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Old Norse Online

Lesson 7

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

The year 1066 witnessed the great powerplay for control of England. England had been under the control of Edward the Confessor, but he was near death in 1065. The most important question was that of succession. Edward seems to have wanted to cede control to Duke William of Normandy, son of Duke Robert, who had received Edward during his exile under Canute the Great. In recent years, however, Harold, Earl of Wessex, had gained such power that he too might make a bid for the throne. Harold nevertheless undermined his position by taking an oath of loyalty to William when he was sent to the latter's court by Edward to bring confimation of William's succession. Also in the fray was King Harald Sighurtharson of Norway, a viking warrior also known as Harald Hardrada. He had served the Byzantine emperors as a mercenary and subsequently took the throne in Norway in 1047, constantly fighting with King Svein of Denmark for dominance in the region. Harald too had a claim to the throne of England based on a treaty in 1038-39 between Norway's King Magnus and the English Harthacnut. Finally, before his death on 5 January 1066, Edward chose to cede the throne to the strongest power in England, that of Harold. This led to the series of events related below.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is an important source for our knowledge of the events of 1066. The following is an excerpt from that year's entry.

"1066 In this year King Harold came from York to Westminster during Easter, which occured after the midwinter in which the king had died. This Easter was on the 16th day of the kalends of May.

"At that time round all of England were seen portents in heaven such as no man had seen before. Some said that what other men called the 'hairy' star was in fact a comet, and it first showed itself on the eve of the Greater Litany, that is the 8th of the kalends of May, and so shone all seven nights.

"Immediately thereafter Earl Tostig came from overseas to Wight with as great a force as he could muster, and people there gave him supplies and provisions; then he left there and harried the coast wherever he was able, until he arrived at Sandwich. Then someone informed King Harold, who was in London, that his brother Tostig had come to Sandwich. And so he gathered great fleets and armies such as no king had ever assembled on land, since he had been assured that Earl William of Normandy, kin of King Edward, intended to arrive and overrun the land -- just as later would happen.

"When Tostig found out that King Harold was near Sandwich, he departed Sandwich and took with him some of his shipmen -- some willingly, some unwillingly -- and turned north toward the Humber, and there harried Lindsey and killed many good men. When the earls Edwine and Morkere discovered this, they went there and drove them from the land. So he went to Scotland, and the king of the Scots protected him and and gave him provisions, and he remained there the entire summer.

"Then King Harold came to Sandwich and awaited his troop, for it was quite a while before he could get it in place. And when the troop was finally collected, he travelled to Wight and stayed there for the whole summer and autumn; one could find land forces all beside the sea, though in the end it would be of no avail.

"When it came to the Nativity of St. Mary, the men's supplies ran out, and no one could keep them there any longer. So he permitted the men to leave, and the king rode inland, and he drove the ships to London, though many died before they reached there.

"When the ships reached home, King Harald of Norway went north to the Tyne unexpectedly with a fleet quite large and by no means small -- maybe three hundred ships or more -- and Earl Tostig met him with all that he had gathered, just as they had agreed before; and the two went with the entire troop along the Ouse up toward York.

"Then someone informed King Harold in the south, when he stepped off the ship, that King Harald of Norway and Earl Tostig had come up near Sandwich. Then he travelled northward day and night as quickly as he could gather his force. Before the king could arrive there, the earls Edwine and Morkere gathered from their earldom as great a force as they could muster and fought with that army and pitched a fierce battle, and a great part of the English retinue was struck down or drowned or put to flight, and the Norwegians held sway over the battlefield. This battle fell on the eve of St. Matthew the Apostle, which was a Wednesday. And after that battle King Harald of Norway and Earl Tostig went to York with as great a force as seemed fitting to them, and they were given hostages from the town and supplied with provisions; and so from there they went to the fleet, and they agreed that, for complete peace, they all would go south with him and overtake the land.

"Meanwhile Harold, king of the Angles, came with his retinue on Sunday to Tadcaster, and there arrayed his troop, and then went on Monday throughout York. But Harald, king of Norway, and Earl Tostig and their retinue had travelled by ship beyond York to Stamford Bridge, because they were promised with certainty that they would be brought hostages from throughout the shire. Then Harold, king of the Angles, came upon them unexpectedly across the bridge, and they clashed and were engulfed in bitter fighting through the day. There Harald, king of Norway, and Earl Tostig were killed and a countless number of men with them, both of the Norwegians and of the English. The Norwegians who were left were put to flight, and the English behind them struck violently until some reached the ships; some were drowned, some burned, and died in so many ways that there was little left. So the Angles held sway over the battlefield.

