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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 14II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 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. 126-7.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
131415

Fast bað fylking hrausta
friðvandr jǫfurr standa;
hamalt sýndisk mér hǫmlur
hildings vinir skilda.
Rammsyndan lauk rǫndum
ráðandi manndáða
nýtr fyr Nizi útan
naðr, svát hver tók aðra.

Friðvandr jǫfurr bað hrausta fylking standa fast; mér sýndisk vinir hildings skilda hǫmlur hamalt. {Nýtr ráðandi manndáða} lauk rammsyndan naðr rǫndum fyr útan Nizi, svát hver tók aðra.

The peace-concerned ruler ordered the valiant troop to stand firm; I witnessed [lit. it appeared to me that] the friends of the commander setting shields at the rowing-positions, in a wedge-shape. {The excellent performer of manly deeds} [RULER] enclosed the strong-swimming serpent with shields off the Nissan, so that each one abutted the next.

Mss: (560r), papp18ˣ(255r), F(48vb), E(21r), J2ˣ(282r-v) (Hkr); H(56r), Hr(40vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] bað: so papp18ˣ, F, E, J2ˣ, H, Hr, bauð Kˣ    [2] frið‑: ferð E    [3] sýndisk: sýndusk F, H    [4] vinir: viðir H, Hr;    skilda: skildar J2ˣ, skjalda H, Hr    [5] Rammsyndan: ‘rꜹndsyndann’ J2ˣ    [8] svát: so F, E, H, Hr, svá Kˣ, papp18ˣ, J2ˣ;    hver: hverr H, Hr

Editions: Skj AI, 371-2, Skj BI, 342, Skald I, 172, NN §858; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 160, IV, 227-8, ÍF 28, 146-7, Hkr 1991, 654 (HSig ch. 61), F 1871, 227, E 1916, 74; Fms 6, 314 (HSig ch. 77), Fms 12, 155.

Context: The st. follows st. 13, with the comment that Haraldr’s ship was excellently equipped and manned. H-Hr adds that the king urged his men to stand firm behind their shields if the battle got under way.

Notes: [2] friðvandr ‘peace-concerned’: This assumes that vandr has the sense ‘particular about, careful, cultivating’, as in numerous compounds, but the cpd is in fact nicely ambiguous, with ‘difficult’ as another possibility (see LP). — [3] hamalt ‘in a wedge-shape’: This, the n. of hamall, of uncertain origin, almost always occurs adverbially with fylkja ‘line up troops’ (e.g. ÞjóðA Run 1 and Note; Notes to Gísl Magnkv 10/6 and Mark Eirdr 15/3; LP; Fritzner). In the present context of a sea-battle it is slightly problematic. (a) It is assumed here that the two couplets of the helmingr form self-contained clauses, and hence that it is the disposition of shields along the ship’s two gunwales that forms a wedge shape, as explained in LP: hamalt. The image may alternatively be of shields touching at the edges, forming a secure wall (as assumed in Hkr 1991). (b) To take hamalt with standa ‘stand’ (l. 2), predicated of the troop in l. 1, would seem attractive, although standa is already qualified by fast ‘firm’ (l. 1). Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B, perhaps in order to link hamalt with standa, chose the minority pl. reading sýndusk ‘they seemed’ in l. 3 and assumed a difficult cl. arrangement in which listeners would have to resist taking bað ‘ordered’ (l. 1) with the first inf. standa ‘stand’ and take it instead with the second inf. skilda ‘to set shields’ (l. 4), but his entry on hamall in LP suggests a change of mind (and see Kock’s response to the Skj B version in NN §858). — [3] sýndisk mér ‘I witnessed [lit. it appeared to me that]’: This is the majority reading, which yields an impersonal construction (so also ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991). The F reading, pl. sýndusk ‘they seemed’, would have vinir hildings ‘the friends of the commander’ (l. 4) as its subject (so Finnur Jónsson, as noted above). — [3] hǫmlur ‘the rowing-positions’: See Note to Arn Hryn 9/5. — [8] naðr ‘serpent’: Naðr (cf. Engl. adder) means ‘snake, serpent’, and was used as a poetic synonym for ships named Ormr ‘Serpent’, as well as for the generic word dreki ‘dragon’, hence ‘dragon-ship, warship’ (see LP: naðr). The use of naðr here and in Arn Hardr to refer to a dragon-ship or warship is therefore not unexpected, especially when qualified by rammsyndan ‘powerfully swimming’ (l. 5).

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. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  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, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ 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. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  16. Diana Whaley 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa’ 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. 260-80.
  17. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 9’ 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. 193-4.
  18. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 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. 423-4.
  19. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2009, ‘Markús Skeggjason, Eiríksdrápa 15’ 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. 445-6.
  20. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Runhent poem about Haraldr 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, pp. 103-5.
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