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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

Menn eigu þess minnask
manna Sveins at kanna,
víga Freyr, sízt vôru,
vef-Gefn, þríar stefnur.
Vôn es fagrs á Fjóni
fljóðs; dugir vôpn at rjóða;
verum með fylkðu folki
framm í vápna glammi.

Menn eigu minnask þess, {Freyr víga}, at kanna {vef-Gefn} manna Sveins, sízt vôru þríar stefnur. Vôn es fagrs fljóðs á Fjóni; dugir at rjóða vôpn; verum með fylkðu folki framm í {glammi vápna}.

Men have to remember, {Freyr <god> of battles} [WARRIOR], to get to know {the weaving-Gefn <= Freyja>} [WOMAN] of Sveinn’s men, since there were three encounters. There’s prospect of a lovely woman on Fyn; it’s good to redden weapons; let’s take our place with the ranked troop, forward in {the tumult of weapons} [BATTLE].

Mss: (516r), 39(17va), F(41ra) (Hkr); H(11v), Hr(10vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] þess: þess at H    [2] Sveins: ‘sæi[…]t’ 39, seint F, ‘s’ H;    at: ok H    [3] Freyr: Freys H, Hr;    vôru: vgu H, Hr    [4] vef‑: vé‑ Hr;    þríar: þeirrar Hr;    stefnur: ‘stefn[…]’ 39, stefnu Hr    [5] Vôn (‘van’): ‘[…]an’ H;    es (‘er’): á ek 39, á F, eg or er corrected from ‘eigu’ H;    fagrs: fagrt Hr    [6] fljóðs: so H, Hr, fljóð Kˣ, 39, F;    vôpn: om. F

Editions: Skj AI, 377, Skj BI, 347, Skald I, 175, NN §§819C, 867; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 61-2, IV, 201, ÍF 28, 55-6, Hkr 1991, 592-3 (Mgóð ch. 32), F 1871, 188; Fms 6, 82 (Mgóð ch. 39), Fms 12, 136.

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

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

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  9. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  12. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  13. Diana Whaley 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr’ 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. 61-87.
  14. 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.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 9’ 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. 307-8.
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