Egla, 55

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Chapter 55

Egil buries Thorolf

While his men still pursued the fugitives, king Athelstan left the battle-field, and rode back to the town, nor stayed he for the night before he came thither. But Egil pursued the flying foe, and followed them far, slaying every man whom he overtook. At length, sated with pursuit, he with his followers turned back, and came where the battle had been, and found there the dead body of his brother Thorolf. He took it up, washed it, and performed such other offices as were the wont of the time. They dug a grave there, and laid Thorolf therein with all his weapons and raiment. Then Egil clasped a gold bracelet[1] on either wrist before he parted from him; this done they heaped on stones and cast in mould. Then Egil sang a stave:[2]

'Dauntless the doughty champion
Dashed on, the earl's bold slayer:
In stormy stress of battle.[3]
Stout-hearted Thorolf fell.
Green grows on soil[4] of Vin-heath[5][6][7]
Grass o'er my noble brother:
But we our woe - a sorrow
Worse than death-pang must bear.'

And again he further sang:

'With warriors slain round standard
The western field I burdened;
Adils with my blue Adder
Assailed mid snow of war.
Olaf, young prince, encountered
England in battle thunder:
Hring stood not stour of weapons,
Starved not the ravens' maw.'

Then went Egil and those about him to seek king Athelstan, and at once went before the king, where he sat at the drinking. There was much noise of merriment. And when the king saw that Egil was come in, he bade the lower bench be cleared for them, and that Egil should sit in the high-seat facing the king. Egil sat down there, and cast his shield before his feet. He had his helm on his head, and laid his sword across his knees; and now and again he half drew it, then clashed it back into the sheath. He sat upright, but with head bent forward.

Egil was large-featured, broad of forehead, with large eyebrows, a nose not long but very thick, lips wide and long, chin exceeding broad, as was all about the jaws;[8] thick-necked was he, and big-shouldered beyond other men, hard-featured, and grim when angry.[9] He was well-made, more than commonly tall, had hair wolf-gray and thick, but became early bald. He was black-eyed and brown-skinned,

But as he sat (as was before written), he drew one eye-brow down towards the cheek[10], the other up to the roots of the hair.[11] He would not drink now, though the horn was borne to him, but alternately twitched his brows[12][13] up and down.[14] King Athelstan sat in the upper high-seat. He too laid his sword across his knees. When they had sat there for a time,[15] then the king drew his sword from the sheath, and took from his arm a gold ring large and good, and placing it upon the sword-point he stood up, and went across the floor, and reached it over the fire[16] to Egil. Egil stood up and drew his sword, and went across the floor. He stuck the sword-point within the round of the ring, and drew it to him; then he went back to his place. The king sate him again in his high-seat. But when Egil was set down, he drew the ring on his arm, and then his brows went back to their place. He now laid down sword and helm, took the horn that they bare to him, and drank it off. Then sang he:

'Mailed monarch, god of battle,
Maketh the tinkling circlet
Hang, his own arm forsaking,
On hawk-trod wrist of mine.
I bear on arm brand-wielding
Bracelet of red gold gladly.
War-falcon's feeder meetly
Findeth such meed of praise.'

Thereafter Egil drank his share, and talked with others. Presently the king caused to be borne in two chests; two men bare each. Both were full of silver.

The king said: 'These chests, Egil, thou shalt have, and, if thou comest to Iceland, shalt carry this money to thy father; as payment for a son I send it to him: but some of the money thou shalt divide among such kinsmen of thyself and Thorolf as thou thinkest most honourable. But thou shalt take here payment for a brother with me, land or chattels, which thou wilt. And if thou wilt abide with me long, then will I give thee honour and dignity such as thyself mayst name.'

Egil took the money, and thanked the king for his gifts and friendly words. Thenceforward Egil began to be cheerful; and then he sang:

'In sorrow sadly drooping
Sank my brows close-knitted;
Then found I one who furrows
Of forehead[17] could smooth.
Fierce-frowning cliffs that shaded
My face a king hath lifted
With gleam of golden armlet:
Gloom leaveth my eyes.'

Then those men were healed whose wounds left hope of life. Egil abode with king Athelstan[18] for the next winter after Thorolf's death, and had very great honour from the king. With Egil was then all that force which had followed the two brothers, and come alive out of the battle. Egil now made a poem about king Athelstan, and in it is this stave:

'Land-shielder, battle-quickener,
Low now this scion royal
Earls three hath laid. To Ella
Earth must obedient bow.
Lavish of gold, kin-glorious,
Great Athelstan[19] victorious,
Surely, I swear, all humbled
To such high monarch yields.'

