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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Gyð 3VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Gyðingsvísur 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 519-20.

Anonymous PoemsGyðingsvísur
234

þeim ‘for those’

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

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
Close

þurfa ‘poor’

1. þurfa (adj.): [poor]

[1] þurfa: ‘þu[...]’ B, ‘þur[...]’ 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ

notes

[1] þurfa ‘poor, needy’: B is badly worn. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note to 444ˣ transcript) suggested reconstruction to þurfa, which has been adopted by all subsequent eds.

Close

þing ‘of the assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly < þingnórungr (noun m.)

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2] þingnárungum (dat. pl.) ‘assembly-beings [WARRIORS]’: The significance of the second element in this cpd is not clear. Nárungar is usually, as here, a bound morpheme occurring as part of a straightforward man-heiti (such as beitnrungar ‘ship-beings’ in Ník Kristdr 1/2III) or as the base-word of man-kennings (like élnrungar hlífar gims ‘storm-beings of the shelter of the gem’ in Anon (Stu) 21/6-7IV). The free-standing form occurs only in a variant reading in Skm in W, which reads kallaðir erv menn niorðungar ędr narvngar ‘men are called njorðungar or nárungar’ (SnE 1848-87, II, 497; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 105; LP: nrungar). The suffix –ungar usually indicates descent from some mythical or heroic being, as, e.g., with the Skjǫldungar or the Vǫlsungar. SnE provides two possibilities for the progenitor of the Nárungar. The first of these is Loki’s son Narfi, whom Gylf twice refers to as ‘Nari’ (SnE 1982, 27, 49). The prose continuation of Lokasenna suggests that Nari and Narfi were distinct characters: Nari is said to have been killed and his entrails used as fetters for Loki, while his brother Narfi is turned into a wolf. Snorri’s account of the binding of Loki (SnE 1982, 49/7-9) attempts to resolve this by conflating Nari and Narfi and introducing a second son, Váli. The other possible candidate is Nár, included in a list of dwarf-names in Gylf (SnE 1982, 16). Neither of these derivations is entirely persuasive.

Close

þing ‘of the assembly’

þing (noun n.; °-s; -): meeting, assembly < þingnórungr (noun m.)

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2] þingnárungum (dat. pl.) ‘assembly-beings [WARRIORS]’: The significance of the second element in this cpd is not clear. Nárungar is usually, as here, a bound morpheme occurring as part of a straightforward man-heiti (such as beitnrungar ‘ship-beings’ in Ník Kristdr 1/2III) or as the base-word of man-kennings (like élnrungar hlífar gims ‘storm-beings of the shelter of the gem’ in Anon (Stu) 21/6-7IV). The free-standing form occurs only in a variant reading in Skm in W, which reads kallaðir erv menn niorðungar ędr narvngar ‘men are called njorðungar or nárungar’ (SnE 1848-87, II, 497; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 105; LP: nrungar). The suffix –ungar usually indicates descent from some mythical or heroic being, as, e.g., with the Skjǫldungar or the Vǫlsungar. SnE provides two possibilities for the progenitor of the Nárungar. The first of these is Loki’s son Narfi, whom Gylf twice refers to as ‘Nari’ (SnE 1982, 27, 49). The prose continuation of Lokasenna suggests that Nari and Narfi were distinct characters: Nari is said to have been killed and his entrails used as fetters for Loki, while his brother Narfi is turned into a wolf. Snorri’s account of the binding of Loki (SnE 1982, 49/7-9) attempts to resolve this by conflating Nari and Narfi and introducing a second son, Váli. The other possible candidate is Nár, included in a list of dwarf-names in Gylf (SnE 1982, 16). Neither of these derivations is entirely persuasive.

Close

nárungum ‘beings’

nárungr (noun m.; °; -ar): being, possessor < þingnórungr (noun m.)

