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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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BjHall Kálffl 1I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 1’ 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. 879.

Bjarni gullbrárskáld HallbjarnarsonKálfsflokkr
12

Vast, þars vígs bað kosta
vápndjarfr Haralds arfi,
— kynnisk kapp þitt mǫnnum —
Kalfr, við Bókn austr sjalfa.
Gôtuð Gríðar sóta
gólig fǫng til jóla;
kenndr vast fyrstr at fundi
flettugrjóts ok spjóta.

Kalfr, vast austr við Bókn sjalfa, þars {vápndjarfr arfi Haralds} bað kosta vígs; kapp þitt kynnisk mǫnnum. Gôtuð {sóta Gríðar} gólig fǫng til jóla; vast kenndr fyrstr at {fundi flettugrjóts ok spjóta}.

Kálfr, you were east off Bokn itself, where {the weapon-bold heir of Haraldr} [= Óláfr] commanded battle to be waged; your bravery becomes known to men. You provided {the steed of Gríðr <giantess>} [WOLF] with splendid provisions for Christmas; you were seen to be first at {the meeting of split stone and of spears} [BATTLE].

Mss: Holm2(58r), 321ˣ(219), 73aˣ(179v-180r), 68(57v), Holm4(56ra), 61(116vb), 75c(39r), 325V(69rb), 325VII(32r), Bb(189va), Flat(119rb), Tóm(147r), 325XI 2 b(1ra) (ÓH); Kˣ(433v) (Hkr); FskAˣ(184), 301ˣ(67v) (Fsk, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [1] þars (‘þar er’): ‘þarr’ 75c, þá er 325VII, þar 325XI 2 b, ‘[…]’ Kˣ;    bað: batt 68, 325V, Flat    [2] vápndjarfr: vígdjarfr 61, ‘[…]pndiar[…]’ 325XI 2 b, vinreifr FskAˣ, 301ˣ;    Haralds arfi: með Ôleifi FskAˣ    [3] kynnisk: ‘kunnþu’ 75c, ‘kunn(þu)’(?) 325XI 2 b    [4] Kalfr: kálf Flat, om. Tóm;    Bókn: ‘bukn’ 73aˣ, FskAˣ, ‘bo[…]’ Tóm, ‘buenn’ or ‘bucnn’ 301ˣ;    austr: of 325VII    [5] Gríðar: griða Tóm, ‘g[…]ðar’ 325XI 2 b    [6] gólig fǫng til jóla: ‘goli[…]til[…]’ 325XI 2 b    [7] vast (‘vartv’): nær 321ˣ, ‘[…]tu’ Kˣ;    fyrstr: fyrst 321ˣ, 61, Kˣ;    at: á 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Kˣ;    fundi: falli 61, 75c, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 b    [8] flettugrjóts: ‘flett[…]otz’ Kˣ;    ok: eða 61, ‘[…]’ Tóm;    spjóta: ‘[…]a’ 325XI 2 b

Editions: Skj AI, 393-4, Skj BI, 363, Skald I, 181; Fms 5, 17, Fms 12, 96, ÓH 1941, I, 487 (ch. 173), Flat 1860-8, II, 311; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 409, IV, 158, ÍF 27, 320-1, Hkr 1991, II, 486-7 (ÓHHkr ch. 177); Fsk 1902-3, 176 (ch. 28), ÍF 29, 195-6 (ch. 33).

Context: In ÓH-Hkr, King Óláfr heads north after the death of Erlingr Skjálgsson at Bókn (Bokn). He has learned of an uprising from Agðir, Rogaland and Hǫrðaland (Agder, Rogaland and Hordaland) but is supported by chieftains including the Árnasynir; this and st. 2 are cited as evidence of their support. In Fsk the context is briefer but the purpose of the citation similar. 

Notes: [All]: Stanzas 1/1-4 and 2/3-6 form a unitary stanza in Fsk. — [All]: The battle at Bókn (Bokn) took place in December 1027 or 1028. It is also commemorated in Sigv Erlfl, which specifies the location við þrǫm Bóknar ‘off the coast of Bokn’ (st. 3/4); for the site see Note to l. 4 below and Jesch (2001a, 207). — [2]: The FskAˣ reading vinreifr með Ôleifi ‘friend-happy with Óláfr’ seems to be a version of st. 5/2 vígreifr fyr Ôleifi and is unlikely to be the more original reading. — [4] Bókn ‘Bokn’: A pair of islands (Vestre Bokn and Austre Bokn) in Boknafjorden, Rogaland, Norway. Útsteinn, mentioned in st. 2/4, is in the same fjord. — [5] gôtuð ‘you provided’: The pl. form gôtuð contrasts with the sg. vast ‘you were’ in ll. 1 and 7, as well as sg. þitt ‘your' in l. 3, but may have been chosen for metrical reasons. Such variation between pl. or formal forms and sg. or familiar ones is common in skaldic poetry; cf. Note to st. 4/1, 3. — [6] gólig ‘splendid’: Góligr is a word of uncertain origin and meaning, but possibly related to góðr ‘good’ (so Noreen, ANG §292, followed by ÍF 27). — [6] jóla (gen. pl.) ‘Christmas’: Since the poem was composed after the reign of Óláfr Haraldsson, the reference is presumably to Christmas rather than the pre-Christian Yule; the seasonal reference is apposite, given the timing of the battle in late December. — [7] fyrstr ‘first’: The reading fyrst found in , 321ˣ and 61 gives an adverbial sense: ‘you were first seen ...’. — [8] flettugrjóts (gen. sg.) ‘of split stone’: Fletta appears to derive from *flinta- and to mean ‘slate, stone that can be split’ (AEW: fletta 1; LPflettugrjót); cf. ModIcel. flettigrjót (ÍO: flettugrjót); see also Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 9/1II. As part of the determinant of the kenning, this particular kind of stone represents stones in general, used as missiles in battle.

References

  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. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  7. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  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. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  11. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  12. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  13. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  14. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  15. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  16. Internal references
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  18. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  19. Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson’ 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. 629.
  20. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 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. 74-5.
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