But this is the burden in the poem:

'Reindeer-trod hills obey
Bold Athelstan's high sway.'

Then gave Athelstan further to Egil as poet's meed two gold rings, each weighing a mark, and therewith a costly cloak[20] that the king himself had formerly worn. [21]

But when spring came Egil signified to the king this, that he purposed to go away in the summer to Norway, and to learn 'how matters stand with Asgerdr, my late brother Thorolf's wife. A large property is there in all; but I know not whether there be children of theirs living. I am bound to look after them, if they live; but I am heir to all, if Thorolf died childless.'

The king answered, 'This will be, Egil, for you to arrange, to go away hence, if you think you have an errand of duty; but I think 'twere the best way that you should settle down here with me on such terms as you like to ask.'

Egil thanked the king for his words.

'I will,' he said, 'now first go, as I am in duty bound to do; but it is likely that I shall return hither to see after this promise so soon as I can.'

The king bade him do so.

Whereupon Egil made him ready to depart with his men; but of these many remained behind with the king. Egil had one large war-ship, and on board thereof a hundred men or thereabouts. And when he was ready for his voyage, and a fair wind blew, he put out to sea. He and king Athelstan parted with great friendship: the king begged Egil to return as soon as possible. This Egil promised to do.[22]

Then Egil stood for Norway, and when he came to land sailed with all speed into the Firths. He heard these tidings, that lord Thorir was dead, and Arinbjorn had taken inheritance after him, and was made a baron. Egil went to Arinbjorn and got there a good welcome. Arinbjorn asked him to stay there. Egil accepted this, had his ship set up, and his crew lodged. But Arinbjorn received Egil and twelve men; they stayed with him through the winter.

