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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 3. Magnússdrápa, 6 [Vol. 2, 215-16]

[5-7]: (a) The warrior-kenning bjóðr brynþings ‘the convenor of the byrnie-assembly’ assumed above is well paralleled, e.g. by brynþings boði ‘announcer of the byrnie-assembly [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’, ǪrvOdd Ævdr 8/3 and 34/3VIII. It is taken here as the subject to setti branda ‘steered his prows’. Fetilstinga œsi ‘the impeller of sword-belt stabbers [SWORDS > WARRIOR]’ is assumed to form another kenning, object to fús tók ǫld við... ‘eager, people received...’, and gramr ‘(fierce) monarch, sovereign’ in l. 8 is taken in apposition to bjóðr brynþings. This is also the analysis adopted by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), by Kock (NN §1295), and by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 28, 35 n.) who, however, favours reading æsi ‘god’ (nom. sg. ss/áss) rather than œsi ‘impeller’ as the base-word of the kenning. (b) The variant ‘blidr’ (so H, Hr, Flat), i.e. the adj. blíðr ‘blithe’, could qualify gramr ‘monarch’ in l. 8, and the vowel of ms. bryn- would be long (the metrically preferable alternative), hence brýn- ‘pressing, urgent’. In this case brýnþings fetilstinga œsi is construed as a single kenning, hence fús tók ǫld við œsi fetilstinga brýnþings ‘eager, people received the impeller of the pressing assembly of sword-belt-stabbers [SWORDS > BATTLE > WARRIOR]’. Fetilstinga þing is fairly certainly attested in the C13th GunnHám Lv 5/8V, and the assumption of brýn- ‘pressing, urgent’ would find some support in kennings such as rammþing Glamma ‘mighty assembly of Glammi’ in st. 9/2 below. The l. brynþing fetilstinga occurs in Eyv Lv 1/2I, and the interpretation of that st. would be greatly helped by the assumption that bryn-, the reading of all mss, stands for brýn- ‘pressing’ rather than bryn- ‘byrnie’; cf. also ÞjóðA Lv 3. However, the contexts in which brynþing must mean ‘byrnie-assembly’ (including Mark Eirdr 7/1 and the eddic Sigrdr 5, NK 190) are numerous enough to suggest that (a) above is the safer alternative in the present context.

references

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