"The king gave quarter to Olaf, son of the Norwegian king, and to their bishop and to the earl of Orkney, and to all those who remained on the ships. They went up to our king and swore oaths that they would always maintain peace and friendship toward this land, and the king let them depart with 24 ships.

"These two battles were conducted within five nights."

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following selection comes from Fagrskinna, so named because of the exceptionally beautiful binding of one of the manuscripts (subsequently lost due to fire). The work describes Norwegian history during the period from Halfdan the Black to 1177, and was written by an Icelander for King Hakon of Norway in roughly 1240. The story which follows is an excerpt from the account of the battle at Stamford Bridge, giving a more elaborate portrayal of the events on the battlefield just before the armies clashed.

The text is Norwegian and shows dialectal variation. Chief among these features are Old Norwegian where Old Icelandic has e, a lack of u-mutation in certain forms (e.g. takum and sannum), and alternate endings -ir and -it for the 2nd person plural -i of Old Icelandic. It is common scribal practice to write the spirant g as gh.

On a literary level the passage is far different from its Anglo-Saxon counterpart. The author employs the simple and direct style of other sagas. The ON recension of the events at Stamford Bridge attempts more to craft a story, whereas the Old English Chronicle served merely to record events. The ON version is augmented by the dramatic relating of the dialogue of the main characters, which is capped by moments of poetic recital. The skaldic craft of poetic composition was extremely technical, often interlacing two separate statements in one. When this is done, it is the common practice of modern editors to help the reader by enclosing the words of one of the sentences within parentheses. This practice is followed in the second of the poems below, so that the words in parentheses, when taken together, form a sentence or clause grammatically distinct from the words outside the parentheses.

Haraldr konongr Sighurarsun ri svrtum hesti blesttom firir framan fylking sna ok s hvrsu liit st, ok skipae im framar er villde hann.

  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • Sighurarsun -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Sighurarsun> Sigurtharson -- Sigurtharson
  • ri -- verb; 3rd singular past of <ra> ride; ride over -- rode
  • svrtum -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <svartr> black -- on a black
  • hesti -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <hestr> stallion, horse -- horse
  • blesttom -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <blesttr> having a white mark on the forehead -- with a white mark
  • firir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- out
  • framan -- adverb; <framan> from the front side; forward -- before
  • fylking -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <fylking> battle array, host -- troop
  • sna -- possessive adjective; accusative singular feminine of <snn> own, one's own -- his
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • s -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- saw
  • hvrsu -- interrogative adverb; <hversu> how, however -- how
  • liit -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <li> people; band, host; troops; herd; help, aid + definite article; nominative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the retinue
  • st -- verb; 3rd singular past of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- was positioned
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • skipae -- verb; 3rd singular past of <skipa (a)> array, draw up; assign (a seat); put in order; set; occupy -- he arranged
  • im -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative plural masculine of <s> that -- them
  • framar -- adverb; comparative of <fram> forward, on; away; out -- further forward
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • villde -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend -- wanted
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he

Ok esse ri fell hestrenn undir hanum oc konongrenn framm af, oc mllti, "Fall er farar hill."

  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- during
  • esse -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular feminine of <sj> this -- this
  • ri -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <rei> chariot; riding -- ride
  • fell -- verb; 3rd singular past of <falla> fall, fall down; flow; be slain -- falls
  • hestrenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hestr> stallion, horse + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the horse
  • undir -- preposition; <undir> under, below; beneath; up to; behind -- beneath
  • hanum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • konongrenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the king
  • framm -- adverb; <fram> forward, on; away; out -- from
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- off (it)
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • mllti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- he said
  • fall -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <fall> fall -- a fall
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • farar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <fr> journey, expedition -- for a journey
  • hill -- noun, feminine/neuter; nominative singular of <heill> good luck; good omen -- a good sign

mllti Haraldr nghla konongr vir Normenn er me hanum vro, "Kenndo r enn hinn myckla mer im bl kyrtli oc hin faghra hialm, er er skaut sr af hestinum frem?

