> Við því bili reis Hrafn upp, því at hann mátti eigi sofa,
> ok gekk út.
> At that time, Hrafn got up, because he was not able to
> sleep, and went out.
> At that moment Hrafn rose up, because he could not sleep,
> and went out.
At that moment Hrafn got up, because he could not sleep, and
> Ok er hann lauk upp hurðunni, sá hann, at menn váru komnir
> í virkit með vápnum.
> And when he opened the door, he saw that men had come into
> the fortification with weapons.
> And when he opened up the-door, he saw, that persons (men)
> were (had) come into the-stronghold with weapons.
And when he opened the door, he saw that men had come into
the stronghold with weapons.
> Hrafn lauk aftr hurðunni ok skaut loku fyrir ok gekk inn
> ok sagði, at menn váru komnir mjök margir í virkit með
> vápnum, — "ok hafið þér eigi vel vörð haldit í nótt."
> Hrafn shut the door and locked the door and went inside
> and said that very many men had come in the fortification
> with weapons, "and you have not kept watch well tonight."
> Hrafn shut back the-door and shot [the] bolt across and
> walked inside, and said, that very many persons (men) were
> (had) come into the-stronghold with weapons - "and you
> have not well maintained a watch to-night."
Hrafn shut the door and shot the bolt and went inside and
said that a great many men had come into the stronghold with
weapons, — ‘and you have not kept watch well tonight.’
> Nú risu menn upp hvatliga ok vápnuðú sik.
> Men now got up and quickly armed themselves.
> Now persons (men) rose up quickly and armed themselves.
Now folks get up quickly and arm themselves.
> Þeir Þorvalðr viðuðu þegar fyrir dyrr allar ok lögðu eld í
> þekjuna víða.
> Thorvaldr and company piled up wood in front of all the
> doors and set fire to the roofs far and wide.
> They Þorvaldr (OCR error?) [and co] furnished-wood at-once
> in front of all [the] doorway (or, possibly, 'all
> doorways', <dyrr>, being grammatically plural and thus
> ambiguous here) and set fire to the-thatch (or roof, fem
> sg) widely (ie in many places)
Þorvalð and his companions immediately piled up wood in
front of every doorway and set fire to the roof in many
I corrected <Þorvarðr> to <Þorvaldr>.
> Þá er menn Hrafns váru komnir í klæði sín, þá gengu þeir
> til dura, ok spurði Hrafn, hverr fyrir eldinum réði, en
> honum var sagt, at þeir réði fyrir, er kveikti, en
> Þorvaldr væri höfðingi þeira.
> When Hrafn's men had come into their clothes, then they
> went to to the door and asked Hrafn who ordered the fire,
> but it was told to him that they, who kindled, ordered and
> Thorvaldr would be their leader.
> Then when Hrafn's men had dressed themselves (lit: were
> (had) come into their clothes), then they went to [the]
> doorway, and Hrafn asked, who commanded (ie was
> responsible for) the-fire, but (and) [it] was said to him,
> that they, who lit [it] commanded (ie were responsible
> for) [it], but (and) Þorvaldr was (subjunctive of indirect
> speech) their leader.
When Hrafn’s men had got dressed, they went to the doorway,
and Hrafn asked who was in charge of the fire, and he was
told that those who kindled [it] were in charge, and Þorvald
was their leader.
> Hrafn spurði, ef Þorvaldr vildi nökkurar sættir af þeim
> taka, kvað hann ráða skyldu sjálfan fyrir, ef hann gæfi
> bænum frið, en þeim öllum grið, er þar váru fyrir með
> Hrafn asked, if Thorvaldr would want to accept peace from
> them, said he should have mastery over himself, if he gave
> a fine to the farms, and all the peace, when they were
> before with him.
