I've amalgamated the translations in the order Alan, Grace,
> Hann var kallaður Sauðeyjargoði. Hann var auðigur maður og
> mikill fyrir sér.
> He was called (the) priest-chieftain-of-Sauðey
> (Sheep-Island). He was a wealthy man and great of himself
> (important in his own right).
> He was called Sheep Isles Chieftain. He was a wealthy man
> and powerful.
> He was called a Southern-Islands-heathen-priest. He was a
> wealthy man and strong. (Z13 mikill fyrir sér = strong)
Here the sense of <mikill fyrir sér> is 'important,
influential, powerful'; he may also have been physically
strong, but that's not what the author is getting at.
> Hallur hét (heita) bróðir hans. Hann var mikill maður og
> His brother was-called Hallr. He was a big man and
> His brother was named Hall. He was a tall man and
> His brother was named Hall. He was a large man and
<Mikill> when applied to a person can be 'tall', but more
often it seems to be 'large, big'.
> Hann var félítill maður. Engi var hann nytjungur (=
> nytjamaðr, a useful, worthy man) kallaður af flestum
> He was a man of-little-wealth. He was not called a
> useful-man by most men.
> He was a man of little value (or wealth?). He was not
> called ????? by most people.
> He was a poor man. He was not called a worthy man by most
Judging by the related words, his unworthiness lies
primarily in his uselessness; the idea seems to be that most
people thought him a good-for-naught.
> Ekki voru þeir bræður samþykkir oftast.
> Those brothers were most-often not in-agreement.
> Those brothers were most often not in agreement.
> The brothers were not often at peace. (Not at peace with
> each other? Not at peace with other people? Or both?)
With each other: etymologically speaking, <samþykkr> is
'same-thinking', more or less.
> Þótti (þykkja) Ingjaldi Hallur lítt vilja sig semja í sið
> dugandi manna en Halli þótti (þykkja) Ingjaldur lítt vilja
> sitt ráð hefja til þroska.
> Hallr seemed to Ingjaldr little to want (inclined) to
> settle himself into (the) conduct of brave men (ie to do
> as brave men do) but Ingjaldr seemed to Hallr little to
> want (inclined) to raise up his (ie Hallrs) condition to
> advancement (ie to promote him).
> Hall seemed to Ingjald to wish little to reform himself
> according to custom of brave men and to Hall Ingjald seem
> to wish little to raise up his means to advantage.
> Hall thought Ingjald little/wretchedly wanted himself (or
> bear good will) agree on in customs/habit a doughty man
> and (but) Ingjald thought hall little/wretchedly wanted
> himself (or bear good will) advice raise/begin to
The basic sense of <þroski> seems to be something like 'full
development of strength'; by extension we get 'maturity' and
thence, I suspect, something like 'the state of being a
full-grown, useful member of the community'. I don't think
that I'd go for a very literal translation here:
It seemed to Ingjald that Hall little wished to conform
(himself) to the custom of brave men, but it seemed to
Hall that Ingjald little wished to improve his [Hall's]
'Position' is general enough to cover both his economic
condition and his standing in the community.
> Veiðistöð sú liggur á Breiðafirði er Bjarneyjar heita.
> That hunting-station (fishing-ground) lies in
> Breiðafjorðr, which is-called Bjarneyjar (Bear-Islands).
> That fishing station lies in Broad Firth which is called
> Bear Isles.
> His fishing-place lies in Broad-Fiord where (it) is called
The ON word order may be misleading: <er> refers to
<veiðistöð>, so it's 'The fishing ground that is called
Bjarneyjar lies in Breiðfjörð'.
> Þær eyjar eru margar saman og voru mjög gagnauðgar.
> Those islands are many together and were very produvtive
> (ie abundantly-stocked).
> Those islands are very close together and were very
> These islands were in groups and were very productive. (Z
> mörgum mönnum saman, in groups)
Here <margar saman> has its most straightforward
interpretation, 'many together'; in other words, the
Bjarneyjar are a group of several islands.
> Í þann tíma sóttu (soekja) menn þangað mjög til
> veiðifangs. Var og þar fjölmennt mjög öllum misserum.
> At that time, men (persons) greatly sought-out thither
> for-the-purpose-of a catch. (It) was also
> with-very-many-people all-the-year-round.
> In that time people much sought (to go) thither for
> fishing. There were also a great many men at all seasons.
> In this time men came-to there often for fishing. (It) was
> also crowded there all the year round. (Z misseri - öllum
> misserum, all the year round)
Although <skja> is most straightforwardly 'to seek', Rob is
correct: <skja til> can be simply 'to go (to try to get
something)'. A fairly literal translation would be 'At this
time men went there a great deal to try for a catch'; Rob's
is also fine (apart from 'this' for <þann>).
> Mikið þótti (þykkja) spökum (spakr) mönnum undir því að
> menn ættu (eiga) gott saman í útverjum.
> (It) seemed great (important) to wise men (people)
> with-regard-to that, that men should-have (exchange, see
> eiga, Z5 or Z8 ) good (will) in-common (ie share a common
> interest, well-being) in outlying-fishing-stations.
> (It) seemed much to wise men regarding it that men were
> obliged (to get along) well together in (the) outlying
> fishing station.
