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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Frag 1II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments 1’ 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. 159.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonFragments
12

This st. concerns a vital point in the career of Magnús Óláfsson and the medieval history of Norway: the return of his father’s half-brother Haraldr Sigurðarson to Scandinavia. It is an instantiation of the favourite theme of converging fleets (see Poole 1991, 81-2), showing Magnús heading norðan ‘from the north’ and Haraldr sunnan ‘from the south’. (On the ultimately peaceful arrangement between the two monarchs, see ÞjóðA Sex 10 and Bǫlv Hardr 7.) Frag 1 is cited with the formula svá segir in Hkr (main ms. , 39, F, J2ˣ, E) and H-Hr (H, Hr), which might predispose us to think of this as an extract from a longer poem, yet it is the only extant st. by Þjóðólfr dealing with this politically critical moment, hence unlike anything in Magnfl, and it is distanced by several chs from the Hkr and H-Hr citations from Magnfl. It is therefore counted here as an unidentified fragment (Fidjestøl 1982, 172 assigns it to Magnfl). Origins not in an extended poem but as a lv. remain a possibility, since the st. has pres.-tense verbs and a sense of anticipation generated by reference to fear of a breach of peace. It is printed in Skj as Lv 9.

Nús valmeiðum víðis
— veit drótt mikinn ótta —
— skeiðr hefr herr fyr hauðri —
hætt góðs friðar vætta.
Mildr vill Magnús halda
morðs hlunngotum norðan,
ítr en ǫnnur skreytir
unnvigg Haraldr sunnan.

Nús hætt {{víðis val}meiðum} vætta góðs friðar; drótt veit mikinn ótta; herr hefr skeiðr fyr hauðri. Magnús, mildr morðs, vill halda {hlunngotum} norðan, en ítr Haraldr skreytir {ǫnnur unnvigg} sunnan.

Now it’s risky for {the beams {of the stallion of the ocean}} [(lit. ‘stallion-beams of the ocean’) SHIP > SEAFARERS] to expect a secure peace; the troop knows great fear; the host takes warships along the coast. Magnús, generous with slaughter, wishes to steer {roller-steeds} [SHIPS] from the north, while the excellent Haraldr equips {other wave-horses} [SHIPS] [to sail] from the south.

Mss: (533r), 39(21va), F(44ra), E(13r-v), J2ˣ(264v) (Hkr); H(29r), Hr(21va) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] val‑: so all others, ‘valc‑’ Kˣ    [2] veit: veitt F    [3] herr: so 39, F, E, hann Kˣ, J2ˣ, H, Hr    [4] góðs: gótt Hr;    vætta: ‘uetta’ E, ‘viétta’ H    [6] hlunn‑: ‘hlym‑’ H, Hr    [7] ǫnnur: ‘ennur’ 39

Editions: Skj AI, 379, Skj BI, 349, Skald I, 175; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 103, IV, 215, ÍF 28, 95, Hkr 1991, 618 (HSig ch. 20), F 1871, 204, E 1916, 46; Fms 6, 177 (HSig ch. 18), Fms 12, 146.

Context: Magnús Óláfsson, learning that his formidable half-uncle Haraldr Sigurðarson has returned to Scandinavia and has allied with Sveinn Úlfsson, calls up his fleet. H-Hr adds that Magnús prepares to sail south to meet Haraldr and Sveinn.

Notes: [1] val- ‘stallion’: ’s reading ‘valc-’ (normalised válk- ‘tossing’) is attractive but clearly secondary and fails to produce the base-word required by the ship-kenning. On valr in ship-kennings, see Note to Arn Hryn 19/4. — [3] skeiðr ‘warships’: On the monosyllabic pl., see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 12/7. — [3] herr ‘host’: So too previous eds. The variant hann is also possible, but as a pron. without explicit referent, is less likely. — [7] ítr ‘excellent’: The adj. is taken here with Haraldr in l. 8, but it could alternatively qualify Magnús in l. 5 (so ÍF 28). — [7, 8] ǫnnur unnvigg ‘other wave-horses [SHIPS]’: Finnur Jónsson explains this specifically as ‘for his part’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B), which seems apt.

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. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  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. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  11. Poole, Russell. 1991. Viking Poems on War and Peace: A Study in Skaldic Narrative. Toronto Medieval Texts and Translations 8. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.
  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, ‘Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)’ 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. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  16. Diana Whaley 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr’ 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. 61-87.
  17. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 19’ 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. 205.
  18. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 7’ 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. 292.
  19. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 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. 78-80.
  20. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 10’ 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. 122.
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