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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnH Lv 9II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sneglu-Halli, Lausavísur 9’ 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, p. 330.

Sneglu-HalliLausavísur
8910

Þjón gerik þann at sveini;
Þjóðolf lætk mat sjóða.

Gerik þann þjón at sveini; lætk Þjóðolf sjóða mat.

I make that slave [my] boy; I let Þjóðólfr cook food.

Mss: Flat(208rb) (Flat); 563aˣ(20)

Readings: [2] mat: om. 563aˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 390, Skj BI, 360, Skald I, 180, NN §§2526, 3396R; ÍF 9, 293 (Snegl ch. 10), Flat 1860-8, III, 427 (Snegl).

Context: On a voyage to Trondheim, Halli becomes seasick and his companion, the poet Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, is left to do the chores. Halli replies with this couplet to a taunting lv. by Þjóðólfr (ÞjóðA Lv 8).

Notes: [1] gerik þann þjón at sveini ‘I make that slave [my] boy’: The most common meaning of sveinn is ‘boy’ or ‘young male person’ (see Fritzner: sveinn 1-2), and þjónn and sveinn could mean both ‘slave’ and ‘servant’ (see Fritzner sveinn 4-5; þjónn). Skj B translates this sentence loosely as Ham gör jeg til tjæner ‘I make him a servant’, whereas Kock (NN §§2526, 3396R) suggests that sveinn here stands for matsveinn ‘cook’ (‘this servant I make a cook’). See also Gulaþingslǫg §300 (NGL I, 98) and NGL V: matgerðarmaðr; matsveinn; sveinn; þjónn. Neither interpretation captures the full derogatory force of Halli’s couplet.

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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. 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.
  6. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  7. NGL = Keyser, R. et al., eds. 1846-95. Norges gamle love indtil 1387. 5 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Gröndahl.
  8. ÍF 9 = Eyfirðinga sǫgur. Ed. Jónas Kristjánsson. 1956.
  9. Internal references
  10. Not published: do not cite (SneglII)
  11. Diana Whaley 2009, ‘(Biography of) Þjóðólfr Arnórsson’ 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, pp. 57-176.
  12. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 8’ 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, p. 173.
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