> 11. Utanför Hrafns með Guðmundi byskupsefni.
> Hrafn's journey abroad with bishop-elect Gudmundr.
> 11. Hrafn’s journey-abroad with Guðmundr bishop-elect.
Hrafn’s journey abroad with Bishop-elect Guðmund
> Sá atburðr gerðist norðr at Hólum at byskupsstóli, at
> Brandr byskup tók sótt ok andaðist fjórum nóttum fyrir
> That incident took place north at Holum at an episcopal
> seat, that Bishop Brandr took ill and died four nights
> before Laurentius-mass.
> That incident happened north at [the] episcopal-seat at
> Hólar, that bishop Brandr took ill and died four nights
> before Laurentius-mass (Feast of St Lawrence, 10 August).
That event occurred north at Hólar at [the] episcopal seat
that Bishop Brand took sick and died four nights before the
Feast of St. Laurentius [i.e., on 6 August].
> Ok er hann var andaðr, þá var körinn til byskups af
> Norðlendingum Guðmundr, sonr Ara Þorgeirssonar,
> Hallasonar, Ormssonar, Gellissonar, Omssonar, Hallasonar
> ins hvíta.
> And when he had died, Gudmundr was then chosen as bishop
> of Nordlendingum (North-lands), a son of Ara, son of
> Thorgeir, son of Hallr, son of Ormr, son of Gellir, son of
> Omr, son of Hallr the white.
> And when he was dead, then Guðmundr - son of Ari,
> son-of-Þorgeirr, son of Halli, son-of-Ormr, son-of-Gellir,
> son-of-Ormr [typo?], son-of-Halli the White - was chosen
> (ie elected) as bishop of [the] folk of the North-quarter
> (of Iceland).
And when he was dead, Guðmund, son of Ari, son of Þorgeir,
son of Halli, son of Orm, son of Gellir, son of Orm, son of
Halli <inn hvíti> [‘the white’], was chosen to be bishop of
the Norðlendings [i.e., people of the north quarter of
<Omssonar> is a typo for <Ormssonar>.
> Móðir Guðmundar hét Úlfheiðr Gunnarsdóttir.
> Gudmundir's mother was named Ulfhidr, the daughter of
> [The] mother of Guðmundr was-called Úlfheiðr
Guðmund’s mother was called Úlfheið Gunnarsdóttir.
> Ok er hann var körinn til byskups, þá sendi hann orð
> Hrafni Sveinbjarnarsyni, at hann skyldi koma á fund hans
> norðr í Miðfjörð.
> And when he had been selected as a bishop, then he sent
> word to Hrafn son of Sveinbjarn, that he should come to
> meet with him northwards in Midfiord.
> And when he was chosen (ie elected) as bishop, then he
> sent word to Hrafn Sveinnbjörn’s-son, that he should come
> to see him (lit: to a meeting of him) north in Miðfjörðr.
And when he was chosen to be bishop, he sent word to Hrafn
Sveinbjarnarson that he should come to visit him up north in
> Hrafn fór á fund byskupsefnis, svá sem hann sendi orð til,
> ok er þeir fundust, þá bað byskupsefni, at hann skyldi
> fara utan með honum, því at honum þótti hann bezt til
> fallinn þeirar ferðar fyrir vizku sakir ok vinsældar, er
> hann hafði utanlendis.
> Hrafn went to meet with the biship-elect, so when he sent
> a message, and when they met, then the bishop-elect asked
> that he should travel abroad with him, because it seemed
> to him best suited their journey for the sake of wisdom
> and friendship, which he had abroad.
> Hrafn journeyed to see (lit: to a meeting of) [the]
> bishop-elect, as he (ie Guðmundr) sent word for such [ie
> for that purpose] (<til>, Z4), and when they
> met-one-another, then [the] bishop-elect asked, that he
> (ie Hrafn) should journey abroad with him (ie Guðmundr),
> because, [it] seemed to him (ie Guðmundr) he (ie Hrafn)
> best fitted for that journey for reasons of wisdom and
> [the] popularity, which he had abroad.
