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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 9I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 9’ 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. 293.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
8910

fyr ‘for’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

[1] fyr: frá 61, 325IX 1 a, Bb

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Hrafna ‘of the Hrafnar’

Hrafn (noun m.): Hrafn

kennings

vǫrðr Hrafna hranna
‘the guardian of the Hrafnar of the waves ’
   = SEAFARER

the Hrafnar of the waves → SHIPS
the guardian of SHIPS → SEAFARER

notes

[1, 3, 4] vǫrðr Hrafna hranna ‘the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER]’: Hrafn (‘Raven’) is the name of the horse of Áli, the adversary of the Swedish king Aðils (see LP: 2. Hrafn), hence it stands for ‘horse’ in ship-kennings of the type ‘horse of the sea’.

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Hrafna ‘of the Hrafnar’

Hrafn (noun m.): Hrafn

kennings

vǫrðr Hrafna hranna
‘the guardian of the Hrafnar of the waves ’
   = SEAFARER

the Hrafnar of the waves → SHIPS
the guardian of SHIPS → SEAFARER

notes

[1, 3, 4] vǫrðr Hrafna hranna ‘the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER]’: Hrafn (‘Raven’) is the name of the horse of Áli, the adversary of the Swedish king Aðils (see LP: 2. Hrafn), hence it stands for ‘horse’ in ship-kennings of the type ‘horse of the sea’.

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hljóm* ‘din’

hljómr (noun m.; °dat. -i): sound

[2] hljóm*: hljóms all

kennings

hljóm* togins skjóma.
‘din of the drawn sword. ’
   = BATTLE

din of the drawn sword. → BATTLE

notes

[2, 3] þann hljóm* togins skjóma ‘the din of the drawn sword [BATTLE]’: All mss have hljóms. (a) To avoid an emendation, a few eds (Fms 12; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 108-9; Hkr 1991) conjoin hljóms and lof to mean ‘praise of the sound’ (a praise-poem?). However, no parallel expression is known (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 322), and moreover this creates a difficulty with the remainder of the line, toginn/togins skjóma ‘the drawn sword’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12), Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 109) and Hkr 1991 read toginn (as in mss , 39, F, J1ˣ, 61), taking toginn skjóma as the object of vinna ‘do’, and retain ms. þat, to produce an intercalary Þat nam at vinna toginn skjóma ‘That affair caused the sword to be drawn’, i.e. ‘That affair could not be brought about without battle’ (LP (1860): toginn; cf. LP: 2. vinna 7). (b) Although an intercalary clause as such is possible, the expression lof hljóms is so unusual that numerous eds including this one have chosen to emend hljóms to hljóm. This joins with togins (as in mss Bb, 325IX 1 a) skjóma to form a battle-kenning corresponding to the common pattern ‘noise of the sword’ (Meissner 186-8), and the kenning serves as the object of nam vinna ‘made’ (lit. ‘began to do’) (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; ÓT 1892, 369; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). (c) Reichardt (1928, 90) suggests a third solution in which he connects the battle-kenning to lof ‘praise’ in order to retain the gen. hljóms: berk lof togins skjóma hljóms fyr hefnd ‘I bear praise for the sound of the drawn sword [BATTLE] for revenge’. This is possible, but as Finnur Jónsson (1934a, 19-20) notes, ‘I praise revenge’ is a more natural expression than ‘I praise the fight for revenge’, especially since the prep. fyr is unusual here.

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lop ‘’

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lof ‘praise’

lof (noun n.; °-s; -): praise, leave, permission

[2] lof: ‘lop’ 39, F, Bb

notes

[2] lof ‘praise’: Most interpreters view lof as the obvious object of berk ‘I bear’ (l. 1), even though it does not occur until l. 2. The exception is Kock (NN §397), who, striving for the simplest syntax, conjoins berk directly to fyrir hefnd ‘I recite the revenge’, i.e. ‘I speak of the revenge’. There is, however, no known instance of a collocation bera fyrir (with fyrir as an adv.) with this meaning.

