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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

I. 2. Liðsmannaflokkr (Liðs) - 10

not in Skj

2.1: Liðsmannaflokkr (‘Flokkr of the household troops’) — Anon LiðsI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Liðsmannaflokkr’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1014.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 

Skj: Anonyme digte om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI]: [2]. Liðsmannaflokkr (AI, 422-3, BI, 391-3); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

SkP info: I, 1020

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Anon Liðs 4I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Liðsmannaflokkr 4’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1020.

Þóttut mér, es þáttak,
Þorkels liðar dvelja
— sôusk eigi þeir sverða
sǫng — í folk at ganga,
áðr an †hauðr† á heiði
hríð víkingar kníðu
— vér hlutum vápna skúrir —
— varð fylkt liði — harða.

Liðar Þorkels þóttut mér dvelja at ganga í folk, es þáttak — þeir sôusk eigi {sǫng sverða} —, áðr an víkingar kníðu harða hríð á †hauðr† heiði; vér hlutum skúrir vápna; liði varð fylkt.

Þorkell’s followers did not seem to me to delay in going into the engagement, when I saw [them] — they did not fear {the song of swords} [BATTLE] —, before the vikings pressed a hard onslaught on … heath; we came in for showers of weapons; the company was formed into battle order.

Mss: Flat(186vb) (Flat); DG8(73r) (ÓHLeg)

Readings: [5] áðr an: so DG8, áðan er Flat;    hauðr: so DG8, ‘haurd’ Flat    [6] kníðu: ‘knyðu’ DG8    [7] skúrir: ‘sku’ DG8    [8] fylkt: so DG8, ‘fylgr’ Flat

Editions: Skj: Óláfr Haraldsson enn helgi, Lausavísur 2: AI, 220, BI, 210, Skald I, 110, NN §§1109, 2772; Flat 1860-8, III, 238, ÓH 1941, II, 684; ÓHLeg 1922, 11, ÓHLeg 1982, 50-1.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [All]: This stanza appears to contain a description of a battle which, to judge from the later stanzas, must be in the vicinity of London. The battle fought at Brentford, Essex in 1016 and reported in the ASC (s. a.) is a possible candidate, since in that case the heiði ‘heath’ (l. 5) could be identified as the large heath at Hounslow near Brentford. But the actions of 1015 and 1016 appear from the ASC (s. a.) to have been so numerous that firm identification is precluded. — [1] þóttut ‘did not seem’: With this stanza comes an abrupt switch to pret. narration. — [1] þáttak ‘I saw’: 1st pers. sg. pret. indic. of þekkja ‘notice, recognise’. — [2] Þorkels ‘Þorkell’s’: Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’, a jarl and war-lord whom Norse tradition, notably Jvs, makes the brother of Sigvaldi Strút-Haraldsson, jarl of Jómsborg; see also Introduction, and Keynes (1980, 216-22); see Note to st. 5/1 on the nickname. — [5] á hauðr heiði ‘on … heath’: Both the Flat reading ‘haurd’ (normalised hǫrð f. nom. sg. ‘hard’) and the DG8 reading ‘haudr’ (normalised hauðr n. ‘land’) are difficult to accommodate in the helmingr. (a) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B emends to hjǫrs, hence hríð hjǫrs ‘storm of the sword [BATTLE]’. (b) Kock in Skald and NN §2772 emends to Hǫðs (the battle-god Hǫðr). (c) However, hríð can stand alone in the sense ‘battle’ or ‘onslaught, phase in a battle’ as in st. 5/8 (and cf. Note to Edáð Banddr 6/2), and if it does so here, the readings ‘haudr’ and ‘haurd’ might instead represent the first element in a cpd p. n. *hau(r)ð(r)-heiði, separated by tmesis in order to accommodate the name within regular dróttkvætt metre (cf., e.g., Hfr Óldr 2/7, 8 Heiðabý(r) and Gade 1995a, 214). But whether a p. n. is intended and what name it might represent remains unclear (CPB II, 107; Poole 1987, 287; Townend 1998, 33). (d) The Flat readings ‘er’ (normalised es) and ‘haurd’ (hǫrð) give Áðr es harða hǫrð hríð á heiði; víkingar kníðu ‘Earlier, there is a very hard battle on the heath; vikings pressed on’. Knýja ‘strike, press on’ can be intransitive, and the collocation hǫrð hríð ‘hard battle’ also occurs in sts 5/7, 8 and 6/3, 4; the adv. harða ‘very’ could be normalised to the older form harðla. However, the pres. tense es ‘is’ would be anomalous in this stanza and would sit awkwardly with áðr ‘before’.

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