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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Frag 2II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments 2’ 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. 160-1.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonFragments
123

Four sts cited only in SnE (sts 2, 3, 5) or TGT (st. 4) have been associated with ÞjóðA Sex by Finnur Jónsson and to some extent by other eds: Fidjestøl (1982, 172) includes the four fragments, together with Sex 27, 28+29, 31 and 30, in a group of sts possibly connected with Sex; st. 26 also appears (presumably in error) both in this group and in those he lists as part of Sex. CPB (II, 207-8, 212) counts Frag 2 and 4 as fragments and 5 as part of Sex, while 3 is lacking. However, nothing in their content associates them definitely with Haraldr. Finnur’s rationale for including these sts in Sex, articulated in SnE 1848-87, III, 587, is that although these and other sts in SnE could praise either Magnús or Haraldr, the compiler seems only to have drawn on Sex. This is not quite the circular argument it seems, since no st. by Þjóðólfr that is certainly about Magnús is cited in SnE, and hence it can be considered likely, though far from certain, that the fragments belong in Sex. Although the policy of this edn in general is to print unidentified fragments from SnE and the grammatical treatises in SkP III, it is therefore appropriate to include them in the present vol., in closer proximity to Sex.

Jarl lætr odda skúrar
optherðir gǫr verða
hrings, áðr hann of þryngvi,
hǫrð él, und sik jǫrðu.

Jarl, {optherðir {skúrar odda}}, lætr {hǫrð él hrings} verða gǫr, áðr hann of þryngvi jǫrðu und sik.

The jarl, {frequent hardener {of the shower of barbs}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR], causes {harsh storms of the sword} [BATTLES] to be made before he forces land under himself.

Mss: R(37r), Tˣ(38v), A(12v), C(6r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Jarl: so C, ‘J’ R, A, ‘I’ Tˣ    [3] þryngvi: þrǫngri or þrǫngvi A, ‘þryngi’ C

Editions: Skj AI, 375-6, Skj BI, 345, Skald I, 174, NN §§2032, 3085; SnE 1848-87, I, 472-3, II, 448, 592, SnE 1931, 167, SnE 1998, I, 85, 208.

Context: The quotation, attributed to Þjóðólfr, is the first in a ch. on jarðar heiti ‘terms for the earth’ (which heading appears in A); it is cited to illustrate the use of jǫrð.

Notes: [1] jarl ‘the jarl’: This is one of two main solutions to the textual problem presented by the opening word of the st. (a) In R, and A the initial graph can designate both capital j and í, while C reads Jarl. There is no abbreviation sign in R, and C to suggest that an abbreviation of jarl is meant, but this is possible in view of C’s reading Jarl, and it would fit the metrical requirement for a skothending on skúrar ‘shower’. The helmingr appears to be complete in syntax and meaning without this first word, so jarl is here read as a subject in apposition to optherðir skúrar odda ‘frequent hardener of barbs’ shower’ (ll. 2-3). (b) Emendation to ǫrr ‘bold’ or ‘generous’ was suggested by G. Pálsson (cited SnE 1848-87, I, 472 n. 9, Skj A and NN) and by Konráð Gíslason (1879a, 185), and is adopted in Skj B. This provides a neat solution by postulating a grammatically inessential element (an adj.) and avoiding the problem of the identity of the conquering jarl, but as Kock notes a skothending of short vowel + double consonant on long vowel + single consonant would not match Þjóðólfr’s normal usage (NN §3085). Kock adds that ár, presumably the adv. ‘formerly, once’, would be more regular, and prints this in Skald, without putting up an argument for it, and it would be hard to defend unless lætr ‘causes’ (l. 1) in the mss is emended to lét (see following Note). Sveinbjörn Egilsson read ýr ‘(yew-)bow’ (SnE 1848-87, I, 472), but translated strenuus ‘vigorous’. (c) The prep. í ‘in’ can be ruled out since there is no noun for it to govern, nor would an adverbial use of the word fit the helmingr. — [1] lætr ‘causes’: There is no real warrant for the emendation to pret. lét ‘caused’ in Skj B and retained by Kock in Skald. Þryngvi in l. 3 is 3rd pers. sg. subj. but otherwise ambiguous: either pres. ‘forces’ or pret. ‘forced’. — [2] optherðir ‘frequent hardener’: (a) The adverbial opt is occasionally found prefixed to the base-word of a kenning, when this is a nomen agentis (agent noun), e.g. optþverrir Hfr ErfÓl 25/2I (seen as mulig ‘possible’ in LP) and optveitandi Skarp Lv 3/4V (LP and Meissner 63). Kock advocates this interpretation in NN §2032. (b) The adv. could be construed with the verb lætr ‘causes’ (l. 1) and hence with the whole cl., as it is in Skj B and SnE 1998, I, 208, but this assumes a jolting interruption to the kenning and a very marked emphasis would have been required in performance to avert the natural assumption that optherðir is a unit. — [3] hrings ‘of the sword’: Coupled, as determinant, with él ‘storm’ (l. 4) to form a battle-kenning, hrings here must mean not ‘ring’ but ‘sword’ (LP: hringr 2). The kenning is thus a parallel with skúrar odda ‘of the shower of barbs’ (l. 1).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  10. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  11. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  12. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  13. Konráð Gíslason. 1879a. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i Skáldskaparmál’. ÅNOH, 185-202.
  14. SkP III = Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Ed. Kari Ellen Gade in collaboration with Edith Marold. 2017.
  15. Internal references
  16. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  17. Tarrin Wills 2017, ‘The Third Grammatical Treatise’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  18. Diana Whaley 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja’ 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. 108-47.
  19. Kate Heslop 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorleifr jarlsskáld Rauðfeldarson, Jarlsníð’ 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. 372.
  20. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 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. 436.
  21. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 27’ 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. 140-3.
  22. Not published: do not cite (Skarp Lv 3V (Nj 18))
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