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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Gráf 7I/7 — réð ‘he overwhelmed’

Braut við brynju njóta
bág rifjunga Sôgu
— naddskúrar vas nœrir —
Nóregs konungr stóra.
Valgaltar lét velta
vargfœðandi marga
— ofvægjum réð jǫfri —
jafnborna sér þorna.

Konungr Nóregs braut bág Sôgu rifjunga við stóra njóta brynju; vas nœrir naddskúrar. Vargfœðandi lét marga þorna valgaltar, jafnborna sér, velta; réð ofvægjum jǫfri.

The king of Norway [= Haraldr] waged the strife of the Sága <goddess> of swords [VALKYRIE > BATTLE] against mighty users of the mail-shirt [WARRIORS]; he was a nourisher of the point-shower [BATTLE > WARRIOR]. The wolf-feeder [WARRIOR] made many thorn-trees of the slaughter-boar [HELMET > WARRIORS], as well-born as he, topple; he overwhelmed the very powerful prince.

notes

[7] réð ofvægjum jǫfri ‘he overwhelmed the very powerful prince’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; also ÍF 29) emends the dat. sg. ofvægjum/óvægjum of the mss to nom. sg. ofvæginn and the dat. sg. jǫfri to acc. pl. jǫfra, and translates uimodståelig overmandede han fyrsterne ‘irresistible, he overpowered the princes’. But the ms. reading ofvægjum can be retained, since ráða + dat. in the sense ‘to have control over’ can take an animate object, although inanimates are more common (Fritzner: ráða 20; LP: ráða 4); Kock (NN §2219) suggests ‘to chastise, punish’. It has been suggested that the defeated prince was Tryggvi Óláfsson, but according to the account of HGráf ch. 9 (ÍF 26, 214) Tryggvi was killed not by Haraldr but by the men of Haraldr’s brother Guðrøðr Eiríksson. The specific killing mentioned in the stanza, assuming that l. 7 refers to one such, could be that of Guðrøðr Bjarnarson, which is attributed to Haraldr and his men in ch. 10 (ÍF 26, 214).

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