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • mllti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- spoke
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • nghla -- proper noun, masculine plural; genitive of <Englar> Angles, the English -- of the Angles
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • vir -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- with
  • Normenn -- proper noun, masculine; accusative plural of <Normar> a Norwegian -- of the Norsemen
  • -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative plural masculine of <s> that -- ...
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- who
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • hanum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • vro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- were
  • kenndo -- verb; 3rd plural past <kenna (d)> know; perceive; taste; feel; recognize; name, tell; teach -- do... know
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you # r from earlier r, with co-opted from the 2nd pers. pl. verb ending
  • enn -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <s> that -- that
  • hinn -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <hinn> this one; that; the -- ...
  • myckla -- adjective; weak accusative singular masculine of <mikill> great, large, big; severe -- noble (man)
  • mer -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • im -- demonstrative used as adjective; dative singular masculine of <s> that -- the
  • bl -- adjective; weak dative singular masculine of <blr> blue; black -- blue
  • kyrtli -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <kyrtil> kirtle, tunic -- kirtle
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • hin -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <hinn> this one; that; the -- ...
  • faghra -- adjective; weak accusative singular masculine of <fagr (ran)> fair, beautiful -- impressive
  • hialm -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hjlmr> helmet -- helmet # Notice the switch from dative (im... kyrtli) to accusative (hinn... hialm) after me.
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- who
  • er -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place -- ...
  • skaut -- verb; 3rd singular past of <skjta> shoot, throw -- launched
  • sr -- reflexive pronoun; dative of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- himself
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- off
  • hestinum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <hestr> stallion, horse + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- his horse
  • frem -- adverb; <fram> forward, on; away; out -- ...

eir svarao, "Kennom vr; et var Normanna konongr." mllti nghla konongr, "Mikill mar oc hfinghlegr er hann, oc hitt er n venna at farinn s at hamingiu."

  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <s> that -- they
  • svarao -- verb; 3rd plural past of <svara (a)> answer -- answered
  • kennom -- verb; 1st plural present <kenna (d)> know; perceive; taste; feel; recognize; name, tell; teach -- know
  • vr -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ek> I -- we
  • et -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • Normanna -- proper noun, masculine; genitive plural of <Normar> a Norwegian -- of the Norsemen
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- the king
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • mllti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- said
  • nghla -- proper noun, masculine plural; genitive of <Englar> Angles, the English -- of the Angles
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- the king
  • mikill -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <mikill> great, large, big; severe -- a great
  • mar -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- man
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • hfinghlegr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <hfinghlegr> princely -- princely
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • hitt -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <hinn> this one; that; the -- it
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- ...
  • venna -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of comparative of <vnn> likely; fair to behold -- likely
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • farinn -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- come
  • s -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- has
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • hamingiu -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <hamingja> luck -- (the end of his) luck

N ra fram xx riddarar fyrir fylking Normanna oc allir albryniaer. mlti inn riddarenn, "Hvar er Tsti iarl, hvrt er hann lii ea ighi?"

  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • ra -- verb; 3rd plural present of <ra> ride; ride over -- ride
  • fram -- adverb; <fram> forward, on; away; out -- out
  • xx -- numeral; <tuttugu> twenty -- 20
  • riddarar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <riddari> rider, horseman -- horsemen
  • fyrir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- before
  • fylking -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <fylking> battle array, host -- the host
  • Normanna -- proper noun, masculine; genitive plural of <Normar> a Norwegian -- of the Norsemen
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • allir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all (are)
  • albryniaer -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <albryniar> all clad in mail, in a byrnie -- clad in mail
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • mlti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- said
  • inn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- one
  • riddarenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <riddari> rider, horseman + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- horseman
  • hvar -- adverb; <hvar> where; everywhere -- where
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • Tsti -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Tsti> Tosti -- Tosti
  • iarl -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <jarl> earl; free-born man, gentleman -- earl
  • hvrt -- conjunction; <hvrt> whether; (introduces direct question); however -- ...
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • lii -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <li> people; band, host; troops; herd; help, aid -- the troop
  • ea -- conjunction; <ea> or; and; but -- or
  • ighi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not

Hann svarae, "Eighi er v at lyna, hr munu r hann finna megha." mllti enn riddarenn: "Haraldr konongr brer yar sndi yr kviu oc er mer et, at r skulur hafa gri oc Norymbraland allt, oc nn vill hann, hlldr enn it briz, gefa yr riiung rkis sns mer sr."