References

  1. clasped a gold bracelet: „I think it is underestimating some of the deeper roots of his character, as a man and as a poet, to ascribe to him a meanness such as evoked by the word avarice. The conflict in his mind – if there ever was one – did not arise out of material, but of spiritual interests. Is it in keeping with this supposed vice, when Egill puts a gold ring on both Þórólf’s arms before burying him?“ Bouman, Ari C. Egill Skallagrímsson‘s Poem Sonatorrek (p. 23).
  2. Then Egil sang a stave: "La Saga di Egill Skallagrímsson parla a un pubblico profondamente interessato alla poesia, straordinario fattore di coesione sociale nella Scandinavia medievale, sempre funzionale alla vita civile e politica. In questo senso i versi scaldici (…) sono la testimonianza più viva, nella più tarda cultura nordica dei secoli 13° e 14°, di una visione della storia fatta di rievocazioni tortuose e verosimili piuttosto che di certezze assolute." Battaglia, Marco. Brunanburh nella Saga di Egill Skallagrímsson? (p. 180).
  3. in stormy stress of battle: "Haukr [Valdísarson] apparently knew Egill’s verse in Egils Saga about the battle in Vínheiðr. ‘Helt, né hrafnar sultu,/ Hringr á vápna þingi,’ says Egill, and ‘þreklundaðr fell Þundar/ Þórólfr í gný stórum,’ which should be compared with: ‘Hrings fell á því þingi/ Þórólfr í gný stórum,’ in the [Íslendinga]drápa." Jónas Kristjánsson. Íslendingadrápa and Oral Tradition (p. 90).
  4. Green grows on soil: "In one and the same verse the impassive re-growing or, better said, the endless growing in nature is opposed to […] the personal revolt, in a cry that is soon broken off and taken up again after a wide gap of almost two verses «en vér verðum […] hylja harm»." Koch, Ludovica. Gli scaldi (p. 11).
  5. Vin-heath: "Despite the saga account of his visit to Kúrland, the coastal region south of Dómisnes, not even Egill's poetry provides any relevant place-names, unless we believe that the Vína in Egill VII, 10 is the Dvína rather than whatever river was nearest to the battle of Vínheiðr (which may or may not have been the battle of Brunanburh)." Jesch, Judith. Ships and men in the late Viking age (p. 94)
  6. of Vin-heath: "It is widely agreed that this battle [Vínheiðr] should be identified with the Battle of Brunanburh in 937; what is disputed, however, is whether the name Vínheiðr preserves an English name behind it—to be specific, whether it represents a Norse form of the name preserved as We(o)dune is Symeon of Durham." Townend, Matthew. English Place-Names in Skaldic Verse (p. 88).
  7. Vin-heath: "Vína is the ON form of the Russian river name Dvina and was used in poetry of any river or liquid (st. 7/3). No English river in the supposed area of Vínheiðr is known to have borne this name. Egils saga, chap. 37, relates that Þórólfr accompanied Eiríkr blóðøx to Russia, where they fought a battle by the Dvina. The saga author, faced with a second tradition that had Þórólfr killed at Brunanburh, may have renamed the latter battlefield (called Wen-Dune in Simeon of Durham) Vín-heiðr, interpreting the first element as an English river name." Frank, Roberta. Old Norse Court Poetry (p. 80).
  8. lips wide and long, chin exceeding broad, as was all about the jaws: “The hero is introduced after a full account of his ancestors and of the events which coloured the fate of his family. He arrives on the scene at the critical moment, when that fate has to be wound up to a crisis; that crisis is the story of his life--is, in other words, his saga.” Gosse, E.W.. The “Egils saga” (p. 21).
  9. grim when angry: “This technique is used most effectively in chapter 55 of Egils saga where Egill finally takes over centre stage after the death of Þórólfr at the battle of Vínheiðr. All action seems to halt while the author skilfully builds the tension by giving a long description of Egill sitting across from the king, still in his armour, violently pulling his sword halfway out of its scabbard and slamming it back in.” Blaney, Benjamin. The Narrative Technique of Character Delineation in Egils saga (s. 344).
  10. one eye-brow down towards the cheek: "When in the grip of fury, Celtic and Germanic berserks contorted their faces and bodies in frightening ways. Among Irish heroes, Cū Chulainn is famous for this. Likewise tenth-century Egil: when he came to claim the wergild for his slain brother, he showed the king how mad he was by drooping one eyebrow down towards his cheek, raising the other up to the roots of his hair and moving his eyebrows alternately up and down." Speidel, Michael P. Berserks: A History of Indo-European “Mad Warriors” (p. 260).
  11. up to the roots of the hair: "In many ways this scene is reminiscent of the confrontation between Heiðrekr and Gestumblindi in Hervarar saga, and also of a scene in Grímnismál that was probably the prototype. The presence of fire, the face-to-face encounter between the kind and a newcomer, and the fact that Egill closes one eye as if in imitation of Óðinn, who occupies the role that Egill occupies in the two other episodes, can be viewed as allusions to these scenes, which, as we have seen, are both bound up with the motif of fratricide". Torfi H. Tulinius. An Attempt at Application: Interpreting Egils saga (p. 255).