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[2] þingnárungum (dat. pl.) ‘assembly-beings [WARRIORS]’: The significance of the second element in this cpd is not clear. Nárungar is usually, as here, a bound morpheme occurring as part of a straightforward man-heiti (such as beitnrungar ‘ship-beings’ in Ník Kristdr 1/2III) or as the base-word of man-kennings (like élnrungar hlífar gims ‘storm-beings of the shelter of the gem’ in Anon (Stu) 21/6-7IV). The free-standing form occurs only in a variant reading in Skm in W, which reads kallaðir erv menn niorðungar ędr narvngar ‘men are called njorðungar or nárungar’ (SnE 1848-87, II, 497; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 105; LP: nrungar). The suffix –ungar usually indicates descent from some mythical or heroic being, as, e.g., with the Skjǫldungar or the Vǫlsungar. SnE provides two possibilities for the progenitor of the Nárungar. The first of these is Loki’s son Narfi, whom Gylf twice refers to as ‘Nari’ (SnE 1982, 27, 49). The prose continuation of Lokasenna suggests that Nari and Narfi were distinct characters: Nari is said to have been killed and his entrails used as fetters for Loki, while his brother Narfi is turned into a wolf. Snorri’s account of the binding of Loki (SnE 1982, 49/7-9) attempts to resolve this by conflating Nari and Narfi and introducing a second son, Váli. The other possible candidate is Nár, included in a list of dwarf-names in Gylf (SnE 1982, 16). Neither of these derivations is entirely persuasive.

Close

branda ‘of swords’

brandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sword, prow; fire

kennings

Rjóðr branda
‘The reddener of swords ’
   = WARRIOR

The reddener of swords → WARRIOR

notes

[3] rjóðr branda ‘reddener of swords’: The identical man-kenning occurs in Ótt Hfl 17/2I.

Close

rjóðr ‘The reddener’

1. rjóðr (noun m.): reddener

kennings

Rjóðr branda
‘The reddener of swords ’
   = WARRIOR

The reddener of swords → WARRIOR

notes

[3] rjóðr branda ‘reddener of swords’: The identical man-kenning occurs in Ótt Hfl 17/2I.

Close

bryn ‘of the mailcoat’

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

[4] brynflagð*a: ‘[...](ni)agdra’(?) B, ‘[...]ynlagdra’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(br)yn(la)gdra’ BRydberg, ‘[...]týn[...]agdna’ BFJ

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[4] brynflagð*a ‘of the mailcoat-trolls’: B is very badly worn, and none of the previous transcribers were able to read the word in full. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction to brynflagðra, made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript, cannot be correct on grammatical grounds. The second <r> must be removed to give the gen. pl. of the n. noun flagð ‘troll woman, female monster’. Axes were traditionally referred to in skaldic verse using base-words for troll women.

Close

bryn ‘of the mailcoat’

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

[4] brynflagð*a: ‘[...](ni)agdra’(?) B, ‘[...]ynlagdra’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(br)yn(la)gdra’ BRydberg, ‘[...]týn[...]agdna’ BFJ

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[4] brynflagð*a ‘of the mailcoat-trolls’: B is very badly worn, and none of the previous transcribers were able to read the word in full. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction to brynflagðra, made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript, cannot be correct on grammatical grounds. The second <r> must be removed to give the gen. pl. of the n. noun flagð ‘troll woman, female monster’. Axes were traditionally referred to in skaldic verse using base-words for troll women.

Close

bryn ‘of the mailcoat’

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

[4] brynflagð*a: ‘[...](ni)agdra’(?) B, ‘[...]ynlagdra’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(br)yn(la)gdra’ BRydberg, ‘[...]týn[...]agdna’ BFJ

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[4] brynflagð*a ‘of the mailcoat-trolls’: B is very badly worn, and none of the previous transcribers were able to read the word in full. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction to brynflagðra, made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript, cannot be correct on grammatical grounds. The second <r> must be removed to give the gen. pl. of the n. noun flagð ‘troll woman, female monster’. Axes were traditionally referred to in skaldic verse using base-words for troll women.

Close

flagð*a ‘of the trolls’

flagð (noun n.): troll-woman < brynflagð (noun n.)

