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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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BjHall Kálffl 3I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 3’ 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. 882.

Bjarni gullbrárskáld HallbjarnarsonKálfsflokkr
234

Austr ‘eastwards’

3. austr (adv.; °compar. -ar, superl. -ast): east, in the east

notes

[1] austr ‘eastwards’: The adv. is used elsewhere for Garðar or Garðaríki (Russia), e.g. Hfr Óldr 4/4, Anon Krm 3/6VIII.

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valdr ‘ruler’

valdr (noun m.): ruler < allvaldr (noun m.): mighty ruler

[1] ‑valdr: ‑vald 325V

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rísta ‘carving’

rísta (verb): carve, raise

[1] rísta: hrista 325V, Flat

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ótála ‘undoubtedly’

ótála (adv.): undoubtedly

notes

[2] ótála ‘undoubtedy’: This word occurs in the skaldic corpus only here and in st. 4/4. LP: ótála relates it to ‘pair’, a word occurring only in a þula of terms for numbers of people in SnE (1998, I, 106), and interprets it as ‘certainly, without doubt’; cf. adv. tálaust (n. of adj. tálauss), with the same sense.

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haf ‘the ocean’

haf (noun n.; °-s; *-): sea

[2] haf: ‘har’ 321ˣ, hug‑ 68, ‘háf‑’ 325VII

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stáli ‘with the prow’

1. stál (noun n.; °-s; -): steel, weapon, prow

notes

[2] stáli ‘the prow’: More precisely, the stem-post, part of the ship’s prow (Jesch 2001a, 150).

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varð ‘had to make’

1. verða (verb): become, be

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vitja ‘his way’

vitja (verb): visit

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víg ‘the battle’

víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle < vígmóðr (adj.): [battle-furious]

[4] víg‑: haug‑ 68

kennings

vígmóðr bróðir Haralds
‘the battle-weary brother of Haraldr ’
   = Óláfr

the battle-weary brother of Haraldr → Óláfr

notes

[4] vígmóðr ‘battle-weary’: This interpretation fits Óláfr’s situation as he flees Norway; -móðr n. in cpd adjectives can alternatively mean ‘courageous’ (see LP: 1. móðr, 2. móðr).

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móðr ‘weary’

móðr (adj.): weary < vígmóðr (adj.): [battle-furious]

kennings

vígmóðr bróðir Haralds
‘the battle-weary brother of Haraldr ’
   = Óláfr

the battle-weary brother of Haraldr → Óláfr

notes

[4] vígmóðr ‘battle-weary’: This interpretation fits Óláfr’s situation as he flees Norway; -móðr n. in cpd adjectives can alternatively mean ‘courageous’ (see LP: 1. móðr, 2. móðr).

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Haralds ‘of Haraldr’

Haraldr (noun m.): Haraldr

kennings

vígmóðr bróðir Haralds
‘the battle-weary brother of Haraldr ’
   = Óláfr

the battle-weary brother of Haraldr → Óláfr

notes

[4] bróðir Haralds ‘brother of Haraldr [= Óláfr]’: Óláfr Haraldsson, whose half-brother became Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-ruler’ Sigurðarson. The kenning may suggest a time of composition for the poem during the reign of Haraldr (1046-66). Cf. also st. 7/4 and Note.

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bróðir ‘brother’

bróðir (noun m.; °bróður/brǿðr/bróðurs, dat. bróður/brǿðr/breðr, acc. bróður/brǿðr; brǿðr/bróðr/breðr (brǿðrirnir Jvs291 75¹⁴), gen. brǿ---): brother

[4] bróðir: bróður 325VII

kennings

vígmóðr bróðir Haralds
‘the battle-weary brother of Haraldr ’
   = Óláfr

the battle-weary brother of Haraldr → Óláfr

notes

[4] bróðir Haralds ‘brother of Haraldr [= Óláfr]’: Óláfr Haraldsson, whose half-brother became Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-ruler’ Sigurðarson. The kenning may suggest a time of composition for the poem during the reign of Haraldr (1046-66). Cf. also st. 7/4 and Note.

