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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hryn 7II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 7’ 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. 191-2.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHrynhenda, Magnússdrápa

Ungan frák þik, eyðir, þrøngva,
ulfa gráðar, þeira ráði;
skildir stǫkk með skœðan þokka
skeiðar brands fyr þér ór landi.

{{Eyðir gráðar} ulfa}, frák þik ungan þrøngva ráði þeira; {skildir brands skeiðar} stǫkk fyr þér með skœðan þokka ór landi.

{{Queller of the greed} [FEEDER] of wolves} [WARRIOR] I have heard that you, when young, constrained their course; {the shield-provider of the warship’s prow} [SEA-WARRIOR = Sveinn Álfífuson] bolted before you, with baleful thought, from the land.

Mss: Holm2(73r), 325VI(41ra), 73aˣ(213r), Holm4(68va), 325VII(41r), 325V(88ra), 61(129va), Bb(205ra), Tóm(160r) (ÓH); Hr(3vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] Ungan: Undan 325VII, 325V, 61, Tóm, Ungr Hr;    frák (‘fra ec’): frá ek ok Tóm;    þik: þér 325VII, om. Hr;    eyðir: ǫðlingr Hr    [2] gráðar: gráðr af 61, gráðr Hr    [3] skildir: skjǫldungr 325VII, 325V, 61, Tóm, Hr;    stǫkk: so 325VI, Holm4, 325VII, 325V, 61, Bb, Hr, ‘scǫck’ Holm2, ‘þo᷎ck’ 73aˣ, stóð Tóm

Editions: Skj AI, 334, Skj BI, 307-8, Skald I, 156; ÓH 1941, I, 615 (ch. 252); Fms 6, 24 (Mgóð ch. 11), Fms 12, 127; Whaley 1998, 157-8.

Context: As for st. 6.

Notes: [All]: In both sources sts 6/1-4 and 7 form a single st. — [1, 2] eyðir gráðar ulfa ‘queller of the greed [FEEDER] of wolves [WARRIOR]’: The image of a warrior feeding or gladdening the beasts of battle by providing them with the corpses of his enemies is commonplace, but structurally this is a rare sub-type of kenning in which eyðir gráðar ‘queller of the greed or hunger’ clearly functions in the same way as agent nouns such as the simplex fœðir ‘feeder’ or teitir ‘gladdener’ elsewhere (Meissner 310). Whether eyðir gráðar should itself be regarded as a kenning, as assumed here, is less certain, since a kenning that is a base-word, and that requires an object (here the wolves), is highly unusual. For a detailed discussion of kennings of this type, see General Introduction, SkP I. — [3] skildir ‘the shield-provider’: (a) Skildir is an agent noun from skilda ‘furnish with shields’, which is attested in ÞjóðA Sex, 14/3, 4 skilda ... hǫmlur ‘set shields at the rowing-positions’ and in Arnórr’s á skildan við ‘onto a shield-hung bark’ (Magndr 19/2). The skildir brands skeiðar ‘shield-provider of the warship’s prow’ is the usurper Sveinn Álfífuson, illegitimate son of Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great). (b) The variant reading skjǫldungr is unacceptable since it leaves skeiðar brands without function in the syntax. — [3] með skœðan þokka ‘with baleful thought’: This phrase may refer generally to Sveinn’s hostility towards Magnús, who has caused his flight from Norway, or it may be a more specific allusion to his plan to launch an expedition of revenge against the treacherous Norwegians, reported in some saga accounts (ÍF 29, 209-10; Fms 6, 25; Flat 1860-8, III, 263-4).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  5. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  9. SkP I = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Ed. Diana Whaley. 2012.
  10. Internal references
  11. Diana Whaley 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja’ 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. 108-47.
  12. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 19’ 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, p. 229.

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