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help with recurring theme in IE

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  • icelandstone
    Hello. I am a student of Linguistics and Icelandic Philology at the University of Icelandic in Reykjavík. I am working on an article about the Gestaþáttur
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 2, 2002
      Hello.

      I am a student of Linguistics and Icelandic Philology at the
      University of Icelandic in Reykjavík. I am working on an article
      about the Gestaþáttur section of Hávamál in the Poetic Edda. I have
      located a section (verses 41-52) which deals with friendship inside
      the broader context of being a guest and being a host (hence the
      appelation Gestaþáttur, 'guest-section').

      I have done a fairly involved examination of the alliteration used in
      the poem, its metrical structure, its word-usage and other linguistic
      analyses. What I am lacking is a basis for its grouping among other
      IE traditions of gift-giving and friend-making.

      Verse 52 runs thus in normalized modern spelling:

      Mikið eitt
      skal-a manni gefa;
      oft kaupir sér í litlu lof;
      með hálfum hleifi
      og með höllu keri
      fékk eg mér félaga.

      Auden translated the stanza thusly:

      Not great things alone must one give to another,
      praise oft is earned for nought;
      with half a loaf and a tilted bowl
      I have found me many a friend.


      I have found a reference in Anabasis about Cyrus giving halves of
      geese and half-carafes of wine to guests in his lodgings, but not
      much else in other IE traditions, at least not in recorded,
      transmitted stories/poems/epics, etc. I am hoping that someone on
      this list will recognize this theme and point me to another text that
      I could use to support my view that this has to be a theme running
      through IE society. I have found several things in Mauss and also in
      Jamison, but nothing that matches exactly.

      Any help would be appreciated.

      Thank you,

      Chad Stone
      Department of Literature and Linguistics
      University of Iceland
      Reykjavík

      chad@...
    • guto rhys
      A number of early Welsh poems deal with the theme of giving within the context of the poet/patron relationship. Have a look at Dadolwch Urien by Taliesin or
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 3, 2002

         A number of early Welsh poems deal with the theme of giving within the context of the poet/patron relationship. Have a look at Dadolwch Urien by Taliesin or his poems to Cynan Garwyn. There exists a translation to English of Ivor Williams�book Canu Taliesin. I recollect refences to sword-giving (�cledyf gwein carrek�(a sword with a stone scabbard-presumably a reference to gems)) and one of the main themes running through the extant poetry of the sixth century is the generosity of the lord. I have a feeling that some references are made to giving horses as well but at present I don�t have access to my books but these references should be easy enough to locate. I think that there is also an article dealing with the theme of gift-gving or generosity. I�m sure there are numerous similar references in later poetry as well - especially in the work of the poets of the Welsh Princes and the later poets of the Gentry .gutorhys@...

          icelandstone <chad@...> wrote:

        Hello.

        I am a student of Linguistics and Icelandic Philology at the
        University of Icelandic in Reykjav�k.  I am working on an article
        about the Gesta��ttur section of H�vam�l in the Poetic Edda.  I have
        located a section (verses 41-52) which deals with friendship inside
        the broader context of being a guest and being a host (hence the
        appelation Gesta��ttur, 'guest-section').

        I have done a fairly involved examination of the alliteration used in
        the poem, its metrical structure, its word-usage and other linguistic
        analyses.  What I am lacking is a basis for its grouping among other
        IE traditions of gift-giving and friend-making. 

        Verse 52 runs thus in normalized modern spelling:

        Miki� eitt
        skal-a manni gefa;
        oft kaupir s�r � litlu lof;
        me� h�lfum hleifi
        og me� h�llu keri
        f�kk eg m�r f�laga.

        Auden translated the stanza thusly:

        Not great things alone must one give to another,
        praise oft is earned for nought;
        with half a loaf and a tilted bowl
        I have found me many a friend.


