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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 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. 167-8.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonLausavísur
234

[Logit hefr Baldr at Baldri]
brynþings fetilstinga,
linns, sás land á sunnar,
láðbrjótr, fyrir ráða.
Sjá mun Njǫrðr inn nørðri
(norðr) glymhríðar borða
(gramr est frœkn) ok fremri
fastmálari hôla.

{[Baldr] {brynþings}} [hefr logit at {Baldri] {fetilstinga}}, {{linns láð}brjótr}, sás á land sunnar ráða fyrir. {Sjá inn nørðri Njǫrðr {glymhríðar borða}} mun hôla fastmálari ok fremri; gramr, est frœkn norðr.

{[The Baldr <god>] {of the byrnie-assembly}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Sveinn] [has broken faith with {the Baldr <god>] {of sword-belt stabbers}} [SWORDS > WARRIOR = Haraldr (= me)], {the breaker {of the land of the snake}} [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn] who has a land farther south to rule over. {That, the more northerly, Njǫrðr <god> {of the clashing storm of shields}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Haraldr] must be vastly more true to his word and more outstanding; lord, you are bold in the north.

Mss: FskBˣ(71r), FskAˣ(265) (Fsk); Mork(9r) (Mork); Flat(197vb) (Flat); H(45r), Hr(32rb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] ‑þings: ‑þing Mork, H, Hr    [3] linns: so all others, ‘liuz’ FskBˣ    [5] Sjá mun (‘sia man’): ‘sia munn’ FskAˣ, þó er sjá Mork, Flat, þá er sjá H, Hr;    Njǫrðr: so all others, Njǫrð FskBˣ;    inn: er H, ‘vr’ Hr;    nørðri: ‘nerdre’ Flat    [7] frœkn ok: flestum FskAˣ    [8] ‑málari: ‘‑mælare’ Flat;    hôla (‘hala’): halla Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 379-80, Skj BI, 349-50, Skald I, 176, NN §§253, 870, 1079D; Fsk 1902-3, 256 (ch. 46), ÍF 29, 256 (ch. 55); Mork 1928-32, 162, Andersson and Gade 2000, 199, 476 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 339 (MH); Fms 6, 257-8 (HSig ch. 51), Fms 12, 151.

Context: Haraldr, responding to a challenge from King Sveinn of Denmark, brings his fleet to the Götaälv (Elfr) but learns that Sveinn is still south in Jylland (or Sjælland, H-Hr). He initiates a st. (Hharð Lv 5/1) and the rest is completed by Þjóðólfr (ll. 2-7).

Notes: [All]: This campaign took place c. two years after the events described in Lv 2; for other relevant poetry see Þfagr Sveinn 2-9, Stúfr Stúfdr 6 and Anon (HSig) 2. — [1]: The first l. is attributed to King Haraldr in the prose sources: see Context. — [2]: The two compounds brynþings ‘of the byrnie-assembly [BATTLE]’ and fetilstinga ‘of sword-belt stabbers [SWORDS]’ clearly provide the determinant(s) to the warrior-kennings of which nom. sg. Baldr and dat. sg. Baldri in l. 1 are the base-words. The question is, whether brynþings fetilstinga belong together or not, and there is no way to arbitrate certainly between the possibilities. (a) The two compounds are assumed here to qualify one ‘Baldr’ each: Baldr brynþings ‘the Baldr of the byrnie-assembly’ and Baldri fetilstinga ‘the Baldr of sword-belt stabbers’, yielding two warrior-kennings (so Skj B and Gade). (b) Kock in NN §253 and §1079D, citing parallels in Gsindr Hákdr 6I, Tindr Lv 1V and Bjhit Lv 19V, argues for brynþings fetilstinga ‘of the sword’s mighty assembly’ (svärdens häftiga mötes), with bryn- related to bruna/bryna ‘rush’. This is in his view a unitary phrase, a single determinant which Baldr and Baldr share, reinforcing the sense of ‘the one warrior and the other’. — [3-4] linns láðbrjótr ‘the breaker of the land of the snake [(lit. ‘snake’s land-breaker’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’: This kenning is taken here, as by most eds, in apposition with the warrior-kenning built around Baldr. The main alternative, taken up in Fms 12, would be to read it as an apostrophe, presumably addressed to Haraldr. — [3, 4] sás á land … ráða fyrir ‘who has a land … to rule over’: Á is 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga ‘own, have to’, which in the latter sense takes an inf. with (or as here) without at (see LP: eiga 8). — [5] sjá ... mun ‘that, ... must be’: The Fsk readings point to sjá mun, which gives good sense, and is adopted here since FskBˣ is the main ms. for this st. The variant Þós sjá ‘And yet that’ (Mork, Flat) is also viable (and is adopted in Skj B and Skald) as is Þás sjá ‘Then that’ (H, Hr). — [6] norðr ‘in the north’: This could technically be an adj. ‘northern’ or adv. ‘in/towards the north’, and could qualify either the warrior-kenning Njǫrðr glymhríðar borða ‘Njǫrðr of the clashing storm of shields’ (ll. 5-6), or gramr ‘lord’ (l. 7). Since the warrior is already described as inn nørðri ‘the one further north’ (l. 5) it must refer to the gramr ‘lord’ (l. 7), and since this lord is addressed with the 2nd pers. sg. est ‘you are’ it is presumably Haraldr. Otherwise it might have been tempting to take (frœkn) norðr as ‘bold [if you go] north’, a jibe at Sveinn matching the point in the first helmingr that his rightful territory is farther south. — [8] hôla ‘vastly’: The adv. is assumed here to modify fastmálari ok fremri ‘more true to your word and more outstanding’ (ll. 7-8). It is instead taken with frœkn ‘bold’ (l. 7) in Skj B, but this entails an awkward w. o., to which Kock objected in NN §870.

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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  10. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  12. Internal references
  13. 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.
  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. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  17. Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar 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. 816-17.
  18. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 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, p. 47.
  19. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr 2’ 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. 146.
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 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. 355-6.
  21. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 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. 314-15.
  22. Not published: do not cite (Tindr Lv 1V (Heið 13))
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