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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 31I/2 — ragna ‘of the gods’

Valfǫllum hlóð vǫllu
(varð ragna konr gagni)
hríðar ôss (at hrósa)
— hlaut Óðinn val — Fróða.
Hver sé if, nema jǫfra
ættrýri goð stýra?
Rammaukin kveðk ríki
rǫgn Hôkunar magna.

Ôss hríðar Fróða hlóð vǫllu valfǫllum; konr ragna varð at hrósa gagni; Óðinn hlaut val. Hver if sé, nema goð stýra jǫfra ættrýri? Kveðk rammaukin rǫgn magna ríki Hôkunar.

The god of the storm of Fróði <sea-king> [BATTLE > WARRIOR] piled up the fields with the slain; the descendant of the gods [= Hákon jarl] could boast of victory; Óðinn was allotted the slain. What doubt might there be that the gods guide the destroyer of the kin of princes [(lit. ‘kin-destroyer of princes’) PRINCES > RULER = Hákon jarl]? I declare that the exceedingly powerful gods increase the might of Hákon.

readings

[2] ragna: rǫgna , F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ‘rogna’ FskBˣ, FskAˣ

notes

[2] ragna ‘of the gods’: All mss have rǫgna, the analogical gen. pl. form based on nom. pl. rǫgn, a variant of regin (ANG §362 Anm. 2). However, normalisation to the etymological form ragna is likely to be appropriate for a C10th text, and produces a more exact aðalhending here (Marold 1992, 709). — [2] konr ragna ‘the descendant of the gods [= Hákon jarl]’: It was presumably Hákon jarl’s policy to emphasise the divine lineage of his house; cf., e.g., Eyv Hál 1/5, 8. It can be doubted whether konr ragna can be interpreted as a kenning because in that case it would mean ‘god’. There is a similar kenning niðr Yggs ‘descendant of Yggr <= Óðinn>’ [= Hákon jarl] in st. 19/8 (see Note), but it differs from konr ragna in having an individual ancestor for the determinant, as do the kennings ôttungr Týs ‘descendant of Týr <god>’ (Þjóð Yt 14/3) and ôttungr Freys ‘descendant of Freyr <god>’ (Þjóð Yt 16/7), both denoting ‘Swedish king’. In any case konr ragna can be interpreted as an assertion of the divine descent of the ruler.

kennings

grammar

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