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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 1I

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 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. 489.

Þórðr KolbeinssonEiríksdrápa
12

Ok sannliga sunnan
(sôusk vítt búendr ítrir)
(stríð) of stála meiða
(stór) hersǫgur fóru.
Súðlǫngum frá Sveiða
sunnr af dregnum hlunni
vangs á vatn of þrungit
viggmeiðr Dana skeiðum.

Ok sannliga fóru hersǫgur of {meiða stála} sunnan; ítrir búendr sôusk vítt stór stríð. {{{Sveiða vangs} vigg}meiðr} frá súðlǫngum skeiðum Dana of þrungit á vatn af dregnum hlunni sunnr.

And in truth war-stories about {trees of steel} [WARRIORS] travelled from the south; excellent farmers widely feared great strife. {The tree {of the steed {of the field of Sveiði <sea-king>}}} [(lit. ‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] heard that the long-planked warships of the Danes had been thrust onto the water from the worn launching-roller in the south.

Mss: (157r), F(26rb), J1ˣ(94r), J2ˣ(87r-v), 325VIII 1(4va) (Hkr); 61(19ra), 54(15ra), Bb(25va) (ÓT)

Readings: [2] sôusk: ‘satz’ 54, Bb;    vítt: vík F, om. J1ˣ, vit 325VIII 1;    ítrir: so J1ˣ, 61, 54, Bb, háska Kˣ, J2ˣ, ríkir F, 325VIII 1    [3] of (‘um’): apparently corrected from ‘v(ið)(?)’ 325VIII 1;    stála: stalla 325VIII 1;    meiða: ‘smeiiða’ 325VIII 1    [5] Súð‑: sverð‑ J1ˣ, suðr 325VIII 1;    ‑lǫngum: lǫndum 325VIII 1, ‘‑lungum’ 54, Bb;    frá: frá ek F, Bb;    Sveiða: senda Bb    [6] dregnum: drǫgnum J1ˣ, 61, 54    [7] vangs: vagns corrected from ‘aagns’ F, ‘vatngs’ J1ˣ;    á: af F;    of (‘vm’): om. J1ˣ    [8] vigg‑: víg‑ F, J1ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb;    ‑meiðr: so F, J1ˣ, 325VIII 1, 61, 54, Bb, om. Kˣ, J2ˣ;    skeiðum: skeiða Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 213, Skj BI, 203, Skald I, 106, NN §§579, 1106, 1854B, 1914D; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 323-4, IV, 86-7, ÍF 26, 275-6, Hkr 1991, I, 185 (ÓTHkr ch. 36), F 1871, 120; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 181 (ch. 87).

Context: In Raumaríki (Romerike), Eiríkr jarl hears that the Jómsvíkingar are preparing for war. He gathers a force and sets off for Upplǫnd (Opplandene) and thence to Þrándheimr (Trøndelag) to join his father, Hákon jarl.

Notes: [All]: Stanzas 1-5 describe the attack on Norway which culminated in the battle at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen, c. 985); on the battle and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [2] vítt ‘widely’: This could alternatively be taken as the adj. ‘widespread’ qualifying stríð (n. acc. sg.) ‘strife’ (so Skj B; ÍF 26). In this case stríð, being sg., would not be qualified by stór ‘great’ (see Note to l. 4). — [2] ítrir ‘excellent’: The variants to this word in the cadence of l. 2 give rise to various possible readings of the helmingr, none of which is wholly unproblematic. (a) Ítrir in J1ˣ and the ÓT mss gives the syntax and sense shown above (similarly Skj B; ÍF 26). Another m. nom. pl. adj., ríkir ‘powerful’, in F and 325VIII 1 supports the syntax suggested by ítrir, though ríkir itself appears to be corrupt. Ítrir ‘excellent’ is a slightly unexpected epithet for fearful búendr ‘farmers’, since it usually qualifies words for warriors, rulers and deities (LP: ítr), and Kock (NN §579) signals unease. However, these farmers are the countrymen of the hero Eiríkr, and the adj. could serve to show that the attacking force was sufficient to terrify even the bold. Alternatively, the epithet could be ironic. (b) Háska ‘danger’ is the reading of the main ms. and of J2ˣ, representing both branches of the Hkr stemma. It gives good sense if it is taken in apposition with stór stríð ‘great strife’, as it is by Kock (Skald; NN §§579, 1854B), who also construes of meiðir stála ‘because of the trees of steel [WARRIORS]’ with stór stríð. However, an aðalhending sôusk: hásk- would be imperfect. — [4] stór ‘great’: This is interpreted here as a n. acc. pl. adj. qualifying stríð ‘strife, afflictions’ (so also Skald; NN §579). It could alternatively be stór- as an uninflected first element in an otherwise unattested cpd stórhersǫgur ‘great war-stories’ (so Skj B; ÍF 26). This produces a somewhat simpler word order, with l. 4 as a syntactic unit. However, stór- commonly compounds with simplex nominals but only rarely with cpd ones, and in all mss stór is very clearly written, and presumably understood, as a separate word. — [5]: Cf. Hallv Knútdr 1/1III Súðlǫngum komt Sveiða, lit. ‘long-planked you came/brought of Sveiði’. — [6] dregnum hlunni ‘the worn launching-roller’: So Konráð Gíslason (1892, 146-7) and most eds. The reference is to the wear and tear on the rollers through launching ships or pulling them ashore. See further Note to Sturl Hryn 12/4II, where the same phrase occurs. Kock (NN §1106) takes dregnum with skeiðum ‘warships’ (l. 8), but the resulting word order is awkward. — [8] Dana ‘of the Danes’: The forces led by the Jómsvíkingar at the battle of Hjǫrungavágr are said to have comprised Danes and Wends (see also sts 4/4 and 5/2; cf. Tindr Hákdr 4/1, 6/4, 9/4; Þskúm Lv 1/10; Vígf Hák 1/7). 

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. 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. 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.
  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. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  11. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  12. Internal references
  13. 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].
  14. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (Hák)’ 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].
  15. 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.
  16. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallvarðr háreksblesi, Knútsdrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 231.
  17. Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 12’ 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. 688-9.
  18. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 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. 345.
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