  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • svarae -- verb; 3rd singular past of <svara (a)> answer -- answered
  • eighi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- it... (that)
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • lyna -- verb; infinitive of <leyna (d)> conceal -- be concealed
  • hr -- adverb; <hr> here -- here
  • munu -- verb; 3rd plural present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- might
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you # r from earlier r, with co-opted from the 2nd pers. pl. verb ending
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • finna -- verb; infinitive of <finna> find, meet; discover; notice; invent -- find
  • megha -- verb; infinitive of <mega> be able to, can; may -- be able
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • mllti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- said
  • enn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- one
  • riddarenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <riddari> rider, horseman + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- horseman
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • brer -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <brir> brother -- brother
  • yar -- pronoun; genitive plural of <> thou, you -- your
  • sndi -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <senda (d)> send -- would send # sndi (here = sendi) could be present subjunctive, past indicative, or past subjunctive in form.
  • yr -- pronoun; dative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • kviu -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <kveja> greeting, salute -- greetings
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • er -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place -- ...
  • mer -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- in addition to
  • et -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • skulur -- verb; 2nd plural present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- should # -ir/-er alternate endings for 2nd person plural in Old Norwegian
  • hafa -- verb; infinitive of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- have
  • gri -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <gri> (pl.) peace, protection -- protection
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Norymbraland -- proper noun, neuter; accusative singular of <Norymbraland> Northumbria -- Northumberland
  • allt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- the whole of
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • nn -- adverb; <enn> still; also; yet; further; again; moreover; even -- further
  • vill -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend -- wishes
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • hlldr -- adverb; <heldr> rather, any the more -- rather
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- than
  • it -- pronoun; nominative dual of <> thou, you -- you
  • briz -- verb; 2nd plural present subjunctive middle of <berja (bari)> smite, beat; (refl.) fight -- fight # briz = berizk, subjunctive or indicative in form.
  • gefa -- verb; infinitive of <gefa> give; give in marriage; (impers.) be obtainable -- to give
  • yr -- pronoun; dative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • riiung -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <riiungr> third part -- a third
  • rkis -- noun, neuter; genitive singular of <rki> kingdom; power, authority -- of... kingdom
  • sns -- possessive adjective; genitive singular neuter of <snn> own, one's own -- his
  • mer -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- beside
  • sr -- reflexive pronoun; dative of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- him

svarae iarlenn, "Boet er nccut annat enn frir oc svviringinn sem vetr, oc en etta vre fyrr boet, vre marghr mar s hill oc mer lfi er n er ighi, oc mun ighi verr standa rki Englanz. N takum vr enna kost; enn hvat vilir r n bia Haraldi kononge firir sitt starf?"

  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • svarae -- verb; 3rd singular past of <svara (a)> answer -- answered
  • iarlenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <jarl> earl; free-born man, gentleman + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the earl
  • boet -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <bja> offer, provide; command, summon -- a request for
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- there is
  • -- adverb; <> then -- now
  • nccut -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular neuter of <nakkvarr, nkkurr> a, a certain; any -- something
  • annat -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- other
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- than
  • frir -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <frir> hostility, war -- the hostility
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • svviringinn -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <svviring> disgrace + definite article; nominative singular feminine of <inn> the -- disgrace
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- ...
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- of
  • vetr -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <vetr> winter -- (last) winter
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- ...
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • etta -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <sj> this -- that
  • vre -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- had... been
  • fyrr -- adverb; <fyrr> before; first; until -- before
  • boet -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <bja> offer, provide; command, summon -- sought
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • vre -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- would be
  • marghr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <margr> many (a) -- many a
  • mar -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- man
  • s -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular masculine of <s> that -- ...
  • hill -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <heill> sound, safe; in health -- sound
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • mer -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • lfi -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <lf> life -- life
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- who
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • ighi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- might
  • ighi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- none
  • verr -- comparative adverb; <verr> worse -- the worse (for it)
  • standa -- verb; infinitive of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- be
  • rki -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <rki> kingdom; power, authority -- kingdom
  • Englanz -- proper noun, neuter; genitive singular of <England> England -- of England
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • takum -- verb; 1st plural present of <taka> take, take hold of; seize, capture; take to oneself, undertake; choose; accept, receive; begin (with infin.); reach, touch, strike against; happen, come to pass -- have # Note a shows no u-mutation, a feature characteristic of Old Norwegian.
  • vr -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ek> I -- we
  • enna -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <sj> this -- an
  • kost -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <kostr> choice, alternative; offer; chance, opportunity; money available; match, marriage; condition, quality; terms -- alternative
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • hvat -- interrogative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- what
  • vilir -- verb; 2nd plural present of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend -- would # -ir/-er alternate endings for 2nd person plural in Old Norwegian
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • bia -- verb; infinitive of <bja> offer, provide; command, summon -- offer
  • Haraldi -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • kononge -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • firir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- for
  • sitt -- possessive adjective; accusative singular neuter of <snn> own, one's own -- his
  • starf -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <starf> work, trouble -- trouble

