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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 18I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 18’ 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. 1049.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar
171819

sagði ‘pronounced’

segja (verb): say, tell

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dylgju ‘of enmity’

dylgja (noun f.; °; -ur): hostility

kennings

it dýra reyr dylgju
‘the precious reed of enmity ’
   = SPEAR

the precious reed of enmity → SPEAR

notes

[3] reyr dylgju ‘the reed of enmity [SPEAR]’: Reyr ‘reed’ can also appear in sword-kennings (Meissner 152), but Meissner 145 argues for ‘spear’ since the helmingr also refers to a sword (and bow).

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reyr ‘reed’

2. reyr (noun n.): reed

kennings

it dýra reyr dylgju
‘the precious reed of enmity ’
   = SPEAR

the precious reed of enmity → SPEAR

notes

[3] reyr dylgju ‘the reed of enmity [SPEAR]’: Reyr ‘reed’ can also appear in sword-kennings (Meissner 152), but Meissner 145 argues for ‘spear’ since the helmingr also refers to a sword (and bow).

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it ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

kennings

it dýra reyr dylgju
‘the precious reed of enmity ’
   = SPEAR

the precious reed of enmity → SPEAR
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dýra ‘precious’

dýrr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -str/-astr): precious

kennings

it dýra reyr dylgju
‘the precious reed of enmity ’
   = SPEAR

the precious reed of enmity → SPEAR
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fyr ‘before’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

notes

[4] fyr hjalmi grams ‘before the lord’s helmet’: The image is rather odd. Skj B (followed in Skald) reads sagði lausan frið hjalmi ‘declared peace was over for the helmet’, which has a possible parallel in HSt Rst 16/2 friðr vasa rít at líta ‘peace was not to be seen for the shield’. However, this entails emending to fyr gram ‘before the lord’.

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grams ‘the lord’s’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

notes

[4] fyr hjalmi grams ‘before the lord’s helmet’: The image is rather odd. Skj B (followed in Skald) reads sagði lausan frið hjalmi ‘declared peace was over for the helmet’, which has a possible parallel in HSt Rst 16/2 friðr vasa rít at líta ‘peace was not to be seen for the shield’. However, this entails emending to fyr gram ‘before the lord’.

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hjalmi ‘helmet’

1. hjalmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): helmet

notes

[4] fyr hjalmi grams ‘before the lord’s helmet’: The image is rather odd. Skj B (followed in Skald) reads sagði lausan frið hjalmi ‘declared peace was over for the helmet’, which has a possible parallel in HSt Rst 16/2 friðr vasa rít at líta ‘peace was not to be seen for the shield’. However, this entails emending to fyr gram ‘before the lord’.

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Norn ‘The norn’

norn (noun f.; °; -ir): norn

kennings

Norn skjaldar
‘The norn of the shield ’
   = AXE

The norn of the shield → AXE

notes

[5, 6] norn skjaldar ‘the norn of the shield [AXE]’: This is the sole example of norn ‘fate, weird sister’ as a base-word to an axe-kenning. Usually these kennings are based on words for, or names of, giantesses or troll-women (see Meissner 148). Hfr Lv 10/4V (Hallfr 13) suggests that to a Christian convert, at least, the norns were also baleful, and so could have been a suitable equivalent for these malevolent supernatural females.

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flærð ‘deceit’

flærð (noun f.): falsehood, deceit

kennings

flærð fjǫrnis;
‘deceit of the helmet; ’
   = BATTLE

deceit of the helmet; → BATTLE

notes

[5] flærð fjǫrnis ‘deceit of the helmet [BATTLE]’: The base-word of this battle-kenning is unusual, but cf. Kári Lv 4/6V (Nj 49) malmróg ‘metal-slander’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), followed by Kock (Skald), reads norn skjaldar kom flærð at fjǫrni ‘the norn of the shield brought ruin to the helmet’, but this requires emendation of fjǫrnis to fjǫrni and an apparently unparalleled sense of flærð f., which is normally ‘deceit, falsehood, sin’.

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fjǫrnis ‘of the helmet’

fjǫrnir (noun m.): helmet

kennings

flærð fjǫrnis;
‘deceit of the helmet; ’
   = BATTLE

deceit of the helmet; → BATTLE

notes

[5] flærð fjǫrnis ‘deceit of the helmet [BATTLE]’: The base-word of this battle-kenning is unusual, but cf. Kári Lv 4/6V (Nj 49) malmróg ‘metal-slander’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), followed by Kock (Skald), reads norn skjaldar kom flærð at fjǫrni ‘the norn of the shield brought ruin to the helmet’, but this requires emendation of fjǫrnis to fjǫrni and an apparently unparalleled sense of flærð f., which is normally ‘deceit, falsehood, sin’.

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folk ‘the battle’

folk (noun n.): people < folktjald (noun n.): [battle-tent]

kennings

folktjald;
‘the battle-tent; ’
   = SHIELD

the battle-tent; → SHIELD
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tjald ‘tent’

tjald (noun n.; °-s; *-): tent, awning < folktjald (noun n.): [battle-tent]

kennings

folktjald;
‘the battle-tent; ’
   = SHIELD

the battle-tent; → SHIELD
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rufu ‘ripped’

rjúfa (verb): break

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skjaldar ‘of the shield’

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

[6] skjaldar: ‘skialldir’ Bb

kennings

Norn skjaldar
‘The norn of the shield ’
   = AXE

The norn of the shield → AXE

notes

[5, 6] norn skjaldar ‘the norn of the shield [AXE]’: This is the sole example of norn ‘fate, weird sister’ as a base-word to an axe-kenning. Usually these kennings are based on words for, or names of, giantesses or troll-women (see Meissner 148). Hfr Lv 10/4V (Hallfr 13) suggests that to a Christian convert, at least, the norns were also baleful, and so could have been a suitable equivalent for these malevolent supernatural females. — [6] skjaldar ‘of the shield’: The ms. reading appears to be a corruption of an inflected form of skjǫldr m. ‘shield’, and the context and need for aðalhending suggest gen. sg. skjaldar rather than nom. pl. skildir.

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skjaldar ‘of the shield’

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

[6] skjaldar: ‘skialldir’ Bb

kennings

Norn skjaldar
‘The norn of the shield ’
   = AXE

The norn of the shield → AXE

notes

[5, 6] norn skjaldar ‘the norn of the shield [AXE]’: This is the sole example of norn ‘fate, weird sister’ as a base-word to an axe-kenning. Usually these kennings are based on words for, or names of, giantesses or troll-women (see Meissner 148). Hfr Lv 10/4V (Hallfr 13) suggests that to a Christian convert, at least, the norns were also baleful, and so could have been a suitable equivalent for these malevolent supernatural females. — [6] skjaldar ‘of the shield’: The ms. reading appears to be a corruption of an inflected form of skjǫldr m. ‘shield’, and the context and need for aðalhending suggest gen. sg. skjaldar rather than nom. pl. skildir.

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frák ‘I have heard that’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

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snǫrpum ‘on keen’

snarpr (adj.): sharp, keen

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langbarðs ‘the edges’

langbarðr (noun m.; °; -ar): Langobard

notes

[8] langbarðs ‘of the sword’: The sword-heiti langbarðr ‘long-beard’ may be a reference to swords made in Lombardy. See further Note to Eyv Hák 7/3.

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