Hrafn travelled to visit [the] bishop-elect, as he [= G.]
had sent word to [do], and when they met, [the] bishop-elect
asked that he should travel abroad with him, for he [= G.]
thought him [= H.] best fitted for their journey by reason
of wisdom and [the] popularity that he had abroad.
> Var þar ok in mesta vinátta með þeim Hrafni ok Guðmundi
> inum góða, ok því helt, á meðan þeir lifðu báðir.
> There was also the most friendship between Hrafn and
> Gudmunder the good, and that held fast while they both
> The greatest friendship was also there (ie also existed at
> that point) between them, Hrafn and Guðmundr the good, and
> that continued (<halda>, Z8, impers with dat), while they
> both lived.
There was also at that point the greatest friendship between
Hrafn and Guðmund <inn góði> [‘the good’], and that lasted
while they both lived.
> Frá þessu sagði Guðmundr Svertingsson:
> Concerning this Gudmundr Svertingson said:
> About this, Guðmundr Svertingr’s-son said:
Of this Guðmund Svertingsson said:
> Guðmundr bauð inn góði,
> getk jafnan þess, Hrafni,
> síð mun at enda óðar,
> útferð með sér, lúta.
> Farar leizk flotna stýri
> fallinn bezt inn snjalli
> geira veðrs til góðrar
> gaglnistir forvistu.
The mss. disagree on the sixth line, and GPH chooses the
reading that ends with <inn snjalli> rather than with <með
öllu>. There is also disagreement on the first word of the
last line, for which she prefers the reading <gaglnistir>.
I’ve chosen to follow her in this, since (a) she is
apparently the leading authority on this saga, and (b) the
Lexicon Poeticum (1931) says that <gangnistir> is corrupt.
And the normal order is badly mangled in the last four lines
— so badly that I can’t offer an even semi-understandable
translation that preserves the individual lines. In what
follows I have in effect moved <til góðrar> and <forvistu>
to the beginning of the fifth line.
Guðmund the good invited
(I always speak of that) Hrafn
(late will [I] poem’s end
approach) on a journey out with him.
For journey’s good management seemed to seamen’s captain
best fitted the bold
There are two kennings here. One is <gaglnistir geira
veðrs> ‘spears’ wind’s gosling-feeder’; the spears’s wind is
battle, a gosling-feeder is a bird and more specifically a
raven, and battle’s raven is a (warlike) man. <Nistir> (in
<gaglnistir>) is an agent noun from <nista> ‘to provide with
viands, to feed’ (CV). I should mention that the Lex. Poet.
says that the corrupt <gangnistir> is no doubt for
<gjóðnistir>; here <gjóðr> is ‘osprey, sea hawk’ (CV), and
the Lex. Poet. then takes <geira veðrs gjóðnistir> to be the
<nistir> ‘feeder’ of the <geira veðrs gjóðr> ‘spears’ wind’s
osprey’ = ‘raven’, the feeder of the raven of course being a
warrior. The ultimate sense of the kenning is therefore the
same, though by a slightly different route.
The other kenning is <flotna stýrir> ‘seamen’s captain’ for
a ruler of men. Finally, <lúta> in <lúta at enda óðar>
means ‘to approach’.
Here is GPH’s unmangled version:
> Guðmundr inn góði bauð Hrafni útferð með sér — get ek
> jafnan þess — síð man lúta at enda óðar. Inn snjalli geira
> veðrs gaglnistir leizk flotna stýri bezt fallinn til
> góðrar forvistu farar.
Guðmund the good offered Hrafn a journey out with him — I
always speak of that — late will [I] approach [the] end of
[the] poem [i.e., it will take a while to reach the end].
