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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hryn 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 185-6.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHrynhenda, Magnússdrápa
234

hlýð ‘hear’

2. hlýða (verb): hear, listen; be able

[1] hlýð (‘hlyððu’): ‘hlyttu’ Flat

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máttigs ‘a mighty’

máttigr (adj.; °compar. -ari/-ri, superl. -astr): mighty

notes

[1] máttigs óðar ‘a mighty poem’: Kreutzer’s survey (1977, 239) of epithets used by skalds to describe their work includes only one other instance of a ‘strong, mighty poem’, Jór Send 5/1, 2I ramman hróðr ‘mighty praise-poem’.

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óðar ‘poem’

1. óðr (noun m.): poem

notes

[1] máttigs óðar ‘a mighty poem’: Kreutzer’s survey (1977, 239) of epithets used by skalds to describe their work includes only one other instance of a ‘strong, mighty poem’, Jór Send 5/1, 2I ramman hróðr ‘mighty praise-poem’.

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yppa ‘to raise up’

yppa (verb): extol, lift up

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rôðumk ‘I mean’

ráða (verb): advise, rule, interpret, decide

[3] rôðumk: ‘raduzt’ Flat, rðum W(115)

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Jóta ‘of the Jótar’

jóti (noun m.; °; -ar): one of the Jótar

kennings

gramr Jóta,
‘prince of the Jótar, ’
   = DANISH KING = Magnús

prince of the Jótar, → DANISH KING = Magnús

notes

[4, 5] gramr Jóta; dróttinn Hǫrða ‘prince of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Magnús]; lord of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús]’: Fittingly for the opening of an encomium, Magnús’s legitimate rule of Denmark and Norway is proclaimed; cf. references to lordship of Hordaland (Hǫrðaland) in Arn Magndr 1, 10, 16, of Møre (Mœrr) in Hryn 8 and of Sogn in Arn Magndr 6.

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gramr ‘prince’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

kennings

gramr Jóta,
‘prince of the Jótar, ’
   = DANISH KING = Magnús

prince of the Jótar, → DANISH KING = Magnús

notes

[4, 5] gramr Jóta; dróttinn Hǫrða ‘prince of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Magnús]; lord of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús]’: Fittingly for the opening of an encomium, Magnús’s legitimate rule of Denmark and Norway is proclaimed; cf. references to lordship of Hordaland (Hǫrðaland) in Arn Magndr 1, 10, 16, of Møre (Mœrr) in Hryn 8 and of Sogn in Arn Magndr 6.

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[4] í fljótu kvæði ‘in a swift poem’: Kreutzer (1977, 58-9) notes that Arnórr is the first skald to use the word kvæði (here and in st. 14 below), older skalds having preferred the more elevated, specifically poetic, bragr and óðr. The epithet fljótr ‘swift’ would be apt if hrynhent poetry had a faster tempo than dróttkvætt (Heusler 1925-9, I, 304), or it could refer to its tendency to fall into a regular trochaic pulse. Kreutzer (1977, 206) seems instead to link this with the comments of other (mainly later) skalds on their swiftness in composing, e.g. Egill in Arkv 1V.

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kvæði ‘poem’

kvæði (noun n.; °-s; -): poem

notes

[4] í fljótu kvæði ‘in a swift poem’: Kreutzer (1977, 58-9) notes that Arnórr is the first skald to use the word kvæði (here and in st. 14 below), older skalds having preferred the more elevated, specifically poetic, bragr and óðr. The epithet fljótr ‘swift’ would be apt if hrynhent poetry had a faster tempo than dróttkvætt (Heusler 1925-9, I, 304), or it could refer to its tendency to fall into a regular trochaic pulse. Kreutzer (1977, 206) seems instead to link this with the comments of other (mainly later) skalds on their swiftness in composing, e.g. Egill in Arkv 1V.

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fljótu ‘a swift’

2. fljótr (adj.): quick

[4] fljótu: fljóta Flat

notes

[4] í fljótu kvæði ‘in a swift poem’: Kreutzer (1977, 58-9) notes that Arnórr is the first skald to use the word kvæði (here and in st. 14 below), older skalds having preferred the more elevated, specifically poetic, bragr and óðr. The epithet fljótr ‘swift’ would be apt if hrynhent poetry had a faster tempo than dróttkvætt (Heusler 1925-9, I, 304), or it could refer to its tendency to fall into a regular trochaic pulse. Kreutzer (1977, 206) seems instead to link this with the comments of other (mainly later) skalds on their swiftness in composing, e.g. Egill in Arkv 1V.

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Haukr ‘hawk’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk

notes

[5] estu réttr haukr ‘you are a just hawk’: A rare instance of a metaphor that is not a kenning. The hawk image presumably conveys the hero’s boldness (see Whaley 1998, 147-8 and references there). Cf. the simile in st. 16 and other ‘hawk’ metaphors in ÞjóðA Lv 10 and Anon (MErl) l. 7.

