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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 2II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 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. 113-14.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
123

Tøgu má tekna segja
(tandrauðs) á Serklandi
(ungr hætti sér) átta
(ormtorgs hǫtuðr) borga,
áðr herskorðuðr harðan
Hildar leik und skildi
Serkjum hættr í sléttri
Sikileyju gekk heyja.

Má segja átta tøgu borga tekna á Serklandi—{ungr hǫtuðr {tandrauðs ormtorgs}} hætti sér—, áðr {herskorðuðr}, hættr Serkjum, gekk heyja {harðan leik Hildar} und skildi í sléttri Sikileyju.

One can say that eighty strongholds were captured in the land of the Saracens (Serkland)—{the young hater {of the flame-red dragon-square}} [GOLD > RULER] put himself in danger—, before {the troop-supporter} [WARRIOR], dangerous to the Saracens (Serkir), advanced to wage {the harsh sport of Hildr <valkyrie>} [BATTLE] behind his shield in level Sicily.

Mss: (524r), papp18ˣ(226v), 39(19rb), F(42va), E(10v), J2ˣ(258v-259r) (Hkr); FskBˣ(61r-v), FskAˣ(231-232) (Fsk); H(22v), Hr(17ra) (H-Hr); Flat(192vb) (Flat)

Readings: [1] Tøgu: ‘Tigu’ FskBˣ, ‘Tiughu’ FskAˣ;    má: so 39, F, H, Hr, Flat, mátt Kˣ, papp18ˣ, J2ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘mat’ E, FskBˣ;    tekna: ‘tegna’ FskBˣ, Flat    [3] ungr: angr FskBˣ, ungir FskAˣ;    hætti: heiti FskBˣ, ‘hæitti’ FskAˣ    [4] orm‑: ‘æin‑’ J2ˣ;    ‑torgs: togs FskBˣ;    hǫtuðr: ‘hrautodr’ Flat    [5] ‑skorðuðr: so F, E, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, H, Hr, ‑skorðaðr Kˣ, papp18ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘scaurþvþvr’ 39, ‘skodudr’ Flat    [6] leik: om. FskAˣ    [7] sléttri: ‘slekter’ Flat    [8] ‑eyju: ‑eyja E, ‑ey FskAˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 369, Skj BI, 339, Skald I, 171; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 82, IV, 209-10, ÍF 28, 75, Hkr 1991, 605 (HSig ch. 5), F 1871, 195, E 1916, 36; Fsk 1902-3, 222 (ch. 43), ÍF 29, 230 (ch. 51); Fms 6, 138-9 (HSig ch. 5), Fms 12, 141; Flat 1860-8, III, 294, Andersson and Gade 2000, 135-6, 472 (MH).

Context: The st. is introduced to back up the statement that, in the course of his exploits in the Mediterranean, Haraldr Sigurðarson went to Africa, known as Serkland ‘land of the Saracens’, and conquered eighty strongholds by force or by securing their surrender before proceeding to Sicily. Fsk and Flat claim that the tradition rests on Haraldr’s own account.

Notes: [All]: For this episode, see also Hharð Gamv 2, Hharð Lv 10, Bǫlv Hardr 4-5 and Valg Har 1. — [All]: The linkage and progression between the two helmingar is reinforced by deft echoing of the phrases á Serklandi ‘in the land of the Saracens (Serkland)’ (l. 2) and hætti sér ‘put himself in danger’ (l. 3) in Serkjum hættr ‘dangerous to the Saracens (Serkir)’ (l. 7). See further Whaley 2005, 483-4. — [1] ‘one can’: The alternative 2nd pers. sg. reading mátt ‘you can’ is less credible in the absence of an addressee. — [2] á Serklandi ‘in the land of the Saracens (Serkland)’: Serkland is somewhat elusive, but has been equated with Asia Minor, where the Væringjar (mainly Norse mercenaries) are known to have fought in the mid-1030s (Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson, ÍF 28, 75 n.); if this is correct the reference to Africa in the prose Context may be erroneous, influenced by st. 3. The eds of Hkr 1991 (III, 261, 491), on the other hand, place Serkland in North Africa. See also Þfisk Lv 3/5 and Þstf Lv 3/6. — [5] herskorðuðr ‘the troop-supporter’: I.e. ‘supporter of (his own) troops’, from skorða ‘to prop’. This is the majority reading; cf. the synonymous herskorðandi Ótt Hfl 17/6I. The 39 reading, and possibly some of the <o> spellings in other mss, could point to an alternative herskǫrðuðr ‘troop-depleter’, the one who cuts a skarð or cleft in (enemy) troops (cf. herskerðir Hfr ErfÓl 6/1I), and this reading is favoured in Hkr 1893-1901 and ÍF 28, 75, but not Hkr 1991. Kennings referring to rulers as leaders of their own troops or destroyers of enemy troops are both common (Meissner 358-9 and 359-60 respectively). — [8] sléttri Sikileyju ‘level Sicily’: Sicily has coastal plains but overall is far from flat, with Mt Etna rising to over 3,300m.

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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  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. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  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. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  14. Whaley, Diana. 2005a. ‘Skaldic Poetry’. In McTurk 2005, 479-502.
  15. Internal references
  16. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ 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, pp. clxi-clxii.
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  18. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  19. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 4’ 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. 289-90.
  21. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 6’ 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. 409.
  22. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 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. 51-2.
  23. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Gamanvísur 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. 36-7.
  24. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 17’ 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. 762.
  25. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorgils fiskimaðr, Lausavísur 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. 335-6.
  26. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þórarinn stuttfeldr, Lausavísur 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, p. 481.
  27. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 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. 300-1.
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