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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magn 6II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi 6’ 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. 93-4.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonStanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi
567

af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

[1] af: á 39, F, E, J2ˣ

notes

[1] af landi hróka ‘from the land of cormorants [SEA]’: Hence a storm or wind (hregg, l. 1) off the sea. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 28 (followed by Hkr 1991) adopts the reading á ‘on’ and takes hróka landi as a word-play yielding sjár m. ‘sea’ and hence the p. n. Sjáland (Sjælland, Zealand; Selund in st. 4/4, ÞjóðA Sex 24/2). This has the advantages of avoiding two instances of af ‘from’ and providing a comparison between incidents on Sjælland and Fyn which makes sense of hǫlfu hæri ‘twice as high’ in l. 5. However, the interpretation rather implausibly assumes that landi counts twice, and since the prose context makes no mention of a Sjáland, this seems not to have been the way the medieval compilers read the st.

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hróka ‘of cormorants’

2. hrókr (noun m.): cormorant

[1] hróka: ‘horda‑’ Hr

kennings

landi hróka
‘the land of cormorants ’
   = SEA

the land of cormorants → SEA

notes

[1] af landi hróka ‘from the land of cormorants [SEA]’: Hence a storm or wind (hregg, l. 1) off the sea. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 28 (followed by Hkr 1991) adopts the reading á ‘on’ and takes hróka landi as a word-play yielding sjár m. ‘sea’ and hence the p. n. Sjáland (Sjælland, Zealand; Selund in st. 4/4, ÞjóðA Sex 24/2). This has the advantages of avoiding two instances of af ‘from’ and providing a comparison between incidents on Sjælland and Fyn which makes sense of hǫlfu hæri ‘twice as high’ in l. 5. However, the interpretation rather implausibly assumes that landi counts twice, and since the prose context makes no mention of a Sjáland, this seems not to have been the way the medieval compilers read the st.

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landi ‘the land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

kennings

landi hróka
‘the land of cormorants ’
   = SEA

the land of cormorants → SEA

notes

[1] af landi hróka ‘from the land of cormorants [SEA]’: Hence a storm or wind (hregg, l. 1) off the sea. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 28 (followed by Hkr 1991) adopts the reading á ‘on’ and takes hróka landi as a word-play yielding sjár m. ‘sea’ and hence the p. n. Sjáland (Sjælland, Zealand; Selund in st. 4/4, ÞjóðA Sex 24/2). This has the advantages of avoiding two instances of af ‘from’ and providing a comparison between incidents on Sjælland and Fyn which makes sense of hǫlfu hæri ‘twice as high’ in l. 5. However, the interpretation rather implausibly assumes that landi counts twice, and since the prose context makes no mention of a Sjáland, this seems not to have been the way the medieval compilers read the st.

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hregg ‘A storm’

hregg (noun n.): storm

[2] hregg: ‘hreigg’ E

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

notes

[2] af eikiveggjum ‘from oak walls’: Although seemingly a hap. leg., this is transparent. LP: eikivegg understands it as referring to the gunwale of a ship, but there is no reason to doubt that this is all about burning buildings (or perhaps palisades) along the coast.

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eiki ‘oak’

eiki (noun n.): oak, oak ship < eikiveggr (noun m.)

notes

[2] af eikiveggjum ‘from oak walls’: Although seemingly a hap. leg., this is transparent. LP: eikivegg understands it as referring to the gunwale of a ship, but there is no reason to doubt that this is all about burning buildings (or perhaps palisades) along the coast.

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veggjum ‘ walls’

1. veggr (noun m.; °-jar/-s(Páll²A 257³³), dat. -/-i(kun defin.); -ir): wall < eikiveggr (noun m.)

[2] ‑veggjum: eggjum H, leggjum Hr

notes

[2] af eikiveggjum ‘from oak walls’: Although seemingly a hap. leg., this is transparent. LP: eikivegg understands it as referring to the gunwale of a ship, but there is no reason to doubt that this is all about burning buildings (or perhaps palisades) along the coast.

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sunnr ‘to the south’

sunnr (adv.): south

notes

[3] sunnr ‘to the south’: Like other adverbials in the st., this could be taken with more than one cl. It is understood here (as in Skald and ÍF 28) as belonging with the rest of l. 3 and hence with the intercalated cl., while Finnur Jónsson read it with the main, enclosing, cl. built around hrindr ‘flings’ (l. 1) (Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B). ÍF 28 explains ‘south of the sea’ (fyr sunnan haf).