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togins ‘of the drawn’

toginn (adj./verb p.p.): drawn

[2] togins: so 325IX 1 a, Bb, togin Kˣ, 39, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61

kennings

hljóm* togins skjóma.
‘din of the drawn sword. ’
   = BATTLE

din of the drawn sword. → BATTLE

notes

[2, 3] þann hljóm* togins skjóma ‘the din of the drawn sword [BATTLE]’: All mss have hljóms. (a) To avoid an emendation, a few eds (Fms 12; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 108-9; Hkr 1991) conjoin hljóms and lof to mean ‘praise of the sound’ (a praise-poem?). However, no parallel expression is known (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 322), and moreover this creates a difficulty with the remainder of the line, toginn/togins skjóma ‘the drawn sword’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12), Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 109) and Hkr 1991 read toginn (as in mss , 39, F, J1ˣ, 61), taking toginn skjóma as the object of vinna ‘do’, and retain ms. þat, to produce an intercalary Þat nam at vinna toginn skjóma ‘That affair caused the sword to be drawn’, i.e. ‘That affair could not be brought about without battle’ (LP (1860): toginn; cf. LP: 2. vinna 7). (b) Although an intercalary clause as such is possible, the expression lof hljóms is so unusual that numerous eds including this one have chosen to emend hljóms to hljóm. This joins with togins (as in mss Bb, 325IX 1 a) skjóma to form a battle-kenning corresponding to the common pattern ‘noise of the sword’ (Meissner 186-8), and the kenning serves as the object of nam vinna ‘made’ (lit. ‘began to do’) (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; ÓT 1892, 369; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). (c) Reichardt (1928, 90) suggests a third solution in which he connects the battle-kenning to lof ‘praise’ in order to retain the gen. hljóms: berk lof togins skjóma hljóms fyr hefnd ‘I bear praise for the sound of the drawn sword [BATTLE] for revenge’. This is possible, but as Finnur Jónsson (1934a, 19-20) notes, ‘I praise revenge’ is a more natural expression than ‘I praise the fight for revenge’, especially since the prep. fyr is unusual here.

Close

skjóma ‘sword’

skjómi (noun m.): sword

kennings

hljóm* togins skjóma.
‘din of the drawn sword. ’
   = BATTLE

din of the drawn sword. → BATTLE

notes

[2, 3] þann hljóm* togins skjóma ‘the din of the drawn sword [BATTLE]’: All mss have hljóms. (a) To avoid an emendation, a few eds (Fms 12; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 108-9; Hkr 1991) conjoin hljóms and lof to mean ‘praise of the sound’ (a praise-poem?). However, no parallel expression is known (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 322), and moreover this creates a difficulty with the remainder of the line, toginn/togins skjóma ‘the drawn sword’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12), Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 109) and Hkr 1991 read toginn (as in mss , 39, F, J1ˣ, 61), taking toginn skjóma as the object of vinna ‘do’, and retain ms. þat, to produce an intercalary Þat nam at vinna toginn skjóma ‘That affair caused the sword to be drawn’, i.e. ‘That affair could not be brought about without battle’ (LP (1860): toginn; cf. LP: 2. vinna 7). (b) Although an intercalary clause as such is possible, the expression lof hljóms is so unusual that numerous eds including this one have chosen to emend hljóms to hljóm. This joins with togins (as in mss Bb, 325IX 1 a) skjóma to form a battle-kenning corresponding to the common pattern ‘noise of the sword’ (Meissner 186-8), and the kenning serves as the object of nam vinna ‘made’ (lit. ‘began to do’) (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; ÓT 1892, 369; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). (c) Reichardt (1928, 90) suggests a third solution in which he connects the battle-kenning to lof ‘praise’ in order to retain the gen. hljóms: berk lof togins skjóma hljóms fyr hefnd ‘I bear praise for the sound of the drawn sword [BATTLE] for revenge’. This is possible, but as Finnur Jónsson (1934a, 19-20) notes, ‘I praise revenge’ is a more natural expression than ‘I praise the fight for revenge’, especially since the prep. fyr is unusual here.

