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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

I. 3. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar (Óldr) - 28

not in Skj

2.1: Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar (‘Drápa about Óláfr Tryggvason’) — Anon ÓldrI

Kate Heslop 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar’ 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. 1031.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XII]: [1]. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar, ‘er Halfredr orti vandræda skalld’, et digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 573-8, BI, 567-74)

SkP info: I, 1034

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Anon Óldr 2I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 2’ 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. 1034.

Mætr hefr minna látit
mik stólkonungr sólar
snjallr, an sómði þolli
sverðéls, bragar verðan.
Þó vilk Þróttar skýja,
þeim es engr vas beima,
eldveitanda ítrum,
alfríðri, lof smíða.

{Mætr, snjallr stólkonungr sólar} hefr látit mik verðan minna bragar, an sómði {þolli {sverðéls}}. Þó vilk smíða lof ítrum {{{Þróttar skýja} eld}veitanda}, þeim es engr beima vas alfríðri.

{The excellent, valiant emperor of the sun} [= God] has made me worthy of lesser poetry than befitted {the fir-tree {of the sword-storm}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr]. Nevertheless I will craft praise {for the splendid offerer {of the fire {of the clouds of Þróttr <= Óðinn>}}} [(lit. ‘fire-offerer of the clouds of Þróttr’) SHIELDS > SWORD > WARRIOR = Óláfr], the one than whom no-one among men was finer in all respects.

Mss: Bb(112va)

Readings: [4] verðan: verða Bb    [5] Þróttar: þóttar Bb    [6] es: en Bb    [7] ‑veitanda: ‑veitandi Bb

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XII], [1]. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 2: AI, 574, BI, 567, Skald I, 275; Munch and Unger 1847, 121, 140, Gullberg 1875, 11, 22-3.

Notes: [1, 4] hefr látit mik verðan minna bragar ‘has made me worthy of lesser poetry’: Emendation of ms. verða to verðan (m. acc. sg.) ‘worth, worthy’ is suggested in Skj B, and Skald follows. The ms. reading could perhaps be retained and construed látit mik verða minna bragar ‘allowed me to become less of an eloquent person’, but the sense ‘eloquent person’ for bragr, while attested, is rare (ONP: bragr 1; SnE 2005, 25), and the gen. with minna ‘less’ is awkward. — [2] stólkonungr ‘emperor’: This term, lit. ‘throne-king’, refers in prose to the Byzantine emperor (Fritzner: stólkonungr; cf. ÞSkegg Hardr 1/3II stólþengill ‘emperor’, lit. ‘throne-lord’ and Note). Combined with l. 2 sólar ‘of the sun’, it can be construed in two ways (both offered in Meissner 379): as a kenning for God, unusual since ‘lord of the heavens’ is the normal pattern, or as an inverted kenning, konungr stóls sólar ‘king of the throne of the sun [HEAVEN > = God]’ (Skj B; LP). This too would be unusual since the cpd stólkonungr lacks the incongruity characteristic of inverted kennings, which encourages the audience to analyse the structure as inverted. — [3-4] þolli sverðéls ‘the fir-tree of the sword-storm [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr]’: The first of several warrior- or ruler-kennings, throughout the poem, referring to Óláfr Tryggvason. In the remaining stanzas, the referent can be assumed to be Óláfr unless otherwise specified.  — [5] Þróttar ‘of Þróttr <= Óðinn>’: This emendation, first proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1832, 7), seems unavoidable. The ms. reading ‘þottar’ could only be nom. pl. of þóttr/þótti m. ‘thought’, which neither makes sense nor provides a determinant for skýja ‘of the clouds’. — [6]: This line is very similar to HSt Rst 1/8. — [6] þeim es ‘the one than whom’: The second word in the ms. reads ‘en’, with a superscript abbreviation that is clearly a nasal bar with an extended serif, and this could be expanded as ‘enn’, normalised an ‘than’, hence alfríðri an ‘finer in all respects than’. However, þeim an ‘than whom’ would assume a rel. use of the demonstrative pron. þeim which would be unlikely in the C12th (see NS §261), so that ms. ‘en’ needs instead to be read as a relative. This entails emendation to er, normalised es (so Nj 1875-8, II, 944; Skj A prints er as the actual ms. reading). Alternatively the ms. reading could be normalised to en and assumed to be not so much a corruption requiring emendation as a scribal form of es (see NS §262). — [7] eldveitanda ‘offerer of the fire (lit. ‘fire-offerer’)’: Once again, emendation is needed, to provide an indirect object for smíða ‘craft’ and a dat. noun to agree with the adj. ítrum ‘splendid’. — [8]: This line is very similar to HSt Rst 1/6. — [8] alfríðri ‘finer in all respects’: The prefix al- usually means ‘altogether, completely’ (ONP: al-), but Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 198) argued that al- here must mean ‘generally’, hence alfríðri ‘finer in all respects’ rather than the meaningless ‘completely finer’.

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