> It seemed a lot to wise men under because men have good
> together in the outlying fishing station.
Zoëga s.v. <þykkja> (2) has the idiom: <e-m þykkir mikit
undir því, at> 'one thinks it of great importance, that'.
I don't think that Z. has the exact phrase <eiga gott
saman>, but he does have the following:
<eiga skap saman> 'to agree well, be of one mind';
<eiga heill saman> 'live happy together'
<eiga saman> 'to quarrel'
<eiga gott við e-n> 'to be on good terms with someone'
From this I think that we can safely translate <eiga gott
saman> simply as 'get along well together': 'Wise men
thought it of great importance that folks get along well
together in outlying fishing stations'. [Rob: The <-jum>
ending marks it as a dative *plural*.]
> Var það þá mælt að mönnum yrði (verða) ógæfra um veiðifang
> ef missáttir yrðu (verða).
> That was then spoken that (it) became more-luckless for
> men in a catch if (they) became at-variance (disagreeing).
> It was then said that people would become luckless
> regarding fishing if disagreements happened.
> It was at-that-time said to men become (ógæfra? ungentle?)
> about a catch if disagreeing occurs.
You'll find it as <úgæfr> 'luckless; unruly' in Zoëga.
Alan's right that it has to be a comparative: the only other
way to get the <r> in <ógæfra> would be to have it as part
of the root, as it is in <fagr> 'fair', but since the word
is clearly related to <gæfa> 'good luck', which has no <r>,
the <-r> of <ógæfr> must be purely inflexional. Note that
<yrði> is a subjunctive, 'would become', as in Grace's
version. Finally, <missáttr> is, as Alan has translated it,
an adjective, though of course it needn't be translated as
such. If I were to shoot for a compromise between literal
and readable, I might go with something like 'It was then
said that folks would be more luckless in [the] catch if
[they] came to disagreeing.'
> Hann var breiðfirskur maður og hann var nálega lausingi (=
> leysingi) einn félaus og þó frálegur maður.
> He was a Breiðarfjörðr (Broad-Fjord) man (person) and he
> was nearly a freedman, only poor but nevertheless a quick
> man (person).
> He was a man from Broad Firth and he was almost a freedman
> only? without wealth and yet a quick man.
> He was a Broadfirth man and he was almost a-freedman
> the-most penniless and yet a swift man.
I think that it has to be construed <hann var náliga
lausingi einn, félauss ok þó fráligr maðr> 'he was nearly
just a freedman, penniless and yet a quick man', so that
<einn> following <lausingi> is 'only, just'. More
idiomatically, 'he was little more than a freedman'.
> Það var eitt kveld að þeir koma að landi, Hallur og
> Þórólfur, og skyldu (skulu) skipta fengi sínu.
> That was one evening that they came to land, Hallr and
> Þórólfr, and should divide their haul (booty).
> It was one evening that they came ashore, Hall and
> Thorolf, and would divide their catch.
> It was one evening that they came to shore, Hall and
> Thorolf, and should divide their booty.
I like Grace's 'catch': <fengi> is actually related to <fá>
'to seize, to capture' (not to mention German <fangen> 'to
catch'), and 'catch is probably the most common English term
in this context. I think that I'd translate <skyldu> as
'were to', though: 'and were to divide their catch'.
> Þórólfur vildi eigi láta sinn hlut og var allstórorður.
> Þórólfr did not want to forsake (lose) his share and was
> extremely-vocal (about it).
> Thorolf did not want to give up his choice and was
> using very big words.
> Thorolf didn't want to give up his share and was
> using-very-big words. (I assume this means he put up a big
'Give up, cede' seems the right interpretation of <láta>
here, and CV notes that one of the most important senses of
<hlutr> is 'a fisherman's share of the catch', so 'Þ. did
not want to give up his catch' looks like a good start, if a
bit of an exaggeration. But CV also has <láta hlut sinn>
'to let go one's share, be worsted', and I suspect that both
the literal and the figurative senses are intended here: he
doesn't want to be worsted by getting less than his full
share. CV has a secondary gloss of 'very boisterous' for
<allstórorðr>; this would support Alan's interpretation.
> Nú hlaupa menn í milli þeirra og stöðva Hall en hann var
> hinn óðasti og gat (geta) þó engu á leið komið að því
> sinni og ekki varð fengi (fengi, not fengr) þeirra skipt.
> Now men jump in between them and stop Hallr but (and) he
> was most-frantic and (but) (he) was-not-able nevertheless
> to bring it about (ie the blow to the head) at that time
> (on that occasion) and their booty did not become divided.
> Now men ran between them and stopped Hall but he was the
> most furious and still was not able to get his way? that
> time and their catch was not divided.
> Now men jump in between them and stop Hall but he was the
> most furious and got though no/any on/in way come to
> therefore journey/help and their ship became not booty.
<Óðasti> here must be 'most furious, most angry'. <Engu> is
the dative of <engi>, and <gat þó engu á leið komit> is 'was
nevertheless able to bring nothing about' (Zoëga s.v. <leið>
(4), <koma e-u á leið> 'to bring something about'); i.e., he
wasn't able to do anything at that time.