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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magn 7II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi 7’ 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. 94-6.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonStanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi
678

manna ‘men’

maðr (noun m.): man, person

notes

[2] manna Sveins ‘of Sveinn’s men’: This is taken here, as by most modern eds, with vef-Gefn ‘the weaving-Gefn <= Freyja> [WOMAN]’ (l. 4). This seems preferable because manna Sveins then defines the otherwise mysterious woman and because vef-Gefn precedes the other alternative, þríar stefnur ‘three encounters’ (l. 4), which gives the also plausible ‘three encounters with Sveinn’s men’ (so Skj B). Fms 12, as part of a somewhat forced interpretation, separates manna from Sveins, taking together Sveins menn ‘Sveinn’s men’ as the subject of eigu at minnask ok kanna ‘have to recall and recognise’ (ll. 1, 2).

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Sveins ‘of Sveinn’s’

2. Sveinn (noun m.): Sveinn

[2] Sveins: ‘sæi[…]t’ 39, seint F, ‘s’ H

notes

[2] manna Sveins ‘of Sveinn’s men’: This is taken here, as by most modern eds, with vef-Gefn ‘the weaving-Gefn <= Freyja> [WOMAN]’ (l. 4). This seems preferable because manna Sveins then defines the otherwise mysterious woman and because vef-Gefn precedes the other alternative, þríar stefnur ‘three encounters’ (l. 4), which gives the also plausible ‘three encounters with Sveinn’s men’ (so Skj B). Fms 12, as part of a somewhat forced interpretation, separates manna from Sveins, taking together Sveins menn ‘Sveinn’s men’ as the subject of eigu at minnask ok kanna ‘have to recall and recognise’ (ll. 1, 2).

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víga ‘of battles’

víg (noun n.; °-s; -): battle

kennings

Freyr víga,
‘Freyr of battles, ’
   = WARRIOR

Freyr of battles, → WARRIOR

notes

[3] Freyr víga ‘Freyr <god> of battles [WARRIOR]’: The pairing of a warrior- or man-kenning with an alliterating woman-kenning vef-Gefn ‘weaving-Gefn’ (l. 4), and their references to the sibling deities Freyr and Freyja, may be deliberate. As an apostrophe to an unidentified man, Freyr víga is unique in this set of Þjóðólfr sts, and is part of the evidence that they do not belong with Þjóðólfr’s Magnfl (see Introduction). The H-Hr reading Freys is favoured by some eds. (a) Finnur Jónsson takes it with menn (l. 1), hence menn Freys víga ‘the warrior’s men’, i.e. Magnús’s men (Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B), but the syntax is severely dislocated on that reading and the rhyme of Freyr : vr- (or víg- : vg-) is lacking. (b) Kock adopts vgu, the H-Hr variant on vru in l. 3, and takes it with þríar stefnur (l. 4) to read víga Freys sízt vgu þríar stefnur ‘since they fought three warrior’s encounters’ (Skald; NN §867). (c) It could alternatively be taken in apposition to Sveins (l. 2), but this seems unlikely when Sveinn (Úlfsson) is not the focus of the st.

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Freyr ‘Freyr’

Freyr (noun m.): (a god)

[3] Freyr: Freys H, Hr

kennings

Freyr víga,
‘Freyr of battles, ’
   = WARRIOR

Freyr of battles, → WARRIOR

notes

[3] Freyr víga ‘Freyr <god> of battles [WARRIOR]’: The pairing of a warrior- or man-kenning with an alliterating woman-kenning vef-Gefn ‘weaving-Gefn’ (l. 4), and their references to the sibling deities Freyr and Freyja, may be deliberate. As an apostrophe to an unidentified man, Freyr víga is unique in this set of Þjóðólfr sts, and is part of the evidence that they do not belong with Þjóðólfr’s Magnfl (see Introduction). The H-Hr reading Freys is favoured by some eds. (a) Finnur Jónsson takes it with menn (l. 1), hence menn Freys víga ‘the warrior’s men’, i.e. Magnús’s men (Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B), but the syntax is severely dislocated on that reading and the rhyme of Freyr : vr- (or víg- : vg-) is lacking. (b) Kock adopts vgu, the H-Hr variant on vru in l. 3, and takes it with þríar stefnur (l. 4) to read víga Freys sízt vgu þríar stefnur ‘since they fought three warrior’s encounters’ (Skald; NN §867). (c) It could alternatively be taken in apposition to Sveins (l. 2), but this seems unlikely when Sveinn (Úlfsson) is not the focus of the st.

