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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 3’ 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. 114-16.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
234

Dolg ‘of battle’

dolg (noun n.): battle, enemy < dolgljós (noun n.)

[1] Dolg‑: ‘D[…]lg’ W, dolgs U

kennings

skyndir dolgljóss
‘the speeder of battle-light ’
   = WARRIOR

battle-light → SWORD
the speeder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[1] dolgljóss ‘of the battle-light [SWORD]’: This, the first word in the helmingr, forms a kenning with the last word, skyndir ‘speeder’ (l. 4), and this may explain the scribal confusion that has produced the variants shown.

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Dolg ‘of battle’

dolg (noun n.): battle, enemy < dolgljós (noun n.)

[1] Dolg‑: ‘D[…]lg’ W, dolgs U

kennings

skyndir dolgljóss
‘the speeder of battle-light ’
   = WARRIOR

battle-light → SWORD
the speeder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[1] dolgljóss ‘of the battle-light [SWORD]’: This, the first word in the helmingr, forms a kenning with the last word, skyndir ‘speeder’ (l. 4), and this may explain the scribal confusion that has produced the variants shown.

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ljóss ‘light’

ljós (noun n.; °ljóss; -): light < dolgljós (noun n.)

[1] ‑ljóss: ‑lauss H, Hr, ‑ljós R, Tˣ, W, B, hús U

kennings

skyndir dolgljóss
‘the speeder of battle-light ’
   = WARRIOR

battle-light → SWORD
the speeder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[1] dolgljóss ‘of the battle-light [SWORD]’: This, the first word in the helmingr, forms a kenning with the last word, skyndir ‘speeder’ (l. 4), and this may explain the scribal confusion that has produced the variants shown.

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ljóss ‘light’

ljós (noun n.; °ljóss; -): light < dolgljós (noun n.)

[1] ‑ljóss: ‑lauss H, Hr, ‑ljós R, Tˣ, W, B, hús U

kennings

skyndir dolgljóss
‘the speeder of battle-light ’
   = WARRIOR

battle-light → SWORD
the speeder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[1] dolgljóss ‘of the battle-light [SWORD]’: This, the first word in the helmingr, forms a kenning with the last word, skyndir ‘speeder’ (l. 4), and this may explain the scribal confusion that has produced the variants shown.

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hefir ‘’

hafa (verb): have

[1] hefir: ‘h[…]’ W

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dási ‘sluggard’

dási (noun m.): [sluggard]

[1] dási: ‘daþar’ U

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darr ‘The spear’

darr (noun n.; °; *-um): spear < darrlatr (adj.)

[2] darr‑: ‘siþar’ U

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staðit ‘stood’

standa (verb): stand

[2] staðit: ‘hlað[...]’ W

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þás ‘when’

þás (conj.): when

[3] þás (‘þa er’): so R, Tˣ, W, U, B, en FskBˣ, er FskAˣ, þar er H, Hr

notes

[3] þás ‘when’: Normalised from ‘þa er’, which seems the most likely starting point for variants þar er ‘where’, en ‘and/but’ and er ‘as’, any of which would also make sense.

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elju ‘the rival’

elja (noun f.; °-u; -ur): [rival, concubine]

[3] elju: so Hr, R, Tˣ, W, U, B, ‘elmi’ FskBˣ, ‘œliu’ FskAˣ, ‘eliǫ‑’ H

kennings

ómynda elju Rindar.
‘the rival of Rindr lacking bride-payment. ’
   = Jǫrð

the rival of Rindr lacking bride-payment. → Jǫrð

notes

[3-4] ómynda elju Rindar ‘the rival of Rindr <giantess> lacking bride-payment [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)]’: Rindr is the mother of Váli (SnE 1998, I, 19), and one of the numerous mistresses of Óðinn, hence a rival not only to his wife Frigg but also to another mistress, Jǫrð, goddess and personification of the earth (SnE 1998, I, 30, 35; see also Note to Anon Nkt 8/1, 2). The evidence for Rindr’s status (giantess or goddess) is somewhat ambivalent. Jǫrð here stands for a particular territory, taken by conquest and not paid for (ómynda), like a woman for whom no mundr, the customary payment from bridegroom to bride which legitimises the marriage, has been paid.

