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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þloft Tøgdr 6I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa 6’ 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. 860.

Þórarinn loftungaTøgdrápa
567

gaf ‘gave’

gefa (verb): give

[1] gaf: so all others, ‘ga[…]’ Kˣ

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snjallr ‘the bold’

snjallr (adj.): quick, resourceful, bold

[2] snjallr: sjalfr 68, snjallt Tóm

kennings

snjallr njótr veg-Jóta
‘the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar ’
   = DANISH KING = Knútr

the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar → DANISH KING = Knútr
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gǫrv ‘the’

1. gǫrr (adj.): ample, perfect < gǫrvallr (adj.): everything

[2] gǫrvallan: so all others, ‘g[…]vallan’ Kˣ

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allan ‘whole of’

allr (adj.): all < gǫrvallr (adj.): everything

[2] gǫrvallan: so all others, ‘g[…]vallan’ Kˣ

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nefa ‘nephew’

nefi (noun m.; °-a): nephew

[3] nefa: so all others, ‘[…]fa’ Kˣ

notes

[3] nefa ‘nephew’: As regent in Norway Knútr appointed Hákon Eiríksson, who was his sister’s son: Hákon’s father, Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson of Hlaðir (Lade), married Knútr’s sister Gyða. According to John of Worcester (Darlington and McGurk 1995-, II, 510-1), Hákon was also Knútr’s nephew-in-law, having married Gunnhildr, the daughter of another of Knútr’s sisters. However, Hákon died at sea in 1029 (or 1030, as recorded in ASC s. a.), at which point Óláfr Haraldsson chose to return from exile, leading to his death in battle at Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad).

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njótr ‘enjoyer’

njótr (noun m.): user, enjoyer

kennings

snjallr njótr veg-Jóta
‘the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar ’
   = DANISH KING = Knútr

the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar → DANISH KING = Knútr

notes

[4] njótr veg-Jóta ‘enjoyer of the glory-Jótar [DANISH KING = Knútr]’: As can be seen from the Readings, the element Jóta ‘of the Jótar, the people of Jutland’, generated considerable scribal uncertainty. Moreover, it is unclear whether the first element of the cpd is vegr ‘path, land’ or vegr ‘honour, glory’, both m. nouns. (a) Kock (NN §789), assuming ‘honour, glory’, suggests that veg-Jótar is paralleled by (and perhaps modelled on) OE constructions such as Ār-Scyldingas ‘glory-Danes’ in Beowulf ll. 464, 1710 (Beowulf 2008, 18, 58, 471); this is followed in ÍF 27, and also here. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: Veg-Jótar), assuming ‘path, land’, construes the kenning as the inverted veg-njótr Jóta ‘enjoyer/owner of the land of the Jótar’, lit. ‘land-enjoyer of the Jótar’. This is followed by ÓHLeg 1982, but the syntax seems uncharacteristic of Tøgdr .

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veg ‘of the glory’

2. vegr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -): honour < vegjóti (noun m.)

[4] veg‑: né Tóm

kennings

snjallr njótr veg-Jóta
‘the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar ’
   = DANISH KING = Knútr

the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar → DANISH KING = Knútr

notes

[4] njótr veg-Jóta ‘enjoyer of the glory-Jótar [DANISH KING = Knútr]’: As can be seen from the Readings, the element Jóta ‘of the Jótar, the people of Jutland’, generated considerable scribal uncertainty. Moreover, it is unclear whether the first element of the cpd is vegr ‘path, land’ or vegr ‘honour, glory’, both m. nouns. (a) Kock (NN §789), assuming ‘honour, glory’, suggests that veg-Jótar is paralleled by (and perhaps modelled on) OE constructions such as Ār-Scyldingas ‘glory-Danes’ in Beowulf ll. 464, 1710 (Beowulf 2008, 18, 58, 471); this is followed in ÍF 27, and also here. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: Veg-Jótar), assuming ‘path, land’, construes the kenning as the inverted veg-njótr Jóta ‘enjoyer/owner of the land of the Jótar’, lit. ‘land-enjoyer of the Jótar’. This is followed by ÓHLeg 1982, but the syntax seems uncharacteristic of Tøgdr .