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vôru ‘there were’

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

[3] vôru: vgu H, Hr

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vef ‘the weaving’

vefr (noun m.; °-jar; -ir): cloth, sail, weaving < vefgefn (noun f.)

[4] vef‑: vé‑ Hr

kennings

vef-Gefn
‘the weaving-Gefn ’
   = WOMAN

the weaving-Gefn → WOMAN
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Gefn ‘Gefn’

Gefn (noun f.): Gefn < vefgefn (noun f.)

kennings

vef-Gefn
‘the weaving-Gefn ’
   = WOMAN

the weaving-Gefn → WOMAN
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þríar ‘three’

þrír (num. cardinal): three

[4] þríar: þeirrar Hr

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stefnur ‘encounters’

1. stefna (noun f.; °-u; -ur): encounter, meeting

[4] stefnur: ‘stefn[…]’ 39, stefnu Hr

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Vôn ‘prospect’

ván (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -/-u; -ir): hope, expectation

[5] Vôn (‘van’): ‘[…]an’ H

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es ‘There’s’

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

[5] es (‘er’): á ek 39, á F, eg or er corrected from ‘eigu’ H

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fagrs ‘of a lovely’

fagr (adj.; °fagran; compar. fegri, superl. fegrstr): fair, beautiful

[5] fagrs: fagrt Hr

notes

[5, 6] fagrs fljóðs ‘of a lovely woman’: (a) There seems little doubt that these two words form a gen. sg. phrase governed by vn ‘prospect, expectation’, though H alone has the correct reading and not the Hkr mss. If indeed this is correct, the st. presents a rare and (if rape is a possibility here) sinister glimpse of the effect of Viking victories on the female members of the vanquished population (cf. Valg Har 9). (b) Hkr 1991, 592-3 prints the Hkr reading fljóð, reading Von er fagrs á Fjóni, fljóð ‘There is prospect of a good thing on Fyn, lady’.

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fljóðs ‘woman’

fljóð (noun n.): woman

[6] fljóðs: so H, Hr, fljóð Kˣ, 39, F

notes

[5, 6] fagrs fljóðs ‘of a lovely woman’: (a) There seems little doubt that these two words form a gen. sg. phrase governed by vn ‘prospect, expectation’, though H alone has the correct reading and not the Hkr mss. If indeed this is correct, the st. presents a rare and (if rape is a possibility here) sinister glimpse of the effect of Viking victories on the female members of the vanquished population (cf. Valg Har 9). (b) Hkr 1991, 592-3 prints the Hkr reading fljóð, reading Von er fagrs á Fjóni, fljóð ‘There is prospect of a good thing on Fyn, lady’.

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vôpn ‘weapons’

vápn (noun n.; °-s; -): weapon

[6] vôpn: om. F

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rjóða ‘redden’

rjóða (verb): to redden

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verum ‘let’s take our place’

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

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fylkðu ‘the ranked’

fylkja (verb): marshal

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framm ‘forward’

fram (adv.): out, forth, forwards, away

notes

[8] framm ‘forward’: Kock gives ‘further, henceforth’ (vidare, allt framjent) as the sense (NN §819, cf. §244).

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vápna ‘of weapons’

vápn (noun n.; °-s; -): weapon

kennings

glammi vápna.
‘the tumult of weapons.’
   = BATTLE

the tumult of weapons. → BATTLE
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glammi ‘the tumult’

glam (noun n.): [a crash]

kennings

glammi vápna.
‘the tumult of weapons.’
   = BATTLE

the tumult of weapons. → BATTLE
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

This follows immediately after Magn 6, with no interruption in Hkr and a brief link in H-Hr.

The st. is lacking from E and J2ˣ, so that the y or J grouping of Hkr mss is only represented, indirectly, by H and Hr, which therefore assume unusual importance here.

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