The bold gosling-feeder of spears’s wind [i.e., bold
(warlike) man = Hrafn] seemed to seamen’s captain [i.e.,
ruler of men = Guðmund] best fitted for good management of
> Guðmundr inn góði bauð Hrafni útferð með sér.
> Gudmunder the godi asked Hrafn to travel abroad with him.
> Guðmundr the Good (<góði>, not <goði>) offered Hrafn a
> journey-abroad with him.
Guðmund the good offered Hrafn a journey out [from Iceland]
> Getk jafnan þess.
> I always get that.
> I mention (<geta> with gen, Z.ii) that constantly.
I always speak of that.
> Síð mun lúta at enda óðar.
> Late will I bow to end poetry.
> Late will [I] be-thankful for (or, perhaps, bow down for,
> <lúta>, Z4?) [the] end (<endi>, noun?) of [the] poetry
> (looks like a genitive ending to me).
Late will [I] approach [the] end of [the] poem.
The omitted subject of <mun> could probably also be an
> Flotna stýri leizk geira veðrs gangnistir með öllu bezt
> fallinn farar til góðrar forvistu.
> Rudder floats it seemed goar weather (gangnistir??) weith
> all best suited to travel to good leadership.
> [The] warrior (eagle-feeder of [the] wind of spears,
> <gangnistir> nominative, probably = <gjóðnistir> Lexicin
> poeticum, 1931) sought [the] captain (acc of <stýrir> =
> <stýrimaðr>) of seamen (ie the leader of men, chief) best
> fitted withal for journeys on account of good leadership.
[The] feeder of spears’ weather’s osprey seemed to seamen’s
captain quite [the] best suited for [the] journey in respect
of good management.
Here I’ve followed the suggestion in Lex. Poet. regarding
<gangnistir>. Since <farar> is genitive (of <för>), it
appears that we are to assume a virtual <til> before it, as
in the modern Icelandic version below.
> Guðmundur hinn góði bauð Hrafni utanför með sér.
> Gudmundr the good asked Hranfi (to travel) abroad with
> Guðmundr the good invited (<bjóða> not <bíða>) Hrafn to a
> journey-abroad with him.
Guðmund the good invited Hrafn to a journey abroad with him.
> Eg get þess oftlega.
> I get that often.
> I mention (<geta> with gen, Z.ii) that often.
I often mention that.
> Seint mun kvæðið enda.
> Slowly will the poem come to an end.
> Late will [I] the-poem bring-to-an-end (<enda>, verb).
The poem will end late.
> Höfðingjanum leizt bardagamaðurinn (Hrafn) að öllu leyti
> bezt fallinn til fararinnar til góðrar forustu.
> It seemed to the leaders the warrior (Hrafn) that all a
> part best suited for the trips to good leadership.
> The warrior (Hrafn) sought the chief, in every part best
> fitted for the-journey by reason of (<til>, Z4)
It seemed [<líta>, not <leita>] to the leader that the
warrior (Hrafn) was in all respects best suited to the
journey for good leadership.
> Ok fyrir því at Hrafn var vinr Guðmundar, þá hét hann
> honum förinni, ok eftir þat fór Hrafn vestan ór fjörðum
> norðr til skips í Eyjafjörð á fund Guðmundar byskupsefnis.
> And because Hrafn was Gudmundr's friend, then he called
> him the trip (?), and after that Hrafn went from the west
> out of north fiords to a ship in Eyjafjord (Island-fiord)
> to meet Biship-elect Gudmundr.
> And for that that (ie because) Hrafn was a friend of
> Guðmundr, then he promised him the-journey (ie promised to
> take the journey), and after that Hrafn journeyed
> from-the-west out-of [the] fjords north to [the] ship in
> Eyjafjörðr to a meeting with Guðmundr bishop-elect.
And because Hrafn was Guðmund’s friend, he promised him the
journey [i.e., to travel with him], and after that Hrafn
travelled east from the (West) Fjords [and] north to [the]
ship in Eyjafjörð to meet with Bishop-elect Guðmund.