  12. twitched his brows: „Þótt lýsing Egils í 55. kap. sé stórfengleg, brosir maður að henni í lokin, þegar Egill tekur að hleypa brúnum. Og er ekki næstum sem maður heyri smellinn, þegar brýn hans fara síðar í lag?“ Finnbogi Guðmundsson. Gamansemi Snorra Sturlusonar (p. 113).
  13. twitched his brows : "Augabrúnir sem færast úr lagi eru nefnilega einkenni á mynd af Kain sem finna má í ensku handriti frá fyrri hluta 13. aldar. Ef til vill er það engin tilviljun að útliti Egils er einmitt lýst rækilega á þessum stað í sögunni, þegar vísanir til Kains og Júdasar eru hvað nærtækastar og þar sem einnig má greina tengsl við heinar frásagnir um bróðurmorð. " Torfi H. Tulinius. Vefir textans (p. 76).
  14. twitched his brows up and down: "Oppsummert er tolkingsforslaget mitt altså at auga skal oppfattast som eit våpen parallelt til sverdet, og augnebryna (og augnelokka) som ein parallell til slira. Å sperre opp og knipe att annakvart auge blir dermed ein parallell til å dra sverdet halvt og så smelle det nedi slira att." Heide, Eldar. Auga til Egil: ei nytolkning av ein tekststad i Egilssoga (p. 123).
  15. sat there for a time: "Þessi óviðjafnanlega smámynd úr Egils sögu ber snilld höfundarins fagurt vitni. Hann nær hinum sterkustu áhrifum með algerðu þagnarspili milli tveggja leikenda. [...] Ekki veit ég, hvað konungi hefur búið í hug, er hann horfðist í augu við Egil um hallargólf þvert, en mig grunar, að honum hafi þá skilizt, að það var sómi Þórólfs, hins fallna höfðingja, en ekki ágirnd ein, sem var um að tefla." Kristján Eldjárn. Kistur Aðalsteins konungs (pp. 97-98).
  16. reached it over the fire: "When the king puts a gold ring on the tip of his sword and hands it across the fire to Egill, who receives it in like fashion, it is not just a sign of fear or mistrust, but also - symbolically - an act of social recognition. The exact symmetry in the way the two men are presented is more important than the gift involved; it shows Egill and Athelstan as equals. ... The imaginary vision of an English court where justice and generosity prevail is in stark contrast with the less favorable impression which the saga offers of the Norwegian courts of King Harald and his sons. From this point of view the author hardly included the Vínheiðr episode to relate an event in the history of Anglo-Saxon England but as a literary counterpoint with a thinly veiled political message." Magnús Fjalldal. A Farmer in the Court of King Athelstan (pp. 29-31).
  17. furrows of forehead: "No doubt the wry sense of humour and jesting pleasure in his own ugliness, shown by Egill Skallagrímsson in his poems and verses, also owes something to tradition. On the other hand, the author is probably to be credited with some of the comic elements in Egill’s character. These arise mainly from one of the basic vices of heroic society – he is incurably avaricious. Since Egill is also essentially unselfconcious the author can make the avarice humorous by the casual air with which at various times he makes the point." Wilson, R.M. Comedy and Character in the Icelandic Family Sagas (p. 121-22).
  18. Egil abode with king Athelstan: "Wood includes Egill Skallagrímsson among the learned men who visited Athelstan’s court, but I dare say Egill was more at home with Eric Bloodaxe." Keynes, Simon. King Athelstan’s Books (p. 145).
  19. Great Athelstan: "In these verses by Egill, the naming of the king in the poetic text, along with … indications of its performance context, combine to reinforce the statement of the prose that the poem from which they are taken was indeed composed for performance in England, in the presence of King Æthelstan." Jesch, Judith. Skaldic Verse in Scandinavian England (p. 316).
  20. costly cloak: "Rewarded poets become part of a relationship of service and payment for helping royal reputations. Egill composes a verse in praise of his new armband and produces another stanza iin praise of Aðalsteinn himself. The king further rewards him with gold and skikkja dýr, er konungr sjálfr hafði áðr borit... This kind of gift absorbs a poet and makes him into what the sovereign wants him to be: dressed for court; visibly in the king's debt; obviously a member of an individual lord's retinue." Waugh, Robin. Literacy, Royal Power, and King-Poet Relations in Old English and Old Norse Compositions (p. 301).
  21. worn: "In an absurd exaggeration of the importance of these foreign farmers’ sons, they are held in the highest regard by the king and placed in command of the first two cohorts in the vanguard at Vínheiðr (ch.. 54). Permanent honours are similarly offered to Egill in ch. 62. The compensation for Þórólf’s death in battle is equally overdone: two chests of silver (ch. 55). It is therefore fitting that the surest example of ‘straight’ praise from Egill’s lips seems to be a poem about the English king, of which a specimen is quoted in ch. 55. It is said to bring a reward of two rings, each worth a mark, together with a cloak which the king himself had worn." Whaley, Diana. Representations of Skalds in the Sagas 1: Social and Professional Relations (p. 298).
  22. This Egil promised to do.: " Ljóst er að því sem nú hefur verið rakið, að orðafarið í þetu: ‘þegar er eigi bannaði skyld nauðsyn’ er ættað úr þessum varnagla í norsku lagamáli: nema (skyld) nauðsyn banni, og úr norsku lagamáli er þetta orðafar komið í lögbækurnar Járnsíðu og Jónsbók." Ólafur Halldórsson. Nema skyldi nauðsyn banni (p. 76).

