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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magnfl 12II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 12’ 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. 78-80.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonMagnússflokkr
111213

Vǫrðr gekk meir at morði
Magnús kjalar vagna
— þat vas frægt — í fagran
framstafn varar Hrafni.
Gerðum þar, svát þverrði,
þengill, en óx fengi,
— skeiðr nam herr at hrjóða —
húskarla lið jarli.

{Vǫrðr {vagna kjalar}}, Magnús, gekk meir at morði í fagran framstafn {Hrafni varar}; þat vas frægt. Gerðum þar, þengill, svát lið húskarla þverrði jarli, en fengi óx; herr nam at hrjóða skeiðr.

{The guardian {of waggons of the keel}} [SHIPS > SEAFARER], Magnús, went further into the slaughter in the beautiful forestem {of the Hrafn <horse> of the landing-stage} [SHIP]; that was renowned. We brought it about there, prince, that the jarl’s troop of housecarls reduced, and booty increased; the army started to clear the warships.

Mss: (514r-v), papp18ˣ(220r), 39(17ra), F(40vb), E(8v), J2ˣ(252r) (Hkr); Hr(10va) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] Vǫrðr: ‘Vardr’ Hr;    meir: mætr Hr    [2] kjalar: kjalars 39, J2ˣ;    vagna: regna 39, F, E, J2ˣ    [3] þat vas (‘þat var’): þá vá Hr;    frægt: frægr Hr;    fagran: fǫgrum E, ferðum J2ˣ    [4] varar: vara 39, F, viðar E, J2ˣ;    Hrafni: nafni Hr    [5] Gerðum: ‘geyrðom’ F, ‘gíordí’ Hr;    þverrði: so E, þurði Kˣ, papp18ˣ, F, þyrði 39, sverði J2ˣ, þorði Hr    [6] þengill: þengils Hr;    en: ern Hr;    fengi: gengi Hr    [7] skeiðr: skeiði J2ˣ, ‘skædr’ Hr

Editions: Skj AI, 364, Skj BI, 335, Skald I, 169, NN §§1187, 1855; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 56, IV, 196-7, ÍF 28, 50, Hkr 1991, 589 (Mgóð ch. 30), F 1871, 186, E 1916, 27-8; Fms 6, 78 n. (Mgóð ch. 38), Fms 12, 134.

Context: Still within the battle of Århus (Áróss), Magnús and his company board Sveinn’s ship; Sveinn flees, with many of his men, while others fall or accept safe conduct.

Notes: [All]: This st. and the following helmingr are lacking from the narrative in H. — [1, 2] vǫrðr vagna kjalar ‘guardian of waggons of the keel [SHIPS > SEAFARER]’: (a) The phrase is here taken in apposition to Magnús, as subject to gekk. (b) Alternatively, either vǫrðr vagna kjalar could be an apostrophe (so Hkr 1991), or Magnús could be (so, seemingly, ÍF 28), but it is awkward to assume that Magnús is simultaneously being apostrophised and spoken about in the 3rd pers. (gekk ‘went’ (l. 1)). (c) The variant Kjalars coupled with regna as variant to vagna (as it is in 39 and J2ˣ) could form a battle-kenning, ‘Óðinn’s showers’ (Kjalarr is a name for Óðinn), but a ship-kenning is more likely as the determinant to vǫrðr ‘guardian’, and more likely amidst the nautical imagery of this st. Moreover, regna fails to supply the requisite aðalhending. — [3-4] fagran framstafn ‘beautiful forestem’: On ship-stems and the decoration on them, see Jesch 2001a, 127-8, 144-50. See also Notes to Valg Har 10/5 and 11/4. — [4] Hrafni varar ‘of the Hrafn <horse> of the landing-stage [SHIP]’: Hrafn (lit. ‘Raven’, presumably from its black colour) was the mount of the legendary sea-king Áli, and hence a heiti for ‘horse’ in general. It is common in ship-kennings (LP). — [5, 6] gerðum ... þengill ‘we brought it about … prince’: (a) As in st. 9/3, the 1st pers. pl. verb seems, unexpectedly, to imply direct involvement by Þjóðólfr. Again, the sense might merely be ‘we’ in the sense of ‘our side’. The question then arises whether þengill is an apostrophe (as assumed above, following ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991) or whether it is the subject of þverrði, hence ‘we brought it about that the prince reduced...’. (b) The variant ‘gíordí’ in Hr encouraged some eds to adopt gerði, either ‘it happened, came about’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV), or, reading þengill gerði, svát... ‘the prince brought it about that he...’ (Skj B). Although this is less problematic than gerðum, it goes against the evidence of the normally more reliable Hkr mss. — [5] þverrði ‘reduced’: Given the dissent among the mss here there is a difficult choice between this and þurði ‘rushed on’. (a) Adopting þverrði ‘reduced’ has the advantage of following gerðum/gerði ‘we brought it about / it came about’ with more of an achievement: the reduction of the enemy army, rather than merely advancing (þurði ‘rushed’), and þverrði ‘reduced’ contrasts neatly with óx ‘increased’. In the interpretation above þverrði is impersonal, but one could alternatively read þengill þverrði lið húskarla jarli, en fengi óx; herr nam at hrjóða skeiðr ‘the prince reduced the jarl’s troop of housecarls, and booty increased; the army started to clear the warships’. The reading þverrði is adopted by most modern eds, except that Hkr 1991 reads þurði but with a similar sense to þverrði: jarli þurði (þraut) húskarla lið ‘the jarl’s (Sveinn’s) troop of housecarls rushed (gave out)’. (b) The variant þurði ‘rushed on’ would yield: Gerðum þar, svát þengill þurði ‘We brought it about there that the prince rushed on’, but a statement implying that the king needed his troops to urge him on is very unlikely in a skaldic encomium. — [7] skeiðr (f. acc. pl.) ‘warships’: The monosyllabic pl. skeiðr is attested by the metre, as also, e.g., in ÞjóðA Frag 1/3, Arn Magndr 14/1 and Bǫlv Hardr 2/4, while a disyllabic skeiðar or skeiðir is required, and indicated by the mss, in ÞjóðA Har 5/6, Arn Hardr 3/2. That skeið refers to a warship is well evidenced, but it is difficult to specify the type of ship further (Jesch 2001a, 123-4). — [8]: The l. is identical with Hharð Lv 6/8. — [8] jarli ‘jarl’s’: This is taken here as a poss. dat., or dat. of disadvantage, qualifying lið húskarla ‘troop of housecarls’ in l. 8; it could alternatively qualify skeiðr ‘warships’ or herr ‘army’, both in l. 7.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. 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.
  7. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  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. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  13. Internal references
  14. 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].
  15. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 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. 263-4.
  16. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 14’ 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. 223-4.
  17. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 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. 288-9.
  18. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 6’ 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. 47-8.
  19. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr 5’ 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. 155-6.
  20. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments 1’ 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. 159.
  21. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 10’ 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. 308-9.
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