> Í þeiri för var með Hrafni Tómas Þórarinsson, annarr maðr
> Þórðr Vermundarson, þriði Eyjólfr Snorrason.
> On their journey with Hrafn was Tomas Thorarinson, second
> a man (by the name of) Thordr Vermundarson, third Eyjolfr
> On that journey with Hrafn was Tómas Þórarinn’s-son; a
> second person [was] Þórðr Vermundr’s-son, a third Eyjólfr
On that journey with Hrafn were [‘was’] Tómas Þórarinsson, a
second man, Þórð Vermundarson, [and] a third, Eyjólf
> Byskupsefni varð feginn Hrafni ok hans förunautum.
> The Bishop-elect rejoiced (at) Hrafn and his companions.
> [The] bishop-elect was glad of Hrafn and his
[The] bishop-elect was glad at the arrival of Hrafn and his
> Ok er skip var búit ok veðr gaf til, þá létu þeir í haf.
> And when the ship ("sldp" looks like an OCR error to me)
> was ready and good weather arrived, then they put out to
> And when [the] ship was ready and [it] gave wind/weather
> towards [it], (ie they had favourable wind/weather), then
> they put-out to sea.
And when [the] ship was prepared and [the] wind was
favorable, they put out to sea.
I corrected the apparent OCR error for <skip>.
> Þeim byrjaði erfiðliga um sumarit ok váru lengi úti.
> They got pain and toil wind during the summer and they
> were a long time out.
> [It] blew adversely for them (ie they got adverse winds,
> (<byrja>, impers) during the-summer and [they] were a
> long-time out [at sea]
They got contrary winds during the summer and were out at
sea for a long time.
> Rak þá suðr í haf, svá at þeir höfðu fogl af Írlandi.
> It then drove south in the sea, so that they met with sea
> birds from Ireland. (Z. fugl: hafa f. af landi, to meet
> with land-birds, to be near land)
> [It] drove them south (ie they were driven south) in [the]
> sea, so that they had a fowl (masc sg acc) off Ireland (ie
> they were within 50-70 miles of the Irish coast).
[They] were driven south over the sea, so that they
encountered birds from Ireland.
Baetke says that <fugl> ~ <fogl>, is a collective noun and
translates it in this and another setting with the plural.
At this point a good deal is omitted, as noted in footnote
13; it’s about four and a half pages in GPH. The end up in
the north of Scotland, whence they travel to the Hebrides,
thence to Norway, and finally home, where the story here
takes up again. (And we’ve avoided about seven vísur.)
> Allir vinir Hrafns urðu honum fegnir, er hann kom heim, en
> hann valdi sínum ástvinum, þeim er hann fundu, góðar
> All Hrafn's friends rejoiced over him, when he arrived
> home, and he wielded (to) his intimate friends, those who
> he met, good gifts.
> All friends of Hrafn became glad of him, when he came
> home, but (and) he chose (picked out, <velja>) good gifts
> for his dear-friends, those whom he met,
All of Hrafn’s friends greeted him joyfully when he came
home, and he gave [‘chose, selected’] good gifts to his dear
friends, those whom he met.
> Svá segir Guðmundr:
> Gudmundr thus says:
> So says Guðmundr:
Thus says Guðmund:
> Hverr gekk hyrjar þverrir
> hodda brjót at móti,
> hrings es heim kom slöngvir,
> haukstrandar fagnandi.
> En menfergi mörgum
> mótrunnr frömum spjóta,
> æ sé efri skýjum
> ókvalðr, gjafar valði.
Here I’ve made two changes, following GPH: <menfergi> for
<menfergir>, and <mótrunnr> for <mótrunn>, interchanging the
subject and indirect object of <valði>. GPH has no comment,
and her version also appears in a standard edition of
Biskupa sögur at
It also agrees with the ms. sources given at
Went each decreaser of fire of
to meet [the] destroyer of treasures
when [the] ring’s slinger came home.
