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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 11I/3 — Freys ‘Freyr’

Þar varð minnstr
ǫndverðan dag
es flota þeystu
at eyðǫndum,
þás sverðalfr
sunnan kníði
lagar stóð
at liði þeira.

Þar varð minnstr fagnafundr Yngvi-Freys meinvinnǫndum ǫndverðan dag, es jarðráðendr þeystu flota at eyðǫndum, þás sverðalfr kníði stóð lagar sunnan at liði þeira.

There the least welcome meeting came about for the workers of the harm of Yngvi-Freyr <god> [(lit. ‘harm-workers of Yngvi-Freyr’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] at the break of day, as the rulers of the land [RULERS] impelled their fleet against the ravagers, when the sword-elf [WARRIOR] drove his stud-horses of the sea [SHIPS] from the south against their army.


[3] ‑Freys: ‘‑freyrs’ F


[2-3] Yngvi-Freys meinvinnǫndum ‘for the workers of the harm of Yngvi-Freyr <god> [(lit. ‘harm-workers of Yngvi-Freyr’) BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: The warrior-kenning is unusual. Yngvi-Freyr is a name of Freyr (see LP: Yngvifreyr). The word mein ‘harm’ is associated with Freyr in both Lok 43/5 and Gylf (SnE 2005, 31), but its precise significance in this context remains uncertain. A battle-kenning seems most likely as the determinant qualifying vinnǫndum (dat. pl.) ‘workers’, and this is supported by leikr Freys ‘sport of Freyr [BATTLE]’, Þhorn Harkv 6/4 and Note. Although Freyr is not normally a battle-god but a deity presiding over peace and good crops (Gylf, SnE 2005, 24), war could be regarded as a source of harm to him (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: meinvinnandi; cf. ÍF 26). The warriors denoted by the kenning can be identified with the Jómsvíkingar and other adversaries of Hákon jarl and his son, Eiríkr.




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