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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 2I

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 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. 491.

Þórðr KolbeinssonEiríksdrápa
123

Mjǫk lét margar snekkjur
(mærðarǫrr) sem knǫrru
(óðr vex skalds) ok skeiðar
skjaldhlynr á brim dynja,
þás ólítinn útan
oddherðir fór gerða
— mǫrg vas lind fyr landi —
lǫnd síns fǫður rǫndu.

{Skjaldhlynr} lét mjǫk margar snekkjur sem knǫrru ok skeiðar dynja á brim — mærðarǫrr óðr skalds vex —, þás {oddherðir} fór ólítinn útan gerða lǫnd fǫður síns rǫndu; mǫrg lind vas fyr landi.

{The shield-maple} [WARRIOR] made very many warships, as well as merchant ships and longships, resound on the surf — the praise-liberal poetry of the skald grows —, when {the point-hardener} [WARRIOR] advanced at full strength from offshore to enclose the lands of his father with the shield; many a linden-shield was before the land.

Mss: (157r), 39(7ra), F(26va), J1ˣ(94r), J2ˣ(87v), 325VIII 1(4va) (Hkr); 61(19ra), 54(15ra-b), Bb(25va) (ÓT); FskBˣ(27v), FskAˣ(103) (Fsk); 510(58r) (Jvs); R(36v), Tˣ(38r), U(36r), A(12v), C(6r) (SnE, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [1] lét: lætr C;    snekkjur: ‘snetcivr’ A    [2] mærðar: ‘morþar’ J1ˣ;    sem: ok J1ˣ, 61, 54, Bb    [3] óðr: áðr R, C;    vex: vegs U;    skalds: skjalds 510, ‘scals’ Tˣ, skaldi U;    ok: at R, C;    skeiðar: ‘skæðar’ FskAˣ, skeiða R, Tˣ, A, C    [4] skjaldhlynr: so 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb, 510, A, ‘sciald lynr’ Kˣ, J2ˣ, FskAˣ, skjald dynr 39, F, ‘ska(ri)llynr’(?) J1ˣ, skjǫldungr FskBˣ, skjǫld hlynr R, Tˣ, skald hlynr U, skjald hlymr C;    á brim: á bryni FskBˣ, ‘alium’ 510;    dynja: hrynja F    [5] ólítinn: ólítil FskBˣ, ólítill FskAˣ;    útan: úti 61, 54, Bb    [6] odd‑: so FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 510, él‑ Kˣ, 39, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb;    fór: fǫr F, réð 325VIII 1, ‘styr’ 61, 54, Bb, fat FskBˣ, FskAˣ, þar 510;    gerða: gerðar 39, F, 325VIII 1, FskBˣ, gerðr J1ˣ, gerði 61, gjǫrðu 54, Bb, gjǫrðar 510    [7] fyr: frá 39, F    [8] lǫnd: land FskAˣ, lund 510;    fǫður: so 39, F, J1ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb, FskAˣ, 510, om. Kˣ, J2ˣ, ‘faðr’ FskBˣ;    rǫndu: renndu 39, F, randa 61, rǫndum FskAˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 213-14, Skj BI, 203, Skald I, 106, NN §580; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 324, IV, 87, ÍF 26, 276, Hkr 1991, I, 185 (ÓTHkr ch. 37), F 1871, 120; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 181-2 (ch. 87); Fsk 1902-3, 92 (ch. 19), ÍF 29, 129-30 (ch. 21); Jvs 1879, 69-70; SnE 1848-87, I, 466-9, SnE 1931, 165, SnE 1998, I, 84, 206-7.

Context: In Hkr and ÓT, Hákon jarl and Eiríkr jarl send for men and ships from Þrœndalǫg (Trøndelag), and send messengers to Mœrr (Møre), Raumsdalr (Romsdalen), and north to Naumudalr (Namdalen) and Hálogaland (Hålogaland). In Fsk and Jvs, this stanza and st. 3 (and in Fsk st. 4/1-4) are cited together as part of these texts’ accounts of the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen). The Jómsvíkingar, led by Búi digri ‘the Stout’ Vésetason, Vagn Ákason, and Sigvaldi Strút-Haraldsson, sail to Hjǫrungavágr, where they encounter Hákon, Eiríkr, and the three other sons of Hákon; each commands one of 180 well-equipped ships. In SnE (Skm), the stanza appears among others illustrating heiti for poetry. 

