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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjbp Jóms 26I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 26’ 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. 982.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa
252627

Klauf með Yggjar eldi
ólmr Goll-Búi hjálma;
niðr lét hann í herðar
hringserkja bǫl ganga.
Hart nam hǫgg at stœra
Hávarðr liði fyrða;
við hefr illr at eiga
Áslákr verit fíkjum.

Ólmr Goll-Búi klauf hjálma með {eldi Yggjar}; hann lét {bǫl hringserkja} ganga niðr í herðar. Hávarðr nam at stœra liði fyrða hǫgg hart; Áslákr hefr verit fíkjum illr at eiga við.

Furious Gull-Búi (‘Gold-Búi’) split helmets with {the fire of Yggr <= Óðinn>} [SWORD]; he let {the bale of mail-shirts} [SWORD] drive down into shoulders. Hávarðr intensified [his] blows strongly upon the troop of men; Áslákr was extremely bad to deal with.

Mss: R(54r); 61(19vb), 53(16rb), 54(16ra), Bb(26rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [2] ólmr: álmr all others;    Goll‑: gall 61, 53, 54, gal Bb    [3] lét: om. Bb    [4] hring‑: hrann 53, hrím‑ 54, Bb    [5] nam: réð all others    [7] illr: so all others, illt R    [8] ‑lákr: so all others, ‑lák R

Editions: Skj AII, 6, Skj BII, 6, Skald II, 4; Fms 11, 170, Fms 12, 245, Jvs 1879, 112-13; Fms 1, 171-2, Fms 12, 42, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 188 (ch. 90), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 26, 79.

Context: Two men who accompanied the Jómsvíkingar from Denmark are named: Hávarðr hǫggvandi and Áslákr hólmskalli. They are Búi’s stafnbúar ‘forecastle-men’, and are exceptionally tough and difficult to deal with; iron does not bite Áslákr. Búi’s blows are also described as very powerful.

Notes: [2] ólmr Goll-Búi ‘furious Gull-Búi (“Gold-Búi”)’: The ÓT reading álmr gall for ólmr Gull- gives ‘the elm-bow resounded’. This makes sense in itself (cf. Ótt Knútdr 8/2 almr gall hátt ‘the bow cried loudly’) but does not fit the remainder of the helmingr, and it produces aðalhending with hjálma where only skothending is normal in Jóms (see Introduction). Búi’s nickname Gull- ‘Gold-’ presumably alludes, albeit in anticipation at this point in Jóms, to his famous leap from his ship with a chest of gold in each hand, as described in sts 36-7; the nickname occurs in that context in st. 37/4. — [5] nam at stœra ‘intensified’: This could be more literally ‘started to intensify’, but nam is probably the pleonastic auxiliary here, as is suggested by the ÓT reading réð which has the same function. — [7-8]: (a) The ÓT readings illr and Áslákr produce a couplet in which Áslákr is the subject of the clause (so also Fms 12, 42; Skj B; Skald). Við ‘with’ is adverbial. (b) The R readings illt and Áslák produce good sense, ‘it was extremely difficult to deal with Áslákr’ (and are adopted in Fms 12, 245 and Jvs 1879), but við is then a prep. and detached from its object Áslák.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  6. Jvs 1879 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1879. Jómsvíkinga saga (efter Cod. AM. 510, 4:to) samt Jómsvíkinga drápa. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2000. Danish Kings and the Jomsvikings in the Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. Internal references
  9. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  10. Emily Lethbridge 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa’ 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. 954.
  11. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Knútsdrápa 8’ 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. 777.
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