svarae riddarenn: "Sact hfir hann er ncut af hvrs hann mun hanom unna af Englande, hann scal hafa vii fta lng -- oc v lngra, sem hann er hrre enn arir menn."

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • svarae -- verb; 3rd singular past of <svara (a)> answer -- answered
  • riddarenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <riddari> rider, horseman + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the horseman
  • sact -- past participle; accusative singular neuter of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • hfir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- ...
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • er -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place -- there
  • ncut -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular neuter of <nakkvarr, nkkurr> a, a certain; any -- something
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- ...
  • hvrs -- interrogative pronoun; genitive singular neuter of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- of how much
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- would
  • hanom -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • unna -- verb; infinitive of <unna> not grudge; grant, allow; love -- grant
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- of
  • Englande -- proper noun, neuter; dative singular of <England> England -- England
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • scal -- verb; 3rd singular present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- shall
  • hafa -- verb; infinitive of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- have
  • vii -- numeral; <sjau> seven -- of seven
  • fta -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <ftr> foot; leg -- feet
  • lng -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <leng> length -- a plot
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- by as much
  • lngra -- adverb; comparative of <lengi> long; far; for a long time -- longer
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • hrre -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of comparative of <hr> tall, high; loud -- taller
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- than
  • arir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- other
  • menn -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- men

svarae iarlenn, "Farit n oc sghit Haraldi kononge at hann biz til orrosto, firir v at annat skal sannaz enn et sem Normenn sghu at Tsti iarl munde svkia Harald konong oc skiliaz vir hann, eghar hann skulde briaz um, oc fylla flock findmanna hans, enn hldr skulum vr n taca allir itt r, dya hldr me smd ea f ngland me sighri."

  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • svarae -- verb; 3rd singular past of <svara (a)> answer -- responded
  • iarlenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <jarl> earl; free-born man, gentleman + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the earl
  • farit -- verb; 2nd plural imperative of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- go # -it/-et alternate endings for 2nd person plural in Old Norwegian
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • sghit -- verb; 2nd plural imperative of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- tell # -it/-et alternate endings for 2nd person plural in Old Norwegian
  • Haraldi -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • kononge -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • biz -- verb; 3rd singular present subjunctive middle of <ba> be ready, prepare, secure -- should ready himself
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- for
  • orrosto -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <orrosta> battle -- battle
  • firir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- ...
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- since
  • annat -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular neuter of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- something else
  • skal -- verb; 3rd singular present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- will
  • sannaz -- verb; infinitive of <sanna (a)> affirm; (refl.) prove to be true -- prove true
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- than
  • et -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- which
  • Normenn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative plural of <Normar> a Norwegian -- the Norsemen
  • sghu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • Tsti -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Tsti> Tosti -- Tosti
  • iarl -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <jarl> earl; free-born man, gentleman -- earl
  • munde -- verb; 3rd singular past of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- would
  • svkia -- verb; infinitive of <svkja> betray -- betray
  • Harald -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konong -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • skiliaz -- verb; infinitive middle of <skilja (, d)> divide, separate; disband; understand, perceive -- part
  • vir -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- with
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • eghar -- adverb; <egar> at once -- at once
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • skulde -- verb; 3rd singular past of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- would
  • briaz -- verb; infinitive of <berja (bari)> smite, beat; (refl.) fight -- fight
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • fylla -- verb; infinitive of <fylla (d)> fill; complete; increase -- increase
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • flock -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <flokkr> body of men; short lay -- the number
  • findmanna -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <fjndmar> enemy -- of... enemies
  • hans -- demonstrative used as pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <hann> this one -- his
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • hldr -- adverb; <heldr> rather, any the more -- rather
  • skulum -- verb; 1st plural present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- will
  • vr -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ek> I -- we
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • taca -- verb; infinitive of <taka> take, take hold of; seize, capture; take to oneself, undertake; choose; accept, receive; begin (with infin.); reach, touch, strike against; happen, come to pass -- adopt
  • allir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • itt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- a single
  • r -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <r> advice, counsel; expedient, means; plan; agreement -- purpose
  • dya -- verb; infinitive of <deyja> die, pass away -- to die
  • hldr -- adverb; <heldr> rather, any the more -- ...
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • smd -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <sm, smd> honor; redress, compensation -- honor
  • ea -- conjunction; <ea> or; and; but -- or
  • f -- verb; infinitive of <f> get, take; catch; have, make use of; put; give; receive; suffer; (with ppart.) be able to, get accomplished; (mid.) take place; struggle -- to take
  • ngland -- proper noun, neuter; accusative singular of <England> England -- England
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- in
  • sighri -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <sigr (rs)> victory -- victory

