Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Gyð 7VII/3 — ráð ‘the resolution’

Vellauðgan fór vallar
viggbeitir þá Meita
einráð var það eyðis
armlinns — gyðing finna.
Beiddi blára odda......
brak-Njörðr …
hodda láns af hánum
hugprúðr og fiesnúðar.

Meita vallar viggbeitir fór þá finna vellauðgan gyðing; það var einráð eyðis armlinns. Hugprúðr blára odda brak-Njörðr beiddi láns hodda og fiesnúðar af hánum.

The steerer of the horse of Meiti’s <sea-king> plain [(lit. ‘horse-steerer of Meiti’s plain’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] then went to find a Jew rich in gold; that was the resolution of the destroyer of the arm-serpent [RING > GENEROUS MAN]. The noble Njǫrðr <god> of the crash of dark spear-points [(lit. ‘crash-Njǫrðr of dark spear-points’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] asked for a loan of gold and for the favour of money from him.


[3] einráð: ‘[...]rad’ all


[3] einráð ‘resolution’: The beginning of the word is lost in a hole in the ms., and only ‘rad’ can be read with any certainty. In this edn Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction (made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript) to einráð m. sg. nom. is adopted. Finnur Jónsson suggests the rather more pejorative óráð, and translates det var en dårlig beslutning af manden ‘that was a poor decision by the man’ (Skj B). Such anti-Semitism may have been a feature of the original poem (see Introduction), but it is worth noting that there is no suggestion in what remains of it that the Jew’s wealth and function as a moneylender are treated in anything but an objective manner. Kock (NN §3393) is led astray by Skj A’s incorrect reading varat ‘was not’ (l. 3), and emends to n. nom. sing. ofráð ‘too great a task’ translating det var inte någon överlägsen utväg ‘there was no better expedient’.



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