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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 25I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 25’ 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. 314.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
242526

Hitt vas auk, at eykir
aurborðs á vit norðan
und sigrunni svinnum
sunnr Danmarkar runnu.
Ok holmfjǫturs hjalmi
Hǫrða valdr of faldinn
Dofra danskra jǫfra
dróttinn fund of sótti.

Hitt vas auk, at {eykir aurborðs} runnu norðan und {svinnum sigrunni} sunnr á vit Danmarkar. Ok {valdr Hǫrða}, {dróttinn Dofra}, of faldinn hjalmi {holmfjǫturs}, of sótti fund danskra jǫfra.

It also happened that {the draught-animals of the plank} [SHIPS] ran from the north under {the wise victory-tree} [WARRIOR] south towards Denmark. And {the ruler of the Hǫrðar} [NORWEGIAN RULER = Hákon jarl], {the lord of the Dofrar} [NORWEGIAN RULER = Hákon jarl], wearing the helmet {of the island-fetter} [= Miðgarðsormr], sought a meeting with the Danish rulers.

Mss: (147r), F(24va), J1ˣ(86v), J2ˣ(81r) (Hkr); 61(14va), 54(9rb), Bb(19va) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] auk: ok J1ˣ, 61, 54, Bb;    at: er F, J1ˣ, 61, 54, Bb    [2] á vit: ‘(ó)urukt’(?) Bb    [3] und: unz F;    sig‑: so Bb, sigr‑ Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 54;    ‑runni: ‑runnum F    [4] ‑markar: ‑merkr J1ˣ;    runnu: runnum F, funnu 61, 54, ‘fundno’ Bb    [5] Ok: en J1ˣ, 61, enn 54, Bb;    holm‑: ‘hiolm‑’ Bb;    hjalmi: hilmir 54, Bb    [6] faldinn: fallinn J1ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 128, Skj BI, 121, Skald I, 68, NN §1854B; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 299, IV, 80, ÍF 26, 256, Hkr 1991, I, 171-2 (ÓTHkr ch. 26), F 1871, 111; Fms 1, 122-3, Fms 12, 36, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 136 (ch. 69).

Context: Emperor Otto II raises a great army of Saxons, Franks, Frisians and Wends, together with allies including Óláfr Tryggvason. The Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ sends Hákon jarl with his host to the Danavirki (Danevirke) to defend the border. Hkr and ÓT cite sts 25 and 26 without interruption.

Notes: [1-2] eykir aurborðs ‘the draught-animals of the plank [SHIPS]’: Aurborð is lit. ‘gravel plank’, i.e. one of the timbers low on the ship’s hull (see Notes to Ólhelg Lv 4/4, Þul Skipa 10/5III). — [5, 6] faldinn hjalmi holmfjǫturs ‘wearing the helmet of the island-fetter [= Miðgarðsormr]’: (a) The explanation of this kenning lies in the notion that the Miðgarðsormr ‘World Serpent’ encircles the earth (SnE 2005, 27, 50); this mythical serpent then represents ‘serpent’ or ‘snake’ in general. A snake helmet is mentioned several times in connection with Norwegian rulers, as when Haraldr hárfagri is called holmreyðar hjalmtamiðr ‘used to the helmet of the island-salmon [SNAKE]’ (Þhorn Gldr 6/5, 6), cf. also SnSt Ht 15/1, 2III. The snake helmet appears to be connected with the œgishjalmr ‘helmet of terror’, which occurs both as a figure of speech and as an object attributed to the legendary dragon Fáfnir (Fáfn 16/1, 17/1).This connection is suggested by the use of œgir in reference to the Miðgarðsormr in Bragi Þórr 6/2III. Norwegian kings are said to wear the œgishjalmr in Arn Hryn 6/4II and in Egill Arkv 4/2V (Eg 100), where œgishjalmr is varied by ýgs hjalmr ‘helmet of terror’; cf. also Sturl Hryn 8/8II. Helmets on which snakes are depicted are known from the archaeological record, albeit from before the Viking period (Sutton Hoo, Vendel); see further Marold (1998a, 13‑17) on snake helmets and œgishjalmr as symbols of the ruler’s terrifying power. (b) A possible variant of this is to understand holmfjǫturs ‘island-fetter, serpent’ as Fáfnir himself. (c) A further alternative is to interpret holmfjǫturs as a standard sea-kenning (cf. Meissner 94), hence ægis ‘sea, ocean’ and, by ofljóst, œgis ‘terror’, hence œgishjalmr by a different route. Attractive though this is, it seems to be ruled out by the dissimilar vowels: æ (ae ligature) contrasting with œ (oe ligature). — [7] Dofra ‘of the Dofrar’: Dofrar refers to an area south of Dovrefjell, Oppland (LP: Dofrar) and possibly its inhabitants.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  12. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  13. Marold, Edith. 1998a. ‘Die Augen des Herrschers’. In Meier 1998, 7-29.
  14. Internal references
  15. 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].
  16. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  18. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Skipa heiti 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 876.
  19. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 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. 190-1.
  20. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Þórr’s fishing 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 52.
  21. Not published: do not cite ()
  22. Not published: do not cite (Egill Arkv 4V (Eg 100))
  23. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson, Lausavísur 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. 521.
  24. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 15’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1119.
  25. Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 8’ 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, p. 685.
  26. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Glymdrápa 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. 85.
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