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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 8I

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 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. 500.

Þórðr KolbeinssonEiríksdrápa
789

Þar ‘There’

þar (adv.): there

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hjalmaðs ‘of the helmeted’

hjalmaðr (adj./verb p.p.): helmeted

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Hropts ‘of Hroptr’

Hroptr (noun m.): [Hroptr, Hroptar]

kennings

dreyrgar toptir Hropts
‘the bloody homesteads of Hroptr ’
   = SHIELDS

the bloody homesteads of Hroptr → SHIELDS
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dreyrgar ‘the bloody’

dreyrugr (adj.; °dreyrgan/dreyrugan; superl. dreyrgastr): bloody

kennings

dreyrgar toptir Hropts
‘the bloody homesteads of Hroptr ’
   = SHIELDS

the bloody homesteads of Hroptr → SHIELDS
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toptir ‘homesteads’

tóft (noun f.; °; -ir): homestead, building plot

kennings

dreyrgar toptir Hropts
‘the bloody homesteads of Hroptr ’
   = SHIELDS

the bloody homesteads of Hroptr → SHIELDS
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‘…’

(non-lexical)

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‘…’

(non-lexical)

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gótt ‘a good’

góðr (adj.): good

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es ‘who’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[5] es (‘er’): enn J1ˣ, J2ˣ, en 61, 54, Bb, Flat

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gerði ‘defended’

1. gera (verb): do, make

notes

[5-6] gerði vǫrn grams ‘defended the king’: Lit. ‘performed the defence of the king’. The ms. reading vǫrr/vǫrn in l. 6 is likely to supply the object to gerði ‘did, made, performed’. (a) Vǫrn ‘defence’, the reading of 54, Bb and Flat, gives good sense, although since it is restricted to C- and D-group mss of ÓT there may be some doubt whether it is the original reading. (b) Vǫrr, the reading of J2ˣ (partly supported by vǫr in the other Hkr mss) is taken by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) as the base-word of a kenning vǫrr grams ‘sea of the sword [BLOOD]’, hence gerva vǫrr grams ‘to cause blood’, i.e. to inflict wounds. This is possible, since the adj. gramr ‘angry’ is used substantivally as the name of the legendary hero Sigurðr’s sword and by extension any sword (LP: 1. gramr 2). However, gramr ‘king, ruler’ is far more common in skaldic poetry, and a more natural assumption when juxtaposed with vǫrn ‘defence’. (c) It has been suggested (Nj 1875-8, II, 267-8) that vǫr, the reading of Kˣ, F and 61, is here a f. noun with a similar meaning to vǫrn ‘defence’, but the word is not attested elsewhere.

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grams ‘the king’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

notes

[5-6] gerði vǫrn grams ‘defended the king’: Lit. ‘performed the defence of the king’. The ms. reading vǫrr/vǫrn in l. 6 is likely to supply the object to gerði ‘did, made, performed’. (a) Vǫrn ‘defence’, the reading of 54, Bb and Flat, gives good sense, although since it is restricted to C- and D-group mss of ÓT there may be some doubt whether it is the original reading. (b) Vǫrr, the reading of J2ˣ (partly supported by vǫr in the other Hkr mss) is taken by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) as the base-word of a kenning vǫrr grams ‘sea of the sword [BLOOD]’, hence gerva vǫrr grams ‘to cause blood’, i.e. to inflict wounds. This is possible, since the adj. gramr ‘angry’ is used substantivally as the name of the legendary hero Sigurðr’s sword and by extension any sword (LP: 1. gramr 2). However, gramr ‘king, ruler’ is far more common in skaldic poetry, and a more natural assumption when juxtaposed with vǫrn ‘defence’. (c) It has been suggested (Nj 1875-8, II, 267-8) that vǫr, the reading of Kˣ, F and 61, is here a f. noun with a similar meaning to vǫrn ‘defence’, but the word is not attested elsewhere.

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vǫrn ‘’

vǫrn (noun f.; °varnar; varnir): defence

[6] vǫrn: so 54, Bb, Flat, vǫr Kˣ, F, 61, vǫrr J1ˣ, J2ˣ

notes

[5-6] gerði vǫrn grams ‘defended the king’: Lit. ‘performed the defence of the king’. The ms. reading vǫrr/vǫrn in l. 6 is likely to supply the object to gerði ‘did, made, performed’. (a) Vǫrn ‘defence’, the reading of 54, Bb and Flat, gives good sense, although since it is restricted to C- and D-group mss of ÓT there may be some doubt whether it is the original reading. (b) Vǫrr, the reading of J2ˣ (partly supported by vǫr in the other Hkr mss) is taken by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) as the base-word of a kenning vǫrr grams ‘sea of the sword [BLOOD]’, hence gerva vǫrr grams ‘to cause blood’, i.e. to inflict wounds. This is possible, since the adj. gramr ‘angry’ is used substantivally as the name of the legendary hero Sigurðr’s sword and by extension any sword (LP: 1. gramr 2). However, gramr ‘king, ruler’ is far more common in skaldic poetry, and a more natural assumption when juxtaposed with vǫrn ‘defence’. (c) It has been suggested (Nj 1875-8, II, 267-8) that vǫr, the reading of Kˣ, F and 61, is here a f. noun with a similar meaning to vǫrn ‘defence’, but the word is not attested elsewhere.

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blôum ‘with a dark’

blár (adj.): black

[6] blôum: ok blôum 54, Bb

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hjǫrvi ‘sword’

hjǫrr (noun m.): sword

[6] hjǫrvi: hamri Flat

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hǫll ‘the hall’

1. hǫll (noun f.; °hallar, dat. -u/-; hallir): hall

[7] hǫll: ‘haulld’ Flat

kennings

hǫll hára fjalla
‘the hall of the high mountains ’
   = SKY

the hall of the high mountains → SKY
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bilar ‘will break’

bila (verb; °-að-): fail

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hára ‘of the high’

3. hár (adj.; °-van; compar. hǽrri, superl. hǽstr): high

kennings

hǫll hára fjalla
‘the hall of the high mountains ’
   = SKY

the hall of the high mountains → SKY
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fjalla ‘mountains’

1. fjall (noun n.): mountain

kennings

hǫll hára fjalla
‘the hall of the high mountains ’
   = SKY

the hall of the high mountains → SKY
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Hyrningr ‘Hyrningr’

hyrningr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): hyrningr

notes

[8] Hyrningr: On this kinsman-in-law of Óláfr Tryggvason, see Note to HSt Rst 21/7.

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fyrnisk ‘is forgotten’

fyrna (verb): forget

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

Towards the end of the battle of Svǫlðr, Eiríkr jarl attempts to board Óláfr Tryggvason’s ship Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’, but is forced back into his own ship by Óláfr’s kinsman Hyrningr and his men.

For the sea-battle at Svǫlðr c. 1000, see also Hfr ErfÓl 1-24, Skúli SvǫlðrIII, Stefnir Lv 1 (cf. OSnorr Lv), Eþsk Couplet, Hókr Eirfl; and the later treatment in HSt Rst 15-23 and Anon Óldr 17-24; see further the entry on Óláfr Tryggvason in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — All mss preserve only six lines of this stanza, with little indication that there is missing text, though a blank space follows l. 8 in F. It appears that ll. 3-4 are missing, while the second helmingr is complete. — [7, 8]: The rhetorical figure of adynaton or impossibilia is used elsewhere in skaldic poetry  to convey the extraordinary nature or deeds of a hero (e.g. see Hfr ErfÓl 27/1, 4 and Note). Such praise of the opponent Hyrningr in a drápa about Eiríkr is striking.

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