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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Lv 3I

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Lausavísur 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. 333.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonLausavísur
2a3

jarl ‘The jarl’

jarl (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): poet, earl

[1] jarl: ullr Flat, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

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æri ‘the messenger’

1. árr (noun m.; °dat. ár; ǽrir/árar, acc. áru): messenger

[1] æri: væri 510, orði FskBˣ, 51ˣ

kennings

æri unnviggs
‘the messenger of the wave-steed ’
   = SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma

the wave-steed → SHIP
the messenger of the SHIP → SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma
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unn ‘of the wave’

2. unnr (noun f.): wave < unnviggr (noun m.): wave-steed

[2] unnviggs: ‘unduígs’ Flat, ‘brenuígs’ 510

kennings

æri unnviggs
‘the messenger of the wave-steed ’
   = SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma

the wave-steed → SHIP
the messenger of the SHIP → SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma
Close

unn ‘of the wave’

2. unnr (noun f.): wave < unnviggr (noun m.): wave-steed

[2] unnviggs: ‘unduígs’ Flat, ‘brenuígs’ 510

kennings

æri unnviggs
‘the messenger of the wave-steed ’
   = SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma

the wave-steed → SHIP
the messenger of the SHIP → SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma
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undvígs ‘’

undvíg (noun n.)

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brenvígs ‘’

brennvíg (noun n.)

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viggs ‘steed’

viggr (noun m.): horse < unnviggr (noun m.): wave-steed

[2] unnviggs: ‘unduígs’ Flat, ‘brenuígs’ 510

kennings

æri unnviggs
‘the messenger of the wave-steed ’
   = SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma

the wave-steed → SHIP
the messenger of the SHIP → SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma
Close

viggs ‘steed’

viggr (noun m.): horse < unnviggr (noun m.): wave-steed

[2] unnviggs: ‘unduígs’ Flat, ‘brenuígs’ 510

kennings

æri unnviggs
‘the messenger of the wave-steed ’
   = SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma

the wave-steed → SHIP
the messenger of the SHIP → SEAFARER = Þorleifr skúma
Close

þás ‘when’

þás (conj.): when

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seima ‘of riches’

2. seimr (noun m.; °dat. -i): gold

[3] seima: sama FskAˣ, semja 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

kennings

særi seima:
‘the wounder of riches: ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the wounder of riches: → GENEROUS MAN
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særi ‘wounder’

særir (noun m.): wounder

kennings

særi seima:
‘the wounder of riches: ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the wounder of riches: → GENEROUS MAN
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sár ‘of wound-fires’

2. sár (noun n.; °-s; -): wound < sáreldr (noun m.)

[4] sár‑: so all others, sárr 291

kennings

spor sárelda
‘tracks of wound-fires ’
   = WOUNDS

wound-fires → SWORDS
tracks of SWORDS → WOUNDS
Close

sár ‘of wound-fires’

2. sár (noun n.; °-s; -): wound < sáreldr (noun m.)

[4] sár‑: so all others, sárr 291

kennings

spor sárelda
‘tracks of wound-fires ’
   = WOUNDS

wound-fires → SWORDS
tracks of SWORDS → WOUNDS
Close

elda ‘’

eldr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-(HómÍsl¹‰(1993) 24v²⁴); -ar): fire < sáreldr (noun m.)

kennings

spor sárelda
‘tracks of wound-fires ’
   = WOUNDS

wound-fires → SWORDS
tracks of SWORDS → WOUNDS
Close

elda ‘’

eldr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-(HómÍsl¹‰(1993) 24v²⁴); -ar): fire < sáreldr (noun m.)

kennings

spor sárelda
‘tracks of wound-fires ’
   = WOUNDS

wound-fires → SWORDS
tracks of SWORDS → WOUNDS
Close

spor ‘tracks’

spor (noun n.; °-s; -): track

[4] spor: so 7, ‘spior’ 291, ‘spaur’ Flat, ‘spo᷎r’ 510, ‘spioll’ FskBˣ, 51ˣ, ‘spiorr’ FskAˣ

kennings

spor sárelda
‘tracks of wound-fires ’
   = WOUNDS

wound-fires → SWORDS
tracks of SWORDS → WOUNDS
Close

ǫlldungis ‘’

Close

Ǫllungis ‘hardship’

ǫllungis (adv.): completely

[5] Ǫllungis: ǫlldungis 510

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hefr ‘has’

hafa (verb): have

[5] hefr: ‘h.’ 7, ‘hefi ek’ FskBˣ, 51ˣ

notes

[5, 8] faðir þinn hefr haldit ǫllungis illa ‘your father has undergone extreme hardship’: Lit. ‘has undergone hardship completely’. This depends upon the ON idiom halda illa ‘to undergo hardship’, which also occurs in Anon (MH) 1/5II (and cf. Hollander 1917, 198).

