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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 32I/2 — byggvi ‘owner’

Hvar viti ǫld und einum
jarðbyggvi svá liggja
— þat skyli herr of hugsa —
hjarl sextían jarla?
Þess ríðr fúrs með fjórum
folkleikr Heðins reikar
logskundaðar lindar
lofkenndr himins endum.

Hvar viti ǫld hjarl sextían jarla liggja svá und einum jarðbyggvi? Herr skyli of hugsa þat. Lofkenndr folkleikr fúrs reikar Heðins þess lindar logskundaðar ríðr með fjórum endum himins.

Where would people know of the territory of sixteen jarls lying in such a way under one land-owner [RULER]? The army ought to consider that. The renowned army-game [BATTLE] of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero> [SWORD] of that impeller of the fire of the spring [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] spreads along the four ends of the sky.


[2] ‑byggvi: ‑byggvis 39, F, J1ˣ, 61, ‘‑byggis’ 54, Bb, ‘‑ygg(uis)’(?) Flat


[2] jarðbyggvi ‘land-owner [RULER]’: According to Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: jarðbyggvir) Hákon jarl is referred to here as a free farmer (odelsbonde), since he is only a jarl, not a king. Olsen (1962a, 50) suggests the sense ‘landlord’ (based on byggja ‘to loan, let’; see Fritzner: byggja 2). However, in the context of praise of the scope of Hákon’s rule, it is better to understand jarðbyggvir as a kenning of the type jarðhljótr ‘landowner’ (KormǪ Sigdr 3/2III) or jarðráðandi ‘land-ruler’ (Eyv Hál 11/7, Anon Mlag 3/4II). ÍF 26 adopts the gen. sg. jarðbyggvis given by all except the main ms. , and combines it with herr ‘host’ from the intercalary clause. This results in unnecessarily complicated syntax.




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