Kafli 55

Egill jarðaði Þórólf

Aðalsteinn konungur sneri í brott frá orustunni en menn hans ráku flóttann. Hann reið aftur til borgarinnar og tók eigi fyrr náttstað en í borginni en Egill rak flóttann og fylgdi þeim lengi og drap hvern mann er hann náði. Síðan sneri hann aftur með sveitunga sína og fór þar til er orustan hafði verið og hitti þar Þórólf bróður sinn látinn. Hann tók upp lík hans og þó, bjó um síðan sem siðvenja var til. Grófu þeir þar gröf og settu Þórólf þar í með vopnum sínum öllum og klæðum. Síðan spennti Egill gullhring á hvora hönd[1] honum áður hann skildist við, hlóðu síðan að grjóti og jósu að moldu. Þá kvað Egill vísu:[2]

Gekk, sá er óaðist ekki
jarlmanns bani snarla,
þreklundaðr féll, Þundar,
Þórólfr, í gný stórum.[3]
Jörð grær, en vér verðum,[4]
Vínu[5] nær[6][7] of mínum,
helnauð er það, hylja
harm, ágætum barma.

Og enn kvað hann:

Valköstum hlóð eg vestan
vang fyr merkistangir.
Ótt var él það er sóttag
Aðils blám Naðri.
Háði ungum við Engla
Ólafr þrimu stála.
Hélt, né hrafnar sultu,
Hringr á vopna þingi.

Síðan fór Egill með sveit sína á fund Aðalsteins konungs og gekk þegar fyrir konung er hann sat við drykkju. Þar var glaumur mikill. Og er konungur sá að Egill var inn kominn þá mælti hann að rýma skyldi pallinn þann hinn óæðra fyrir þeim og mælti að Egill skyldi sitja þar í öndvegi gegnt konungi.

Egill settist þar niður og skaut skildinum fyrir fætur sér. Hann hafði hjálm á höfði og lagði sverðið um kné sér og dró annað skeið til hálfs en þá skellti hann aftur í slíðrin. Hann sat uppréttur og var gneyptur mjög. Egill var mikilleitur, ennibreiður, brúnamikill,[8] nefið ekki langt en ákaflega digurt, granstæðið vítt og langt, hakan breið furðulega og svo allt um kjálkana, hálsdigur og herðimikill, svo að það bar frá því sem aðrir menn voru, harðleitur og grimmlegur þá er hann var reiður.[9] Hann var vel í vexti og hverjum manni hærri, úlfgrátt hárið og þykkt og varð snemma sköllóttur. En er hann sat, sem fyrr var ritað, þá hleypti hann annarri brúninni ofan[10] á kinnina en annarri upp í hárrætur.[11] Egill var svarteygur og skolbrúnn. Ekki vildi hann drekka þó að honum væri borið en ýmsum hleypti hann brúnunum[12][13] ofan eða upp.[14]

Aðalsteinn konungur sat í hásæti. Hann lagði og sverð um kné sér. Og er þeir sátu svo um hríð,[15] þá dró konungur sverðið úr slíðrum og tók gullhring af hendi sér, mikinn og góðan, og dró á blóðrefilinn, stóð upp og gekk á gólfið og rétti yfir eldinn[16] til Egils. Egill stóð upp og brá sverðinu og gekk á gólfið. Hann stakk sverðinu í bug hringinum og dró að sér, gekk aftur til rúms síns. Konungur settist í hásæti. En er Egill settist niður dró hann hringinn á hönd sér og þá fóru brýnn hans í lag. Lagði hann þá niður sverðið og hjálminn og tók við dýrshorni er honum var borið og drakk af. Þá kvað hann:

Hvarmtangar lætr hanga
hrynvirgil mér brynju
Höðr á hauki troðnum
heiðis vingameiði.
Rítmeiðis kná eg reiða,
ræðr gunnvala bræðir,
gelgju seil á gálga
geirveðrs, lofi að meira.

Þaðan af drakk Egill að sínum hlut og mælti við aðra menn.

Eftir það lét konungur bera inn kistur tvær. Báru tveir menn hvora. Voru báðar fullar af silfri.

Konungur mælti: „Kistur þessar Egill skaltu hafa og, ef þú kemur til Íslands, skaltu færa þetta fé föður þínum, í sonargjöld sendi eg honum. En sumu fé skaltu skipta með frændum ykkrum Þórólfs þeim er þér þykja ágætastir. En þú skalt taka hér bróðurgjöld hjá mér, lönd eða lausaaura, hvort er þú vilt heldur, og ef þú vilt með mér dveljast lengdar þá skal eg hér fá þér sæmd og virðing þá er þú kannt mér sjálfur til segja.“

Egill tók við fénu og þakkaði konungi gjafar og vinmæli. Tók Egill þaðan af að gleðjast og þá kvað hann:

Knáttu hvarms af harmi
hnúpgnípur mér drúpa.
Nú fann eg þann er ennis
ósléttur[17] þær rétti.
Gramr hefir gerðihömrum
grundar upp um hrundið,
Sá er til ýgr, af augum,
armsíma, mér grímu.

Síðan voru græddir þeir menn er sárir voru og lífs auðið.