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Rindar ‘Rindr’

Rindr (noun f.): Rindr

[3] Rindar: rinda FskAˣ

kennings

ómynda elju Rindar.
‘the rival of Rindr lacking bride-payment. ’
   = Jǫrð

the rival of Rindr lacking bride-payment. → Jǫrð

notes

[3-4] ómynda elju Rindar ‘the rival of Rindr <giantess> lacking bride-payment [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)]’: Rindr is the mother of Váli (SnE 1998, I, 19), and one of the numerous mistresses of Óðinn, hence a rival not only to his wife Frigg but also to another mistress, Jǫrð, goddess and personification of the earth (SnE 1998, I, 30, 35; see also Note to Anon Nkt 8/1, 2). The evidence for Rindr’s status (giantess or goddess) is somewhat ambivalent. Jǫrð here stands for a particular territory, taken by conquest and not paid for (ómynda), like a woman for whom no mundr, the customary payment from bridegroom to bride which legitimises the marriage, has been paid.

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ómynda ‘lacking bride-payment’

ómyndr (adj./verb p.p.): lacking bride-payment

[4] ómynda: ‘ymynda’ R, Tˣ, ‘ymy[…]da’ W, ‘o millda’ U, ‘jmynda’ B

kennings

ómynda elju Rindar.
‘the rival of Rindr lacking bride-payment. ’
   = Jǫrð

the rival of Rindr lacking bride-payment. → Jǫrð

notes

[3-4] ómynda elju Rindar ‘the rival of Rindr <giantess> lacking bride-payment [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)]’: Rindr is the mother of Váli (SnE 1998, I, 19), and one of the numerous mistresses of Óðinn, hence a rival not only to his wife Frigg but also to another mistress, Jǫrð, goddess and personification of the earth (SnE 1998, I, 30, 35; see also Note to Anon Nkt 8/1, 2). The evidence for Rindr’s status (giantess or goddess) is somewhat ambivalent. Jǫrð here stands for a particular territory, taken by conquest and not paid for (ómynda), like a woman for whom no mundr, the customary payment from bridegroom to bride which legitimises the marriage, has been paid.

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tók ‘seized’

2. taka (verb): take

[4] tók: om. W

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skyndir ‘the speeder’

skyndir (noun m.; °dat. -): hastener

[4] skyndir: skyndar FskAˣ, skyldir U

kennings

skyndir dolgljóss
‘the speeder of battle-light ’
   = WARRIOR

battle-light → SWORD
the speeder of the SWORD → WARRIOR
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Afríka ‘of Africans’

Afríkr (noun m.): African person

notes

[5] jǫfri Afríka ‘the prince of Africans’: As the sole direct reference to Africa in the extant skaldic sources, this may have given rise to the saga accounts of triumphs in Africa, but there is some doubt as to whether they are correct. Bjarni Aðalbjarnason takes the jǫfri Afríka (dat. sg. of jǫfurr) to be the Emir Abdallah ‘from Africa’ (frá Afríku), who defended Sicily against the Greeks (ÍF 28, 75 n., and cf. Note to st. 2/2). The normal spelling is Aff-, both in the mss for this st. and generally (see LP: Affríkar), but the hending with jǫfri suggests a form with single <f> here.

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jǫfri ‘the prince’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

notes

[5] jǫfri Afríka ‘the prince of Africans’: As the sole direct reference to Africa in the extant skaldic sources, this may have given rise to the saga accounts of triumphs in Africa, but there is some doubt as to whether they are correct. Bjarni Aðalbjarnason takes the jǫfri Afríka (dat. sg. of jǫfurr) to be the Emir Abdallah ‘from Africa’ (frá Afríku), who defended Sicily against the Greeks (ÍF 28, 75 n., and cf. Note to st. 2/2). The normal spelling is Aff-, both in the mss for this st. and generally (see LP: Affríkar), but the hending with jǫfri suggests a form with single <f> here.

