skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

HSt Rst 9I/8 — vas ‘was’

Fémildr fylkir vildi
firna mǫrg ok hǫrga
blóthús brenna láta;
bað heiðin goð meiða.
Siðvandr síðan kenndi
sannhróðigr trú góða
herlundr hǫlða kindum.
Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna.

Fémildr fylkir vildi láta brenna firna mǫrg hǫrga ok blóthús; bað meiða heiðin goð. Siðvandr, sannhróðigr herlundr kenndi síðan góða trú kindum hǫlða. Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna …

The generous ruler wanted to have very many temples and sacrificial buildings burned; he ordered the heathen gods to be harmed. The devout, truly famous war-tree [WARRIOR = Óláfr] then taught the good faith to the offspring of men. He was the mightiest of royal men …

readings

[8] vas (‘var’): er all others

notes

[8] vas ‘was’: The ÓT version has er (normalised es) ‘is’. The pres. tense could refer to Óláfr’s enduring reputation, but seems out of place in so retrospective a poem. — [8] hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’: The line is identical to Anon Óldr 11/6, and is among echoes of Steinn ÓldrII in Rst; see Note to st. 12 [All] below. The stef ‘refrain’ of Rst begins in this stanza and is completed in the next two (sts 10/8, 11/8); the pattern is then repeated four times in sts 12-23. (a) The complete refrain in this edn reads: Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg sólar | hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu, i.e. Hann, Óláfr, vas ríkstr konungmanna und veg sólar, hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was the mightiest of royal men under the path of the sun [SKY], faithful and foremost in all things’. (b) The interpretation favoured in Skj B and Skald, based on the ÓT version, is: Hann vas / Hanns ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg- sólar | hǫll ok ‑fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was/is the mightiest and foremost in honour of royal men in all things under the hall of the sun [SKY]’. This solution is primarily based on the reading hǫll ‘hall’, which is preferable to hollr ‘faithful’ insofar as it forms an exact aðalhending with ǫll-. However, this argument is not strong in Rst, where the rhyme is somewhat irregular (see Introduction), while the postulated vegfremstr ‘foremost in honour’ involves an unusual tmesis across stanzas, and the prep. und ‘under’ is syntactically detached from veg, the noun that follows it (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 54) avoids these problems by taking vegsólar as a cpd equivalent to vegligrar sólar ‘of the magnificent sun’.

grammar

Irregular verbs: vera (to be)

indic.subj.
pres.pastpres.past
sing.


pl.
1
2
3
1
2
3
em
ert
er
erum
eruð
eru
var
vart
var
várum
váruð
váru

sér

sém
séð
væra
værir
væri
værim
værið
væri
imperative
past part.
ver, verið
verit
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Word in text

This view shows information about an instance of a word in a text.