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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þloft Tøgdr 4I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa 4’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 857.

Þórarinn loftungaTøgdrápa
345

Ok ‘And’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[1] Ok: enn FskAˣ

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fornan ‘the ancient’

forn (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): ancient, old

[1] fornan: norðan 68, ‘for(an)’(?) Tóm

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friðmenn ‘men of peace’

friðmaðr (noun m.): [men of peace]

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haug ‘mound’

haugr (noun m.; °-s, -i; -ar): mound, cairn

notes

[3] haug Hjǫrnagla ‘mound of Tjernagel’: Tjernagel is in southern Hordaland. As LP: haugr notes, haugr ‘mound’ in skaldic poetry can either indicate a natural hill or a man-made one (i.e. a grave-mound), and it is often unclear which is intended. The use of the adj. forn ‘old’ here may possibly suggest that the haugr Hjǫrnagla was (or was believed to be) man-made.

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Hjǫr ‘of Tjer’

hjǫrr (noun m.): sword < Hjǫrnagli (noun m.)

[3] Hjǫrnagla: ‘hiarn æla’ 325VII;    Hjǫr‑: ‘hꜹr‑’ Holm2, ‘hrór‑’ Bæb, ‘hiar‑’ Holm4, 61, ‘biar‑’ Flat, Tóm

notes

[3] haug Hjǫrnagla ‘mound of Tjernagel’: Tjernagel is in southern Hordaland. As LP: haugr notes, haugr ‘mound’ in skaldic poetry can either indicate a natural hill or a man-made one (i.e. a grave-mound), and it is often unclear which is intended. The use of the adj. forn ‘old’ here may possibly suggest that the haugr Hjǫrnagla was (or was believed to be) man-made.

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nagla ‘nagel’

1. nagli (noun m.; °-a; -ar): [nagel, nail] < Hjǫrnagli (noun m.)

[3] Hjǫrnagla: ‘hiarn æla’ 325VII

notes

[3] haug Hjǫrnagla ‘mound of Tjernagel’: Tjernagel is in southern Hordaland. As LP: haugr notes, haugr ‘mound’ in skaldic poetry can either indicate a natural hill or a man-made one (i.e. a grave-mound), and it is often unclear which is intended. The use of the adj. forn ‘old’ here may possibly suggest that the haugr Hjǫrnagla was (or was believed to be) man-made.

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hvasst ‘keenly’

hvass (adj.; °-an; -ari, -astr): keen, sharp

[4] hvasst: haust 61, ‘h[…]’ 325XI 2 g, ‘hafuazst’ Flat, hraust FskAˣ

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grið ‘the protection’

grið (noun n.): truce < griðfastr (adj.)

[4] grið‑: ‘gid’ Tóm

notes

[4] griðfastir friðmenn ‘the protection-secure men of peace’: Grið n. normally means ‘truce, protection, quarter’ on a more individual basis than friðr f. ‘peace’ (on the two terms in OE and ON, see Fell 1982-3). The reference here could be to the Danes’ situation as former enemies of Norway: they keep their promises of truce (cf., e.g., heitfastr, eiðfastr ‘oath-firm, true to one’s oath’) and bring protection to Norway. Alternatively, the emphasis may be on the way in which Knútr’s followers enjoy the protection, friendship and peace conferred on his household and supporters (cf. LP: griðfastr; ÍF 27; IF 29).

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fastir ‘secure’

fastr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): firm, fast < griðfastr (adj.)

notes

[4] griðfastir friðmenn ‘the protection-secure men of peace’: Grið n. normally means ‘truce, protection, quarter’ on a more individual basis than friðr f. ‘peace’ (on the two terms in OE and ON, see Fell 1982-3). The reference here could be to the Danes’ situation as former enemies of Norway: they keep their promises of truce (cf., e.g., heitfastr, eiðfastr ‘oath-firm, true to one’s oath’) and bring protection to Norway. Alternatively, the emphasis may be on the way in which Knútr’s followers enjoy the protection, friendship and peace conferred on his household and supporters (cf. LP: griðfastr; ÍF 27; IF 29).

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Þás ‘When’

þás (conj.): when

[5] Þás (‘þa er’): so Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, DG8, FskAˣ, þar er Kˣ, Holm2, Bæb, 68, 325XI 2 g

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stóð ‘the stud-horses’

2. stóð (noun n.; °-s): stud-horse

[5] stóð: stór Bæb, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VII, Flat, FskAˣ

kennings

stóð stafnklifs
‘the stud-horses of the prow-cliff ’
   = SHIPS

the prow-cliff → SEA
the stud-horses of the SEA → SHIPS
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Stað ‘Stad’

3. Staðr (noun m.): [Stad]

notes

[5] Stað ‘Stad’: This is on the prominent peninsula Stadlandet in modern Sogn og Fjordane, at the border with Møre og Romsdal. It is also mentioned in Ólhelg Lv 4/2, Anon Liðs 9/8.

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stafn ‘of the prow’

stafn (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): prow < stafnklif (noun n.)

kennings

stóð stafnklifs
‘the stud-horses of the prow-cliff ’
   = SHIPS

the prow-cliff → SEA
the stud-horses of the SEA → SHIPS
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stafn ‘of the prow’

stafn (noun m.; °dat. -i/-; -ar): prow < stafnklif (noun n.)

kennings

stóð stafnklifs
‘the stud-horses of the prow-cliff ’
   = SHIPS

the prow-cliff → SEA
the stud-horses of the SEA → SHIPS
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klifs ‘cliff’

klif (noun n.; °-s; -): cliff < stafnklif (noun n.)