        I have found a reference in Anabasis about Cyrus giving halves of
        geese and half-carafes of wine to guests in his lodgings, but not
        much else in other IE traditions, at least not in recorded,
        transmitted stories/poems/epics, etc.  I am hoping that someone on
        this list will recognize this theme and point me to another text that
        I could use to support my view that this has to be a theme running
        through IE society.  I have found several things in Mauss and also in
        Jamison, but nothing that matches exactly.

        Any help would be appreciated.

        Thank you,

        Chad Stone
        Department of Literature and Linguistics
        University of Iceland
        Reykjav�k

        chad@...



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      • icelandstone
        Mr. Rhys, Thank you for your reply, but I don t think I was clear enough in my first post. I am looking only for instances of a host giving guests half
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 3, 2002
          Mr. Rhys,

          Thank you for your reply, but I don't think I was clear enough in my
          first post. I am looking only for instances of a host giving guests
          half portions of his food and drink, not the generic giving of gifts
          to travelers/visitors nor even of giving food in general. I am
          finding that there is a recurring them in several IE traditions. I
          have found mentions in very similar situations and closely-alligned
          syntax of this sort of giving in Old Icelandic, Middle English,
          Persian, and Greek. I am still looking for more.

          If there is such a thing in Welsh I would be thrilled to see it but I
          would need an exact reference and a quote in the original.


          Thank you,

          Chad Stone




          --- In cybalist@y..., guto rhys <gutorhys@y...> wrote:
          >
          > A number of early Welsh poems deal with the theme of giving within
          the context of the poet/patron relationship. Have a look at Dadolwch
          Urien by Taliesin or his poems to Cynan Garwyn. There exists a
          translation to English of Ivor Williams´book Canu Taliesin. I
          recollect refences to sword-giving (´cledyf gwein carrek´(a sword
          with a stone scabbard-presumably a reference to gems)) and one of the
          main themes running through the extant poetry of the sixth century is
          the generosity of the lord. I have a feeling that some references are
          made to giving horses as well but at present I don´t have access to
          my books but these references should be easy enough to locate. I
          think that there is also an article dealing with the theme of gift-
          gving or generosity. I´m sure there are numerous similar references
          in later poetry as well - especially in the work of the poets of the
          Welsh Princes and the later poets of the Gentry .gutorhys@y...
          > icelandstone <chad@h...> wrote: Hello.
          >
          > I am a student of Linguistics and Icelandic Philology at the
          > University of Icelandic in Reykjavík. I am working on an article
          > about the Gestaþáttur section of Hávamál in the Poetic Edda. I
          have
          > located a section (verses 41-52) which deals with friendship inside
          > the broader context of being a guest and being a host (hence the
          > appelation Gestaþáttur, 'guest-section').
          >
          > I have done a fairly involved examination of the alliteration used
          in
          > the poem, its metrical structure, its word-usage and other
          linguistic
          > analyses. What I am lacking is a basis for its grouping among
          other
          > IE traditions of gift-giving and friend-making.
          >
          > Verse 52 runs thus in normalized modern spelling:
          >
          > Mikið eitt
          > skal-a manni gefa;
          > oft kaupir sér í litlu lof;
          > með hálfum hleifi
          > og með höllu keri
          > fékk eg mér félaga.
          >
          > Auden translated the stanza thusly:
          >
          > Not great things alone must one give to another,
          > praise oft is earned for nought;
          > with half a loaf and a tilted bowl
          > I have found me many a friend.
          >
          >
          > I have found a reference in Anabasis about Cyrus giving halves of
          > geese and half-carafes of wine to guests in his lodgings, but not
          > much else in other IE traditions, at least not in recorded,
          > transmitted stories/poems/epics, etc. I am hoping that someone on
          > this list will recognize this theme and point me to another text
          that
          > I could use to support my view that this has to be a theme running
          > through IE society. I have found several things in Mauss and also
          in
          > Jamison, but nothing that matches exactly.
          >
          > Any help would be appreciated.
          >
          > Thank you,
          >
          > Chad Stone
          > Department of Literature and Linguistics
          > University of Iceland
          > Reykjavík
          >
          > chad@h...
          >
          >
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