At 10:51:47 PM on Monday, July 19, 2010, rob13567 wrote:
> Translation follows. Actually "translation" may be too
> strong a word here in the sense that normally you are
> supposed to be able to understand a translation, and there
> are several areas where I have a words in English
> purporting to be a translation, but I am not sure exactly
> what they mean....
This one definitely has some challenging spots.
I've added Grace's translations after yours.
> Þetta líkaði Melkorku þungt, þótti fóstrið of lágt.
> This satisfied Melkork oppressive, thought the fostering
> too low.
<Þungt> 'heavy, oppressive' has to be understood
metaphorically here, pretty much as a synonym for <illa>:
'This displeased M.'.
> Melkorka didn't think much of this, thought the fostering
> (to be) in a low station.
Rob's right about the 'too' (<of>): 'too low [in station]'.
> Höskuldur kvað hana eigi sjá kunna: "Er Þórður gamall
> maður og barnlaus og ætla eg Ólafi allt fé eftir hans dag
> en þú mátt hitta hann ávallt er þú vilt."
> Hoskuld stated she did not understand: "Thord is an old
> man and childless and intends (eg?) all wealth after his
> day to Olaf but/and you can meet-with him always that you
> (are) agreeable.
See Zoëga s.v. <kunna> (10): <kunna> + infinitive is 'to be
> Hoskuld said of her not to be able to see (it that way),
> "Thord is an old man and childless and I expect Olaf(to
> get) all his wealth after his day and you may visit him
> always when you wish."
I would make it 'H. said that she was not able to see [the
advantages of the arrangement]'.
> Síðan tók Þórður við Ólafi sjö vetra gömlum og leggur við
> hann mikla ást.
> Then Thorolf received Olaf seven years/winters old and
> added to him much love/affection.
> Afterwards Thord took Olaf at seven years of age and
> showered him with much love.
The second verb is present tense: 'and showers much
affection on him'. (Past tense would be <lagði>.)
> Þetta spyrja þeir menn er mál áttu við Þórð godda og þótti
> nú fjárheimtan komin fastlegar en áður.
> Such men hear of this which talk had with Thorolf Gooda
> and was now thought the claim-for-money come strongly than
> Those men who had actions against Thord goddi learned this
> and thought now (to see) a stronger (opportunity) than
> before to get money back (had) arrived. ( M&P have exactly
> the opposite sense here, but I don't understand how.)
I found two clues. First, Zoëga has <e-t horfir fastliga>
'it looks hard, difficult'. Secondly, where he has <vera
fastliga kominn> 'to be set fast', CV glosses it 'to be fast
shut up'. One could therefore interpret the last bit as
'and the claim for money owed now seemed more firmly shut up
(fastligar komin) than before', i.e., more firmly held in
check, more difficult to pursue successfully.
> Höskuldur sendi Þórði gelli góðar gjafir og bað hann eigi
> styggjast við þetta, því að þeir máttu engi fé heimta af
> Þórði fyrir laga sakir, kvað Vigdísi engar sakir hafa
> fundið Þórði þær er sannar væru og til brautgangs mættu
> metast "og var Þórður eigi að verr menntur þótt hann
> leitaði sér nokkurs ráðs að koma þeim manni af sér er
> settur var á fé hans og svo var sökum horfinn sem hrísla
> Hoskuld sent Thord Gelli good gifts and asked him not to
> be offended with this, because they would be permitted
> (to) claim no money of Thord for on-account-of laws,
> stated Vigdis nothing on-account-of has found-fault-with
> Thord such which proves (to) be and until departure
> be-able to-be-valued "and was Thord not to worse
> accomplished thought he (to) try himself somewhat plan to
> come such a man of himself which places was to his wealth
> and so was cause forsaken-by-luck as a juniper twig.
> Hoskuld sent Thord gelli good gifts and bade him not be
> offended by this, because they could not get money back
> from Thord for sake of the law, declared of Vigdis to have
> found no cases (against) Thord those which were true and
> able to be reckoned to help, "and Thord was not worse
> accomplished although he sought some means for himself to
> get rid of that person who was sitting on his money and
> was so twisted a case as a twig."
