Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Continue

skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Þhorn Harkv 8I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 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. 102.

Þorbjǫrn hornklofiHaraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál)
789

‘Hlaðnir vôru þeir hǫlða         ok hvítra skjalda,
vigra vestrœnna         ok valskra sverða.
Grenjuðu berserkir;         guðr vas þeim á sinnum;
emjuðu ulfheðnar         ok ísǫrn dúðu.

‘Þeir vôru hlaðnir hǫlða ok hvítra skjalda, vestrœnna vigra ok valskra sverða. Berserkir grenjuðu; guðr vas þeim á sinnum; ulfheðnar emjuðu ok dúðu ísǫrn.

‘They [the ships] were loaded with men and white shields, western spears and Frankish swords. Berserks bellowed; battle was under way for them; wolf-skins [berserks] howled and brandished iron spears.

Mss: (62r-v), F(10vb), J1ˣ(35r), J2ˣ(35v) (Hkr); 51ˣ(4v), FskBˣ(5v), 302ˣ(7v), FskAˣ(16), 52ˣ(7r), 301ˣ(5v) (Fsk); Flat(76vb) (Flat)

Readings: [1] þeir: om. F    [2] ok: om. Flat;    hvítra skjalda: hvítum skjǫldum Flat    [3] vigra vestrœnna: vigr vestrœnni Flat    [4] valskra sverða: vǫlskum sverðum Flat    [5] Grenjuðu berserkir: ‘greinivðv berserkr’ J1ˣ    [6] guðr: grunr 51ˣ, FskBˣ, 302ˣ;    vas (‘var’): varð F, er Flat;    þeim: om. F;    á sinnum: at sinni J1ˣ, J2ˣ, á sumum 52ˣ, hlífði Flat    [7] emjuðu: ‘ænn uðu’ 51ˣ, FskBˣ, 302ˣ, ymðu FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ, ‘eníudu’ Flat;    ‑heðnar: ‑heiðnar J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [8] ok: om. Flat;    ísǫrn: ‘i sornn’ J1ˣ, í sár 51ˣ, FskBˣ, 302ˣ, í sár járn FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ;    dúðu: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 51ˣ, FskBˣ, 302ˣ, FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ, glumðu Kˣ, gullu F, bitu Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 25-6, Skj BI, 23, Skald I, 14; Hkr 1777-1826, I, 95, VI, 17, Hkr 1868, 62, Hkr 1893-1901, I, 124, IV, 34-5, ÍF 26, 116, Hkr 1991, I, 71-2 (HHárf ch. 18/19), F 1871, 48; Fsk 1902-3, 16 (ch. 2), ÍF 29, 67 (ch. 3); Fms 10, 190, Fms 12, 225, Flat 1860-8, I, 574 (HarHárf); Möbius 1860, 229, Jón Helgason 1946, 142-3, Jón Helgason 1968, 17.

Context: As for st. 7.

