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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞKolb Eirdr 4I

Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 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. 494.

Þórðr KolbeinssonEiríksdrápa
345

Enn í gegn at gunni
glæheims skriðu mævar
— renndi langt með landi
leiðangr — Dana skeiðar,
þær, es jarl und ôrum
œrins golls á Mœri
— barms rak vigg und vǫrmum
valkesti — hrauð flestar.

Enn mævar skeiðar Dana skriðu glæheims í gegn at gunni — leiðangr renndi langt með landi —, flestar þær, es jarl hrauð und {ôrum œrins golls} á Mœri; {vigg barms} rak und vǫrmum valkesti.

And the slim warships of the Danes glided on the glistening world [sea] in opposition, to the battle — the fleet sped a long way along the coast —, most of which the jarl cleared under {the envoys of plentiful gold} [MEN] in Møre; {the steed of the rim} [SHIP] pushed on under a warm corpse-pile.

Mss: (159r), 39(7rb-va), F(26vb), J1ˣ(95v), J2ˣ(88v-89r) (Hkr); 61(19va), 54(15vb), Bb(26rb) (ÓT); FskBˣ(27v), FskAˣ(103-104) (Fsk, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [2] glæ‑: ‘giæ‑’ 61;    ‑heims: ‑heim J1ˣ;    mævar: meyjar J2ˣ, 54, Bb, om. FskBˣ, máva FskAˣ    [3] með: frá F    [4] skeiðar: skeiðum F    [5] þær: þar 54, Bb    [6] œrins: orms 54    [7] vigg: víg J1ˣ;    vǫrmum: vǫrgum F, vǫrmu 61, 54    [8] hrauð: so J1ˣ, 61, 54, Bb, rauð Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ;    flestar: flesta 54, Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 214, Skj BI, 204, Skald I, 107; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 330, IV, 88-9, ÍF 26, 279-80, Hkr 1991, I, 188 (ÓTHkr ch. 40), F 1871, 122; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 187 (ch. 90); Fsk 1902-3, 93 (ch. 19), ÍF 29, 130-1 (ch. 21).

Context: In Hkr and ÓT, Hákon and Eiríkr sail north with their fleets, and encounter the Jómsvíkingar in Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen), where the two sides draw up their forces and engage in a fierce battle. In Fsk, the first helmingr immediately follows sts 2-3.

Notes: [All]: On the sources’ differing arrangement of helmingar into stanzas, see Introduction. — [1] í gegn ‘in opposition’: Cf. the same phrase in st. 16/5. This is either an adverbial use of the prep. í gegn ‘against, towards, in return’ (see Fritzner: gegn 4), or an elliptical use, with an object such as ‘him’ or ‘the ruler’ implied (cf. Skj B imod (fyrsten) ‘against (the prince)’. The dat. variant skeiðum gives ‘against/towards warships’, but, being only attested in F, it is clearly secondary. — [2] glæheims ‘on the glistening world [sea]’: (a) This hap. leg. is taken here (as in Skj B, ÍF 26 and ÍF 29) as a cpd of adj. glær ‘bright, shining, clear’ and noun heimr ‘world, region’, meaning ‘sea’. This departs from the normal noun + noun structure of kennings: contrast glójǫrð ‘gleaming earth’ (Anon Óldr 23/5), which is further qualified by a ship-kenning to give ‘sea’. However, such compounds occur elsewhere, e.g. Þloft Tøgdr 5/6 svalheimr ‘cool world [sea]’ and similar examples in Meissner 3, and attempts to produce a regular kenning structure by supplying a determinant here are not satisfactory (see Note to l. 2 mævar). (b) Simplex glær ‘sea’ seems to be attested in the phrases verpa, kasta, bera á glæ ‘throw, carry into the sea’ (CVC, LP, Fritzner: glær; see also Mberf Lv 5/2II and Note), and it is possible that the first element of the cpd should be understood thus (cf. Anon (ÓH) 1/4 unnheimr ‘wave-world [SEA]’; Meissner 93). The syntactic function of glæheims is also uncertain. The gen. form is understood adverbially here (so ÍF 26; ÍF 29). Alternatively, it is possible to construe it with gunni, hence at gunni glæheims ‘towards the battle of the glistening region [sea]’, i.e. a sea-battle, which is syntactically simple but stylistically unlikely. Skj B prefers acc. sg. glæheim, taking it as an acc. of place with skriðu ‘glided’, but this is the reading of J1ˣ alone, and there is only one further instance of skríða with acc. (HSt Rst 15/5-6). — [2] mævar ‘slim’: Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) construes mævar with glæheims ‘glistening region [sea]’ as a pl. ship-kenning, the subject of skriðu ‘glided’. He tentatively suggests emending to mávar ‘seagulls’, but this is highly dubious as a ship-kenning and fails to provide the necessary aðalhending, unless Finnur’s suggestion of reading gljá- : máv- is adopted. — [4] leiðangr ‘the fleet’: Normally a fleet together with its crews, often an expeditionary force; see Jesch (2001a, 195-8) on leiðangr in the skaldic corpus, and Notes to ÞjóðA Har 5/3, 5II and Bǫlv Hardr 8/1II. — [7] vigg barms ‘the steed of the rim [SHIP]’: Barmr refers to the upper strake(s) on the ship’s side; see Jesch (2001a, 141). — [7-8] rak und vǫrmum valkesti ‘pushed on under a warm corpse-pile’: I.e. the ship continues to move but the Danish crew lie dead. There is perhaps a contrast with conventional images, using und followed by the dat., of ships advancing under their commanders (e.g. Eskál Vell 25/3). — [8] hrauð ‘cleared’: The object of the verb is the ships, since þærflestar ‘most of which’ refers back to l. 4 skeiðar Dana ‘warships of the Danes’. Rauð ‘reddened (with blood)’, the reading of all the Hkr mss except J1ˣ, is also possible, though it normally takes a term for a weapon (usually a sword) as its object. Further, ms. ‘rauð’ for hrauð is common, and Jesch (2001a, 211) lists several other instances of hrjóða used in similar contexts, where ships are cleared of their men. The reading of the ÓT mss and J1ˣ is therefore clearly preferable.

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. 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.
  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. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  7. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  8. 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.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  14. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  15. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  16. Internal references
  17. 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].
  18. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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. clix-clxi.
  19. 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.
  20. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 23’ 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. 1054.
  21. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Óláfs saga helga 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. 1087.
  22. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 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. 293.
  23. 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.
  24. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 15’ 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. 913.
  25. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson, Lausavísur 5’ 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. 389.
  26. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr 5’ 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. 155-6.
  27. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa 5’ 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. 858.
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