Notes: [1-4]: Þórðr catalogues the various types of ship in Eiríkr’s fleet. Skeiðar ‘longships’ (l. 3) are often thought of as longer than snekkjur ‘warships’ (l. 1), though they are not necessarily so (see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3II; Jesch 2001a, 123-4). Knǫrru (m. acc. pl.) in l. 2 is translated ‘merchant ships’ since knǫrr can denote a cargo ship (e.g. Ótt Hfl 14/2), and the prose of Jvs appears to equate pl. knerrir with kaupskip ‘merchant ships’ (although Fsk refers to both knerrir and kaupskip). It can, however, be used in contexts of conflict (Vígf Hák 1/8; Þhorn Harkv 7/5 and Note; Jesch 2001a, 128-32). — [2] mærðarǫrr ‘praise-liberal’: This is taken here as a cpd, though a phrase ǫrr mærðar ‘liberal with praise’ would also be possible. The adj. is construed, as in most eds, as qualifying óðr ‘poetry’. Ǫrr ‘swift, bold, liberal’ usually qualifies terms for rulers or warriors in skaldic poetry, and the phrase may alternatively be taken with skjaldhlynr ‘shield-maple [WARRIOR]’, meaning ‘eager for praise’ (so Skald; NN §580). However, this assumes an unattested meaning of ‘eager’ for the common word ǫrr. — [5] ólítinn ‘at full strength’: (a) This, the reading of all Hkr and ÓT mss as well as 510, is construed here with fór, hence lit. ‘advanced not insignificantly’. The adverbial use of m. acc. sg. is unusual, but cf. ModIcel. að fara mikinn, lit. ‘to go all out’ (so ÍF 26); cf. also Anon (TGT) 8/1III, where hraustan (m. acc. sg.) ‘brave’ stands for hraustliga ‘bravely’, albeit as a solecism (TGT 1884, 75). (b) Skj B, Skald and ÍF 29 prefer ólítill ‘great’ (lit. ‘not small’), the reading of FskAˣ (and cf. FskBˣ ólítil), taken with the subject of the clause, oddherðir ‘point-hardener [WARRIOR]’. This reading is more straightforward but for that reason may be seen as secondary, especially given the overwhelming agreement of the other mss. — [6] oddherðir ‘the point-hardener [WARRIOR]’: This cpd is clearly a warrior-kenning, but the mss differ over the determinant. (a) Oddherðir, the reading of the Fsk mss and 510, is adopted here, as in Skj B, Skald and ÍF 29. It follows a warrior-kenning pattern which has herðir as the base-word and a term for ‘battle’ or ‘weapon’ (usually ‘sword’) as the determinant (Meissner 295). (b) Élherðir ‘storm-hardener’ in all other mss is adopted in ÍF 26, on the assumption that él can mean ‘battle’, just as hríð can mean both ‘storm’ and ‘(phase in a) battle’. Élherðir also appears in all mss of Hallm Hallkv 12/6V (Bergb 12) (but is emended in Skj B to oddherðir), and another possible case of él ‘battle’ arises in Ótt Hfl 8/1-4 (see Note). Overall, however, the evidence for él ‘battle’ is sparse, whereas él very frequently combines with a determinant to produce a battle-kenning; the examples include two involving the comparable élherðandi ‘storm-strengthener’ (LP: élherðandi). — [6] fór ‘advanced’: This acts as an auxiliary to inf. gerða ‘to enclose’ (see LP: fara 7). Fat ‘proceeded, made his way’, the reading of the Fsk mss, is also possible, and frequently occurs as an auxiliary (LP: feta). Stýr or styr, the reading of the ÓT mss, cannot be made to work with the rest of the helmingr, and is unmetrical. — [7]: The line is reminiscent of Tindr Hákdr 9/3 þar vas lind* fyr landi ‘a shield [defence] was placed off the coast there’. De Vries (1964-7, I, 181) notes this parallel and another between Tindr Hákdr 4/4 and ÞKolb Eirdr 15/4 (see Note to that line), and suggests that the skalds Tindr and Þórðr were acquainted, their homes being quite close, at Hallkelsstaðir and Hítarnes respectively. The correspondences suggest that Þórðr is indebted to Tindr’s poem in praise of Eiríkr’s father (see also E. Olsen 1934, 264). — [7] lind ‘linden-shield’: The word refers primarily to the linden- or lime-tree and its wood, and therefore, though it most commonly denotes a ‘shield’, other wooden objects may be signified. ‘Spear’ is possible here (so Skj B, cf. Hkr 1893-1901, IV), while ÍF 26 and ÍF 29 suggest ‘ship’ via the sense ‘mast’.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. TGT 1884 = Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1884. Den tredje og fjærde grammatiske afhandling i Snorres Edda tilligemed de grammatiske afhandlingers prolog og to andre tillæg. SUGNL 12. Copenhagen: Knudtzon.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. 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.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  10. Vries, Jan de. 1964-7. Altnordische Literaturgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Grundriss der germanischen Philologie 15-16. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  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. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  15. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  16. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  17. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  18. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  19. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  20. Jvs 1879 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1879. Jómsvíkinga saga (efter Cod. AM. 510, 4:to) samt Jómsvíkinga drápa. Lund: Gleerup.
  21. Olsen, Magnus. 1934. ‘Þundarbenda’. MM, 92-7.
  22. Internal references
  23. 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].
  24. 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].
  25. 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.
  26. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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. clxiii-clxvi.
  27. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  28. Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Biography of) Vagn Ákason’ 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. 365.
  29. Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 543.
  30. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 14’ 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. 759.
  31. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 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. 750.
  32. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 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. 510.
  33. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 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. 100.
  34. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 2’ 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. 65-6.
  35. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 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. 345.
  36. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 9’ 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. 353.
  37. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, Poem about Hákon jarl(?) 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. 363.
  38. Not published: do not cite (Hallm Hallkv 12V (Bergb 12))
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