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.
‘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: Kˣ(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:  þeir: om. F  ok: om. Flat; hvítra skjalda: hvítum skjǫldum Flat  vigra vestrœnna: vigr vestrœnni Flat  valskra sverða: vǫlskum sverðum Flat  Grenjuðu berserkir: ‘greinivðv berserkr’ J1ˣ  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  emjuðu: ‘ænn uðu’ 51ˣ, FskBˣ, 302ˣ, ymðu FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ, ‘eníudu’ Flat; ‑heðnar: ‑heiðnar J1ˣ, J2ˣ  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:  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. —  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). —  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’. —  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’.
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