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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Haustl 2III

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 434.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniHaustlǫng
123

Segjǫndum fló sagna
snótar ulfr at móti
í gemlis ham gǫmlum
glamma ófyrskǫmmu.
Settisk ǫrn, þars æsir
ár-Gefnar mar bôru
— vasa byrgitýr bjarga
bleyði vændr — á seyði.

{Ulfr snótar} fló glamma ófyrskǫmmu at móti {segjǫndum sagna} í gǫmlum ham gemlis. Ǫrn settisk, þars æsir bôru {mar {ár-Gefnar}} á seyði; {{bjarga byrgi}týr} vasa vændr bleyði.

{The wolf of the woman} [= Þjazi] flew noisily no short time ago for a meeting {with the commanders of the troops} [= Æsir] in the old shape of an eagle. The eagle alighted where the Æsir were putting {the horse {of fruitfulness-Gefn <= Freyja>}} [= Gefjun <goddess> > OX] in an earth-oven; {the god {of the refuge of crags}} [(lit. ‘refuge-god of crags’) CAVE > GIANT = Þjazi] was not to be accused of cowardice.

Mss: R(25v), R(38r) (ll. 1-4), Tˣ(26r), Tˣ(39v) (ll. 1-4), W(55), U(40v) (ll. 1-4), A(14r) (ll. 1-4), B(6v) (ll. 1-4), C(7r) (ll. 1-4) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Segjǫndum: so Tˣ(26r), Tˣ(39v), U, A, B, ‘Seggiondvm’ R(25v), R(38r), W    [2] snótar: so all others, ‘sn[…]’ R(25v);    ulfr: so Tˣ(26r), Tˣ(39v), W, U, A, B, C, ‘[…]’ R(25v), ylgr R(38r);    at móti: so all others, ‘[…]’ R(25v)    [3] ham: so R(38r), Tˣ(26r), Tˣ(39v), U, A, B, C, ‘ha[…]’ R(25v), ‘[…]m’ W    [4] glamma: ‘g[…]ma’ W;    ófyrskǫmmu: so R(38r), Tˣ(26r), ‘a fyr skommo’ R(25v), W, ‘ofra scommo’ Tˣ(39v), ‘a fyrir skavmmo’ U, ‘ofyrs skǫmmv’ A, ‘æigi fyr skommv’ B, ‘vlfr fyr skommu’ C    [5] æsir: so Tˣ(26r), W, ‘æs[…]’ R(25v)    [6] Gefnar: so Tˣ(26r), W, gnæfar R(25v);    mar: so Tˣ(26r), ‘ma[…]’ R(25v), ‘ma’ W    [7] vasa: ‘naca’ Tˣ(26r)    [8] vændr (‘vendr’): so Tˣ(26r), W, vǫndr R(25v);    seyði: so Tˣ(26r), ‘seðe’ R(25v), seiði W

Editions: Skj AI, 16, Skj BI, 14, Skald I, 9-10, NN §§1810, 2004, 2504; SnE 1848-87, I, 306-7, 492-3, II, 354, 457, 544, 598, III, 40-1, SnE 1931, 111, 173, SnE 1998, I, 30-1, 92.

Context: As for st. 1. In addition, ll. 1-4 are cited in mss R, , U, A, B and C in a section of Skm that lists poetic terms for eagles.