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leikr ‘sports’

3. leika (verb): play

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of ‘once’

4. of (particle): (before verb)

notes

[3] of unninn ‘once kindled’: Literally ‘made’. Of is the expletive particle and unninn the m. nom. sg. p. p. of vinna ‘make, do’, qualifying eldr, hence literally ‘(the) made fire’.

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unninn ‘kindled’

2. vinna (verb): perform, work

notes

[3] of unninn ‘once kindled’: Literally ‘made’. Of is the expletive particle and unninn the m. nom. sg. p. p. of vinna ‘make, do’, qualifying eldr, hence literally ‘(the) made fire’.

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upp ‘up’

upp (adv.): up

[4] upp: af Hr

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glóðum ‘embers’

glóð (noun f.): ember

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Bœr ‘The settlement’

bœr (noun m.; °-jar/-ar, dat. -; -ir, gen. -ja/-a, dat. -jum/-um/bjóm/-am/-m, acc. -i/-ja/-a/bǿ): farm, homestead

[5] Bœr: so 39, F, J2ˣ, H, Hr, ‘bǫrr’ Kˣ, ‘bǫr’ E

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logar ‘blazes’

2. loga (verb): burn

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hǫlfu ‘twice’

halfr (adj.): half

notes

[5] hǫlfu hæra ‘twice as high’: The normal sense of hǫlfu, despite its literal sense ‘higher by half’. The comp. has nothing obvious to compare with, and may be simply an intensive, unless Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s theory about af hróka landi is correct (see Note to l. 1 above), or Finnur Jónsson’s suggestion that hǫlfu hæra means that the flame was twice the height of the burning building itself (Hkr 1893-1901, IV, 200).

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hæra ‘as high’

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

notes

[5] hǫlfu hæra ‘twice as high’: The normal sense of hǫlfu, despite its literal sense ‘higher by half’. The comp. has nothing obvious to compare with, and may be simply an intensive, unless Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson’s theory about af hróka landi is correct (see Note to l. 1 above), or Finnur Jónsson’s suggestion that hǫlfu hæra means that the flame was twice the height of the burning building itself (Hkr 1893-1901, IV, 200).

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hjónum ‘the households’

hjón (noun n.; °; -): one of the household, married couple, domestic servant

notes

[6] hjónum nær ‘hard by the households’: Like sunnr ‘to the south’ (l. 3), this is syntactically ambiguous, since, as Finnur Jónsson noted, it goes equally well or badly with all three clauses in the second helmingr (Hkr 1893-1901, IV, 200). Following Sveinbjörn Egilsson (in Fms), he construed it with l. 7 ræfr þola nauð ok næfrar ‘roof and shingles suffer distress’, assuming that the sense was that the roof burned over the heads of the inhabitants (Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B). This edn like others makes the simpler assumption that hjónum nær belongs with ll. 5-6, forming a couplet (cf. NN §§806, 866).

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nær ‘hard by’

nær (adv.): near, almost; when

notes

[6] hjónum nær ‘hard by the households’: Like sunnr ‘to the south’ (l. 3), this is syntactically ambiguous, since, as Finnur Jónsson noted, it goes equally well or badly with all three clauses in the second helmingr (Hkr 1893-1901, IV, 200). Following Sveinbjörn Egilsson (in Fms), he construed it with l. 7 ræfr þola nauð ok næfrar ‘roof and shingles suffer distress’, assuming that the sense was that the roof burned over the heads of the inhabitants (Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B). This edn like others makes the simpler assumption that hjónum nær belongs with ll. 5-6, forming a couplet (cf. NN §§806, 866).

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þola ‘endure’

þola (verb): suffer, endure

[7] þola: þolir Hr

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nauð ‘distress’

neyð (noun f.; °dat. -): need, distress

[7] nauð: rauð 39

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næfrar ‘shingles’

1. næfr (noun f.; °-ar; -ar/-ir(DN III (1322) 128²⁴)): roof-shingle

notes

[7] næfrar ‘shingles’: Næfr f., here in the pl., refers to strips of bark, especially birch-bark, used to thatch roofs. Strictly it refers to the skin covering the tree’s bark (Fritzner: næfr). See also Note to Anon Nkt 4/8.

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Norðmenn ‘Norwegians’

norðmaðr (noun m.): Norwegian

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

During Magnús Óláfsson’s pursuit of Sveinn Úlfsson across Denmark, Sveinn escapes to Västergötland (Gautland) and from there to the king of Sweden, while Magnús harries Fyn (Fjón). Sveinn’s supporters there flee.

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