- It can certainly have that meaning on its own ('bragðs skuluð
höggnir' "you shall be hewn at once"), but in this context it makes
more sense to interpret it as part of the idiom 'taka e-t (til)
bragðs' "to take some step (to get out of difficulties)" (Zoega);
'taka (e-ð) til bragðs' "find a solution" (Online Icelndic
Dictionary). Fritzner cites this example in Njála 129: 'taka e-t til
bragðs' "gribe til noget som Hjælp eller Udvei i Nød eller Fare", Nj.
152; Grett. 75., 'taka e-t bragðs' "d[et] s[amme] Heilag. II, 56717;
Nj. 129 (19913)" (seize something as a help or solution in difficulty
or danger [...] the same).
(1) Það taka þeir bragðs að þeir flytja hana til báls er Auðunn
"What they decide to do [to deal with this situation] is to carry her
to the pyre that Auðunn had prepared."
(2) Hann leitaði ráðs við marga vitra menn hvað hann skyldi til
bragðs taka en engi gat það ráð til gefið er dygði.
"He sought counsel with many wise men as to what course he should take
[how he might resolve the problem], but no one managed to come up with
a plan that was of any use."
(3) Haraldr konungr helt nú ráðstefnu við lið sitt, hvat til bragðs
skyldi taka í þeim vanda ok nauðsynjum er þeim váru nú at höndum komnar.
"King Harald held council now with his men on what action they should
take regarding this difficulty and [these] troubles which they now faced."
Fred and Grace Hatton
- Thanks, LN, for sorting that out.
> Þykist eg ekki af því vaxa þótt eg bíði heiman þræla Haralds konungs og<vaxa> here "grow greater in fame" (Z4). Paraphrasing a bit: "I do not think
> elti þeir oss af eignum vorum eða þiggja af þeim dauða með öllu."
> It seems to me not from it to grow although I wait at home (as?) King
> Harald's thrall, and they chase us from our possessions or accept from
> them death altogether."
that I will grow more famous, even if I wait for King Harald's thralls and
they chase us from our possessions, or I meet my death at their hands."
<þræla> is genitive plural; the verb <bíða> takes a genitive object to
express what is waited for. <heiman> literally "from home", referring to the
thralls setting out from their home to do these dastardly deeds.
In Modern Icelandic, the present subjunctive 1st person sg. would be
<þiggi>, in Old Icelandic <þiggja>, which makes me think perhaps whoever
adapted it to the modern standard spelling overlooked it, thinking it was
Fred and Grace Hatton