<Fyrir laga sakir> is literally 'for the law's sake, on
account of the law', but in practice it seems to mean
'according to the law, legally': 'because according to the
law they could claim no money from þórð'. After that the
going gets harder.
The first problem is <brautgangr>. None of the dictionaries
that I use has it, but Fritzner's Ordbog over det gamle
norske Sprog has the compound <brautgangssök> 'a matter that
justifies one spouse in leaving the other, demanding divorce
or annulment of the marriage'. It also has the compound
<brautgangshöfuðsmátt> 'an opening for the head so large
that a man's nipples are visible', noting that a man who
wore a shirt with such an opening thereby gave his wife
grounds for divorce. A <brautgangr> is literally a
walking-away, but at least in this context it seems to be
more specifically walking away from a marriage, spousal
The next problem is interpreting the two datives, <Vigdísi>
and <Þórði>. <Engar sakir> could be nom. or acc. plural,
but it much better sense as the object of <hafa fundið> than
as the subject. <Kvað ... hafa fundið> appears to be the
<kveða> + infinitive construction (Zoëga s.v. <kveða> (1)).
<Vigdís> would make sense as the subject of <hafa fundið>,
but we have the dative <Vigdísi> instead. I can only think
that <Vigdísi> and <Þórði> are datives of respect: Höskuld
'said of Vigdís to have found no charges concerning Þórð
that were true and could be counted for spousal desertion'.
In real English that might be 'said that V. had found no
charges against Þ. that were true and could justify spousal
I think that for <menntur> 'bred' is probably better than
'accomplished' in this case. <Settur> is the past
participle of <setja>, 'set, placed, put', not the present
participle, 'sitting'; recalling the circumstances, I think
that the idea is that Þórólf was imposed on him and might
cost him a great deal. <Horfinn> is the past participle of
<hverfa>, here in the sense 'surrounded', with the
surrounding things, <sökum>, in the dative. <Eini> is the
dative of <einir> 'juniper'.
I make the part in quotation marks something like this: 'and
Þ. was not worse bred although he tried to find some way to
get rid of the man who was imposed on his wealth and was as
surrounded by charges as a twig [is] by a juniper'.
> En er þessi orð komu til Þórðar frá Höskuldi og þar með
> stórar fégjafir þá sefaðist Þórður gellir og kvaðst það
> hyggja að það fé væri vel komið er Höskuldur varðveitti og
> tók við gjöfum og var þetta kyrrt síðan og um nokkuru
> færra en áður.
> When this word came to Thord from Hoskuld and there with
> large gifts-of-money then Thord Gellir was appeased and
> stated-for-himself that (he) believed that that money
> would be well come which Hoskuld kept and received the
> gifts and this was then quiet and around some coolness
> than before.
> And when these words came to Thord from Hoskuld and there
> with important gifts of money then Thord gellir is soothed
> and said he thinks that money were well disposed which
> Hoskuld kept and accepted (the) gifts and afterwards this
> was quiet and somewhat less ? than before about.
Grace: <færra> is from <fár> 'few; cold, reserved'.
And when these words came to Þórð from Höskuld, and with
them large gifts of money, Þórð gellir was appeased and
said that he believes the money to be in good hands that
Höskuld had in his care, and accepted [the] gifts; and
afterwards this [matter] was quiet, but somewhat cooler
Presumably the sense of that last bit is that the gifts
ended the serious quarrel, but they weren't as good friends
as they'd been before.
> Svo var hann vænn maður að eigi fékkst hans jafningi.
> He was so promising a man that none gained-themselves his
> So handsome a man was he that none would try? (to be) his
Here the <-sk> form is a passive, synonymous with the
impersonal sense at Zoëga s.v. <fá> (10): 'So handsome a man
was he that his equal was not to be found'.
> Þá er hann var tólf vetra gamall reið hann til þings og
> þótti mönnum það mikið erindi úr öðrum sveitum að undrast
> hversu hann var ágætlega skapaður.
> When he was twelve years/winters old he rode to (the)
> Thing and it-was-thought by-men that great mission out-of
> (öðrum = other?) districts that wondered how he was
> commendably created.