Egill dvaldist með Aðalsteini[18] konungi hinn næsta vetur eftir fall Þórólfs og hafði hann allmiklar virðingar af konungi. Var þá með honum lið það allt er áður hafði fylgt þeim báðum bræðrum og úr orustu höfðu komist. Þá orti Egill drápu um Aðalstein konung og er í því kvæði þetta:

Nú hefir foldgnár fellda,
fellr jörð und nið Ellu,
hjaldrsnerrandi, harra,
höfuðbaðmr, þrjá jöfra.
Aðalsteinn of vann[19] annað.
Allt er lægra, kynfrægi,
hér sverjum þess, hyrjar
hrannbrjótr, konungmanni.

En þetta er stefið í drápunni:

Nú liggr hæst und hraustum
hreinbraut Aðalsteini.

Aðalsteinn gaf þá enn Agli að bragarlaunum gullhringa tvo og stóð hvor mörk og þar fylgdi skikkja dýr[20] er konungur sjálfur hafði áður borið.[21]

En er voraði lýsti Egill yfir því fyrir konungi að hann ætlaði í brott um sumarið og til Noregs og vita hvað títt er um hag Ásgerðar „konu þeirrar er átt hefir Þórólfur bróðir minn. Þar standa saman fé mikil en eg veit eigi hvort börn þeirra lifa nokkur. Á eg þar fyrir að sjá ef þau lifa en eg á arf allan ef Þórólfur hefir barnlaus andast.“

Konungur sagði: „Það mun vera Egill á þínu forráði að fara héðan á brott ef þú þykist eiga skyldarerindi en hinn veg þykir mér best að þú takir hér staðfestu með mér og slíka kosti sem þú vilt beiðast.“

Egill þakkaði konungi orð sín „eg mun nú fara fyrst svo sem mér ber skylda til en það er líkara að eg vitji hingað þessa heita þá er eg kemst við.“

Konungur bað hann svo gera. Síðan bjóst Egill brott með liði sínu en margt dvaldist eftir með konungi. Egill hafði eitt langskip mikið og þar á hundrað manna eða vel svo. Og er hann var búinn ferðar sinnar og byr gaf þá hélt hann til hafs. Skildust þeir Aðalsteinn konungur með mikilli vináttu. Bað hann Egil koma aftur sem skjótast. Egill kvað svo vera skyldu.[22]

Síðan hélt Egill til Noregs og er hann kom við land fór hann sem skyndilegast inn í Fjörðu. Hann spurði þau tíðindi að andaður var Þórir hersir en Arinbjörn hafði tekið við arfi og gerst lendur maður. Egill fór á fund Arinbjarnar og fékk þar góðar viðtökur. Bauð Arinbjörn honum þar að vera. Egill þekktist það. Lét hann setja upp skipið og vista lið. En Arinbjörn tók við Agli við tólfta mann og var með honum um veturinn.