Close

ey ‘of the island’

1. ey (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -ju/-; -jar): island < eybaugr (noun m.): island-ring

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

ey ‘of the island’

1. ey (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -ju/-; -jar): island < eybaugr (noun m.): island-ring

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

ey ‘of the island’

1. ey (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -ju/-; -jar): island < eybaugr (noun m.): island-ring

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

baugs ‘ring’

baugr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): ring < eybaugr (noun m.): island-ring

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

baugs ‘ring’

baugr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): ring < eybaugr (noun m.): island-ring

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

baugs ‘ring’

baugr (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): ring < eybaugr (noun m.): island-ring

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

skalt ‘must’

skulu (verb): shall, should, must

[6] skalt: skal 7, Flat, FskBˣ, 51ˣ, þú skalt 510

Close

víst ‘certainly’

1. víss (adj.): wise, certain(ly)

[7] víst: so 510, FskBˣ, 51ˣ, FskAˣ, vér 291, 7, Flat

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uígea ‘’

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hyggjum ‘we [I] think’

2. hyggja (verb): think, consider

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vældr ‘’

Close

viggja ‘of steeds’

vigg (noun n.): steed

[7] viggja: ‘uígea’ Flat, viggjar 510, FskBˣ, 51ˣ

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

viggja ‘of steeds’

vigg (noun n.): steed

[7] viggja: ‘uígea’ Flat, viggjar 510, FskBˣ, 51ˣ

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

valdr ‘ruler’

valdr (noun m.): ruler

[8] valdr: ‘vælldr’ FskBˣ

kennings

valdr viggja eybaugs;
‘ruler of steeds of the island-ring; ’
   = SEAFARER

the island-ring; → SEA
steeds of the SEA → SHIPS
ruler of SHIPS → SEAFARER
Close

þinn ‘Your’

þinn (pron.; °f. þín, n. þitt): your

notes

[5, 8] faðir þinn hefr haldit ǫllungis illa ‘your father has undergone extreme hardship’: Lit. ‘has undergone hardship completely’. This depends upon the ON idiom halda illa ‘to undergo hardship’, which also occurs in Anon (MH) 1/5II (and cf. Hollander 1917, 198).

Close

faðir ‘father’

faðir (noun m.): father

notes

[5, 8] faðir þinn hefr haldit ǫllungis illa ‘your father has undergone extreme hardship’: Lit. ‘has undergone hardship completely’. This depends upon the ON idiom halda illa ‘to undergo hardship’, which also occurs in Anon (MH) 1/5II (and cf. Hollander 1917, 198).

Close

haldit ‘undergone’

halda (verb): hold, keep

notes

[5, 8] faðir þinn hefr haldit ǫllungis illa ‘your father has undergone extreme hardship’: Lit. ‘has undergone hardship completely’. This depends upon the ON idiom halda illa ‘to undergo hardship’, which also occurs in Anon (MH) 1/5II (and cf. Hollander 1917, 198).

Close

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

After the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen), many men on both sides are killed or wounded. The Icelandic skald Þorleifr skúma Þorkelsson has hit the Jómsvíkingr Vagn Ákason a blow with his club, and in return Vagn has wounded Þorleifr with a spear. Þorleifr is dying of this wound in a tent, where he is visited by Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (or, in Fsk, Hákon jarl), who exclaims that Þorleifr’s father would suffer a great loss if he died. Einarr skálaglamm hears these words and they move him to compose a verse (þá verðr honum Einari vísa á munni ‘then a verse is in Einarr’s mouth’). After he declaims it, Þorleifr falls down dead. In Fsk, the stanza is attributed to Þorleifr skúma himself, but this is unlikely to be correct, if the narrative of the majority mss is heeded. In LaufE, ll. 1-4 are cited in a section illustrating terms for wounds.

For the sea-battle at Hjǫrungavágr (c. 985) and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [2] fyr sunnan haf ‘south of the sea’: Although Liavågen is south of Hákon jarl’s power-base at Lade (ON Hlaðir) in Trøndelag, the phrase is more likely to refer to Norway, across the sea from Iceland (Skj B adds the explanation i Norge ‘in Norway’). This is appropriate to the Icelandic origins of both Einarr and Þorleifr skúma, but does not sit well with the claim of the prose sources that the stanza was uttered at the battle itself. — [4] spor sárelda ‘tracks of wound-fires [SWORDS > WOUNDS]’: Adopting 7’s reading spor ‘tracks’ for the base-word of this tvíkent (‘doubly modified’) kenning allows one to construe it as referring to wounds (which are already in play in sárelda ‘of wound-fires’). This is evidently how it was understood by Magnús Óláfsson in LaufE, since ll. 1-4 are preceded there by a remark that wounds can be referred to as fet eda spór jarnana ‘feet or tracks of iron (weapons)’. Ólafur Halldórsson (Jvs 1969, 217) has argued that the other ms. variants perhaps suggest an original reading more like spôr ‘prophecies’. This could form a battle-kenning with sárelda, but ‘battle’ would fit the context less well, and spôr, as a noun consisting of a long syllable in metrical position 4 in the line, would be irregular. Ólafur suggests a punning connection (ofljóst) with a base-word for ‘wave’, from spô via boði ‘messenger, announcer’, a word that has another sense ‘breaker on hidden rocks’, hence ‘wave’. A kenning with the sense ‘wave of wound-fires’ could then have the referent ‘blood’, giving ll. 3-4 the sense ‘when blood flowed (lit. was) around him’.

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