> Hrafn asked, if Þorvaldr wanted to take (ie obtain) some
> agreements from them, [and] declared [that] he (ie
> Þorvaldr) should (ie must) himself command (ie take
> responsibility for)[it], if he would give peace through
> requests (prayers?) (or to the-farmÞ) (<boen> or <boer> ?,
> either way I can´t make sense of this), but (and) [would
> grant] quarter to all those there who were present with
Hrafn asked whether Þorvald would accept any terms from them
[and] said that he himself [i.e., Þorvald] should decide
whether he would grant peace to the farm and quarter to all
those who were present there with him.
> Menn Þorvalds kváðu Hrafn ok hans menn ómakligan sætta.
> Thorvaldr's men stold Hrafn and his men (it was) an
> unworthy settlement.
> Þorvaldr's persons (men) declared Hrafn - and his persons
> (men) - [to be] undeserving of settlements (gen plural).
Þorvald’s men said that Hrafn and his people did not deserve
[‘were not deserving of’] terms.
> Þorvaldr svarar engu, en menn hans höfðu mörg heimslig orð
> um þetta mál.
> Thorvaldr answers nothing, but his men had many foolish
> words concerning this case.
> Þorvaldr answers nothing, but (and) his persons (men) used
> many foolish words concerning this matter.
Þorvald says nothing in reply, but his men had [or used]
many foolish words about this matter.
> Hrafn spurði, hvar Þorvaldr væri eða hví hann svari engu.
> Hrafn asked, where Thorvaldr would be or why he answers
> Hrafn asked, where Þorvaldr was and why he answers
Hrafn asked where Þorvald was or why [if he were present] he
said nothing in reply.
> Hrafn segir, at hann kveðst at Þorvaldi bezt vænta, "því
> at ek þykkjumst af honum góðs eins makligr."
> Hrafn says that he said for himself to best hope for
> Thorvaldr, "because I myself think of him in the same way
> deserving good."
> Hrafn says, that he declared-of-himself to (ie that he
> would) give to Þorvaldr hope of [the] best [kind],
> "because I bethink-myself deserving of a like (similar)
> good from him."
I think that this is generally parallel to this from Ch. 16
of Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar:
Konungr segir, at ekki mátti hann vænta at Þórólfi nema
góðs eins, - “því at ek em engis,” segir hann, “annars af
The king says that he could expect nothing of Þórólf save
only good, — ‘because I am worthy of nothing else.’
Here <at> seems to be used in Zoëga’s sense A.IV(8), or
according to the comment in an old glossary that it can have
the sense of <af> in some contexts. On that interpretation
<eins> in our sentence is not the adverb, but rather
modifies <góðs>. I did consider the possibility that we
have an instance of <kveðjask (e-n) at e-u> — Hrafn says
that he calls on Þorvald for ... or draws Þorvald’s
attention to ... — but I see no way to make that work.
Hrafn says that he declares that he expects the best of
Þorvald, ‘because I think myself deserving only of good from
> Þorvaldr svarar engu.
> Thorvaldr answers nothing.
> Þorvaldr answers nothing.
Þorvald says nothing in reply.
> Þá mælti Hrafn við prest sinn, þann er Valdi hét, ok
> klerka þá, er með honum váru, at þeir skyldu syngja
> óttusöng, ok Hrafn söng með þeim óttusönginn, en menn
> hans, þeir er ólærðir váru, vörðu húsin með vatni ok sýru,
> slíkt er þeir máttu at gera.
> Then Hrafn spoke with his priest, the one named Valdi, and
> the clergy who were with him, that they should sing
> matins, and Hrafn sang matins with them, and/but his men,
> those who were laymen, guarded the house with water and
> sour whey, such as they were able to do.
> Then Hrafn spoke with his priest, that-one (ie he) who
> was-called Valdi, and those clerics, who were with him,
> that they should sing matins, and Hrafn sang the-matins
> with them, but his persons (men), those who were lay (lit:
> unlearned), defended the-farm-buildings with water and
> sour-whey, such as they might do (ie as best they could).
Then Hrafn said to his priest, him who was called Valdi, and
the clergymen who were with him, that they should sing
matins, and Hrafn sang the matins with them, and his men,
those who were laymen [‘unlearned’], defended the farm
buildings with water and sour whey as well as they were able
> Svá höfðu þeir Þorvaldr óvart komit, at engi pati hafði
> farit af ferð þeira.