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þann ‘the’

hann (pron.; °gen. hans, dat. honum; f. hon, gen. hennar, acc. hana): he, she, it, they, them...

[3] þann: þat Kˣ, 39, F, J1ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Bb, þar J2ˣ

notes

[2, 3] þann hljóm* togins skjóma ‘the din of the drawn sword [BATTLE]’: All mss have hljóms. (a) To avoid an emendation, a few eds (Fms 12; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 108-9; Hkr 1991) conjoin hljóms and lof to mean ‘praise of the sound’ (a praise-poem?). However, no parallel expression is known (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 322), and moreover this creates a difficulty with the remainder of the line, toginn/togins skjóma ‘the drawn sword’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12), Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 109) and Hkr 1991 read toginn (as in mss , 39, F, J1ˣ, 61), taking toginn skjóma as the object of vinna ‘do’, and retain ms. þat, to produce an intercalary Þat nam at vinna toginn skjóma ‘That affair caused the sword to be drawn’, i.e. ‘That affair could not be brought about without battle’ (LP (1860): toginn; cf. LP: 2. vinna 7). (b) Although an intercalary clause as such is possible, the expression lof hljóms is so unusual that numerous eds including this one have chosen to emend hljóms to hljóm. This joins with togins (as in mss Bb, 325IX 1 a) skjóma to form a battle-kenning corresponding to the common pattern ‘noise of the sword’ (Meissner 186-8), and the kenning serves as the object of nam vinna ‘made’ (lit. ‘began to do’) (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; ÓT 1892, 369; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). (c) Reichardt (1928, 90) suggests a third solution in which he connects the battle-kenning to lof ‘praise’ in order to retain the gen. hljóms: berk lof togins skjóma hljóms fyr hefnd ‘I bear praise for the sound of the drawn sword [BATTLE] for revenge’. This is possible, but as Finnur Jónsson (1934a, 19-20) notes, ‘I praise revenge’ is a more natural expression than ‘I praise the fight for revenge’, especially since the prep. fyr is unusual here. — [3] þann ‘the’: The deictic pron. þat in the mss has nothing to refer to, and is therefore emended here to þann. An alternative emendation would be to hann ‘he’ (so Eggert Ó. Brím, ÓT 1892, 369). This would provide an explicit subject for vann ‘made’ but would entail assuming an awkward tripartite division in l. 3, as well as (unavoidably) in l. 2.

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þann ‘the’

hann (pron.; °gen. hans, dat. honum; f. hon, gen. hennar, acc. hana): he, she, it, they, them...

[3] þann: þat Kˣ, 39, F, J1ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Bb, þar J2ˣ

notes

[2, 3] þann hljóm* togins skjóma ‘the din of the drawn sword [BATTLE]’: All mss have hljóms. (a) To avoid an emendation, a few eds (Fms 12; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 108-9; Hkr 1991) conjoin hljóms and lof to mean ‘praise of the sound’ (a praise-poem?). However, no parallel expression is known (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; Finnur Jónsson 1924a, 322), and moreover this creates a difficulty with the remainder of the line, toginn/togins skjóma ‘the drawn sword’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12), Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 109) and Hkr 1991 read toginn (as in mss , 39, F, J1ˣ, 61), taking toginn skjóma as the object of vinna ‘do’, and retain ms. þat, to produce an intercalary Þat nam at vinna toginn skjóma ‘That affair caused the sword to be drawn’, i.e. ‘That affair could not be brought about without battle’ (LP (1860): toginn; cf. LP: 2. vinna 7). (b) Although an intercalary clause as such is possible, the expression lof hljóms is so unusual that numerous eds including this one have chosen to emend hljóms to hljóm. This joins with togins (as in mss Bb, 325IX 1 a) skjóma to form a battle-kenning corresponding to the common pattern ‘noise of the sword’ (Meissner 186-8), and the kenning serves as the object of nam vinna ‘made’ (lit. ‘began to do’) (Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 161; ÓT 1892, 369; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). (c) Reichardt (1928, 90) suggests a third solution in which he connects the battle-kenning to lof ‘praise’ in order to retain the gen. hljóms: berk lof togins skjóma hljóms fyr hefnd ‘I bear praise for the sound of the drawn sword [BATTLE] for revenge’. This is possible, but as Finnur Jónsson (1934a, 19-20) notes, ‘I praise revenge’ is a more natural expression than ‘I praise the fight for revenge’, especially since the prep. fyr is unusual here. — [3] þann ‘the’: The deictic pron. þat in the mss has nothing to refer to, and is therefore emended here to þann. An alternative emendation would be to hann ‘he’ (so Eggert Ó. Brím, ÓT 1892, 369). This would provide an explicit subject for vann ‘made’ but would entail assuming an awkward tripartite division in l. 3, as well as (unavoidably) in l. 2.