[4] brynflagð*a: ‘[...](ni)agdra’(?) B, ‘[...]ynlagdra’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(br)yn(la)gdra’ BRydberg, ‘[...]týn[...]agdna’ BFJ

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[4] brynflagð*a ‘of the mailcoat-trolls’: B is very badly worn, and none of the previous transcribers were able to read the word in full. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction to brynflagðra, made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript, cannot be correct on grammatical grounds. The second <r> must be removed to give the gen. pl. of the n. noun flagð ‘troll woman, female monster’. Axes were traditionally referred to in skaldic verse using base-words for troll women.

Close

flagð*a ‘of the trolls’

flagð (noun n.): troll-woman < brynflagð (noun n.)

[4] brynflagð*a: ‘[...](ni)agdra’(?) B, ‘[...]ynlagdra’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(br)yn(la)gdra’ BRydberg, ‘[...]týn[...]agdna’ BFJ

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[4] brynflagð*a ‘of the mailcoat-trolls’: B is very badly worn, and none of the previous transcribers were able to read the word in full. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction to brynflagðra, made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript, cannot be correct on grammatical grounds. The second <r> must be removed to give the gen. pl. of the n. noun flagð ‘troll woman, female monster’. Axes were traditionally referred to in skaldic verse using base-words for troll women.

Close

flagð*a ‘of the trolls’

flagð (noun n.): troll-woman < brynflagð (noun n.)

[4] brynflagð*a: ‘[...](ni)agdra’(?) B, ‘[...]ynlagdra’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(br)yn(la)gdra’ BRydberg, ‘[...]týn[...]agdna’ BFJ

kennings

þeim brynflagð*a þingnárungum,
‘assembly-beings of the mailcoat-trolls’
   = WARRIORS

the trolls of the mailcoat → AXES
the assembly of AXES → BATTLE
for those beings of the BATTLE → WARRIORS

notes

[4] brynflagð*a ‘of the mailcoat-trolls’: B is very badly worn, and none of the previous transcribers were able to read the word in full. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction to brynflagðra, made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript, cannot be correct on grammatical grounds. The second <r> must be removed to give the gen. pl. of the n. noun flagð ‘troll woman, female monster’. Axes were traditionally referred to in skaldic verse using base-words for troll women.

Close

strand ‘of shore’

strǫnd (noun f.; °strandar, dat. -u/-; strandir/strendr): beach, shore < strandlogi (noun m.)

[5] strandloga: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘str[...]loga’ B, ‘stra[...]loga’ BFJ

kennings

Stökkvir strandloga
‘The flinger of shore-flame ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

shore-flame → GOLD
The flinger of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN
Close

strand ‘of shore’

strǫnd (noun f.; °strandar, dat. -u/-; strandir/strendr): beach, shore < strandlogi (noun m.)

[5] strandloga: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘str[...]loga’ B, ‘stra[...]loga’ BFJ

kennings

Stökkvir strandloga
‘The flinger of shore-flame ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

shore-flame → GOLD
The flinger of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN
Close

loga ‘flame’

logi (noun m.; °-a; -ar): flame < strandlogi (noun m.)

[5] strandloga: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘str[...]loga’ B, ‘stra[...]loga’ BFJ

kennings

Stökkvir strandloga
‘The flinger of shore-flame ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

shore-flame → GOLD
The flinger of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN
Close

loga ‘flame’

logi (noun m.; °-a; -ar): flame < strandlogi (noun m.)

[5] strandloga: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘str[...]loga’ B, ‘stra[...]loga’ BFJ

kennings

Stökkvir strandloga
‘The flinger of shore-flame ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

shore-flame → GOLD
The flinger of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN
Close

stökkvir ‘The flinger’

støkkvir (noun m.): dispenser, flinger

kennings

Stökkvir strandloga
‘The flinger of shore-flame ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

shore-flame → GOLD
The flinger of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN
Close

stíg ‘of the path’

1. stígr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ar/-ir, acc. -a/-u): path < stígverjandi (noun m.)

kennings

hverjum fráns stígverjanda
‘snake’s path-defender’
   = MAN

the path of the snake → GOLD
every defender of the GOLD → MAN
Close

stíg ‘of the path’

1. stígr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ar/-ir, acc. -a/-u): path < stígverjandi (noun m.)

