi ‘beard’

skeggr (noun m.): beard

notes

[2] seggr með fǫgru skeggi ‘a man with a handsome beard’: The intention behind this phrase is unclear. Mundal (1993, 258) interprets it as a vocative, separate from the adj. margr and apostrophising King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, but that seems forced. The reading fǫgru ‘handsome’ is to be preferred over breiðu ‘broad’, though both make sense, because it appears in mss of Orkn as well as of Hkr and ÓT; breiðu is printed in Orkn 1913-16, von See (1960) and ÍF 34.

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at ‘for’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[3] at: af J1ˣ, J2ˣ

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ungs ‘of the young’

ungr (adj.): young

kennings

ungs sonar allvalds
‘of the young son of the mighty ruler ’
   = Hálfdan

the young son of the mighty ruler → Hálfdan
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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[3] í: ór 61, 54, Bb, ‘[…]’ 53, 761bˣ

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Eyjum ‘the Islands [Orkney]’

1. ey (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -ju/-; -jar): island

[3] Eyjum: ‘[…]’ 53, eyju 332ˣ, Flat

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allvalds ‘of the mighty ruler’

allvaldr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): mighty ruler

kennings

ungs sonar allvalds
‘of the young son of the mighty ruler ’
   = Hálfdan

the young son of the mighty ruler → Hálfdan
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sonar ‘son’

sonr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. syni; synir, acc. sonu, syni): son

kennings

ungs sonar allvalds
‘of the young son of the mighty ruler ’
   = Hálfdan

the young son of the mighty ruler → Hálfdan
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Hætt ‘there is danger’

hættr (adj.; °compar. -ari/-ri, superl. -astr): dangerous

notes

[5] segja mér hætt ‘say there is danger for me’: Lit. ‘say dangerous for me’; vesa ‘to be’ is understood.

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segja ‘say’

segja (verb): say, tell

notes

[5] segja mér hætt ‘say there is danger for me’: Lit. ‘say dangerous for me’; vesa ‘to be’ is understood.

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mér ‘for me’

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

notes

[5] segja mér hætt ‘say there is danger for me’: Lit. ‘say dangerous for me’; vesa ‘to be’ is understood.

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hǫlðar ‘Freeholders’

hǫlðr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): man

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stylli ‘’

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stilli ‘ruler’

stillir (noun m.): ruler

[6] stilli: stylli J2ˣ

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Haralds ‘Haraldr’s’

Haraldr (noun m.): Haraldr

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hefk ‘I have’

hafa (verb): have

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skarð ‘a notch’

skarð (noun n.; °-s; *-): [clefts, a notch]

notes

[7] skarð í skildi ‘a notch in … shield’: The recurring mentions of Haraldr in these lausavísur and the gloating emphasis on how Torf-Einarr’s actions will affect him or his family may imply that, contrary to the prose accounts, it was the king himself who instigated the death of Rǫgnvaldr (von See 1960, 37).

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[7] skarð í skildi ‘a notch in … shield’: The recurring mentions of Haraldr in these lausavísur and the gloating emphasis on how Torf-Einarr’s actions will affect him or his family may imply that, contrary to the prose accounts, it was the king himself who instigated the death of Rǫgnvaldr (von See 1960, 37).

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skildi ‘shield’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

notes

[7] skildi ‘shield’: Some eds (Orkn 1913-16; ÍF 34) emend to acc. pl. skjǫldu, presumably to obtain acc. of motion towards. — [7] skarð í skildi ‘a notch in … shield’: The recurring mentions of Haraldr in these lausavísur and the gloating emphasis on how Torf-Einarr’s actions will affect him or his family may imply that, contrary to the prose accounts, it was the king himself who instigated the death of Rǫgnvaldr (von See 1960, 37).

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skildi ‘shield’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

notes

[7] skildi ‘shield’: Some eds (Orkn 1913-16; ÍF 34) emend to acc. pl. skjǫldu, presumably to obtain acc. of motion towards. — [7] skarð í skildi ‘a notch in … shield’: The recurring mentions of Haraldr in these lausavísur and the gloating emphasis on how Torf-Einarr’s actions will affect him or his family may imply that, contrary to the prose accounts, it was the king himself who instigated the death of Rǫgnvaldr (von See 1960, 37).

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skala ‘I shall not’

skulu (verb): shall, should, must

notes

[8] skala ugga þat ‘I shall not fear that’: I.e. possible reprisals from King Haraldr; cf. the defiant Lv 5.

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hꜹguð ‘’

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ugga ‘fear’

ugga (verb): to fear, suspect

notes

[8] skala ugga þat ‘I shall not fear that’: I.e. possible reprisals from King Haraldr; cf. the defiant Lv 5.

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þat ‘that’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

[8] þat: þér 54, Bb

notes

[8] skala ugga þat ‘I shall not fear that’: I.e. possible reprisals from King Haraldr; cf. the defiant Lv 5.

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hǫggvit ‘cut’

hǫggva (verb): to strike, put to death, cut, hew

[8] hǫggvit: ‘hꜹguð’ J1ˣ

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

Orkn tells that on the day after the battle (see Context to Lv 1) Torf-Einarr’s men hunt down Hálfdan. Torf-Einarr has him put to death by the ‘blood-eagle’ ritual (see Note to Lv 3/1, 4). Orkn places Lv 2 immediately after its account of Hálfdan’s death, while Hkr instead refers it to a later occasion when, having heard of King Haraldr’s arrival in Orkney with a large force, Torf-Einarr escapes to Nes (Caithness).

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