And for many a necklace-destroyer
outstanding [the] meeting-tree of spears —
may [he] always be above the clouds
free of torment — selected gifts.
I was able to preserve the individual lines, but in order to
make it at least marginally understandable I had to move the
fourth line up to second position: the second line of the
translation corresponds to the fourth line of the vísa.
(Here <ókvalðr> is CV’s <úkvaldr> ‘untormented’.)
Disentangled a bit:
Each decreaser of fire of hawk-strand went rejoicing to meet
[the] destroyer of treasures when [the] ring’s slinger came
home. And [the] meeting-tree of spears — may [he] always be
untormented above the clouds — selected gifts for many an
<þverrir haukstrandar hyrjar> ‘decreaser of fire of
hawk-strand’: The hawk-strand is a person’s arm, and its
fire is gold, whose decreaser is a (generous) man.
<brjótr hodda> ‘destroyer of treasures’: This is another
kenning for a (generous) man.
<menfergir> ‘necklace-destroyer’: Yet another kenning for a
<spjóta mótrunnr> ‘meeting-tree (moot-tree) of spears’: In
kennings a tree is a man, so this is a kenning for a
For the actual sense we therefore have:
Each (generous) man went rejoicing to meet the (generous)
man when he came home. And the (warlike) man [i.e.,
Hrafn] selected gifts for many an outstanding (generous)
man. May he always be free of torment above the clouds.
The last sentence is apparently intended to say that Hrafn
deserved to bypass Purgatory. GPH says that the emphasis on
generosity may be a deliberate exaggeration to stress
The translations of the first and third sentences of the B
and C versions are similar to what I have here, and that of
the second sentence differs only in the interchange of
kennings for giver and recipients.
> [Option B]
> Hverr haukstrandar hyrjar þverrir gekk fagnandi at móti
> hodda brjót, es hrings slöngvir kom heim.
> Which (haukstrandar = haukstaldr?) man of fire went
> rejoicing against
> Each generous man (adversary of [the] arm of fire [sword],
> Lexicon Poeticum, 1931) went rejoicing (in good cheer) to
> a meeting of [the] breaker of treasures (ie man), when
> [the] distributor of [the] ring (ie man) came home.
Each decreaser of fire of hawk-strand went rejoicing to meet
the destroyer of treasures when the ring’s slinger came
> En menfergir valði gjafar mörgum frömum spjóta mótrunn.
> And/but a man chose many gifts prominent spear (mótrunn?).
> But [the] generous man chose gifts for many a prominent
> (<framr>) ‘meeting-tree’ (presumably this is the dat sg
> form of <mótrunnr> = <mótruðr>, Lexicon Poeticum, 1931) of
> spears (ie warrior)
And the necklace-destroyer selected gifts for many a
prominent meeting-tree of spears.
> Æ sé ókvalðr efri skýjum:
> Would always be un-tormented above the clouds.
> Always [he] would-be untormented above [the] clouds (ie in
May [he] always be untormented above the clouds.
The subjunctive here has an optative sense, expressing a
> [Option C]
> Hver maður gekk fagnandi á móti hinum örláta manni, er
> hann kom heim.
> Which man went rejoicing against the open-handed man, when
> he came come.
> Each person (man) went rejoicing (in good cheer) to a
> meeting with that open-handed (generous) person (man),
> when he came home.
Each man went rejoicing to meet the open-handed man when he
> En hann valdi gjafir mörgum hraustum bardagamanni.
> And/but he caused many gifts (to be given) to valiant
> But (And) he chose (picked out, <velja>) gifts for many a
> valiant warrior.
And he selected gifts for many a brave warrior.
> Lifi hann ætíð ókvalinn ofar skýjum.
> Life he always un-tormented higher up clouds.
> He would-live always untormented (at peace) higher-up than
> (ie above) [the] clouds (ie in heaven).
May he live always untormented above the clouds.