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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 14I/5 — flæmingr ‘the roamer’

Ok lofsæll
ór landi fló
Týs ôttungr
Tunna ríki.
En flæmingr
farra trjónu
jǫtuns eykr
á Agli rauð,
sás of austmǫrk
áðan hafði
brúna hǫrg
of borinn lengi.
En skíðlauss
Skilfinga nið
hœfis hjǫrr
til hjarta stóð.

Ok lofsæll ôttungr Týs fló ór landi ríki Tunna. En flæmingr, eykr jǫtuns, sás áðan hafði of borinn hǫrg brúna lengi of austmǫrk, rauð trjónu farra á Agli. En skíðlauss hjǫrr hœfis stóð til hjarta nið Skilfinga.

And the famous descendant of Týr <god> [= Swedish king] fled the country before the power of Tunni. And the roamer, the draught-animal of the giant [BULL], which before had long borne the cairn of the brows [HEAD] about the eastern forest, reddened its weapon of the bull [HORN] upon Egill. And the sheathless sword of the bull [HORN] stuck in the heart of the descendant of the Skilfingar [= Swedish king].


[5] flæmingr: so J2ˣ, R685ˣ, flæming , papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, F, 761aˣ


[5] flæmingr ‘the roamer’: (a) ON flæmingr is known from prose in the meaning ‘flight, fleeing’ arising from the verb flæma ‘drive away’ (Fritzner: flæmingr); cf. also ModIcel. flæmingur ‘vagabond’, OE flȳming ‘refugee, fugitive’. The nom. flæmingr is taken here as ‘vagabond, fugitive, roamer’ in apposition to eykr jǫtuns ‘draft animal of the giant [BULL]’, referring to an escaped bull roaming at large, as understood by Snorri (see Context; so also Noreen, Yt 1925). Although a preceding appositive is arguably unusual (Konráð Gíslason 1869, 52; Åkerlund 1939, 95) this interpretation is preferable to others, firstly because flæmingr appears in and J2ˣ and must, as a nom., belong with nom. eykr, and secondly in light of the interpretation of trjónu farra, cf. Note to l. 6. (b) Many commentators understand flæmingr as ‘sword’ (originally of Flemish manufacture, Storm 1899, 121). It only occurs here and in the þulur (Þul Sverða 7/2III), for which, however, this part of Yt may have been the source (Yt 1925). Further, connecting flæmingr ‘sword’ to the following trjónu farra poses difficulties, cf. Note to l. 6.



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