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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hryn 9II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 9’ 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. 193-4.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHrynhenda, Magnússdrápa
8910

Síðan vas, þats sunnr með láði
siklingr ýtti flota miklum;
skíði vas þá skriðar of auðit
skorðu; renndi Visundr norðan.
Samnask bað til hverrar hǫmlu
— hræðask menn við ættar klæði
Gjúka; þótti gǫfugt eiki
girzkum malmi — Peitu hjalma.

Síðan vas, þats siklingr ýtti miklum flota sunnr með láði; þá vas {skíði skorðu} of auðit skriðar; Visundr renndi norðan. Bað hjalma Peitu samnask til hverrar hǫmlu; menn hræðask við {klæði ættar Gjúka}; eiki þótti gǫfugt girzkum malmi.

Later it happened that the sovereign launched a great fleet south along the coast; then {the ski of the ship’s prop} [SHIP] was granted motion; Visundr (‘Bison’) charged from the north. He [Magnús] urged helmets from Poitou to rally at every rowing position; men fear {the raiment of the offspring of Gjúki <legendary king>} [ARMOUR]; the oaken vessel seemed splendid with its Russian metal.

Mss: H(5v), Hr(6vb) (H-Hr); Flat(190rb) (Flat)

Readings: [1] vas þats (‘var þat er’): vann þá Flat;    láði: landi Hr, Flat    [3] of: om. Flat    [7] Gjúka: ‘giuku’ Flat;    eiki: ‘ecke’ Flat    [8] girzkum: so Hr, ‘gorðzkvm’ H, ‘gerzskum’ Flat;    malmi: so Hr, Flat, hjalmi H;    Peitu: ‘petu’ Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 335, Skj BI, 308, Skald I, 156; Fms 6, 47 (Mgóð ch. 24), Fms 12, 131; Flat 1860-8, III, 271, Andersson and Gade 2000, 110, 468 (MH); Whaley 1998, 159-62.

Context: Stanzas 9 and 10, concerning Magnús’s voyage south, are quoted as a prelude to the legendary account of a feast in Denmark at which Hǫrðaknútr entertained Magnús, only to be himself poisoned by a draught which Álfífa, mother of Sveinn, had intended for the Norw. guest. Snorri in Hkr omits reference to the poisoning. He does not quote st. 9 but sets st. 10 within an account of Magnús’s voyage south to claim Denmark after the death of Hǫrðaknútr in England.

Notes: [3-4]: Parallels with Bjhit Lv 2/7-8V are noted in the context of the biographical link between the two skalds by Frank (1978, 114-5). — [4] Visundr ‘(“Bison”)’: The ship built by Óláfr helgi and inherited by Magnús; see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 4/8. — [5] hǫmlu ‘rowing position’: The term hamla has been taken to refer to a rowlock—a loop of leather or rope which holds the oar in place (e.g. Skj B has hamlebåndene for hǫmlur in ÞjóðA Sex 14/3, although til hverrar hǫmlu in the present st. is translated til hver åre ‘to every oar’). Jesch observes that C11th warships ‘did not use such simple devices as loops to control their oars’ and, noting that skaldic examples of hamla are normally in the context of the gathering of a troop, suggests ‘oarsman’s place’ (2001, 156-7). — [6] hræðask ‘fear’: This interesting use of the pres. tense is established by the rhyme hræðask : klæði. — [8] girzkum malmi ‘Russian metal’: The ms. form ‘g᷎ðzkv̄’ (i.e. gǫrðzkvm, cf. ‘dām᷎k’ beside ‘danmǫrk’ elsewhere in H) is here assumed to be a graphic variant of gerzkr/gerðskr, cf. the variant forms ‘ger(ð)zki’, ‘gærzke’ and ‘gørzci’ for (Guðleikr) gerzki in mss of ÓH 1941, I, 120. Another, less likely, possibility is that it represents the m. dat. sg. of an adj. *garzkr ‘from Garðar’. Girzkr could mean either ‘Russian, from Garðar’ or ‘Greek’ (cf. Note to st. 4/4). The girzkr malmr which adorns the ship could be weapons which the warriors carry on board along with their armour, or perhaps, since málmr elsewhere in ON poetry means ‘gold’, ornament on the prow, stern and / or mast-head. In the main ms., ‘hialmi’ is clearly a case of dittography from ‘hialma’ later in the l. — [8] hjalma Peitu ‘helmets from Poitou’: The phrase is probably used metonymically here to refer to Magnús’s helmeted warriors. This is not paralleled elsewhere, although the personal names Hjálmr and Hjálmarr may have arisen from the notion that a man was the ‘helmet’ of his people. There is a precedent for the mention of a ‘Poitou-made helmet’, in Sigv Nesv 15/3, 4I (1016), and a French helmet appears in Sigv Nesv 5/6I. Arms from Poitou were apparently renowned, for peita came to be used in poetry as an appellative for ‘spear’.

References

  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. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  6. Frank, Roberta. 1978. Old Norse Court Poetry: The Dróttkvætt Stanza. Islandica 42. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  7. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  12. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  13. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 15’ 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. 578.
  14. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 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. 563.
  15. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 4’ 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. 68-9.
  16. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 14’ 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. 126-7.
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