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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 8I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 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. 183.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHákonarmál
789

roðnar ‘Red colours’

rjóða (verb): to redden

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randar ‘of the shield-rim’

rǫnd (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; rendr/randir): shield, shield-rim

kennings

himni randar;
‘the sky of the shield-rim; ’
   = SHIELD

the sky of the shield-rim; → SHIELD
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himni ‘the sky’

himinn (noun m.; °himins, dat. himni; himnar): heaven, sky

kennings

himni randar;
‘the sky of the shield-rim; ’
   = SHIELD

the sky of the shield-rim; → SHIELD
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Skǫglar ‘of Skǫgul’

Skǫgul (noun f.): Skǫgul

kennings

veðr Skǫglar
‘the storms of Skǫgul ’
   = BATTLE

the storms of Skǫgul → BATTLE
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veðr ‘the storms’

2. veðr (noun n.; °-s; -): weather, wind, storm

kennings

veðr Skǫglar
‘the storms of Skǫgul ’
   = BATTLE

the storms of Skǫgul → BATTLE
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léku ‘played’

3. leika (verb): play

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ský* ‘the clouds’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud

[4] ský*: skýs Kˣ, 761bˣ

kennings

ský* of bauga.
‘the clouds of shield-rings. ’
   = SHIELDS

the clouds of shield-rings. → SHIELDS

notes

[4] ský* ‘clouds’: Most eds agree on the necessity of the emendation. It is possible to retain ms. ‘scys’ by assuming a kenning veðr Skǫglar skýs ‘storm of Skǫgul’s cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE]’ (so Cederström 1860, 9, 20; Åkerblom 1899b, 30), but the word order is thereby rendered excessively complex.

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of ‘’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

kennings

ský* of bauga.
‘the clouds of shield-rings. ’
   = SHIELDS

the clouds of shield-rings. → SHIELDS

notes

[4] of: Of (ms. ‘vm’) is here taken to be the expletive particle. Kuhn (1929a, 14) regards it as a prep. ‘over’, but this interpretation is rejected by Finnur Jónsson (LP: ský). Jón Helgason (1968) suggests that ms. ‘scys vm’ may be a corruption of skýjum, though he points out that the acc. rather than the dat. should be expected after við. — [4] ský* ‘clouds’: Most eds agree on the necessity of the emendation. It is possible to retain ms. ‘scys’ by assuming a kenning veðr Skǫglar skýs ‘storm of Skǫgul’s cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE]’ (so Cederström 1860, 9, 20; Åkerblom 1899b, 30), but the word order is thereby rendered excessively complex.

Close

of ‘’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

kennings

ský* of bauga.
‘the clouds of shield-rings. ’
   = SHIELDS

the clouds of shield-rings. → SHIELDS

notes

[4] of: Of (ms. ‘vm’) is here taken to be the expletive particle. Kuhn (1929a, 14) regards it as a prep. ‘over’, but this interpretation is rejected by Finnur Jónsson (LP: ský). Jón Helgason (1968) suggests that ms. ‘scys vm’ may be a corruption of skýjum, though he points out that the acc. rather than the dat. should be expected after við. — [4] ský* ‘clouds’: Most eds agree on the necessity of the emendation. It is possible to retain ms. ‘scys’ by assuming a kenning veðr Skǫglar skýs ‘storm of Skǫgul’s cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE]’ (so Cederström 1860, 9, 20; Åkerblom 1899b, 30), but the word order is thereby rendered excessively complex.

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bauga ‘of shield-rings’

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

kennings

ský* of bauga.
‘the clouds of shield-rings. ’
   = SHIELDS

the clouds of shield-rings. → SHIELDS

notes

[4] bauga ‘of shield-rings’: Cf. st. 6/2 and Note.

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Umðu ‘roared’

ymja (verb): howl, resound

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81).

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odd ‘Point’

oddr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): point of weapon < oddlá (noun f.): [Point-waves]

kennings

Oddláar
‘Point-waves ’
   = BLOOD

Point-waves → BLOOD

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81).

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láar ‘waves’

1. lá (noun f.; °; -r): surf < oddlá (noun f.): [Point-waves]

kennings

Oddláar
‘Point-waves ’
   = BLOOD

Point-waves → BLOOD

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81).

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Óðins ‘of Óðinn’

Óðinn (noun m.): Óðinn

kennings

veðri Óðins;
‘the storm of Óðinn; ’
   = BATTLE

the storm of Óðinn; → BATTLE
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veðri ‘the storm’

2. veðr (noun n.; °-s; -): weather, wind, storm

kennings

veðri Óðins;
‘the storm of Óðinn; ’
   = BATTLE

the storm of Óðinn; → BATTLE
Close

hné ‘sank down’

hníga (verb): sink, fall

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81). — [7] hné ‘sank down’: Ms. ‘hneig’; the inf. is hníga.

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hné ‘sank down’

hníga (verb): sink, fall

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81). — [7] hné ‘sank down’: Ms. ‘hneig’; the inf. is hníga.

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fyr ‘before’

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

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81).

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mækis ‘of the sword’

mækir (noun m.): sword

kennings

straumi mækis.
‘the tide of the sword.’
   = BLOOD

the tide of the sword. → BLOOD

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81).

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straumi ‘the tide’

straumr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): stream, current

kennings

straumi mækis.
‘the tide of the sword.’
   = BLOOD

the tide of the sword. → BLOOD

notes

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81).

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As for st. 1.

J1ˣ and J2ˣ cite only the first word of this stanza; F omits it altogether.  — [1-2]: The lines, and particularly the form roðnar, are problematic. (a) Roðnar is here taken as a noun: an archaic pl. to *roði, a nomen agentis to rjóða ‘redden’ (Noreen 1921, 55), or possibly the pl. of a word roði, roðmi or roðni meaning ‘red sheen’ (so NN §1054). The image could be of the red of the men’s blood and of the shields blending with each other (so Lindquist 1929, 14-15), or of a red effect in the sky, as in en er orrostan tokzst þa laust roda a himininn ok a solina ‘and when the battle began, a red colour appeared in the sky and against the sun’ (Flat 1860-8, II, 354, describing the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad, 1030)). Construed thus, ll. 2 and 4 are elegantly patterned, with a prep. and similar shield-kenning occupying each one. (b) Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B emends to p. p. roðnum ‘reddened’, taken to qualify himni ‘sky’ with veðr ‘storms, winds’ as the subject of both blendusk ‘had dealings’ and léku ‘played’. (c) CPB I, 266 emends við roðnar to vígroðar ‘halos of war’, which Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 156) approves, though he would give the form as vígroðnar. (d) Wimmer (1903, 129) would emend randar to randa. (e) Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 65-8) would reverse the position of randar with that of bauga in l. 4, on the basis of comparison to the alliteration in st. 9/1-2.

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