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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 1I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 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. 174.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHákonarmál
12

Gǫndul ok Skǫgul         sendi Gautatýr
        at kjósa of konunga,
hverr Yngva ættar         skyldi með Óðni fara
        ok í Valhǫll vesa.

{Gautatýr} sendi Gǫndul ok Skǫgul at kjósa of konunga, hverr ættar Yngva skyldi fara með Óðni ok vesa í Valhǫll.

{The god of the Gautar} [= Óðinn] sent Gǫndul and Skǫgul to choose among kings, which of the kin of Yngvi should go with Óðinn and live in Valhǫll.

Mss: (105r-v), F(18va), J1ˣ(63v), J2ˣ(60r) (Hkr); FskBˣ(9v), FskAˣ(49) (Fsk); R(20v), Tˣ(21r), W(45), U(26r), B(4r) (SnE); 761bˣ(95v)

Readings: [1] Skǫgul: ‘skangvl’ J1ˣ    [2] sendi: sendir B    [4] hverr: ‘hvæir’ FskBˣ, hvarr U    [5] skyldi: ‘sk[...]lde’ B;    Óðni: Óðin J1ˣ    [6] ok: om. J1ˣ, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, W;    ‑hǫll: hǫllu J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R, U;    vesa (‘vera’): so F, R, Tˣ, U, B, at vera Kˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, W, 761bˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 64, Skj BI, 57, Skald I, 35; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 219, IV, 59, ÍF 26, 193, Hkr 1991, I, 124 (HákGóð ch. 31/32), F 1871, 84; Fsk 1902-3, 38-9 (ch. 11), ÍF 29, 86 (ch. 12); SnE 1848-87, I, 234-5, II, 303, 518, SnE 1931, 89, SnE 1998, I, 8; Möbius 1860, 232, Jón Helgason 1968, 25, Krause 1990, 36-9.

Context:

In Hkr, the poem is presented at the close of HákGóð after a description of Hákon’s obsequies. In Fsk, the prose that precedes the first three stanzas describes how before the battle of Fitjar the king donned his war-gear and drew up his forces. In SnE, Snorri quotes this stanza in a collection of stanzas illustrating references to Óðinn (mostly kennings).