Tilvísanir

  1. gullhring á hvora hönd: "I think it is underestimating some of the deeper roots of his character, as a man and as a poet, to ascribe to him a meanness such as evoked by the word avarice. The conflict in his mind – if there ever was one – did not arise out of material, but of spiritual interests. Is it in keeping with this supposed vice, when Egill puts a gold ring on both Þórólf’s arms before burying him?" Bouman, Ari C. Egill Skallagrímsson‘s Poem Sonatorrek (s. 23).
  2. Þá kvað Egill vísu: "La Saga di Egill Skallagrímsson parla a un pubblico profondamente interessato alla poesia, straordinario fattore di coesione sociale nella Scandinavia medievale, sempre funzionale alla vita civile e politica. In questo senso i versi scaldici (…) sono la testimonianza più viva, nella più tarda cultura nordica dei secoli 13° e 14°, di una visione della storia fatta di rievocazioni tortuose e verosimili piuttosto che di certezze assolute." Battaglia, Marco. Brunanburh nella Saga di Egill Skallagrímsson? (s. 180).
  3. í gný stórum: "Haukr [Valdísarson] apparently knew Egill’s verse in Egils Saga about the battle in Vínheiðr. ‘Helt, né hrafnar sultu,/ Hringr á vápna þingi,’ says Egill, and ‘þreklundaðr fell Þundar/ Þórólfr í gný stórum,’ which should be compared with: ‘Hrings fell á því þingi/ Þórólfr í gný stórum,’ in the [Íslendinga]drápa." Jónas Kristjánsson. Íslendingadrápa and Oral Tradition (s. 90).
  4. Jörð grær, en vér verðum: "In one and the same verse the impassive re-growing or, better said, the endless growing in nature is opposed to […] the personal revolt, in a cry that is soon broken off and taken up again after a wide gap of almost two verses «en vér verðum […] hylja harm»." Koch, Ludovica. Gli scaldi (s. 11).
  5. Vínu: "Despite the saga account of his visit to Kúrland, the coastal region south of Dómisnes, not even Egill's poetry provides any relevant place-names, unless we believe that the Vína in Egill VII, 10 is the Dvína rather than whatever river was nearest to the battle of Vínheiðr (which may or may not have been the battle of Brunanburh)." Jesch, Judith. Ships and men in the late Viking age (s. 94)
  6. Vínu nær: "It is widely agreed that this battle [Vínheiðr] should be identified with the Battle of Brunanburh in 937; what is disputed, however, is whether the name Vínheiðr preserves an English name behind it—to be specific, whether it represents a Norse form of the name preserved as We(o)dune is Symeon of Durham." Townend, Matthew. English Place-Names in Skaldic Verse (s. 88).
  7. Vínu nær: "Vína is the ON form of the Russian river name Dvina and was used in poetry of any river or liquid (st. 7/3). No English river in the supposed area of Vínheiðr is known to have borne this name. Egils saga, chap. 37, relates that Þórólfr accompanied Eiríkr blóðøx to Russia, where they fought a battle by the Dvina. The saga author, faced with a second tradition that had Þórólfr killed at Brunanburh, may have renamed the latter battlefield (called Wen-Dune in Simeon of Durham) Vín-heiðr, interpreting the first element as an English river name." Frank, Roberta. Old Norse Court Poetry (s. 80).
  8. mikilleitur, ennibreiður, brúnamikill: “The hero is introduced after a full account of his ancestors and of the events which coloured the fate of his family. He arrives on the scene at the critical moment, when that fate has to be wound up to a crisis; that crisis is the story of his life--is, in other words, his saga.” Gosse, E.W.. The “Egils saga” (s. 21).
  9. þá er hann var reiður: “This technique is used most effectively in chapter 55 of Egils saga where Egill finally takes over centre stage after the death of Þórólfr at the battle of Vínheiðr. All action seems to halt while the author skilfully builds the tension by giving a long description of Egill sitting across from the king, still in his armour, violently pulling his sword halfway out of its scabbard and slamming it back in.” Blaney, Benjamin. The Narrative Technique of Character Delineation in Egils saga (s. 344).
  10. annarri brúninni ofan: "When in the grip of fury, Celtic and Germanic berserks contorted their faces and bodies in frightening ways. Among Irish heroes, Cū Chulainn is famous for this. Likewise tenth-century Egil: when he came to claim the wergild for his slain brother, he showed the king how mad he was by drooping one eyebrow down towards his cheek, raising the other up to the roots of his hair and moving his eyebrows alternately up and down." Speidel, Michael P. Berserks: A History of Indo-European “Mad Warriors” (s. 260).
  11. annarri upp í hárrætur: "In many ways this scene is reminiscent of the confrontation between Heiðrekr and Gestumblindi in Hervarar saga, and also of a scene in Grímnismál that was probably the prototype. The presence of fire, the face-to-face encounter between the kind and a newcomer, and the fact that Egill closes one eye as if in imitation of Óðinn, who occupies the role that Egill occupies in the two other episodes, can be viewed as allusions to these scenes, which, as we have seen, are both bound up with the motif of fratricide". Torfi H. Tulinius. An Attempt at Application: Interpreting Egils saga (s. 255).
  12. hleypti hann brúnunum: „Þótt lýsing Egils í 55. kap. sé stórfengleg, brosir maður að henni í lokin, þegar Egill tekur að hleypa brúnum. Og er ekki næstum sem maður heyri smellinn, þegar brýn hans fara síðar í lag?“ Finnbogi Guðmundsson. Gamansemi Snorra Sturlusonar (s. 113).