> So had Thorvaldr et al. arrived unaware, that no rumor had
> gone in regard to their journey.
> They Þorvaldr [and co] had come so unawares, that no
> rumour of their journey had travelled (ie spread).
Þorvald and his companions had taken them so much by
surprise that no rumor of their journey had travelled [ahead
> Þetta sannar Guðmundr skáld:
> Poet Gudmundr affirms this:
> Guðmundr [the] scaldic-poet affirms this:
Guðmund [the] skald asserts this:
> [Option A]
> Óþokki þreifsk ekka
> andærligum blandinn.
> Fjón greri ljótlig ljóna,
> liðak fátt of þat miðlum.
> Beittr vas bragna sættir,
> brandél þrifusk, vélum.
> Stóð, þanns stýrði lýðum,
> stolaherr skörung errinn.
> Dislike I touch grief
> Grief mixed.
> Hatred grew ugly men,
> I expound little of that share.
> Sharp was men's peace,
> Fire-hot-fight was seized, artifice.
> Stood, that common people,
> A band of robbers a leader brisk.
> Displeasure thrived <þrífast>, Z2) - with grief
> vexed mixed.
> Hatred grew, ugly - of men -
> I talk little of that - in-[the]-middle (ie among).
> 'Bitten' (ie dealt cunningly with, pp. of <beita>, Z1, Z4)
> was [the]
> reconciler (<sættir>, masc sg, Z) of men.
> Battles (lit: 'brand, as in sword-edge, showers', <brandr>
> + <él>) thrived <þrífast>, Z2) - by trickery.
> caught <standa>, Z10) , that-one who governed ('steered')
> persons (men),
> A 'stealing-army' (a band of robbers, <stolaherr>,CV, but
> I think more likely to be a 'stealth-army' ie one that
> that steals its way. This seems to be the sense of
> version C) [the]-brisk-and-bold (<errinn>, CV, is this
> related to <örr> adj ? ) person-of-worth
I’ve not been able to discover much of anything about <ern>
and <errinn>, but <ǫrr> is from PGmc. *arwaz, and I can’t
see any reasonable path from there to either of them; if
they are related, I suspect that it’s further back than
To make any kind of English sense I’ve had to interchange
<ekka> and <andærligum> and move <miðlum> up to the third
line. Finally, I’ve interchanged the last two lines.
Hostility throve, with opposing [or bitter]
Ugly hatred grew among men;
I say little about that.
Reconciler of men was subjected to —
sword-blade-storms throve — deceits.
A stealthy host [the] vigorous outstanding man
surprised, him who guided people.
GPH discusses the word <andærligr>. She says that the
element <andær-> is from <and-> and <ár> ‘oar’ (so literally
something like ‘rowing against’) but ‘seems always used in a
metaphorical sense, “opposing, troublesome”’. In one
context <andæri> glosses Latin <amaritudo> ‘bitterness’, so
another possibility here is ‘bitter’, which, she says, could
also be appropriate.
<Ljóna> is the genitive of <ljónar> ‘men’. <Liðak> is
contracted from <liða ek>; CV has the verb <liða>, one
(metaphorical) sense of which is ‘to expound’, and the Lex.
Poet. confirms this, saying that it’s equivalent to
<greina>. Apparently it’s derived from <liðr> ‘joint of the
body’ and is etymologically ‘to dismember’.
<Miðlum> logically belongs with the third line; the rest of
the fourth line is an independent clause.
Among the senses of <beita> offered by Baetke is ‘to subject
someone to something, employ something against someone’; it
fits well here. <Bragna> is the genitive of <bragnar>
‘heroes, men’ (poet.). <Brandél> is a compound from
<brandr> ‘sword blade’ and <él> ‘shower, storm’ (normally of
rain, snow, or hail); it’s a straightforward kenning for
The sense ‘take someone by surprise’ of transitive <standa
e-n> can be found in Lex. Poet.
