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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 7I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 7’ 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. 182.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHákonarmál
678

benj ‘Wound’

1. ben (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -; -jar , gen. -a(var. EiðKrC 402¹³: AM 77 4°— “D”)): wound < beneldr (noun m.): [Wound-fires]

[1] benjeldar: beneldar Kˣ, F, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 761bˣ, beneld J1ˣ

kennings

Benjeldar
‘Wound-fires ’
   = SWORDS

Wound-fires → SWORDS

notes

[1] benjeldar ‘wound-fires [SWORDS]’: Though it is missing in the mss, the glide [j] had not yet been lost at the time of composition, as shown by the metre (Kuhn 1983, 48). On the kenning in its poetic context, see Note to l. 6 below.

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eldar ‘fires’

eldr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-(HómÍsl¹‰(1993) 24v²⁴); -ar): fire < beneldr (noun m.): [Wound-fires]

[1] benjeldar: beneldar Kˣ, F, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 761bˣ, beneld J1ˣ

kennings

Benjeldar
‘Wound-fires ’
   = SWORDS

Wound-fires → SWORDS

notes

[1] benjeldar ‘wound-fires [SWORDS]’: Though it is missing in the mss, the glide [j] had not yet been lost at the time of composition, as shown by the metre (Kuhn 1983, 48). On the kenning in its poetic context, see Note to l. 6 below.

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lutu ‘swung down’

1. lúta (verb): (strong)

[3] lutu: bitu FskAˣ

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langbarðar ‘swords’

langbarðr (noun m.; °; -ar): Langobard

notes

[3] langbarðar ‘swords’: A sword-heiti (cf. Þul Sverða 2/3III), lit. ‘long-beards’ or conceivably ‘long-prows’. Since Langbarðar can refer to the Lombards or Langobards (LP: langbarðr 5), the word is interpreted by some (e.g. ÍF 29; Hkr 1991) to have referred to weapons of Lombardic origin. Others (e.g. Herbert 1804, 110; Munch and Unger 1847, 185; Hallberg 1975, 119) have taken it to refer to axes (cf. barða ‘axe’ in Þul Øxar 1/8III), and Geijer (1816, 54) to shields.

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svar ‘’

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fjǫrvi ‘lives’

fjǫr (noun n.): life

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Svarr ‘roar’

[5] Svarr‑: svar FskBˣ

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aði ‘ed’

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gymnir ‘’

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sár ‘The wound’

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

[5] sár‑: sjór FskBˣ, FskAˣ

kennings

Sárgymir
‘The wound-sea ’
   = BLOOD

The wound-sea → BLOOD
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gymir ‘sea’

gymir (noun m.): [sea] < sárgymir (noun m.)

[5] ‑gymir: ‘gymner’ FskBˣ, gymis FskAˣ

kennings

Sárgymir
‘The wound-sea ’
   = BLOOD

The wound-sea → BLOOD
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sverða ‘of swords’

sverð (noun n.; °-s; -): sword

kennings

nesi sverða;
‘the headland of swords; ’
   = SHIELD

the headland of swords; → SHIELD

notes

[6] nesi sverða ‘the headland of swords [SHIELD]’: This is taken here as belonging to the shield-kennings with a type of land as base-word (Meissner 169, though this example is not listed). Holm-Olsen (1953, 155) suggests that the reference may be to swords’ points rather than to shields. Whatever the referent of this kenning, the base-words of the kennings in ll. 5-6, together with the verb svarraði ‘roared’, form an image of waves breaking against a headland, just as the verb brunnu in l. 1 exploits the literal sense of eldar ‘fires’, base-word of the sword-kenning.

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nesi ‘the headland’

nes (noun n.; °-s; -, gen. -ja): headland

kennings

nesi sverða;
‘the headland of swords; ’
   = SHIELD

the headland of swords; → SHIELD

notes

[6] nesi sverða ‘the headland of swords [SHIELD]’: This is taken here as belonging to the shield-kennings with a type of land as base-word (Meissner 169, though this example is not listed). Holm-Olsen (1953, 155) suggests that the reference may be to swords’ points rather than to shields. Whatever the referent of this kenning, the base-words of the kennings in ll. 5-6, together with the verb svarraði ‘roared’, form an image of waves breaking against a headland, just as the verb brunnu in l. 1 exploits the literal sense of eldar ‘fires’, base-word of the sword-kenning.

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flóð ‘the flood’

2. flóð (noun n.): flood

kennings

flóð fleina
‘the flood of barbs ’
   = BLOOD

the flood of barbs → BLOOD

notes

[7] flóð fleina ‘the flood of barbs [BLOOD]’: (a) Reichardt (1930, 51-2) cites convincing parallels to the meaning ‘blood’ (and so, e.g., Geijer 1816, 54, Skj B, Paasche 1916, 13, and Meissner 204). (b) The phrase could be regarded not as a kenning but as a description of a more literal ‘shower of arrows/spears’ (so, e.g., Olsen 1916a, 3-4, Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 75-7, 116, Ulset 1975, 49 and Hkr 1991). Lie (1957, 85) argues that although flóð fleina is a genuine blood-kenning, it is a ‘combined metaphor’ (kombinert metafor) which also refers to the missiles themselves.

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fleina ‘of barbs’

fleinn (noun m.; °dat. fleini): spear

kennings

flóð fleina
‘the flood of barbs ’
   = BLOOD

the flood of barbs → BLOOD

notes

[7] flóð fleina ‘the flood of barbs [BLOOD]’: (a) Reichardt (1930, 51-2) cites convincing parallels to the meaning ‘blood’ (and so, e.g., Geijer 1816, 54, Skj B, Paasche 1916, 13, and Meissner 204). (b) The phrase could be regarded not as a kenning but as a description of a more literal ‘shower of arrows/spears’ (so, e.g., Olsen 1916a, 3-4, Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 75-7, 116, Ulset 1975, 49 and Hkr 1991). Lie (1957, 85) argues that although flóð fleina is a genuine blood-kenning, it is a ‘combined metaphor’ (kombinert metafor) which also refers to the missiles themselves.

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Storðar ‘of Stord’

3. Storð (noun f.): [Stord]

notes

[8] Storðar ‘of Stord’: An island in Sunnhordland, south of Bergen, at the mouth of Hardangerfjorden. The battle took place at Fitjar on the island c. 961.

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In Hkr, as for st. 1. In Fsk, as for st. 5.

F, J1ˣ and J2ˣ cite only l. 1. 

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