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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Edáð Banddr 4I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 4’ 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. 461.

Eyjólfr dáðaskáldBandadrápa
345

Mærr vann miklu fleiri
malmhríð jǫfurr síðan
— áðr frôgum þat — aðra,
Eirekr und sik geira.
þás garð-Váli gerði
Gotlands vala strandir
Virfils vítt of herjat.
Veðrmildr ok semr hildi.

Mærr jǫfurr vann síðan {miklu fleiri aðra malmhríð}, — frôgum þat áðr — Eirekr und sik geira … þás {Virfils vala {garð-{Váli}}} gerði strandir Gotlands of herjat vítt. Veðrmildr ok semr hildi …

The renowned leader then fought {many more other metal-storms} [BATTLES], — we [I] learned that earlier — Eiríkr under himself of spears … when {the Váli <god> {of the enclosure {of the horses of Virfill <sea-king>}}} [(lit. ‘enclosure-Váli of the horses of Virfill’) SHIPS > SHIELD > WARRIOR] had the coasts of Gotland raided far and wide. Storm-generous and contrives warfare …

Mss: (199r-v), F(34ra), J1ˣ(122v), J2ˣ(108v) (Hkr); 61(65rb), 53(62ra), 54(60va), Bb(96ra), Flat(69rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Mærr: meirr F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat    [2] ‑hríð: hríðir J2ˣ, 61, ‑hríðar 53    [3] áðr: so F, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat, áðr corrected from ‘æðr’ apparently in a later hand Kˣ, eðr J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    frôgum: frá ek um Flat;    þat: þar F    [4] Eirekr: ‘Eir’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, Eirek 54, Bb    [5] þás (‘þa er’): þar er F;    garð‑: graf‑ 54, Bb;    ‑Váli: ‘‑vala’ Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Flat, ‘‑nala’ Bb    [6] ‑lands: ‑land J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat;    strandir: strandar F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Flat, stranda Bb    [7] Virfils: ‘hvírfíls’ F, ‘vir(ní)ls’(?) Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 200-1, Skj BI, 191, Skald I, 101, NN §553; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 415-6, IV, 93, ÍF 26, 337-8, Hkr 1991, I, 229 (ÓTHkr ch. 89), F 1871, 153; Fms 2, 288, Fms 12, 55-6, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 242 (ch. 243), Flat 1860-8, I, 519.

Context: According to Hkr (similarly ÓT), Eiríkr, now based in Sweden, gains the support of Norwegians fleeing from Óláfr Tryggvason and undertakes raiding expeditions to Gotland so as to build up resources.

Notes: [All]: Lines 4 and 8 belong to the klofastef ‘split refrain’ and stand outside the syntax of the stanza; see st. 9 and Notes. — [2, 3] aðra malmhríð ‘other metal-storms [BATTLES]’: Lit. ‘another metal-storm’ (sg.). Mss 53 and 61 give clear pl. forms of the noun but not of aðrar. Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 60) argued that the form fleiri ‘more’ was scarcely possible as a sg. and proposed an original pl. *malmhríðr aðrar, with hríð declined as a consonantal stem, parallel to vík (nom. and acc. pl. víkr). — [3] áðr ‘earlier’: The variant eðr ‘again’ is also possible, but áðr has stronger ms. support and is more compatible with the pret. verb frôgum ‘we [I] learned’. — [5-7]: The text as it stands in the mss is difficult. There seems to be a clear statement that Eiríkr raided Gotland, but the mss differ as to whether strandir Gotlands ‘the coasts of Gotland’ belong together. The remaining nominal elements might well form a kenning for ‘man’, ‘warrior’ or ‘ruler’ as grammatical subject, but the base-word is elusive and other elements ambiguous, especially the duplicated vala (ll. 5, 6). The problems are hardly to be solved without emendation (cf. Jón Þorkelsson 1884, 60). (a) Adopted in this edn is the solution reached by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B). This involves emendation of ‘vala’ in l. 5 to Váli, while vala in l. 6 is interpreted as gen. pl. of valr, a heiti for ‘horse’. Though not attested elsewhere in skaldic poetry, the god’s name Váli occurs in eddic poetry (LP: Váli 1) and is probably ancient (McKinnell 2009a, 190-1). (b) Kock (NN §553) points out that only the elements garð(r) ‘enclosure’ and Virfils ‘of Virfill <sea-king>’ are needed for the shield-kenning, which he appears to combine with Finnur Jónsson’s Váli to form a warrior-kenning. Kennings for ‘shield’ with the base-word garðr are exemplified in Eskál Vell 14/7, 8 and 27/2, and the combination with Virfils is possible, though the name of a legendary hero would be more usual: cf. Meissner 170-2. Kock takes l. 6 as a single phrase, Gotlands Vala strandir, which he translates as gotlänningarnas stränder ‘shores of the Gotlanders’. He does not explain gen. pl. Vala, but presumably takes it as a generalised application of the ethnic name Valir, often used of the Franks. Such a phrase would, however, be unparalleled. (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 26, while acknowledging that the helmingr can barely be interpreted, likewise starts with garð- Virfils ‘shield’, suggesting that its vǫlr ‘staff/stave’ (represented by vala in l. 5) might be ‘sword’. (d) Hkr 1991 tentatively suggests that vala in l. 6 represents an indeclinable adj., equivalent to einvala ‘choice, excellent’ and describing the Gotland coast.

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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. Jón Þorkelsson [J. Thorkelsson]. 1884. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i versene i Heimskringla’. Aftryk af oversigt over det kgl. danske videnskabs selskabs forhandlinger 1884. Copenhagen: Luno.
  14. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  15. McKinnell, John. 2009a. ‘The Ideology of Vengeance in Old Norse Mythology’. In Lambert et al. 2009, 181-94.
  16. Internal references
  17. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  18. 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.
  19. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  20. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 14’ 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. 301.
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