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Enn ‘But’

2. en (conj.): but, and

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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of ‘about’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

[5] of: vér 321ˣ

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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íðnir ‘actions’

iðn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): task

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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manna ‘people’s’

maðr (noun m.): man, person

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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emkak ‘I am not’

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

[6] emkak (‘emca ec’): emka ok 321ˣ, einka ek Bb, Flat, Tóm, einka er FskAˣ, 301ˣ

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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tamr ‘ready’

tamr (adj.; °superl. -astr): experienced, ready, tame

[6] tamr: samr 68, Bb, þarfr 61

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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at ‘to’

5. at (nota): to (with infinitive)

[6] at: om. J2ˣ

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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samna ‘gather’

safna (verb): gather

[6] samna: sanna 68, Bb, Flat, Tóm

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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skrǫkvi ‘false stories’

skrǫk (noun n.; °dat. -i/-vi; -): [false stories]

[7] skrǫkvi: so J2ˣ, 68, 61, 325V, ‘screyci’ Holm2, skrauti 321ˣ, ‘skinki’ 73aˣ, ‘skrævki’ 325VII, ‘skryki’ Bb, ‘skroki’ Flat, ‘skaurka’ Tóm, ‘scrꜹki’ Kˣ, skræki FskAˣ, 301ˣ

notes

[5-7] enn emkak tamr at samna skrǫkvi of íðnir manna ‘but I am not ready to gather false stories about people’s actions’: The unusually emphatic assertion of the reliability of the poet’s account may simply focus attention on the telling moment of Kálfr’s abandonment of his allegiance to Óláfr, or it may perhaps indicate some controversy about Kálfr’s actions, particularly in light of the poem’s composition some years after the events recorded. Indeed, the narrative in ÓH-Hkr does not entirely follow the stanza’s assertion that Kálfr went immediately to Knútr, instead indicating that he first visited his estates, and pledged allegiance to Hákon jarl Eiríksson.

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at ‘after’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[7] at: um 321ˣ, 73aˣ, ‘eat’ Bb, ek at Flat, ek Kˣ

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skilnað ‘parting’

[7] skilnað: skilnuð 68, Bb

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ykkarn ‘your’

it (pron.; °gen. ykkar, dat./acc. ykkr): you (two)

[7] ykkarn: okkarn 68, ‘yckannar’ 325V, ykkvan Tóm

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skjótt ‘you quickly’

2. skjótr (adj.): quick(ly)

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lézt ‘went’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[8] lézt (‘lez tv’): lettu 68, lét Flat

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Knút ‘Knútr’

knútr (noun m.; °-s; dat. -i/-; -ar): knot, Cnut; ?scorpion

[8] Knút of sóttan: Knútr af sátum 73aˣ

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of ‘out’

4. of (particle): (before verb)

[8] Knút of sóttan: Knútr af sátum 73aˣ

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sóttan ‘to seek’

sœkja (verb): seek, attack

[8] Knút of sóttan: Knútr af sátum 73aˣ

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

In ÓH-Hkr, King Óláfr has gone into exile in Russia, and Kálfr has sworn allegiance to King Óláfr’s opponent Hákon jarl (ÓH 1941, I, 500, 505; ÍF 27, 328, 332). The following spring, Kálfr sails to England to join King Knútr, who has just arrived there from Denmark. The more concise Fsk narrative reaches a slightly later point, where Knútr promises Kálfr authority in Norway, before the stanza is cited (and see Note to [All] below).

Stanzas 3/5-8 and 4/5-8 form a unitary stanza in Fsk. — [7] skrǫkvi; at skilnað ykkarn: It is necessary to assume elision of skrǫkvi at here, to produce a regular line of six syllables, but elision does not normally cross syntactic boundaries in skaldic poetry before the thirteenth century, and it is possible that the original reading was acc. skrǫk rather than dat. skrǫkvi, though no ms. has this form.

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