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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 26II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 26’ 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. 139-40.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
252627

Mǫrk ‘with a mark’

1. mǫrk (noun f.; °merkr, dat. -u/-; merkr/markir): mark (unit)

notes

[1] mǫrk ‘a mark’: A measurement of weight, equal to eight aurar ‘ounces’ or approximately 214 grams. In prose, a mark is often specified to be of silver or gold.

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veitt ‘presented’

2. veita (verb): grant, give

[1] veitt: veit J2ˣ, vítt H, Hr

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verka ‘poetry’

verki (noun m.; °-a): deed, work

notes

[1] verka ‘poetry’: Kreutzer (1977, 48) counts this among fourteen instances of verk in this sense, most in the later Christian poetry.

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vekjandi ‘The rouser’

vekjandi (noun m.): [rouser]

[2] vekjandi: ‘veckianndi’ F, ‘veikiandi’ E

kennings

Vekjandi hjaldrs snekkju
‘The rouser of the warship’s battle ’
   = WARRIOR

The rouser of the warship’s battle → WARRIOR

notes

[2, 4] vekjandi hjaldrs snekkju ‘the rouser of the warship’s battle [WARRIOR]’: These three words seem to form a single kenning, since although vekjandi hjaldrs ‘rouser of battle’ would be a very natural warrior-kenning, given that the verb vekja takes objects referring to strife, this would leave snekkju unaccounted for. The solution here is also that of Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV (recognising the rarity of the expression ‘ship’s battle’), and Skj B, also ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991. A variant on it is Kock’s snekkju hjaldrs-vekjandi ‘the warship’s battle-rouser or warrior’ (NN §§1021, 1138). Other alternatives are less satisfactory. (b) Tilgørðir hjaldrs could be taken together in the sense ‘deserving actions in battle’, or hjaldrs could be an adverbial gen. ‘in battle’ qualifying the whole of ll. 3-4, but this would be at odds with the mention of verka ‘poetry’ in l. 1 and would leave vekjandi snekkju ‘rouser of the warship’ as the kenning, which would not quite conform to the usual patterns (cf. Meissner 343, 348). (c) Sœkja, the H, Hr variant on snekkju, does not help, and probably belongs with the many unreliable readings unique to H-Hr.

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mér ‘me’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

[2] mér: mjǫk H, Hr

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snekkju ‘of the warship’s’

snekkja (noun f.; °-u; -ur): warship

[2] snekkju: sœkja H, Hr

kennings

Vekjandi hjaldrs snekkju
‘The rouser of the warship’s battle ’
   = WARRIOR

The rouser of the warship’s battle → WARRIOR

notes

[2, 4] vekjandi hjaldrs snekkju ‘the rouser of the warship’s battle [WARRIOR]’: These three words seem to form a single kenning, since although vekjandi hjaldrs ‘rouser of battle’ would be a very natural warrior-kenning, given that the verb vekja takes objects referring to strife, this would leave snekkju unaccounted for. The solution here is also that of Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV (recognising the rarity of the expression ‘ship’s battle’), and Skj B, also ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991. A variant on it is Kock’s snekkju hjaldrs-vekjandi ‘the warship’s battle-rouser or warrior’ (NN §§1021, 1138). Other alternatives are less satisfactory. (b) Tilgørðir hjaldrs could be taken together in the sense ‘deserving actions in battle’, or hjaldrs could be an adverbial gen. ‘in battle’ qualifying the whole of ll. 3-4, but this would be at odds with the mention of verka ‘poetry’ in l. 1 and would leave vekjandi snekkju ‘rouser of the warship’ as the kenning, which would not quite conform to the usual patterns (cf. Meissner 343, 348). (c) Sœkja, the H, Hr variant on snekkju, does not help, and probably belongs with the many unreliable readings unique to H-Hr.

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lætr ‘lets’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[3] lætr: lét J2ˣ

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hylli ‘favour’

hylli (noun f.; °-): favour

notes

[3, 4] hylli sinnar ‘his favour’: This f. gen. sg. phrase is difficult to account for. (a) Semantically, hylli sinnar (f. gen. sg.) ‘his favour, magnanimity’ fits well with valda ‘cause’, and is taken here as its object, as by all modern eds (LP: hylli, valda and eds listed above). Valda with a gen. object is rare (so Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV) or unparalleled (ÍF 28 finds no parallel in early poetry), but would be supported by the fact that its cognates OE wealdan and OS waldan take gen. objects. (b) The other main solution would be to take tilgørðir hylli sinnar together, with the sense ‘actions deserving his favour’, though this is somewhat forced.  

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sinnar ‘his’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

notes

[3, 4] hylli sinnar ‘his favour’: This f. gen. sg. phrase is difficult to account for. (a) Semantically, hylli sinnar (f. gen. sg.) ‘his favour, magnanimity’ fits well with valda ‘cause’, and is taken here as its object, as by all modern eds (LP: hylli, valda and eds listed above). Valda with a gen. object is rare (so Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV) or unparalleled (ÍF 28 finds no parallel in early poetry), but would be supported by the fact that its cognates OE wealdan and OS waldan take gen. objects. (b) The other main solution would be to take tilgørðir hylli sinnar together, with the sense ‘actions deserving his favour’, though this is somewhat forced.  

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hjaldrs ‘battle’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle

[4] hjaldrs: hjall E

kennings

Vekjandi hjaldrs snekkju
‘The rouser of the warship’s battle ’
   = WARRIOR

The rouser of the warship’s battle → WARRIOR

notes

[2, 4] vekjandi hjaldrs snekkju ‘the rouser of the warship’s battle [WARRIOR]’: These three words seem to form a single kenning, since although vekjandi hjaldrs ‘rouser of battle’ would be a very natural warrior-kenning, given that the verb vekja takes objects referring to strife, this would leave snekkju unaccounted for. The solution here is also that of Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV (recognising the rarity of the expression ‘ship’s battle’), and Skj B, also ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991. A variant on it is Kock’s snekkju hjaldrs-vekjandi ‘the warship’s battle-rouser or warrior’ (NN §§1021, 1138). Other alternatives are less satisfactory. (b) Tilgørðir hjaldrs could be taken together in the sense ‘deserving actions in battle’, or hjaldrs could be an adverbial gen. ‘in battle’ qualifying the whole of ll. 3-4, but this would be at odds with the mention of verka ‘poetry’ in l. 1 and would leave vekjandi snekkju ‘rouser of the warship’ as the kenning, which would not quite conform to the usual patterns (cf. Meissner 343, 348). (c) Sœkja, the H, Hr variant on snekkju, does not help, and probably belongs with the many unreliable readings unique to H-Hr.

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tilgørðir ‘deserving actions’

tilgerð (noun f.): [deserving actions]

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valda ‘determine’

valda (verb): cause

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The st. is quoted in the same context as st. 24 above. Haraldr’s greed for power and prosperity, as well as his generosity to friends, is remembered.

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