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Ánars ‘of Ánarr’

Ánarr (noun m.): Ánarr

[6] Ánars: so H, annars FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Hr

kennings

haglfaldinni mey Ánars
‘the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr ’
   = Jǫrð

the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr → Jǫrð

notes

[6] mey Ánars ‘maiden of Ánarr <dwarf> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)]’: Jǫrð (cf. Note to l. 3 above) is also the daughter of a figure whose name appears variously as Ánarr (here established by the aðalhending on hnum), Ónarr (established by rhyme on grón in Hfr Hákdr 5/4III) and Annarr ‘Second’ whose name perhaps reflects his status as second husband of Nótt ‘Night’ (SnE 1931, 17; SnE 1988, 13). He seems to have been imagined as a dwarf (Vsp 11; Þul Dverga 3/6III).

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mey ‘maiden’

mær (noun f.; °meyjar, dat. meyju; meyjar): maiden

kennings

haglfaldinni mey Ánars
‘the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr ’
   = Jǫrð

the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr → Jǫrð

notes

[6] mey Ánars ‘maiden of Ánarr <dwarf> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)]’: Jǫrð (cf. Note to l. 3 above) is also the daughter of a figure whose name appears variously as Ánarr (here established by the aðalhending on hnum), Ónarr (established by rhyme on grón in Hfr Hákdr 5/4III) and Annarr ‘Second’ whose name perhaps reflects his status as second husband of Nótt ‘Night’ (SnE 1931, 17; SnE 1988, 13). He seems to have been imagined as a dwarf (Vsp 11; Þul Dverga 3/6III).

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hagl ‘the hail’

hagl (noun n.; °-s; dat. *-um): hail < haglfaldinn (adj./verb p.p.)

[7] hagl‑: hag‑ H, Hr

kennings

haglfaldinni mey Ánars
‘the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr ’
   = Jǫrð

the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr → Jǫrð

notes

[7] haglfaldinni ‘the hail-coifed’: The personification of ‘earth, territory’ is reinforced by the idea that she wears a headdress, but the reference to territory is strengthened by the idea that the headdress is of hail. Most eds have adopted this reading. The variant hag-, giving ‘neatly coifed’, is also possible; compare Loki disguised as a bride by having a headdress set hagliga ‘neatly, deftly’ on his head (Þry 16, 19, NK 113). Kock preferred this reading on grounds that hagl- ‘hail’ is less appropriate in (what he took as) a reference to Africa (Skald; Kock and Meissner 1931, II, 64). There is no satisfactory Engl. equivalent for faldr m., a high headdress worn by women, and the derived verb falda, p. p. faldinn.

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faldinni ‘coifed’

2. falda (verb): cover, clothe < haglfaldinn (adj./verb p.p.)

kennings

haglfaldinni mey Ánars
‘the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr ’
   = Jǫrð

the hail-coifed maiden of Ánarr → Jǫrð

notes

[7] haglfaldinni ‘the hail-coifed’: The personification of ‘earth, territory’ is reinforced by the idea that she wears a headdress, but the reference to territory is strengthened by the idea that the headdress is of hail. Most eds have adopted this reading. The variant hag-, giving ‘neatly coifed’, is also possible; compare Loki disguised as a bride by having a headdress set hagliga ‘neatly, deftly’ on his head (Þry 16, 19, NK 113). Kock preferred this reading on grounds that hagl- ‘hail’ is less appropriate in (what he took as) a reference to Africa (Skald; Kock and Meissner 1931, II, 64). There is no satisfactory Engl. equivalent for faldr m., a high headdress worn by women, and the derived verb falda, p. p. faldinn.

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hlýðisamt ‘possible’

hlýðisamr (adj.): [possible]

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

Fsk records how Haraldr amasses great treasure in several seasons of raiding in Afríka; he fights the king there and conquers territories. H-Hr has a similar context. In SnE the first helmingr is cited within a sequence illustrating kennings for jǫrð ‘earth’; elju Rindar is specified within the list that heads the ch. Of the SnE mss, U lacks the attribution to Þjóðólfr and hence appears to connect the st. implicitly with the preceding one, Hfr Hákdr 6III, which U attributes to ‘hallv’.

The kennings in this st. effect a personification of territory as Jǫrð which is strongly reminiscent of Hfr HákdrIII. See Note to Anon Nkt 8/1, 2. — The st. is introduced, Sem Þjóðólfr skáld segir ‘As the poet Þjóðólfr says’, to which FskAˣ adds, æftir orðum sialfs hans ‘in his very words’.

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