Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 11I/4 — Gǫndlar ‘of Gǫndul’

Ísland éla skyndir
ítr lista vann kristnat
gollmildr Grœnaveldi
Gǫndlar þey*s ok Eyjar.
Handvíst Hjalta grundar
hann sem Nóregs manna
hôttu hilmir bœtti.
Hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu.

Gollmildr skyndir éla þey*s Gǫndlar, ítr lista, vann kristnat Ísland, Grœnaveldi ok Eyjar. Hann, hilmir, bœtti handvíst hôttu manna Nóregs sem grundar Hjalta. Hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu …

The gold-generous hastener of the storms of the thawing wind of Gǫndul <valkyrie> [BATTLE > ARROWS > WARRIOR], splendid in accomplishments, made Iceland, Greenland and the Isles [Orkney] Christian. He, the ruler, improved most certainly the way of life of the people of Norway as well as of the land of the Shetlanders [= Shetland]. Faithful and foremost in all things …


[4] Gǫndlar: ‘gvnnlar’ Bb


[1, 4] skyndir éla þey*s Gǫndlar ‘hastener of the storms of the thawing wind of Gǫndul <valkyrie> [BATTLE > ARROWS > WARRIOR]’: (a) The minor emendation of þeyrs to þeys produces an acceptable kenning structure, with þeys Gǫndlar ‘of the thawing wind of Gǫndul [BATTLE]’ as the determinant of a kenning for ‘arrows’ or ‘arrow-showers’ (cf. SnE 1998, I, 67 for kennings for missiles based on terms referring to precipitation such as hagl ‘hail’). (b) Since þeyr ‘thawing wind’ and él ‘storm’ can both function as the base-word of a battle-kenning, this kenning could be seen as overloaded, and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) seems to regard éla ‘storms’ as a redundant element in the battle-kenning éla Gǫndlar þeys ‘the storms of Gǫndul’s thawing wind’ rather than being an independent kenning element. There is a possible parallel to this in the use of hríð ‘storm’ in st. 34/6, 7 (see Note).




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