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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Jór Send 2I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr 2’ 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. 146.

Jórunn skáldmærSendibítr
123

Harald frák, Halfdan, spyrja
herðibrǫgð, en lǫgðis
sýnisk svartleitr reyni
sjá bragr, inn hárfagra.

Halfdan, frák Harald inn hárfagra spyrja herðibrǫgð, en sjá bragr sýnisk svartleitr {reyni lǫgðis}.

Hálfdan, I have learned that Haraldr inn hárfagri (‘Fair-hair’) heard about [your] tough deeds, and that poem seems dark-faced {to the tester of the sword} [WARRIOR].

Mss: (76v), F(13rb), J1ˣ(44v) (Hkr); Holm2(2v), 972ˣ(12va), 325VI(2va), 73aˣ(4v), 78aˣ(3r), 68(2r), 61(76ra), Bb(120va), Tóm(92r) (ÓH); 61(2vb), 53(2va), Bb(3rb), Flat(6rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Harald: Haralds 61(76ra);    spyrja: verja 68    [2] herðibrǫgð: ‘herði braug’ Holm2, herði brǫgð 972ˣ, hreystibrǫgð Flat;    en: er Flat;    lǫgðis: so F, Holm2, 73aˣ, 68, 61(76ra), Bb(120va), Tóm, 61(2vb), 53, lǫgðisk Kˣ, 78aˣ, lǫgðusk 972ˣ, 325VI, Bb(3rb), sǫgðusk Flat    [3] ‑leitr: ‑leikr J1ˣ, ‘‑lættr’ 73aˣ, ‑leiðr Bb(3rb);    reyni: raunar 972ˣ, 78aˣ, 53, Bb(3rb)    [4] inn: ins 61(76ra), Tóm, 53, Flat;    ‑fagra: ‑fagri F, 68, Bb(120va), Bb(3rb)

Editions: Skj AI, 60, Skj BI, 53, Skald I, 33; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 154, IV, 43-4, ÍF 26, 142 (HHárf ch. 36), F 1871, 60; Fms 1, 13, Fms 12, 25, ÓH 1941, I, 12 (ch. 3), Flat 1860-8, I, 45; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 13 (ch. 5).

Context: This helmingr is quoted in each of the texts at the end of a chapter recounting, in nearly identical terms, the anecdote about Haraldr, Hálfdan and Guthormr sindri described in the Introduction above; the introductory words are also cited above.

Notes: [All]: Kreutzer (1972, 92) takes this stanza to be the beginning of a section, possibly even of the whole poem. — [1, 4] Harald inn hárfagra ‘Haraldr inn hárfagri “Fair-hair”’: Earlier eds (Fms 12; Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; Skald) read Haralds ins hárfagra, making it the deeds of King Haraldr that are heard about by Hálfdan, and Hálfdan who finds the poem svartleitr ‘dark-faced’. However, since the variant Haralds is found in only one, inferior, medieval ms. (61), it seems best to construe the text as it stands, if possible. This involves taking Halfdan as a vocative, with the poet stating to him that his father Haraldr had heard of his herðibrǫgð ‘tough deeds’. This solution is adopted with caution for, while there are a number of examples of a construction of acc. + frák ‘I have learned’ + inf., in that order (Sigv ErfÓl 7/1, 18/1, HSt Rst 28/1, ÞGísl Búdr 8/1, RvHbreiðm Hl 39/1III), in none of these does a vocative interrupt the syntax. Vocatives are also more common at the beginning of the line (e.g. Sigv Víkv 11/1, Arn Hryn 12/1II, Valg Har 7/1II), though there are parallels to this medial positioning, e.g. Bragi Rdr 1/1III, ÞjóðA Magnfl 1/1II, ESk Geisl 71/1VII. Moreover, a vocative, suggesting contemporaneity, does not sit comfortably with other indications that the poem may be a later composition. On the nickname hárfagri, see Note to l. 4. — [2] herðibrǫgð ‘tough deeds’: A hap. leg. Compounds in herði- occur mainly, though not exclusively, in late poetry, cf. Bjbp Jóms 8/7 (í) herðiraunum ‘(in) tough trials’. The reference is presumably to Halfdán’s attempted murder of his brother Eiríkr at Sǫlvi (see Introduction). — [3] svartleitr ‘dark-faced’: The only other occurrence of this adj. is in Hjþ Lv 1/3VIII, where it is applied to a person, though compare svartflekkóttr ‘black-flecked’ applied to a poem in Anon Mhkv 22/8III. The reference is presumably to the content of the poetry (bragr), though LP: svartleitr suggests difficulty of understanding. — [4] sjá bragr ‘that poem’: Kreutzer (1972, 92, and cf. Fms 12) suggests rather ‘behaviour, actions’, citing ModIcel. bragur and ModNorw. brag, but this meaning is not recorded in ONP: bragr. It is preferable to take bragr as referring back to spyrja (here) ‘heard’; a poem by Guthormr on Hálfdan could well have been the means by which Haraldr heard about his actions. The art. sjá, strictly ‘this’ rather than ‘that’, could point to Jórunn’s own poem, but in context this is less likely. — [4] inn hárfagra ‘inn hárfagri (“Fair-hair”)’: Lit. ‘the Fair-hair(ed)’. The antiquity of this nickname as applied to Norway’s founding king is debatable (Jesch 1996, 139-44). For traditions relating to it, see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

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. 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. Kreutzer, Gert. 1972. ‘Jórunn skáldmær’. skandinavistik 2, 89-98.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. ONP = Degnbol, Helle et al., eds. 1989-. A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose / Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog. 1-. Copenhagen: The Arnamagnæan Commission.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. Jesch, Judith. 1996. ‘Norse Historical Traditions and the Historia Gruffud vab Kenan: Magnús berfœttr and Haraldr hárfagri’. In Maund 1996, 117-47.
  14. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  15. Internal references
  16. Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Biography of) Guthormr sindri’ 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. 154.
  17. Not published: do not cite (HHárfII)
  18. Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 22’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1236.
  19. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 12’ 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. 197-8.
  20. Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 8’ 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. 966.
  21. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Ragnarsdrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 28.
  22. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 71’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 64-5.
  23. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 28’ 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. 930.
  24. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 39’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1047.
  25. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 7’ 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. 673.
  26. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Víkingarvísur 11’ 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. 549.
  27. Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 8’ 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. 949.
  28. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 1’ 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. 64-5.
  29. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 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. 306-7.
  30. Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 2 (Hjálmþér Ingason, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 494.
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