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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magnfl 10II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 10’ 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. 75-6.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonMagnússflokkr
91011

Bôru ‘placed’

3. bera (verb; °berr; bar, báru; borinn): bear, carry

[1] Bôru: so all others, Brut Kˣ, papp18ˣ

notes

[1] bôru fleiri ‘placed more (arrows)’: (a) This, the majority reading, leaves the comp. fleiri ‘more’ without an object of comparison, but the sense could be ‘kept on placing’ (as assumed in ÍF 28, which prefers this reading, and in Hkr 1991). This fits well with the statement about the persistence of the Þrœndir in ll. 3-4. (b) The negative bru-(a)t ‘have not placed’, found only in the K transcriptions, yields a suitably hyperbolical claim, ‘have not [ever] placed (more arrows)’ or the cl. could be interpreted, as by ÍF 28, as meaning ‘they did not place (arrows) for a second time’, i.e. they were victorious in the first onslaught. Hkr 1893-1901 has 2nd pl. pret. bruð bǫslar ... bogmenn in the text, III, 55, but the negative brut in IV, 96, giving the sense ‘bowmen have never placed more arrows’.

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bǫslar ‘arrows’

bǫsl (noun f.): arrow

[1] bǫslar (‘bꜹslar’): ‘baugl a’ 39, ‘bꜹsl a’ F, bǫsla E, J2ˣ

notes

[1] bǫslar ‘arrows’: This appears to be the sole instance of bǫsl f. outside the þulur (LP), and the etymology is uncertain (AEW), but the context clearly refers to arrows; see Falk 1914, 99-100.

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fleiri ‘more’

fleiri (adj. comp.; °superl. flestr): more, most

notes

[1] bôru fleiri ‘placed more (arrows)’: (a) This, the majority reading, leaves the comp. fleiri ‘more’ without an object of comparison, but the sense could be ‘kept on placing’ (as assumed in ÍF 28, which prefers this reading, and in Hkr 1991). This fits well with the statement about the persistence of the Þrœndir in ll. 3-4. (b) The negative bru-(a)t ‘have not placed’, found only in the K transcriptions, yields a suitably hyperbolical claim, ‘have not [ever] placed (more arrows)’ or the cl. could be interpreted, as by ÍF 28, as meaning ‘they did not place (arrows) for a second time’, i.e. they were victorious in the first onslaught. Hkr 1893-1901 has 2nd pl. pret. bruð bǫslar ... bogmenn in the text, III, 55, but the negative brut in IV, 96, giving the sense ‘bowmen have never placed more arrows’.

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bog ‘Bow’

bogi (noun m.; °-a; -ar): bow < bogmaðr (noun m.): °archer; of the constellation Sagittarius)

[2] bog‑: so papp18ˣ, F, E, J2ˣ, H, Hr, ‘bꜹr‑’ Kˣ, baug 39

notes

[2] bogmenn ‘bowmen’: The reading ‘bꜹr-’ is presumably influenced by ‘hꜹr’ (normalised hǫr) later in the l.

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menn ‘men’

maðr (noun m.): man, person < bogmaðr (noun m.): °archer; of the constellation Sagittarius)

notes

[2] bogmenn ‘bowmen’: The reading ‘bꜹr-’ is presumably influenced by ‘hꜹr’ (normalised hǫr) later in the l.

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hǫr ‘bowstring’

hǫrr (noun m.): linen

[2] hǫr tognum (‘hꜹr tognom’): ‘haur taugnum’ 39, ‘híor tognom’ F, ‘haur tǫgnum’ E, ‘hiǫrtogni’ H, ‘hiortogni’ Hr

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tognum ‘the drawn’

toginn (adj./verb p.p.): drawn

[2] hǫr tognum (‘hꜹr tognom’): ‘haur taugnum’ 39, ‘híor tognom’ F, ‘haur tǫgnum’ E, ‘hiǫrtogni’ H, ‘hiortogni’ Hr

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mundit ‘would not’

munu (verb): will, must

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Þrœndi ‘the Þrœndir’

Þrœndr (noun m.; °; þrǿndir/þrǿndr): people from Tröndelag

[3] Þrœndi: ‘þrendir’ J2ˣ

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þreyta ‘be the first to let up’

þreyta (verb): prolong, strive

notes

[4] þreyta ‘let up’: The verb normally has the sense ‘strive hard, contend’, while the sense ‘drive to exhaustion’ is usually found in ON only in the passive (adjectival p. p. þreyttr ‘exhausted’). However, Fritzner: þreyta 5 cites þreyttust öflin af mœðinni ‘their strength gave out through weariness’ from Breta sǫgur, which comes close to the present usage. It seems likely that the meaning, and the impersonal usage, in the Þjóðólfr context are influenced by þrjóta ‘fail, end, give out’, of which þreyta is the causative counterpart.