Notes: [2] ulfr snótar ‘the wolf of the woman [= Þjazi]’: Understood as an example of a kenning with a specific referent, the giant Þjazi, who abducted the goddess Iðunn. However, a case could be made that ulfr functions as a base-word with the sense ‘thief’, ‘harmer’, ‘abductor’, although the specific referent, Þjazi, remains unchanged. — [3] gemlis ‘of an eagle’: Lit. ‘old one’. The term could be applied either to an eagle or a hawk. See also Þul Ara l. 7 and Note there. — [4] glamma ‘noisily’: Adverbial gen. pl. of glamm ‘noise’. Skj B (in the prose order but not in the text) and LP emend to dat. sg. glammi and Skj B translates med vingesus (el. skrigende?) ‘with a whirring of wings (or screeching?)’. — [4] ófyrskǫmmu ‘no short time ago’: The negative prefix ó- ‘no/not’ is attached to the adverbial fyr skǫmmu ‘a short time ago’. — [5-8]: According to Snorri’s prose narrative, three of the Æsir, Óðinn, Hœnir and Loki, were travelling away from Ásgarðr and ran short of food. They managed to kill an ox and prepared it for cooking in an earth-oven, but the oven would not cook the meat. Eventually, they became aware of an eagle (Þjazi) sitting in an oak-tree above them, and he admitted preventing the food from cooking (presumably by means of sorcery), demanding his fill of the ox in return for letting the meat cook. In support of the notion that Þjazi used sorcery to stop the ox cooking is an invocation on a rune stick from Bergen (Run N B252VI) in which a supernatural being named Ími is exhorted to prevent food from cooking (in the þulur Ímr is a heiti for ‘giant’ and ‘wolf’; see Þul Jǫtna II 1/4 and Þul Vargs 1/9). — [6] mar ár-Gefnar ‘the horse of fruitfulness-Gefn <= Freyja> [= Gefjun <goddess> > OX]’: (a) The interpretation here follows that first suggested by Reichardt (1928, 163-4) and uses ’s readings Gefnar and mar. It is possible that R also read mar, although the final letter of the word is now illegible. The kenning must be understood against the background of the myth recounted in both Gylf and Yng, based on Bragi Frag 1 (q. v.), which tells that the goddess Gefjun ploughed up a large tract of fertile meadow-land from Sweden, using four oxen, who were her sons by a giant, and transported it across the sea to form the Danish island of Sjælland (Zealand). (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) read mat ‘food’ and construed ll. 5, 6 and 8 to form the main part of the helmingr: ǫrn settisk ár, þars æsir bôru mat á seyði ‘the eagle alighted long ago, where Æsir were putting food in an earth-oven’. He then included Gefnar in a structurally and syntactically awkward kenning with byrgitýr bjarga (l. 7), Gefnar bjarga byrgitýr ‘the god of the refuge of the Gefn <= Freyja> of crags [(lit. ‘the refuge-god of the Gefn of crags’) GIANTESS > CAVE > GIANT = Þjazi]’. This would be an inverted kenning, where ‘the Gefn of crags’ is a giantess, her refuge is a cave among the crags, giants typically being considered to live in rocks and mountains, while the ‘god’ of such a refuge is a giant, in this case Þjazi. LP: byrgi-Týr and Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 254: byrgitýr) also suggest that the giantess’s refuge should be understood as a cave. (c) Marold (1983, 154-5) adopts Skj B’s syntax but not the sense of byrgi- as ‘refuge’. She understands byrgi- as an agent noun, from byrgja ‘close, shut’, and construes ár-Gefnar byrgi-Týr bjarga as ‘the enclosing Týr <god> of the mountains of the harvest-Gefn <goddess> [= Iðunn > GIANT = Þjazi]’, looking forward to Þjazi’s abduction of Iðunn. (d) Kock (Skald and NN §2004) emends R’s reading ‘gnæfar’ to árgnæfa in l. 6, regarding it as the gen. sg. of a postulated giant-name Árgnæfi ‘the high-towering one’. He then understands mar Árgnæfa ‘horse of Árgnæfi <giant>’ as an ox-kenning.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  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. 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.
  8. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  9. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  10. Marold, Edith. 1983. Kenningkunst: Ein Beitrag zu einer Poetik der Skaldendichtung. Quellen und Forschungen zur Sprach- und Kulturgeschichte der germanischen Völker, new ser. 80. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  11. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1928. Studien zu den Skalden des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Palaestra 159. Leipzig: Mayer & Müller.
  12. Internal references
  13. (forthcoming), ‘ Snorri Sturluson, Skáldskaparmál’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=112> (accessed 23 September 2021)
  14. (forthcoming), ‘ Snorri Sturluson, Gylfaginning’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=113> (accessed 23 September 2021)
  15. (forthcoming), ‘ Heimskringla, Ynglinga saga’ 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=158> (accessed 23 September 2021)
  16. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Vargs heiti 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. 903.
  17. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Jǫtna heiti II 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. 719.
  18. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Fragments 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. 54.
  19. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Ara heiti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 949. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=3240> (accessed 23 September 2021)
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