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Jóta ‘Jótar’

jóti (noun m.; °; -ar): one of the Jótar < vegjóti (noun m.)

[4] Jóta: so 325V, 325VII, ‘iotra’ Kˣ, Holm2, 68, Holm4, Flat, DG8, ‘rotar’ J2ˣ, ‘‑hrotar’ Bæb, ‘‑riota’ 61, ‘iot’ 325XI 2 g, ‘giot(ra)’(?) Tóm

kennings

snjallr njótr veg-Jóta
‘the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar ’
   = DANISH KING = Knútr

the bold enjoyer of the glory-Jótar → DANISH KING = Knútr

notes

[4] njótr veg-Jóta ‘enjoyer of the glory-Jótar [DANISH KING = Knútr]’: As can be seen from the Readings, the element Jóta ‘of the Jótar, the people of Jutland’, generated considerable scribal uncertainty. Moreover, it is unclear whether the first element of the cpd is vegr ‘path, land’ or vegr ‘honour, glory’, both m. nouns. (a) Kock (NN §789), assuming ‘honour, glory’, suggests that veg-Jótar is paralleled by (and perhaps modelled on) OE constructions such as Ār-Scyldingas ‘glory-Danes’ in Beowulf ll. 464, 1710 (Beowulf 2008, 18, 58, 471); this is followed in ÍF 27, and also here. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: Veg-Jótar), assuming ‘path, land’, construes the kenning as the inverted veg-njótr Jóta ‘enjoyer/owner of the land of the Jótar’, lit. ‘land-enjoyer of the Jótar’. This is followed by ÓHLeg 1982, but the syntax seems uncharacteristic of Tøgdr .

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Þá ‘Then’

2. þá (adv.): then

[5] Þá: sá Holm2, Bæb, 68, ok Holm4, 61, 325V, Flat, Tóm, DG8, ‘sa’(?) 325XI 2 g

notes

[5] þá ‘then’: The variant ok has strong ms. support and gives better sense, as it suggests concurrent actions rather than successive ones, and þá could well be a dittographic repetition from the start of the first helmingr; nonetheless, þá, as the reading of the main ms., is retained here.

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gaf ‘he gave’

gefa (verb): give

[5] gaf: gaf ok 68

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sínum ‘his’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

[5] sínum: ‘sinr’ 325XI 2 g

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segik ‘I declare’

segja (verb): say, tell

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megi ‘son’

mǫgr (noun m.; °; megir, acc. mǫgu): son, boy

[6] megi: ‘[…]gi’ 325XI 2 g

notes

[6] megi ‘son’: The son to whom Knútr entrusted Denmark is likely to have been Hǫrðaknútr, his only son by Emma of Normandy (see Lund 1994, 39).

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dals ‘of the dale’

dalr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -/-i; -ir, acc. -i/-a): valley

[7] dals: dags 61, Flat, Tóm, dal 325VII

kennings

dals svana;
‘of the dale of swans; ’
   = SEA

the dale of swans; → SEA

notes

[7, 8] døkksali dals svana ‘the dark halls of the dale of swans [SEA]’: As can be seen from the Readings, scribes made various attempts to make sense of this difficult phrase. (a) The solution adopted here is based on that of Kock (NN §1792; Skald), who assumes (reasonably) that njótr ‘enjoyer’ (l. 4) is the subject of gaf ‘gave’ in both ll. 1 and 5, and suggests emendation to acc. pl. sali rather than the gen. sg. ‑ar or gen. pl. ‑a implied by the mss. This gives døkksali dals svana ‘dark halls of the dale of swans’, where dalr svana is a satisfactory kenning for ‘sea’, and the phrase is thus in apposition with Danmǫrk, and according to Kock offers a description of the country’s ‘forest-covered islands in the sea’ (skogbevuxna öarna i havet). For a similarly unusual description of the land, see Gsind Hákdr 3/3. A possible variation on this analysis would be to prefer the reading in djúp- rather than døkk-, as djúpr ‘deep’ is used in Akv 14/2 (NK 242), as an adj. for an aristocratic residence. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: døkksalr) emends this cpd to dagvélir, in which the first element is ‘day, sun’ and the second ‘enticer, destroyer’, hence ‘destroyer of the sun of the dale of swans [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Knútr]’; this nom. case kenning can then act as the subject of the verb gaf. (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 27, striving to avoid emendation, suggests an ingenious solution which, however, he readily admits is a ‘desperate interpretation’ (örþrifaskýring).

