Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 29I/1 — fréttar ‘an augury’

Flótta gekk til fréttar
felli-Njǫrðr á velli;
draugr gat dolga Sôgu
dagráð Heðins váða.
Ok haldboði hildar
hrægamma sá ramma;
Týr vildi þá týna
teinlautar fjǫr Gauta.

Felli-Njǫrðr flótta gekk til fréttar á velli; draugr váða Heðins gat dagráð Sôgu dolga. Ok haldboði hildar sá ramma hrægamma; Týr teinlautar vildi þá týna fjǫr Gauta.

The slaying-Njǫrðr <god> of the fleeing ones [WARRIOR] sought an augury on the field; the log of the clothes of Heðinn <legendary hero> [ARMOUR > WARRIOR] got advice about a favourable day for the Sága <goddess> of enmity [VALKYRIE = Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)]. And the provider of battle [WARRIOR] saw powerful corpse-birds [RAVENS/EAGLES]; the Týr <god> of the sword-dale [SHIELD > WARRIOR = Hákon jarl] wanted to destroy the life of the Gautar then.


[1] fréttar: ‘frettiar’ 53


[1] fréttar ‘an augury’: Because of the appearance of ravens in this context, the frétt ‘intelligence, forecast’ will have been specifically an augury, a divination based on the flight of birds (on this cf. Pesch 2003, 136-7; ARG I, 428-9; ARG II, 61-3). It is unclear whether this was also typically accompanied by a sacrifice such as Hkr describes (Düwel 1985, 25-6).



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