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nam ‘’

1. nema (verb): to take

[3] nam: varð 325IX 1 a, Bb

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vǫrðr ‘the guardian’

vǫrðr (noun m.; °varðar, dat. verði/vǫrð; verðir, acc. vǫrðu): guardian, defender

kennings

vǫrðr Hrafna hranna
‘the guardian of the Hrafnar of the waves ’
   = SEAFARER

the Hrafnar of the waves → SHIPS
the guardian of SHIPS → SEAFARER

notes

[1, 3, 4] vǫrðr Hrafna hranna ‘the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER]’: Hrafn (‘Raven’) is the name of the horse of Áli, the adversary of the Swedish king Aðils (see LP: 2. Hrafn), hence it stands for ‘horse’ in ship-kennings of the type ‘horse of the sea’.

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síns ‘for his’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

[4] síns: sinn 39, F, Bb

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fǫður ‘father’

faðir (noun m.): father

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hranna ‘of the waves’

hrǫnn (noun f.; °; dat. -um): wave

kennings

vǫrðr Hrafna hranna
‘the guardian of the Hrafnar of the waves ’
   = SEAFARER

the Hrafnar of the waves → SHIPS
the guardian of SHIPS → SEAFARER

notes

[1, 3, 4] vǫrðr Hrafna hranna ‘the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER]’: Hrafn (‘Raven’) is the name of the horse of Áli, the adversary of the Swedish king Aðils (see LP: 2. Hrafn), hence it stands for ‘horse’ in ship-kennings of the type ‘horse of the sea’.

Close

hranna ‘of the waves’

hrǫnn (noun f.; °; dat. -um): wave

kennings

vǫrðr Hrafna hranna
‘the guardian of the Hrafnar of the waves ’
   = SEAFARER

the Hrafnar of the waves → SHIPS
the guardian of SHIPS → SEAFARER

notes

[1, 3, 4] vǫrðr Hrafna hranna ‘the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER]’: Hrafn (‘Raven’) is the name of the horse of Áli, the adversary of the Swedish king Aðils (see LP: 2. Hrafn), hence it stands for ‘horse’ in ship-kennings of the type ‘horse of the sea’.

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

Stanzas 9 and 10 are cited in uninterrupted sequence, and are introduced as Einarr’s account of how Hákon jarl avenged his father.

Vell 1865, 18 presents this helmingr together with st. 8 as one stanza, but this seems unconvincing because in Hkr and ÓT they are separated by a prose sentence (see Context). Some eds link st. 9 with 10/1-4, and that is compatible with the layout in the mss, but see Note to st. 10 [All]. — This helmingr has been the subject of many interpretations, none of which is fully convincing. Almost all interpreters agree on the following part of the stanza: fyr hefnð, þás vǫrðr hrafna hranna vann fǫður síns ‘for the revenge that the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER] took for his father’. Fms 12 and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 108-9) construe fǫður síns with hefnð; but since this produces a tripartite division of l. 4, it is better to leave it in the subordinate clause. For the rest of the helmingr, several emendations have been proposed and suggestions made as to how to achieve the most satisfactory sentence structure.

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