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døkksali ‘the dark halls’

døkksalr (noun m.): [dark halls]

[7] døkksali: ‘d[…]cksalar’ Kˣ, døkksalar Holm2, 68, 325XI 2 g, djúpliga J2ˣ, 61, ‘do᷎ckualar’ Bæb, ‘døggsala’ Holm4, djúpsala 325V, djúps sala 325VII, Tóm, DG8, djúpsvala Flat

notes

[7, 8] døkksali dals svana ‘the dark halls of the dale of swans [SEA]’: As can be seen from the Readings, scribes made various attempts to make sense of this difficult phrase. (a) The solution adopted here is based on that of Kock (NN §1792; Skald), who assumes (reasonably) that njótr ‘enjoyer’ (l. 4) is the subject of gaf ‘gave’ in both ll. 1 and 5, and suggests emendation to acc. pl. sali rather than the gen. sg. ‑ar or gen. pl. ‑a implied by the mss. This gives døkksali dals svana ‘dark halls of the dale of swans’, where dalr svana is a satisfactory kenning for ‘sea’, and the phrase is thus in apposition with Danmǫrk, and according to Kock offers a description of the country’s ‘forest-covered islands in the sea’ (skogbevuxna öarna i havet). For a similarly unusual description of the land, see Gsind Hákdr 3/3. A possible variation on this analysis would be to prefer the reading in djúp- rather than døkk-, as djúpr ‘deep’ is used in Akv 14/2 (NK 242), as an adj. for an aristocratic residence. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: døkksalr) emends this cpd to dagvélir, in which the first element is ‘day, sun’ and the second ‘enticer, destroyer’, hence ‘destroyer of the sun of the dale of swans [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Knútr]’; this nom. case kenning can then act as the subject of the verb gaf. (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 27, striving to avoid emendation, suggests an ingenious solution which, however, he readily admits is a ‘desperate interpretation’ (örþrifaskýring).

Close

svana ‘of swans’

svanr (noun m.; °-s; -ir): swan

[8] svana: svala Flat, svá svana DG8

kennings

dals svana;
‘of the dale of swans; ’
   = SEA

the dale of swans; → SEA

notes

[7, 8] døkksali dals svana ‘the dark halls of the dale of swans [SEA]’: As can be seen from the Readings, scribes made various attempts to make sense of this difficult phrase. (a) The solution adopted here is based on that of Kock (NN §1792; Skald), who assumes (reasonably) that njótr ‘enjoyer’ (l. 4) is the subject of gaf ‘gave’ in both ll. 1 and 5, and suggests emendation to acc. pl. sali rather than the gen. sg. ‑ar or gen. pl. ‑a implied by the mss. This gives døkksali dals svana ‘dark halls of the dale of swans’, where dalr svana is a satisfactory kenning for ‘sea’, and the phrase is thus in apposition with Danmǫrk, and according to Kock offers a description of the country’s ‘forest-covered islands in the sea’ (skogbevuxna öarna i havet). For a similarly unusual description of the land, see Gsind Hákdr 3/3. A possible variation on this analysis would be to prefer the reading in djúp- rather than døkk-, as djúpr ‘deep’ is used in Akv 14/2 (NK 242), as an adj. for an aristocratic residence. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: døkksalr) emends this cpd to dagvélir, in which the first element is ‘day, sun’ and the second ‘enticer, destroyer’, hence ‘destroyer of the sun of the dale of swans [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Knútr]’; this nom. case kenning can then act as the subject of the verb gaf. (c) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 27, striving to avoid emendation, suggests an ingenious solution which, however, he readily admits is a ‘desperate interpretation’ (örþrifaskýring).

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