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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 17II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 17’ 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, p. 249.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa
161718

at ‘onto’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[1] at: á Flat

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Engla ‘of the English’

Englar (noun m.): English people

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ættgrund ‘the native soil’

ættgrund (noun f.): [native soil]

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rauð ‘reddened’

rjóða (verb): to redden

[2] rauð: so Flat, hrauð R702ˣ

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stundu ‘at once’

stund (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): time, hour

[2] stundu: stundum Flat

notes

[2] stundu ‘at once’: (a) The translation is supported by þegar ‘at once’ at the corresponding point in Orkn’s prose narrative. Stundu usually appears in the phrase af stundu, as in Arn Hardr 10/8 fundusk þeir af stundu ‘they engaged at once’, but stundu, although not otherwise recorded, could be a shortened variant of the phrase (so ÍF 34, 62 n.), since the skalds’ handling of prepositional phrases is often freer than that of prose writers (NS §118b). (b) The variant stundum ‘at times’ does not give good sense.

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verðung ‘retinue’

verðung (noun f.): troop, retinue

[4] verðung: so Flat, ‘vo᷎rdung’ R702ˣ

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hallir ‘halls’

1. hǫll (noun f.; °hallar, dat. -u/-; hallir): hall

[5] hallir: halir Flat

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þurru ‘collapsed’

1. þverra (verb): diminish

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her ‘the war’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host < herdrótt (noun f.)

[6] her‑: so Flat, heim‑ R702ˣ

notes

[6] herdrótt ‘the war-band’: (a) The herdrótt which puts men to flight is presumably the same as the verðung ‘retinue’ in l. 4: Þorfinnr’s men. (b) Heimdrótt ‘native troop’ is a hap. leg. In the context of st. 17 it would refer to the English as defending army; but the evidence of sts 17-18 is that they were routed.

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drótt ‘band’

1. drótt (noun f.): troop < herdrótt (noun f.)

notes

[6] herdrótt ‘the war-band’: (a) The herdrótt which puts men to flight is presumably the same as the verðung ‘retinue’ in l. 4: Þorfinnr’s men. (b) Heimdrótt ‘native troop’ is a hap. leg. In the context of st. 17 it would refer to the English as defending army; but the evidence of sts 17-18 is that they were routed.

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þar ‘there’

þar (adv.): there

[6] þar: om. Flat

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eim ‘smoke’

eimr (noun m.): fire, smoke

[7] eim: ‘œímr’ Flat

notes

[7] hratt eim ‘flung out smoke’: This is taken as predicate to limdolgr ‘fire’ (l. 8). The variant eimr hratt ‘smoke belched forth’ (so Flat) would also be possible, with an absolute, impersonal use of hrinda (cf. Fritzner: hrinda 1, final example).

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hratt ‘flung out’

1. hrinda (verb): launch, propell

notes

[7] hratt eim ‘flung out smoke’: This is taken as predicate to limdolgr ‘fire’ (l. 8). The variant eimr hratt ‘smoke belched forth’ (so Flat) would also be possible, with an absolute, impersonal use of hrinda (cf. Fritzner: hrinda 1, final example).

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laust ‘hurled’

2. ljósta (verb): strike

notes

[7, 8] limdolgr … laust ljóma náar himni ‘the foe of branches [FIRE] … hurled light close to the sky’: Limdolgr is here taken as an active subject to laust as well as to hratt, although it would also be reasonable to take en laust ljóma ... náar himni ‘and light was cast up against the sky’ as a separate, impersonal construction. These ll. are reminiscent of the image of fire towering against the sky in Vsp 57.

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ljóma ‘light’

ljómi (noun m.; °-a): light, beam

notes

[7, 8] limdolgr … laust ljóma náar himni ‘the foe of branches [FIRE] … hurled light close to the sky’: Limdolgr is here taken as an active subject to laust as well as to hratt, although it would also be reasonable to take en laust ljóma ... náar himni ‘and light was cast up against the sky’ as a separate, impersonal construction. These ll. are reminiscent of the image of fire towering against the sky in Vsp 57.

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lim ‘of branches’

1. lim (noun f.; °; -ar): limb < limdolgr (noun m.)

kennings

limdolgr
‘the foe of branches ’
   = FIRE

the foe of branches → FIRE

notes

[7, 8] limdolgr … laust ljóma náar himni ‘the foe of branches [FIRE] … hurled light close to the sky’: Limdolgr is here taken as an active subject to laust as well as to hratt, although it would also be reasonable to take en laust ljóma ... náar himni ‘and light was cast up against the sky’ as a separate, impersonal construction. These ll. are reminiscent of the image of fire towering against the sky in Vsp 57.

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dolgr ‘the foe’

dolgr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ar): enemy, battle < limdolgr (noun m.)

[8] ‑dolgr: ‑dolgs Flat

kennings

limdolgr
‘the foe of branches ’
   = FIRE

the foe of branches → FIRE

notes

[7, 8] limdolgr … laust ljóma náar himni ‘the foe of branches [FIRE] … hurled light close to the sky’: Limdolgr is here taken as an active subject to laust as well as to hratt, although it would also be reasonable to take en laust ljóma ... náar himni ‘and light was cast up against the sky’ as a separate, impersonal construction. These ll. are reminiscent of the image of fire towering against the sky in Vsp 57.

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náar ‘close’

[8] náar (‘nær’): nærr Flat

notes

[7, 8] limdolgr … laust ljóma náar himni ‘the foe of branches [FIRE] … hurled light close to the sky’: Limdolgr is here taken as an active subject to laust as well as to hratt, although it would also be reasonable to take en laust ljóma ... náar himni ‘and light was cast up against the sky’ as a separate, impersonal construction. These ll. are reminiscent of the image of fire towering against the sky in Vsp 57.

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himni ‘to the sky’

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

notes

[7, 8] limdolgr … laust ljóma náar himni ‘the foe of branches [FIRE] … hurled light close to the sky’: Limdolgr is here taken as an active subject to laust as well as to hratt, although it would also be reasonable to take en laust ljóma ... náar himni ‘and light was cast up against the sky’ as a separate, impersonal construction. These ll. are reminiscent of the image of fire towering against the sky in Vsp 57.

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As for st. 16, since st. 17 follows it directly.

An analysis of the motifs which make up this st. is offered in Whaley 1998, 58-61.

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