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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þloft Hfl 1I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Hǫfuðlausn 1’ 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. 850.

Þórarinn loftungaHǫfuðlausn1

Knútr verr grund sem gætir
Gríklands himinríki.

Knútr verr grund sem {gætir Gríklands} himinríki.

Knútr defends the land as {the guardian of Greece} [= God] [defends] the heavenly kingdom.

Mss: Holm2(56v), J2ˣ(206r), 321ˣ(211), Bæb(2va), 68(56v), Holm4(54va), 61(115va), 75c(38v), 325V(67va), 325VII(31r), 325XI 2 g(3rb), Flat(118va), Tóm(145v) (ÓH); Kˣ(427v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] sem gætir: sætir Tóm    [2] Grík‑: Grikk‑ J2ˣ, Tóm, ‘[…]’ Kˣ;    ‑lands: ‑land 61;    himinríki: himnar 321ˣ, himinríkis 61, 75c, Tóm, himna ríki Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 322, Skj BI, 298, Skald I, 151; ÓH 1941, I, 474 (ch. 166), Flat 1860-8, II, 306; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 397, ÍF 27, 307 (ÓHHkr ch. 172).

Context: The stanza follows the ‘head-ransom’ narrative summarised in the Introduction above.

Notes: [All]: These lines, which are said in ÓH-Hkr to be the stef ‘refrain’ for Þórarinn’s poem, bear an obvious resemblance to the refrains of other poems for Knútr. Sigvatr Þórðarson views Knútr as being und himnum ‘under the heavens’ (Sigv Knútdr 3/1, 7/1), while the refrain of Þórarinn’s own Tøgdr (1/1), though incomplete, has the similar und sólar ‘under the sun’s …’. But by far the closest resemblance is to the stef of Hallvarðr Háreksblesi’s Knútdr (Hallv Knútdr 8/8III): Knútr verr jǫrð sem ítran | alls dróttinn sal fjalla ‘Knútr defends the earth as the lord of all [defends] the splendid hall of the mountains [HEAVEN]’. Since the likely date for this poem is c. 1029, it appears to be Hallvarðr who is the borrower here. As Frank (1994b, 116-17) notes, these four refrains depict Knútr ‘in cosmic high relief’, and in their association of God and king they may show influence from Anglo-Saxon royal ideology (see also Fidjestøl 1993b, 106, 118-19). — [1] grund ‘the land’: The word may refer to the earth generally, but more probably to Knútr’s realm in particular; Þórarinn in Glækv 9/4 uses the term to refer to Norway, as posthumously controlled by the saintly Óláfr Haraldsson. — [2] Gríklands ‘of Greece’: Probably referring to Byzantium. On the terms Gríkland, lit. ‘Greek-land’, and Gríkir ‘Greeks’ in skaldic verse see Jesch (2001a, 100). For the few early God-kennings involving a geographical determinant, see Meissner 378; Arn Hardr 17/3II vǫrðr Girkja ok Garða ‘guardian of the Greeks and of Garðar’ is the closest parallel. Ms. 61 offers the alternative reading that ‘the guardian of the heavenly kingdom [defends] Greece’. — [2] himinríki ‘the heavenly kingdom’: In skaldic poetry prior to the C12th, the term is only found in the works of Þórarinn, here and in Glækv 3/4 and 4/4; see further Note to Glækv 3/4.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. 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.
  4. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  5. 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.
  6. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  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. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1993b. ‘Pagan Beliefs and Christian Impact: The Contribution of Scaldic Studies’. In Faulkes et al. 1993, 100-20.
  10. Frank, Roberta. 1994b. ‘King Cnut in the Verse of his Skalds’. In Rumble 1994, 106-24.
  11. Internal references
  12. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  13. Judith Jesch 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sigvatr Þórðarson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 347.
  14. Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa’ 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. 851.
  15. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 17’ 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. 279-80.
  16. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallvarðr háreksblesi, Knútsdrápa 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 239.
  17. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Knútsdrápa 3’ 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. 653.
  18. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Glælognskviða 3’ 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. 867.
  19. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Glælognskviða 9’ 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. 875.
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