Notes: [2] hvítra ‘white’: This could mean ‘unpainted’, perhaps contrasting with the fôðum rǫndum ‘painted shields’ of Haraldr’s men in st. 19/5: see Falk (1914b, 128), who also sees white shields as less attractive and less warrior-like, appropriate here for the enemy’s equipment. However, the spears and swords in this stanza seem to be of prestigious foreign manufacture, and cf. Akv 7/9 (NK 241), where sciold hvítastan ‘the whitest shield’ is among the items in a superlative armoury. — [3] vestrœnna ‘western’: Possibly from the British Isles. — [5, 7] berserkir; ulfheðnar ‘berserks; wolf-skins [berserks]’: Berserkir are normally characterized as warriors given to animal-like fighting frenzy (e.g. Blaney 1993, 37), and etymologised as ‘bear-tunics’ (AEW: berserkr), cf. ulfheðnar ‘wolf-skins’, in which heðinn is an animal fur or skin, or a hooded jacket or cloak made of skin. Von See (1961a) argues that berserkr was not a fixed term designating an actual C10th warrior type but a descriptive cpd that was misinterpreted and adopted by later skalds (including the one he believes added sts 12-23 to this poem). Moreover, the berserkir here are not, he says, Haraldr’s elite troop but his enemies. Liberman (2003) argues that ber- in the sense ‘bear’ occurs only as a borrowing from Ger. in berfjall ‘bear-skin’, and revives an earlier theory that in berserkir it is more likely to have meant, originally, ‘bare’ (adj. berr). — [6] guðr vas þeim á sinnum ‘battle was under way for them’: Guðr/gunnr is here taken as the common noun ‘battle’; so Hkr 1893-1901 and other eds. Alternatively, Guðr could be the valkyrie of that name who ‘was travelling with them’ (so ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991), but í sinni or í sinnum is the usual phrase for ‘accompanying’. Uppström (1919, 41) took á sinnum to mean ‘(warfare lay) in their hearts’, but sinni ‘mind’ is a post-Reformation borrowing from Ger. Lindquist (1929, 4) adopted the reading of the FskB transcripts, grunr ‘suspicion’, with the sense ‘foreboding’. — [8] dúðu ‘brandished’: This, 3rd pers. pl. pret. indic. of dýja, has strong ms. support and appears to be transitive, with the ulfheðnar ‘wolf-skins [berserks]’ as its subject and ísǫrn ‘iron spears’ as its object. The remaining readings, glumðu ‘rattled’, gullu ‘shrieked’, and bitu ‘bit’, are all intransitive verbs, which could suggest that ísǫrn was perceived as the subject, hence intransitive ‘iron spears shook’, but transitive usages are more usual in such contexts (LP: dýja), and the m. v. dýjask was available for intransitive use: cf. ESk Ingdr 3/3II dúðusk dǫrr ‘spears shook’. 

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. 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.
  7. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  8. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  11. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  12. Falk, Hjalmar. 1914b. Altnordische Waffenkunde. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter, II. Hist.-filos. kl. 1914, 6. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  13. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  14. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  15. Möbius, Theodor. 1860. Edda Sæmundar hins fróða. Mit einem Anhang bisher ungedruckter Gedichte. Leipzig: Hinrichs.
  16. Lindquist, Ivar. 1929. Norröna lovkväden från 800 och 900 talen. I: Förslag till restituerad täxt jämte översättning. Lund: Gleerup.
  17. Uppström, Anders, trans. 1919. ‘Visor ur Snorre Sturlesons Konunga Sǫgur’. In Uppström 1914-19, III, 39-49.
  18. Jón Helgason, ed. 1968. Skjaldevers. 3rd edn. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  19. Jón Helgason. 1946. ‘Haraldskvæði’. Tímarit Máls og menningar, 131-46.
  20. Liberman, Anatoly. 2003. ‘Berserkir: A Double Legend’. In Simek et al. 2003, 337-40.
  21. See, Klaus von. 1961a. ‘Excurs zum Haraldskvæði: Berserker’. Zeitschrift für deutsche Wortforschung 17, 129-35. Rpt. in von See 1981a, 311-17.
  22. Blaney, Benjamin. 1993. ‘Berserkr’. In MedS, 37-8.
  23. Hkr 1777-1826 = Schöning, Gerhard et al., eds. 1777-1826. Heimskringla edr Noregs konunga-sögor. 6 vols. Copenhagen: Stein.
  24. Hkr 1868 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1868. Heimskringla eller Norges kongesagaer af Snorre Sturlassøn. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  25. Internal references
  26. (forthcoming), ‘ Unattributed, Haralds þáttr hárfagra’ 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. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=137> (accessed 22 September 2021)
  27. (forthcoming), ‘ Heimskringla, Haralds saga hárfagra’ 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. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=140> (accessed 22 September 2021)
  28. Not published: do not cite ()
  29. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Ingadrápa 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, pp. 564-5.
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.