Notes: [All]: Fsk introduces sts 1-3, sem Eyvindr segir í kvæði því, er hann orti eptir fall Hákonar, ok setti hann þat eptir því sem Gunnhildr hafði látit yrkja um Eirík sem Óðinn byði hónum heim til Valhallar, ok segir hann marga atburði í kvæðinu frá orrostunni, ok hefr svá ‘as Eyvindr says in the poem that he composed after Hákon’s fall, and he modelled it after the one that Gunnhildr had had composed about Eiríkr, as if Óðinn were inviting him home to Valhǫll, and in the poem he narrates many events from the battle, and it begins thus’. — [1] Gǫndul ok Skǫgul ‘Gǫndul and Skǫgul’: These are two of the valkyrjur (etymologically ‘choosers of the slain’), female beings associated with Óðinn who, as here, determine the outcome of battles, selecting warriors slain in battle for Valhǫll, the hall of the slain. The valkyries’ warrior equipment is described in st. 12. Gǫndul and Skǫgul (Geir-Skǫgul in st. 12/2) are named in Vsp 30, and Skǫgul is among thirteen valkyries named in Grí 36. On valkyries in Scandinavian mythology, see further Ström (1954, 70-9); Andersen (1993); Simek (1993, 349); Zimmermann (2007); Quinn (forthcoming). — [2] sendi ‘sent’: The verb is apparently unstressed. Here and at several other places in the poem (e.g. sts 12/1, 21/5) it is evident that neither málaháttr nor ljóðaháttr conforms to the Satzpartikelgesetz ‘law of sentence particles’ (Kuhn 1933, 8, 38-49), which dictates that finite verbs and other words that are neither clitics nor stress-words receive full stress unless they appear in the first upbeat of the sentence or clause. — [2] Gautatýr ‘the god of the Gautar [= Óðinn]’: The Gautar were the inhabitants of Götaland, the Gēatas of the Old English Beowulf, though the term may be simply a heiti for humans in general (so de Vries 1934a, 37-8). Ninck (1935, 309) interprets it as referring to men as engenderers (connecting the word with ModGer. giessen ‘to pour’), and Meissner (Meissner 252) believes that such kennings originally referred to the ethnic group and its connection with Óðinn, but later became associated with the gods. Kuhn (1954, supported by Krause 1990, 32-3) argues that the word refers to sacrificial victims consecrated to the gods. The identity of týr in this and similar expressions for Óðinn is also uncertain. Snorri Sturluson (SnE 1998, I, 5) understands týr in compounds such as Sigtýr, Hangatýr and Farmatýr as the name of the god Týr, commenting that the name of one of the Æsir can be joined by an attribute or deed of a second god in order to refer to that second god, i.e. a god-name can be the base-word in a kenning for a different god. Accordingly, various eds and LP: týr 2 assume the god’s name and print the capitalised form Týr. However, a common noun meaning ‘god’, with sg. form týr corresponding to the well-attested pl. tívar ‘gods’, is also possible and may be indicated by the fact that týr alternates with goð ‘god’ in some Óðinn-names (as noted in Meissner 252). Several eds assume the common noun in the present instance of Gautatýr, including ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, and the present edn assumes it in the group as a whole (so also Faulkes, SnE 1998, II, 514).  — [4] ættar Yngva ‘of the kin of Yngvi’: Yngvi is the eponymous progenitor of the Swedish Yngling dynasty at Uppsala and hence of the Norwegian branch of the dynasty (see Introduction to Þjóð Yt, and Heusler 1908, 143-5 on the Yngling genealogy). He has been identified with the god Freyr, partly because Yngvi-Freyr is a name for Freyr (e.g. LP: Yngvi 1, Yngvifreyr), but this identification is by no means certain. It is also uncertain whether ætt Yngva has specific genealogical reference. Yngvi is plainly a generic ruler-heiti in some contexts (see SnE 1998, I, 104-5 for Yngvi and Ynglingr, and LP: Yngvi 2), and some scholars (Baetke 1964, 111-12; Koht 1955, 23-4) see most references to ‘Yngvi’s kin’ and such as generalized kennings for rulers. The use of ætt ‘kin’ does not help to disambiguate the reference of Yngvi/yngvi here since it occurs both with gen. pl. nouns meaning ‘of men, rulers’ etc. and with personal names in the gen. sg. (see LP: ætt). The same problem arises with ungum ynglingi ‘young king’, used of Haraldr hárfagri in Þhorn Harkv 4/7; see Note.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  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. 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. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  9. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  12. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  13. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  14. Möbius, Theodor. 1860. Edda Sæmundar hins fróða. Mit einem Anhang bisher ungedruckter Gedichte. Leipzig: Hinrichs.
  15. Koht, Halvdan. 1955. Harald Hårfagre og rikssamlinga. Oslo: Aschehoug.
  16. Baetke, Walter. 1964. Yngvi und die Ynglinger: Eine quellenkritische Untersuchung über das nordische ‘Sakralkönigtum’. Sitzungsberichte der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leipzig, Phil.-Hist. Kl. 109/3. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  17. Heusler, Andreas. 1908. Die gelehrte Urgeschichte im altisländischen Schrifttum. Abhandlungen der Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-Hist. Kl. 1908, 3. Berlin: Reimer. Rpt. as ‘Die gelehrte Urgeschichte im isländischen Schrifttum’ in Heusler 1969, 80-161.
  18. Jón Helgason, ed. 1968. Skjaldevers. 3rd edn. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  19. Krause, Arnulf, ed. 1990. Die Dichtung des Eyvindr skáldaspillir: Edition-Kommentar-Untersuchungen. Altnordische Bibliothek 10. Leverkusen: Literaturverlag Norden Mark Reinhardt.
  20. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1933. ‘Zur Wortstellung und -betonung im Altgermanischen’. BGDSL 57, 1-109. Rpt. in Kuhn (1899) 1969-78, I, 18-103.
  21. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1954. ‘Gaut’. In Wiese et al. 1954, 417-33. Rpt. in Kuhn (1899) 1969-78, II, 364-77.
  22. Ninck, Martin. 1935. Wodan und germanischer Schicksalsglaube. Jena: Diederich. Rpt. 1967. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
  23. Ström, Folke. 1954. Diser, nornor, valkyrjor. Fruktbarhetskult och sakralt kungadöme i Norden. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademiens Handlingar, Filologisk-filosofiska serien 1. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell.
  24. Vries, Jan de. 1934a. De Skaldenkenningen met mythologischen Inhoud. Haarlem: H. D. Tjeenk Willink & Zoon.
  25. Simek, Rudolf. 1993. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Trans. Angela Hall. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer.
  26. Andersen, Lise Præstgaard. 1993. ‘Maiden Warriors’. In MedS, 403-4.
  27. Zimmermann, Ute. 2007. ‘Walküren’. In RGA, 35, 595-602.
  28. Internal references
  29. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  30. 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].
  31. 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.
  32. Not published: do not cite (HákGóðII)
  33. Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal’ 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. 3.
  34. Not published: do not cite ()
  35. Not published: do not cite ()
  36. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 4’ 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. 97.
  37. Not published: do not cite ()
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