Yes: <öðrum> is the dative sing. masc. and dat. plural (all
genders) of <annarr> 'other, second'.
> Then when he was twelve years old, he rode to (the) Thing
> and people thought it a mighty errand out of other
> companies to wonder how excellent he was built.
Not 'to wonder' -- that would be the plain verb, <undra> --
but 'to wonder at, to admire': this is the <-sk> form,
<undrask> (now <undrast>). It looks to me as if the verb
<koma> is to be understood: 'people thought it a great
matter [to come] from other districts to wonder at how
splendidly he was built'. 'A great matter' could be taken
in more than one way, but context suggests that it should be
understood as 'a worthwhile matter'.
> Þar eftir hélt Ólafur sig að vopnabúnaði og klæðum.
> After that Olaf himself kept to armor and clothes.
> There after Olaf comported himself (well as) to armor and
Rob: you want Zoëga s.v. <halda> (II.5), which gives 'to
comport oneself' for <halda sik>. The dative case for
<vápnabúnaði> and <klæðum> is what makes it 'as to armor and
clothing', and the <vel> 'well' is understood.
> Var hann því auðkenndur frá öllum mönnum.
> Therefore he was of-distinguished-appearance from all men.
> He was (because of) it easy to recognize by all people.
Rob's essentially right. I'd say 'Thus he was easily
distinguished from all [other] men'. Come to think of it,
the idiom 'stood out from' fits very well here.
> Miklu var ráð Þórðar godda betra síðan Ólafur kom til
> Much better was (the) state-of-life (of) Thord Godd after
> Olaf came to him.
> Many were in agreement (?) (that) Thord goddi (became)
> better after Olaf came to him.
Rob's got it: you want Zoëga s.v. <ráð> (7).
> Höskuldur gaf honum kenningarnafn og kallaði pá.
> Hoskuld gave him a surname and called (him) there-upon.
> Hoskuld gave him the kenning name (Peacock) and called
> (him that) then.
Probably the translation of <kenningarnafn> that best
matches everyday English usage is 'nickname', though the
semi-technical 'byname' is really the best choice. <Pá>
'peacock' is the byname that Höskuld gave him. (In my
experience you're likelier to see it in the alternate form
<pái>: Óláfr pái turns up in Landnámabók and several of the
sagas.) 'H. gave him a byname/nickname and called [him]
> Það nafn festist við hann.
> That name stuck fast to/with him.
> That name stuck with him.
> Það er sagt frá Hrapp að hann gerðist úrigur viðureignar,
> veitti nú nábúum sínum svo mikinn ágang að þeir máttu
> varla halda hlut sínum fyrir honum.
> That is said of Hrapp that he became ill-tempered, given
> now his neighbors so much aggression that they scarcely
> were-able keep their condition before him.
> It is said of Hrapp that he became ill-tempered to deal
> with, gave his neighbors now such serious agression that
> they could scarcely keep their position because of him.
> Hrappur gat ekki fang á Þórði fengið síðan Ólafur færðist
> á fætur.
> Hrapp got no hold on Thord's booty after Olaf grew up. (Z.
> fra 4 - refl., frast á ftr, to grow up)
> Hrapp got no hold grasped on Thord after Olaf grew up.
The construction in the main clause is <geta> + past
participle 'to be able to'; <fengið> is the past part. of
<fá>, so we're dealing with <fá fang á e-m> 'to get hold of
someone' (Zoëga s.v. <fang>). In context, though, that
can't be quite right; the sense must rather be 'Hrapp was
not able to get [any] hold on Þórð after Ólaf grew up'.
> Hrappur hafði skaplyndi hið sama en orkan þvarr því að
> elli sótti á hendur honum svo að hann lagðist í rekkju af.
[None from Rob.]
> Hrapp had a disposition the same but power for work
> decreased because old age sought his hands so that he took
> to his bed.
According to Zoëga s.v. <hönd>, <á hendr> can function as a
Hrapp had the same disposition but the [i.e., his]
strength waned because old age advanced against him, so
that he took to his bed.