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Svá ‘so’

svá (adv.): so, thus

notes

[5] svá ‘so [that]’: It is assumed here that svá functions like svá at / svát, introducing the result cl. sátt illa á milli ‘you could hardly see between them’. The construction could instead be of two main clauses, with svá in elliptical and intensifying role (Fritzner: svá 5c): Síðan flugu snœridǫrr … svá þykkt; sátt illa á milli ‘Then the thronged javelins flew very densely; you could hardly see between them’.

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þykkt ‘densely’

2. þykkr (adj.): thick

[5] þykkt: ‘þyst’ F, ‘þygt’ E

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flugu ‘flew’

fljúga (verb): fly

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snœridǫrr ‘the thonged javelins’

snœridarr (noun n.): [thonged javelins]

notes

[6] snœridǫrr ‘thonged javelins’: Another unique piece of ‘weapon’ terminology (cf. st. 9/1 and Note), but a cpd containing darr n. ‘spear’, and clear in meaning since snœri n. is a (twisted) cord or thong, and Þjóðólfr portrays Magnús holding many a spear by the snœri in st. 17; see also Falk 1914, 87.

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of ‘over’

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

[6] of (‘um’): ‘ǫf’ E, of corrected from ‘oc’ J2ˣ

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skœru ‘the fight’

1. skœra (noun f.; °; -ur): fight, conflict

[6] skœru: so F, H, Hr, ‘scꜹro’ Kˣ, ‘scǫro’ papp18ˣ, ‘skero’ 39, ‘skærur’ E, ‘skorur’ J2ˣ

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ótt ‘a raging’

2. óðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): raging, furious

notes

[7] ótt ǫrdrif vas látit ‘a raging arrow-drift was sent’: A contextual translation, but not unreasonable. Kock proposed taking látit as ‘they said that’ (NN §2525), though his suggested parallel is not close. There seems to be a similar conception behind Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s translation in ÍF 28, örvum þótti ört drífa ‘the arrows seemed / were thought to be driven furiously’ (Hkr 1991 similar).

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vas ‘was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[7] vas (‘var’): varð H

notes

[7] ótt ǫrdrif vas látit ‘a raging arrow-drift was sent’: A contextual translation, but not unreasonable. Kock proposed taking látit as ‘they said that’ (NN §2525), though his suggested parallel is not close. There seems to be a similar conception behind Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s translation in ÍF 28, örvum þótti ört drífa ‘the arrows seemed / were thought to be driven furiously’ (Hkr 1991 similar).

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ǫrdrif ‘arrow-drift’

ǫrdrif (noun n.): [arrow-drift]

[7] ǫrdrif: ‘aurfð’ E

notes

[7] ótt ǫrdrif vas látit ‘a raging arrow-drift was sent’: A contextual translation, but not unreasonable. Kock proposed taking látit as ‘they said that’ (NN §2525), though his suggested parallel is not close. There seems to be a similar conception behind Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s translation in ÍF 28, örvum þótti ört drífa ‘the arrows seemed / were thought to be driven furiously’ (Hkr 1991 similar).

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látit ‘sent’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

notes

[7] ótt ǫrdrif vas látit ‘a raging arrow-drift was sent’: A contextual translation, but not unreasonable. Kock proposed taking látit as ‘they said that’ (NN §2525), though his suggested parallel is not close. There seems to be a similar conception behind Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s translation in ÍF 28, örvum þótti ört drífa ‘the arrows seemed / were thought to be driven furiously’ (Hkr 1991 similar).

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á ‘’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[8] á: so all others, í Kˣ, papp18ˣ

notes

[8] á milli ‘between’: This is the majority reading, also preferred in ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991 over í milli, found only in the K transcripts and papp 18ˣ. Since the prep. á / í is metrically unstressed, there is no other evidence to show which is the original. The earlier form of milli was miðli; the rhyme here on illa proves that assimilation of ðl > ll was well advanced by this date (cf. Finnur Jónsson 1901, 122).

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milli ‘between’

milli (prep.): between

notes

[8] á milli ‘between’: This is the majority reading, also preferred in ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991 over í milli, found only in the K transcripts and papp 18ˣ. Since the prep. á / í is metrically unstressed, there is no other evidence to show which is the original. The earlier form of milli was miðli; the rhyme here on illa proves that assimilation of ðl > ll was well advanced by this date (cf. Finnur Jónsson 1901, 122).

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The st. follows st. 9, with only a brief connecting phrase in H-Hr and none in Hkr.

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