[6] ‑klifs: klif Holm4, 61, 325V, Flat, Tóm, DG8, FskAˣ, ‘skrif’ 325VII, ‘kvig[…]’ 325XI 2 g

kennings

stóð stafnklifs
‘the stud-horses of the prow-cliff ’
   = SHIPS

the prow-cliff → SEA
the stud-horses of the SEA → SHIPS
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klifs ‘cliff’

klif (noun n.; °-s; -): cliff < stafnklif (noun n.)

[6] ‑klifs: klif Holm4, 61, 325V, Flat, Tóm, DG8, FskAˣ, ‘skrif’ 325VII, ‘kvig[…]’ 325XI 2 g

kennings

stóð stafnklifs
‘the stud-horses of the prow-cliff ’
   = SHIPS

the prow-cliff → SEA
the stud-horses of the SEA → SHIPS
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vasa ‘was not’

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

[7] vasa (‘vara’): ‘varað’ 325VII, varð FskAˣ

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eyðilig ‘wasted’

eyðiligr (adj.): [wasted]

[7] eyðilig: ‘eyþiðig’ 325V, ‘æðeleg’ 325VII, œgilig FskAˣ

notes

[7] eyðilig ‘wasted’: The adj. has the sense ‘empty, desolate’, and hence in this context could mean either ‘wasted, without purpose’ or ‘lacking in splendour’; cf. the related auðligr in Arn Hardr 13/2II (eigi varð) auðligr ‘(was not) unadorned’ and Note ad loc. for discussion of possible meanings. A further possibility here is that the journey was not ‘destructive’ (see Fritzner: eyðiligr 2), particularly if the sense of griðfastir (l. 4, see Note) is that the Danes bring protection.

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ǫr ‘of the arrow’

ǫr (noun f.; °dat. -/-u; ǫrvar/ǫrar): arrow < 1. ǫrbeiðir (noun m.): [arrow-demander]

[8] ǫrbeiðis: ‘audbeydir’ 61, ‘aurbelldis’ Tóm

kennings

ǫrbeiðis
‘of the arrow-demander ’
   = WARRIOR

the arrow-demander → WARRIOR

notes

[8] fǫr ǫrbeiðis ‘the journey of the arrow-demander [WARRIOR]’: This interpretation is most consonant with skaldic style (so also Skj B; LP: 2. ǫrbeiðir; ÍF 27; ÍF 29; ÓHLeg 1982). Kock (NN §1129C) suggests that ǫrbeiðir here has the same meaning as in st. 2/2, with ǫr from adj. ǫrr ‘eager’, and that what Knútr is the ‘eager desirer’ of is the stóð stafnklifs ‘stud-horses of the prow-cliff [SEA > SHIPS]’ of ll. 5-6, even though (as he points out) the two phrases are not in a direct grammatical relationship.

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beiðis ‘demander’

beiðir (noun m.): demander < 1. ǫrbeiðir (noun m.): [arrow-demander]

[8] ǫrbeiðis: ‘audbeydir’ 61, ‘aurbelldis’ Tóm

kennings

ǫrbeiðis
‘of the arrow-demander ’
   = WARRIOR

the arrow-demander → WARRIOR

notes

[8] fǫr ǫrbeiðis ‘the journey of the arrow-demander [WARRIOR]’: This interpretation is most consonant with skaldic style (so also Skj B; LP: 2. ǫrbeiðir; ÍF 27; ÍF 29; ÓHLeg 1982). Kock (NN §1129C) suggests that ǫrbeiðir here has the same meaning as in st. 2/2, with ǫr from adj. ǫrr ‘eager’, and that what Knútr is the ‘eager desirer’ of is the stóð stafnklifs ‘stud-horses of the prow-cliff [SEA > SHIPS]’ of ll. 5-6, even though (as he points out) the two phrases are not in a direct grammatical relationship.

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fǫr ‘the journey’

fǫr (noun f.): journey, fate; movement

notes

[8] fǫr ǫrbeiðis ‘the journey of the arrow-demander [WARRIOR]’: This interpretation is most consonant with skaldic style (so also Skj B; LP: 2. ǫrbeiðir; ÍF 27; ÍF 29; ÓHLeg 1982). Kock (NN §1129C) suggests that ǫrbeiðir here has the same meaning as in st. 2/2, with ǫr from adj. ǫrr ‘eager’, and that what Knútr is the ‘eager desirer’ of is the stóð stafnklifs ‘stud-horses of the prow-cliff [SEA > SHIPS]’ of ll. 5-6, even though (as he points out) the two phrases are not in a direct grammatical relationship.

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

See Context to st. 1 above.

The relationship between the two helmingar is problematic. The most normal configuration would be that the clause beginning at l. 5 þás ‘when’ (variant þars ‘where’) is subordinate to the clause in ll. 1-4, i.e. the main clause precedes the subordinate clause. However, this produces the meaning that the ships travelled past Tjernagel, when/where they sped past Stad, which cannot be the case since Stad is some 200 kilometres north of Tjernagel. The clause in ll. 5-6 must therefore be subordinate to the following clause (ll. 7-8), although that is not the standard configuration (see Kuhn 1983, 190).

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