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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þfagr Sveinn 6II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 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. 317-18.

Þorleikr fagriFlokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson
567

Hvé hefr til Heiðabœjar
heiptgjarn konungr arnat,
folk-Rǫgnir getr fregna
fylkis sveit, hinns veitat,
þás til þengils bœjar
þarflaust Haraldr austan
ár, þats ôn of væri,
endr byrskíðum renndi.

{Folk-Rǫgnir}, hinns veitat, getr fregna sveit fylkis, hvé heiptgjarn konungr hefr arnat til Heiðabœjar, þás Haraldr renndi endr {byrskíðum} þarflaust austan til bœjar þengils ár, þats of væri ôn.

{That battle-Rǫgnir <= Óðinn>} [WARRIOR] who does not know can ask the ruler’s troop how the war-eager king travelled to Hedeby, when Haraldr once sent {the skis of fair wind} [SHIPS] without due cause from the east to the lord’s town that year, which never should have been.

Mss: Mork(9v) (Mork); Flat(198ra) (Flat); H(45r), Hr(32va) (H-Hr); FskBˣ(71v), FskAˣ(267) (Fsk); Kˣ(543r), 39(23vb), F(46ra), E(16r), J2ˣ(271r) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Hvé: om. Hr, FskAˣ, Hversu FskBˣ;    til: om. Flat, F;    Heiðabœjar: so Flat, H, Hr, FskBˣ, Kˣ, 39, E, J2ˣ, Heiðabýjar Mork, FskAˣ, Haukabœjar F    [2] heipt‑: so all others, ‘heip‑’ Mork    [4] hinns veitat (‘hinn er veitat’): ‘en honum er neitad’ Flat, en veitat 39, er veitat F    [5] þengils: þorgils E;    bœjar: býjar FskAˣ, Kˣ, 39, J2ˣ    [6] þarflaust: þarflaustr H, þarf Kˣ, þar flaust E    [7] ár þats (‘ár þat er’): so FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Kˣ, 39, J2ˣ, ‘or þat er’ Mork, H, Hr, orð þau er Flat, ‘on þat er’ F, ‘ar þer er’ E;    ôn: enn Flat, ‘aunn’ Hr    [8] renndi: hrinda Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 398, Skj BI, 366-7, Skald I, 183, NN §2039; Mork 1867, 56, Mork 1928-32, 164, Andersson and Gade 2000, 200, 476 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 340 (MH); Fms 6, 259 (HSig ch. 51); ÍF 29, 257-8 (ch. 55); ÍF 28, 115 (HSig ch. 34), F 1871, 213, E 1916, 56.

Context: After Sveinn Úlfsson failed to appear at the Götaälv, Haraldr embarked on a punitive expedition against the Danes and advanced as far south as Hedeby, which he devastated with fire.

Notes: [1-4]: This half-st. is somewhat cryptic, but Þorleikr appears to try to avoid stating that the reason for the sacking of Hedeby was that Sveinn failed to show up at the appointed meeting with Haraldr, while at the same time telling the audience about Haraldr’s activities (‘if anyone wants to know about this, let him ask Sveinn’s men’). Alternatively, the warrior-kenning folk-Rǫgnir ‘battle-Rǫgnir’ (l. 3) could refer to the poet himself, enquiring about the events which he had not witnessed in person (see Introduction above). — [2] arnat ‘travelled’: The verb arna ‘travel’ could have a long or a short stem-vowel (árna or arna; see ANG §127.1). The short variant has been chosen here because of the internal rhyme (-arn : arn-). — [6] þarflaust ‘without due cause’: So Skj B (uden skellig grund), whereas Kock (NN §2039) gives the translations till skada för sig själv, olyckligt, i en olycklig stund ‘to his own harm, haplessly, at an ill-fated time’. Because the sacking of Hedeby caused harm to the Danes but not to Haraldr, Kock’s interpretation seems unmotivated. Þarflaust ‘without due cause, without need, unnecessarily’ (see Fritzner: þarflauss) implies that the attack on the town was unprovoked. The very same l. (þarflaust Haraldr austan lit. ‘without due cause Haraldr from the east’) is also found in ÞjóðA Lv 11/4, which he recites at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. Þjóðólfr then uses the same expression to describe Haraldr’s expedition to and attack on England. — [7] ár, þats of væri ôn ‘that year which never should have been’: So ÍF 28, ÍF 29, Andersson and Gade 2000. Skj B (and Skald?) takes ár as an adv. (‘earlier’), which leaves the rel. cl. (þats of væri n) without an antecedent (translated as det burde ikke være sket ‘that ought not to have happened’). However, treating the cl. as an intercalary cl. in this manner would require emendation of þats ‘that which’ to þat ‘that’. The sense must be that the year in which these events took place was an ill-fated time for the Danes, which could have been avoided (a veiled admonition to Sveinn?).

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. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  7. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  8. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. 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.
  10. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  11. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  14. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  15. Mork 1867 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1867. Morkinskinna: Pergamentsbog fra første halvdel af det trettende aarhundrede. Indeholdende en af de ældste optegnelser af norske kongesagaer. Oslo: Bentzen.
  16. Internal references
  17. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  18. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  19. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 11’ 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. 175-6.
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