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Re: [norse_course] Re: Njall 157 part 4 -- Verse

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  • Brian M. Scott
    At 5:16:46 AM on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, llama_nom ... I was influenced quite a bit by some of the discussion in Russell Gilbert Poole, Viking poems on
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 9, 2009
      At 5:16:46 AM on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, llama_nom

      > --- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Brian M. Scott"
      > <BMScott@...> wrote:

      >> The first problem is the preposition <fyrir>. After much
      >> thought I decided to take it as 'because of' in a causal
      >> sense: it's the fall of the slain that has set up the loom.

      > I wonder if it could be Zoega's 9th sense for <fyrir> +
      > dat., "(9) denoting disadvantige, harm, suffering; þú lætr
      > Egil vefja öll mál f. þér, thou lettest E. thwart all thy
      > affairs; tók at eyðast f. herm lausa-fé, her money began
      > to fail;" In which case, perhaps it could be translated
      > simply 'for'. Since the valkyries actions take place on
      > Good Friday morning, and since they traditionally choose
      > the slain, I was thinking of the causality the other way
      > around: the loom determining the battle.

      I was influenced quite a bit by some of the discussion in
      Russell Gilbert Poole, Viking poems on war and peace: a
      study in skaldic narrative, of which a preview is available
      at Google Books. (And I just noticed that there's a really
      good diagram on p. 133.) For the identification of <yllir>
      as shed rod he cites Anne Holtsmark, 'Vefr Darraðar', Maal
      og Minne, 74-96, the relevant material being on pp. 82-3;
      unfortunately, I don't have ready access to this.

      >> The <rifr> 'warp-beam' is the beam from which the warp
      >> threads hang, and its <reiðiský> 'rigging-cloud' is
      >> presumably either what hangs from it or by metonymy the loom
      >> as a whole. (I take the first half of the compound to be
      >> <reiði> 'tackle, rigging'.) <Rigna> 'to rain' takes the
      >> substance rained in the dative, so <rignir blóði> is simply
      >> '(it) rains blood'. <Vítt> is either an adverb or an
      >> adjective modifying <reiðiský>, but the sense is about the
      >> same either way.

      > For <reiðiský>, Lex. poet. 'ophængt sky'. If the first
      > element of the compound is derived directly from the verb
      > <reiða> 'carry, shake, swing, raise, etc.', maybe 'raised,
      > hanging' or 'shaking' cloud? But a rigging metaphor would
      > be appropriate to threads.

      I didn't think of that possibility; the rigging metaphor
      jumped out at me. I see that the skaldic database at
      <http://skaldic.arts.usyd.edu.au/db.php> makes it 'the
      rigged cloud'.

      >> <Harðkléaðr> is a variant form of <harðkljáðr>, the past
      >> participle of <harðkljá>; Zoëga doesn't have <harðkljá>, but
      >> he does have the basic verb, <kljá>. CV has <yllir> as 'the
      >> name of a beam in the upright loom', but it seems to me that
      >> the beams are already accounted for; the shed rod seems a
      >> much better bet, and on digging around on-line I found that
      >> this is a fairly widespread interpretation. The diagram at
      >> <http://housebarra.com/EP/ep02/20wwl.html> is quite helpful,
      >> by the way, and
      >> <http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/image/mywwloom.jpg> is a
      >> picture of a modern reproduction based on extant medieval
      >> loom parts from Greenland and Iceland; it's set up for
      >> four-shed twill, according to its owner. (I know her
      >> slightly; she's a serious re-enactor whose scholarship I
      >> trust wholeheartedly.) I think that Grace's photos make a
      >> good case that the battle's swords are being identified with
      >> the weavers' shuttles.

      > There are some notes on the loom terminology in this poem
      > here:

      > http://www.archive.org/details/anglosaxonnorsep00chadrich
      > Anglo-Saxon and Norse poems (1922), 191-195.

      > On <yllir>, Lex. poet. just says 'a tool pertaining to
      > the loom' (also a type of tree). In particular, not that
      > Kershaw offers a different interpretation of <hrælaðr> to
      > CV (p. 193). She explains <hræll> as a "pointed instrument
      > of bone or hard wood used to carry the weft into its
      > proper place", rather than the sley. Another definition I
      > found online: "teinn (rúmlega 20 cm langur) úr hvalbeini
      > (eða tré), oftast oddmyndaður til beggja enda, notaður til
      > að til að færa ívafið og jafna" (a stick, 20 cm or longer,
      > made of whalebone or wood, often pointed at both ends,
      > used to move the weft and make [it] even)." According to
      > Kershaw, 'reed' is "nearer the mark" (than sley) but
      > "involves a chronological difficulty".

      > Could <hræll> be translated 'shuttle'?

      Perhaps. Ritmálssafn Orðabókar Háskólans has a 17th century
      gloss of <hræll> as 'radius textoris', which is a gloss
      given for <A Weaver's shuttle> in The Law-French Dictionary
      Alphabetically Digested, 2nd edn., 1718, available at
      <http://books.google.com/books?id=5I8NAAAAQAAJ>. In
      Dictionarium Scoto-Celticum, A Dictionary of the Gaelic
      Language, vol. 2, 1828, <spal> (now written <spàl>) is
      glossed 'a weaver's shuttle' and 'radius textoris'.

      Glossarium - Sveo-Gothicum, Haquin Spegel, 1712, has for
      <Wäf-spole> Latin panus, radius textoris, Belgian <een
      schiet-spœle>, and English <a weavers shittle>.

      I'd have expected a <väv-spole> to be a weaving spool or
      bobbin, but in Axel Koch, 'Behandlingen av fornsvenskt kort
      y-ljud och supradentalers invärkan på vokalisationen', Arkiv
      för nordisk filologi, Ny följd, Femte bandet, 1893, on p. 74
      I find:

      I nysv. användes utom <skyttel> "väv-spole", hvilket väl
      är den mast använda formen, även <sköttel> samt, enligt
      Dalins ordbok, också <skötel>. Ordet, som är besläktat med
      <skjuta> (jmf. eng. <shuttle> "vävspole"), finnes i denna
      betydelse icke i isl. och har icke uppvisats från fsv.
      (isl. har emellertid <skutill> "skjutvapen, flyttbart
      bord" etc.), och det torde i helt sen tid hava införts i


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