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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Gráf 4I/8 — varpaða* ‘throwers’

Austrlǫndum fórsk undir
allvaldr, sás gaf skǫldum
— hann fekk gagn at gunni —
gunnhǫrga slǫg mǫrgum.
Slíðrtungur lét syngva
sverðleiks reginn — ferðir
sendi gramr at grundu
gollvarpaða* — snarpar.

Allvaldr, sás gaf mǫrgum skǫldum slǫg gunnhǫrga, fórsk undir austrlǫndum; hann fekk gagn at gunni. Reginn sverðleiks lét snarpar slíðrtungur syngva; gramr sendi ferðir gollvarpaða* at grundu.

The mighty ruler, who gave many poets strikers of battle-temples [SHIELDS > WEAPONS], subdued eastern lands; he gained success in war. The god of sword-play [BATTLE > WARRIOR] made keen scabbard-tongues [SWORDS] sing; the prince sent troops of gold-throwers [GENEROUS MEN] to the ground.

readings

[8] ‑varpaða*: ‑varpaðar all

notes

[8] gollvarpaða* ‘of gold-throwers [GENEROUS MEN]’: (a) This edn tentatively follows Konráð Gíslason (1866b, 190-4) and Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: gollvǫrpuðr) in interpreting gollvǫrpuðr as a kenning for a generous man, ‘one who throws, distributes gold’ (cf. Meissner 323), and construing it, with emendation of ‑varpaðar to gen. pl. ‑varpaða, as part of the phrase ferðir gollvarpaða ‘troops of gold-distributors’. The ‑ar in the mss could perhaps have arisen by anticipation of the following snarpar. (b) Kock (NN §257) disputes this interpretation on the grounds that a victorious king would be described as a generous ‘gold-distributor’, but hardly his victims, and avoids emendation by interpreting gollvarpaðar as a f. acc. pl. adj., lit. ‘gold-thrown’, describing the ferðir ‘troops’ to whom gold is distributed. This solution is adopted in ÍF 26 (where snarpar ‘keen’ is also taken to modify ferðir). However, emendation seems preferable since the concept of ‘throwing’, i.e. distributing gold is so firmly associated with the kenning type of the generous man, while it is doubtful whether a term for ‘thrown’ could mean ‘endowed with’ or ‘having received’ in a cpd adj.

kennings

grammar

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