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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Oddi Lv 4II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 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, p. 618.

Oddi inn litli GlúmssonLausavísur
345

Oddi Lv 4-5 are both about Oddi’s fellow-poet and -crusader, Þorbjǫrn svarti (Þsvart), and are both in kviðuháttr metre, which might suggest that they have been extracted from a longer poem in praise of Þorbjǫrn; however, there is no other evidence for this. The sts are cited without any intervening prose in Orkn (ÍF 34, 230-31) and the adverbial at the beginning of Lv 5 refers back to the p. n. in the last l. of Lv 4. It therefore seems preferable to see them as two linked lvv. Flat is the main ms. for Lv 4 and R702ˣ has been chosen as the main ms. for Lv 5.

Bôru lung
lendra manna
fyr Þrasnes
Þórbjǫrn svarta.
Trað hlunnbjǫrn
und hǫfuðskaldi
Áta jǫrð
Akrsborgar til.

Lung lendra manna bôru Þórbjǫrn svarta fyr Þrasnes. {Hlunnbjǫrn} trað {jǫrð Áta} til Akrsborgar und hǫfuðskaldi.

The vessels of landed men carried Þórbjǫrn svarti (‘the Black’) past Þrasnes. {The roller-bear} [SHIP] trod {the ground of Áti <sea-king>} [SEA] to Acre beneath the chief skald.

Mss: Flat(140vb), R702ˣ(49v) (Orkn)

Readings: [1] lung: so R702ˣ, lyng Flat    [3] fyr: om. R702ˣ;    Þrasnes: so R702ˣ, ‘þarsnes’ Flat    [5] hlunn‑: so R702ˣ, hlyn Flat    [8] til: om. R702ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 530, Skj BI, 510, Skald I, 250; Flat 1860-8, II, 486, Orkn 1887, 175, Orkn 1913-16, 254, ÍF 34, 230 (ch. 88), Bibire 1988, 237.

Context: While Rǫgnvaldr and his troop were spending time in Acre, they were assailed by disease and many men died, including Þorbjǫrn svarti.

Notes: [3] Þrasnes ‘Þrasnes’: Bibire (1988, 237) translates as ‘Freswick’. This is a large bay on the east coast of Caithness which is a notable landmark for those sailing to and from Orkney; in Orkn it is called Þrasvík (ÍF 34, 242, 248). However, the p. n. Þrasnes occurs elsewhere in the saga referring to a place apparently in north-west Spain (ÍF 34, 211). Since both are a long way from Acre, and the Spanish name is hard to motivate in the context of this st., it remains a possibility to interpret Þrasnes as a nonce-form recalling Þrasvík, making the st. link the beginning of Þorbjǫrn’s journey to its end. — [6] hǫfuðskaldi ‘the chief skald’: There is no indication in Orkn that Þorbjǫrn svarti was either a particularly important poet nor Rǫgnvaldr’s ‘chief skald’; he is simply said to have been one of a number of skáld jarls ‘the skalds of the jarl’ (ÍF 34, 204). The term is paralleled by the use of the word hǫfuðkirkja in st. 5. Otherwise, hǫfuðskáld is used in ESk Geisl 12VII, with reference to Sigvatr (SigvI) and Óttarr (ÓttI), two very important poets (see also SnE 1998, I, 5, 6, 85). — [8] Akrsborgar ‘Acre’: See Note to ESk Sigdr I 3/8.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. 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.
  4. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. Bibire, Paul. 1988. ‘The Poetry of Earl Rǫgnvaldr’s Court’. In Crawford 1988, 208-40.
  8. Orkn 1887 = Gudbrand Vigfusson 1887-94, I.
  9. Internal references
  10. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ 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].
  11. Matthew Townend 2017, ‘(Biography of) Óttarr svarti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 335.
  12. Judith Jesch 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sigvatr Þórðarson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 347.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Biography of) Þorbjǫrn svarti’ 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. 624-5.
  14. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 17.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Sigurðardrápa I 3’ 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. 540.
  16. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 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, p. 618.
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