kennings

hverjum fráns stígverjanda
‘snake’s path-defender’
   = MAN

the path of the snake → GOLD
every defender of the GOLD → MAN
Close

verjanda ‘defender’

verjandi (noun m.; °-a; -andr/-undr): defender < stígverjandi (noun m.)

kennings

hverjum fráns stígverjanda
‘snake’s path-defender’
   = MAN

the path of the snake → GOLD
every defender of the GOLD → MAN
Close

hverjum ‘every’

2. hverr (pron.): who, whom, each, every

kennings

hverjum fráns stígverjanda
‘snake’s path-defender’
   = MAN

the path of the snake → GOLD
every defender of the GOLD → MAN
Close

fráns ‘of the snake’

1. fránn (noun m.): snake(?)

[7] fráns: ‘fr[...]ns’ B, fróns 399a‑bˣ, fráns BRydberg, BFJ

kennings

hverjum fráns stígverjanda
‘snake’s path-defender’
   = MAN

the path of the snake → GOLD
every defender of the GOLD → MAN
Close

fráns ‘of the snake’

1. fránn (noun m.): snake(?)

[7] fráns: ‘fr[...]ns’ B, fróns 399a‑bˣ, fráns BRydberg, BFJ

kennings

hverjum fráns stígverjanda
‘snake’s path-defender’
   = MAN

the path of the snake → GOLD
every defender of the GOLD → MAN
Close

fjár ‘wealth’

fé (noun n.; °fjár/féar; -): cattle, money < fjárhlutr (noun m.)

[7] fjárhlut: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘fia[...]ut’ B, ‘fiar[...]lut’ BFJ

Close

hlut ‘’

hlutr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ir, acc. -i/-u): part, thing < fjárhlutr (noun m.)

[7] fjárhlut: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘fia[...]ut’ B, ‘fiar[...]lut’ BFJ

Close

hendr ‘hands’

hǫnd (noun f.; °handar, dat. hendi; hendr (hendir StatPáll³ 752¹²)): hand

[8] hendr: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘h[...]dr’ B

Close

meðan ‘while’

meðan (conj.): while

Close

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

[1-4]: In l. 1 the second word is difficult to read in B, but Finnur Jónsson’s ‘er’ (Skj A) is almost certainly right; he noted there that 399a-bˣ’s suggested firi must be incorrect, and similarly Rydberg’s vid. Attwood 1996a, 116 has til. Rydberg (1907, 59) reads the word as við and takes hvarf to be 3rd pers. sg. pret. of hverfa ‘to turn’. He arranges rjóðr branda hvarf við þeim þingnárum brynflagðra í bráðar nauðsynjar ‘the reddener of swords turned to the assembly-beings of mailcoat-trolls in cases of sudden need’. Although this interpretation is grammatically possible, it is rather unlikely in context. Assuming the rjóðr branda of l. 3 to be identified with sá er kunni veita fírum unnleyg* in 2/1-2 and with the person whose generosity is eulogised in 3/5-8 and st. 4, it is difficult to understand why he should approach other men for financial help in 3/1-4. This edn follows Skj B in taking hvarf as the nom. sg. of n. hvarf ‘shelter, refuge, support, help’ (cf. Fritzner: hvarf 2), which fits rather better with the second helmingr and with the situation of other people’s dependency on the rich man established in st. 2 and confirmed in st. 4. There appear to be two possible interpretations of the remaining phrase er váru þurfa (ll. 1-2). This edn follows Finnur Jónsson in taking váru as 3rd pers. pl. pret. of vera ‘to be’, construed with brynflagða þingnárungar (see Note below). Þurfa (l. 1) is taken to be the corresponding form of the adj. þurfi meaning ‘needy’. This interpretation is corroborated by a parallel use of the adj. in the ONorw. Bjarkö-ret: Fylkisprestr eðr annarr í stað hans skal heima vera ok gera mönnum reiðu ef þurfa eru ‘The district priest or another in his stead must remain at home and provide assistance for people if they are needy’ (NGL I, 315; CVC; Fritzner: þurfi.).

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