  13. hleypti hann brúnunum : "Augabrúnir sem færast úr lagi eru nefnilega einkenni á mynd af Kain sem finna má í ensku handriti frá fyrri hluta 13. aldar. Ef til vill er það engin tilviljun að útliti Egils er einmitt lýst rækilega á þessum stað í sögunni, þegar vísanir til Kains og Júdasar eru hvað nærtækastar og þar sem einnig má greina tengsl við heinar frásagnir um bróðurmorð. " Torfi H. Tulinius. Vefir textans (s. 76).
  14. hleypti hann brúnunum ofan eða upp: "Oppsummert er tolkingsforslaget mitt altså at auga skal oppfattast som eit våpen parallelt til sverdet, og augnebryna (og augnelokka) som ein parallell til slira. Å sperre opp og knipe att annakvart auge blir dermed ein parallell til å dra sverdet halvt og så smelle det nedi slira att." Heide, Eldar. Auga til Egil: ei nytolkning av ein tekststad i Egilssoga (s. 123).
  15. sátu svo um hríð: "Þessi óviðjafnanlega smámynd úr Egils sögu ber snilld höfundarins fagurt vitni. Hann nær hinum sterkustu áhrifum með algerðu þagnarspili milli tveggja leikenda. [...] Ekki veit ég, hvað konungi hefur búið í hug, er hann horfðist í augu við Egil um hallargólf þvert, en mig grunar, að honum hafi þá skilizt, að það var sómi Þórólfs, hins fallna höfðingja, en ekki ágirnd ein, sem var um að tefla." Kristján Eldjárn. Kistur Aðalsteins konungs (s. 97-98).
  16. rétti yfir eldinn: "When the king puts a gold ring on the tip of his sword and hands it across the fire to Egill, who receives it in like fashion, it is not just a sign of fear or mistrust, but also - symbolically - an act of social recognition. The exact symmetry in the way the two men are presented is more important than the gift involved; it shows Egill and Athelstan as equals. ... The imaginary vision of an English court where justice and generosity prevail is in stark contrast with the less favorable impression which the saga offers of the Norwegian courts of King Harald and his sons. From this point of view the author hardly included the Vínheiðr episode to relate an event in the history of Anglo-Saxon England but as a literary counterpoint with a thinly veiled political message." Magnús Fjalldal. A Farmer in the Court of King Athelstan (s. 29-31).
  17. ennis ósléttur: "No doubt the wry sense of humour and jesting pleasure in his own ugliness, shown by Egill Skallagrímsson in his poems and verses, also owes something to tradition. On the other hand, the author is probably to be credited with some of the comic elements in Egill’s character. These arise mainly from one of the basic vices of heroic society – he is incurably avaricious. Since Egill is also essentially unselfconcious the author can make the avarice humorous by the casual air with which at various times he makes the point." Wilson, R.M. Comedy and Character in the Icelandic Family Sagas (s. 121-22).
  18. Egill dvaldist með Aðalsteini: "Wood includes Egill Skallagrímsson among the learned men who visited Athelstan’s court, but I dare say Egill was more at home with Eric Bloodaxe." Keynes, Simon. King Athelstan’s Books (s. 145).
  19. Aðalsteinn of vann: "In these verses by Egill, the naming of the king in the poetic text, along with … indications of its performance context, combine to reinforce the statement of the prose that the poem from which they are taken was indeed composed for performance in England, in the presence of King Æthelstan." Jesch, Judith. Skaldic Verse in Scandinavian England (s. 316).
  20. fylgdi skikkja dýr: "Rewarded poets become part of a relationship of service and payment for helping royal reputations. Egill composes a verse in praise of his new armband and produces another stanza iin praise of Aðalsteinn himself. The king further rewards him with gold and skikkja dýr, er konungr sjálfr hafði áðr borit... This kind of gift absorbs a poet and makes him into what the sovereign wants him to be: dressed for court; visibly in the king's debt; obviously a member of an individual lord's retinue." Waugh, Robin. Literacy, Royal Power, and King-Poet Relations in Old English and Old Norse Compositions (s. 301).
  21. borið: "In an absurd exaggeration of the importance of these foreign farmers’ sons, they are held in the highest regard by the king and placed in command of the first two cohorts in the vanguard at Vínheiðr (ch.. 54). Permanent honours are similarly offered to Egill in ch. 62. The compensation for Þórólf’s death in battle is equally overdone: two chests of silver (ch. 55). It is therefore fitting that the surest example of ‘straight’ praise from Egill’s lips seems to be a poem about the English king, of which a specimen is quoted in ch. 55. It is said to bring a reward of two rings, each worth a mark, together with a cloak which the king himself had worn." Whaley, Diana. Representations of Skalds in the Sagas 1: Social and Professional Relations (p. 298).
  22. Egill kvað svo vera skyldu.: " Ljóst er að því sem nú hefur verið rakið, að orðafarið í þetu: ‘þegar er eigi bannaði skyld nauðsyn’ er ættað úr þessum varnagla í norsku lagamáli: nema (skyld) nauðsyn banni, og úr norsku lagamáli er þetta orðafar komið í lögbækurnar Járnsíðu og Jónsbók." Ólafur Halldórsson. Nema skyldi nauðsyn banni (s. 76).

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