Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Run 1II/4 — hamalt ‘in wedge formation’

Eitt hǫfðusk at,
Eilífr þars sat,
hǫfðingjar tveir;
hamalt fylkðu þeir.
Austr-Vinðum ók
í ǫngvan krók;
vasa Læsum léttr
liðsmanna réttr.

Tveir hǫfðingjar hǫfðusk at eitt, þars Eilífr sat; þeir fylkðu hamalt. Austr-Vinðum ók í ǫngvan krók; réttr liðsmanna vasa léttr Læsum.

Two chieftains engaged in a single action, where Eilífr held sway; they lined up their troops in wedge formation. The East Wends were driven into a tight corner; the terms of the liegemen were not easy on the Læsir.


[4] hamalt: ávallt FskBˣ, um allt Flat


[4] fylkðu hamalt ‘lined up their troops in wedge formation’: The eds of ÍF 28 and 29 explain that this involves forming a shield-wall with shields touching. Hamalt is n. nom. sg. of the adj. hamall ‘mutilated’, used adverbially; there are different theories about the semantic development (e.g. see ÍF 28; AEW: Hamal, hamalt). See also Note to Gísl Magnkv 10/6 and Mark Eirdr 15/3. — [5] ók ‘were driven’: The use is impersonal, with dat. Austr-Vinðum ‘East Wends’.



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