GPH says that the interpretation of <stolaherr> is
controversial. CV makes it ‘band of robbers’, by analogy
with Old English <stǣlhere>, deriving <stola-> from the verb
<stela> ‘to steal’, but using the base of the past
participle as a compounding element is ‘decidedly
irregular’. She prefers the Lex. Poet. interpretation,
‘stealthy host’, as, apparently, does the author of the
Option C modernization, and I’ve gone with it, though she
acknowledges that CV’s ‘plundering host’ could also fit.
In more natural word order, with contractions expanded:
> Óþokki þreifsk blandinn andærligum ekka. Ljótlig fjón
> greri miðlum ljóna — liða ek fátt of þat. Bragna sættir
> vas beittr vélum; brandél þrifusk. Stolaherr stóð errinn
> skörung, þann er stýrði lýðum.
Hostility throve, mixed with opposing [or bitter] sorrow.
Ugly hatred grew among men; I say little about that. [The]
reconciler of men [= Hrafn] was subjected to deceits; storm
of sword blades [= battle] throve. A stealthy [or
plundering] host surprised [the] vigorous outstanding man,
him who guided people.
I think that this covers Options B and C reasonably well.
> [Option B]
> Óþokki þreifsk blandinn andærligum ekka.
> Dislike I touch mixed cross grief.
> Displeasure thrived <þrífast>, Z2) , mixed with vexed
> Ljótlig fjón greri miðlum ljóna.
> Ugly hatred grew we share men.
> Ugly hatred grew in-[the] middle of men.
> Liðak fátt of þat.
> I expound little of that.
> I speak little of that.
> Bragna sættir vas beittr vélum.
> Men's peace was a sharp artifice.
> [The] reconciler (<sættir>, masc sg, Z) of men was
> 'bitten' (dealt cunningly with, pp. of <beita>, Z1, Z4) by
> Brandél þrifusk.
> Fire-hot-fight was seized.
> Battles(lit: 'brand, as in sword-edge, showers', <brandr>
> + <él>) thrived.
> Stolaherr stóð errinn skörung, þanns stýrði lýðum.
> A band of robbers stood brisk a leader, that steered the
> common people.
> A 'stealing-army' (a band of robbers, <stolaherr>,CV, but
> more like a 'stealth-army' that steals its way. This seems
> to be the sense of version C) caught [the]-brisk-and-bold
> (<errinn>, CV, is this related to <örr> ?
> )person-of-worth, that-one (ie he) who governed
> ('steered') persons (men)
> [Option C]
> Óvild magnaðist, blandin fjandsamlegri beiskju.
> Enmity grew strong, mixed hostility (?) embittered.
> Animosity increases, mixed with hostile rancour.
> Ljótt hatur óx meðal manna.
> Ugly hatred grew between men.
> Ugly hatred grew among persons (men).
> Eg tala fátt um það.
> I speak little concerning that.
> I talk little about that.
> Sættir manna var beittur svikum.
> Man's peace was sharp treason.
> [The] reconciler of persons (men) was 'bitten' (dealt
> cunningly with, pp. of <beita>, Z1, Z4) by treachery.
> Bardagar mögnuðust.
> Battles grew strong.
> Battles intensified.
> Leyniher kom að óvörum hinum hrausta skörungi, sem
> hafði forráð manna.
> (Leyniher?? Secret-troops??) came to unaware the strong
> leader, as had man's management.
> A secret-army came unawares to that valiant
> person-of-worth, who had guardianship of persons (men).
> Þá er lokit var óttusöng, gerðist mikill reykr í húsunum.
> When the matin was finished, there was much smoke in the
> Then when matins was concluded, much smoke arose in
When [the] matins were finished, there came a great smoke
into the farm buildings.
> Eldi sóttu þeir bæinn, en eigi með vápnum.
> Fire attacked their farms, but not with weapons.
> They (nominative) attacked the farm by-means-of fire
> (dative), but (and) not with weapons.
They attacked the farm with fire and not with weapons.