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réttr ‘a just’

3. réttr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): right, straight, direct

notes

[5] estu réttr haukr ‘you are a just hawk’: A rare instance of a metaphor that is not a kenning. The hawk image presumably conveys the hero’s boldness (see Whaley 1998, 147-8 and references there). Cf. the simile in st. 16 and other ‘hawk’ metaphors in ÞjóðA Lv 10 and Anon (MErl) l. 7.

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estu ‘You are’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

notes

[5] estu réttr haukr ‘you are a just hawk’: A rare instance of a metaphor that is not a kenning. The hawk image presumably conveys the hero’s boldness (see Whaley 1998, 147-8 and references there). Cf. the simile in st. 16 and other ‘hawk’ metaphors in ÞjóðA Lv 10 and Anon (MErl) l. 7.

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Hǫrða ‘of the Hǫrðar’

Hǫrðar (noun m.): the Hǫrðar

kennings

dróttinn Hǫrða;
‘lord of the Hǫrðar; ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús

lord of the Hǫrðar; → NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús

notes

[4, 5] gramr Jóta; dróttinn Hǫrða ‘prince of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Magnús]; lord of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús]’: Fittingly for the opening of an encomium, Magnús’s legitimate rule of Denmark and Norway is proclaimed; cf. references to lordship of Hordaland (Hǫrðaland) in Arn Magndr 1, 10, 16, of Møre (Mœrr) in Hryn 8 and of Sogn in Arn Magndr 6.

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dróttinn ‘lord’

dróttinn (noun m.; °dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar): lord, master

kennings

dróttinn Hǫrða;
‘lord of the Hǫrðar; ’
   = NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús

lord of the Hǫrðar; → NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús

notes

[4, 5] gramr Jóta; dróttinn Hǫrða ‘prince of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Magnús]; lord of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús]’: Fittingly for the opening of an encomium, Magnús’s legitimate rule of Denmark and Norway is proclaimed; cf. references to lordship of Hordaland (Hǫrðaland) in Arn Magndr 1, 10, 16, of Møre (Mœrr) in Hryn 8 and of Sogn in Arn Magndr 6.

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stóru ‘far’

stórr (adj.): large, great

[6] stóru: stórum H, Hr

notes

[6] stóru ‘far’: Stóru (verri) ‘far (below you)’, lit. ‘(worse) by much’, is a n. dat. sg. indicating degree of comparison, cf., e.g., litlu síðarr ‘a little later’, miklu meira ‘much more’.

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þinn ‘your’

þinn (pron.; °f. þín, n. þitt): your

[7] þinn: so all others, þín Mork

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þrifnuðr ‘success’

þrifnuðr (noun m.; °þrifnaðar, dat. þrifnaði): prosperity

[8] þrifnuðr: ‘þrif naudr’ Flat

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allr ‘whole’

allr (adj.): all

[8] allr unz: áðr Flat

notes

[8] allr ‘whole’: Construed here with þrifnuðr ‘success’ (l. 8). It could alternatively qualify himinn (l. 8), hence ‘whole sky’, but the interruption of attributive adj. and noun by a conj. would be exceptional in Arnórr’s poetry.

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unz ‘until’

2. unz (conj.): until

[8] allr unz: áðr Flat

notes

[8] unz himinn rifnar ‘until the sky tears apart’: A variant of a formula also found on Swed. rune-stones, e.g. (normalised) jǫrð skal rifna ok upphiminn ‘the earth and the upper heaven shall tear apart’ on the early C11th Skarpåker stone (Jansson 1977, 142-4; Run Sö154VI).

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himinn ‘the sky’

himinn (noun m.; °himins, dat. himni; himnar): heaven, sky

[8] himinn: heimr Flat, himininn H, Hr

notes

[8] unz himinn rifnar ‘until the sky tears apart’: A variant of a formula also found on Swed. rune-stones, e.g. (normalised) jǫrð skal rifna ok upphiminn ‘the earth and the upper heaven shall tear apart’ on the early C11th Skarpåker stone (Jansson 1977, 142-4; Run Sö154VI).

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rifnar ‘tears apart’

rifna (verb): to tear apart

notes

[8] unz himinn rifnar ‘until the sky tears apart’: A variant of a formula also found on Swed. rune-stones, e.g. (normalised) jǫrð skal rifna ok upphiminn ‘the earth and the upper heaven shall tear apart’ on the early C11th Skarpåker stone (Jansson 1977, 142-4; Run Sö154VI).

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

In Mork, H-Hr and Flat, the st. is quoted within the anecdote about Arnórr’s audience with Magnús and Haraldr of Norway (see Introduction). In TGT ll. 3-4 are cited to exemplify change of number as a form of solecism, and are followed by an explanation that pl. is here used in place of sg. In FoGT the same ll. are cited to illustrate lepos—the honorific use of the pl., here yðru ‘your’, to compliment a man in authority; it is explained that using the pl. for a common man is a solecism.

[1]: A classic instance of the skald’s ‘bid/call for a hearing’ (see Wood 1960).

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