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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 7I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 7’ 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. 1038.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar
678

Brunnu ból, en runnu
(bǫl vann gnógr) til skógar
(lýða sveit, áðr létti,
limgarmr) Skotar armir,
ok hrynslóðar heiðinn
herr fyr elda þverri
vǫgnu vítt of eignaðr
vápnbautinn fell Gauti.

Ból brunnu, en armir Skotar runnu til skógar; {gnógr limgarmr} vann sveit lýða bǫl, áðr létti, ok heiðinn herr fell vítt, of eignaðr Gauti, vápnbautinn fyr {þverri {elda {hrynslóðar vǫgnu}}}.

Dwellings burned, and the wretched Scots ran to the forest; {a powerful branch-hound} [FIRE] caused the crowd of folk disaster, before it stopped, and the heathen army fell widely, dedicated to Gautr [Óðinn], weapon-beaten before {the diminisher {of the fires {of the rushing path of the orca}}} [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN].

Mss: Bb(112vb)

Readings: [3] létti: léti Bb    [7] eignaðr: eignað Bb    [8] ‑bautinn: bautin Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 575, Skj BI, 569, Skald I, 275; Munch and Unger 1847, 121, 140, Gullberg 1875, 13, 26.

Notes: [3] létti ‘stopped’: This emendation, proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1832, 9, 20), has been accepted by all subsequent eds. The ms. reading ‘léti’ is most likely the 3rd pers. sg. pret. subj. of láta ‘to let’. The sense would then be something like ‘before it [the fire] died’ (cf. Fritzner: láta 12). However, when láta occurs in this sense it is usually the refl. (látask) or p. p. form (látinn ‘dead’), and there are no parallels for its being applied to a non-human referent. On single/double consonant spellings in Bb, see further Note to st. 5/3 ár*. — [4] Skotar ‘Scots’: As for the raids in Ireland mentioned in st. 6, the primary textual witness of Óláfr’s battles with the Scots is Hfr Óldr 6; cf. the later HSt Rst 6. — [7] vǫgnu ‘of the orca’: The rare word vagna f. (also vǫgn f.) ‘orca, killer-whale’ (Orcinus orca) occurs again in st. 28/7. — [7-8] of eignaðr Gauti ‘dedicated to Gautr [Óðinn]’: Ms. eignað is not a known form so it is necessary to emend, and eignaðr (m. nom. sg.) ‘dedicated, assigned’ agrees with herr m. ‘army’. The present phrase is equivalent to the more common gefa/senda Óðni ‘to give/send to Óðinn’, a common skaldic expression for death in battle (see Note to Þjsk Hák 1/5, 8). The idea that those slain in battle belong to Óðinn is traditional (Grí 8-10; SnE 2005, 21; Hkr, ÍF 26, 22). It is striking here, in the work of a skald grounded in Christian tradition, but it fits with the (presumably inaccurate) presentation of the Scots as heathen in l. 5. — [8] vápnbautinn ‘weapon-beaten’: The ms. reading ‘-in’ here must be taken as normalised -inn since no noun in the helmingr agrees with ms. vápnbautin, which would be the f. nom. sg. or n. nom./acc. pl. form of this adjectival p. p. There are further instances in the poem where the ms. reads ‘-in’ but the syntax appears to require ‑inn (sts 24/2 rekinn ‘cast’ and 24/3 hǫggvinn ‘slain’), and of the reverse (st. 8/6 fengin ‘provided’). Because such variability in unstressed syllables is common in Old Norse mss, changes are treated as normalisation rather than emendation; the ms. spelling is given in Readings. The handling of single/double consonants in stressed syllables in Bb is also erratic, but in these cases changes are treated as emendations: see Notes to l. 3 above and to st. 5/3 ár*.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1847. Oldnorsk læsebog med tilhörende glossarium. Christiania (Oslo): Dahl.
  6. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Gullberg, H., ed. 1875. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar: fragment ur “Bergsboken”. Lund: Berling.
  8. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1832. Skóla-hátíd í minníngu Fædíngar-dags vors allranádugasta Konúngs Fridriks Sjøtta: Ólafs drápa Tryggvasonar er Hallfredr orti Vandrædaskáld. Videyjarklaustri: Á kostnad Bessastada Skóla.
  9. Internal references
  10. 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].
  11. Not published: do not cite ()
  12. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 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. 903.
  13. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorleifr jarlsskáld Rauðfeldarson, Poem about Hákon 1’ 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. 369.
  14. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 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. 398.
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