N riu riddarar aftr. mlti Haralldr konongr Sighurarsun til iarlsens, "Hvr var essi hinn snialli mar?" svarae iarlenn, "er var Haraldr konongr Govinasun."

  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- ...
  • riu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <ra> ride; ride over -- rode
  • riddarar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <riddari> rider, horseman -- the horsemen
  • aftr -- preposition; <eptir> after, behind; for, to obtain; along; according to; in succession to -- back
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • mlti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- said
  • Haralldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • Sighurarsun -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Sighurarsun> Sigurtharson -- Sigurtharson
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • iarlsens -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <jarl> earl; free-born man, gentleman + definite article; genitive singular masculine of <inn> the -- the earl
  • hvr -- interrogative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- who
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • essi -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular masculine of <sj> this -- that
  • hinn -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular masculine of <hinn> this one; that; the -- ...
  • snialli -- adjective; weak nominative singular masculine of <snjallr> clever in speech, eloquent; brave -- eloquent
  • mar -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- man
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • svarae -- verb; 3rd singular past of <svara (a)> answer -- answered
  • iarlenn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <jarl> earl; free-born man, gentleman + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the earl
  • er -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place -- that
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • Govinasun -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Govinasun> Gothvinasun -- Gothvinasun

mlti Haraldr konongr, "Oflngi var ec esso lyndr. eir vro sv comnir firir li vrt, at ighi munde esse Haraldr kunna sghia duaror vrra manna."

  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • mlti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- said
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • oflngi -- adverb; <oflngi> too long -- too long
  • var -- verb; 1st singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • esso -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <sj> this -- of this
  • lyndr -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <leyna (d)> conceal -- ignorant
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <hann> this one -- they
  • vro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- ...
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • comnir -- past participle; nominative plural masculine of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- came
  • firir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- before
  • li -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <li> people; band, host; troops; herd; help, aid -- troop
  • vrt -- possessive adjective; accusative singular neuter of <vrr> our, of us -- our
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • ighi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • munde -- verb; 3rd singular past of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- might
  • esse -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular masculine of <sj> this -- this
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • kunna -- verb; infinitive of <kunna> know, know how to; be able -- be permitted
  • sghia -- verb; infinitive of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- to pronounce
  • duaror -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <duaror> tidings of death -- death-tidings # segja duaror einhvess 'to slay someone in battle'
  • vrra -- possessive adjective; genitive plural masculine of <vrr> our, of us -- our
  • manna -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- men's

"Satt er et, herra," saghe iarlinn, "varlegha fr vlcr hfingi oc vra mtti etta er n sghi r; sannum vr at, en hann vilde bia brr snum gri oc mikit valld, oc vri ec vst callar vrri hfingi, at enn cost t'kem vr, hldre enn ec biae sv lli at ec vre banamar bror mns; enn er btra at iggja bana af brr snum enn vita honom bana."

  • satt -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <sannr, sar> true -- true
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- is
  • et -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • herra -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <herra> lord -- lord
  • saghe -- verb; 3rd singular past of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • iarlinn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <jarl> earl; free-born man, gentleman + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the earl
  • varlegha -- adverb; <varliga> incautiously -- incautiously
  • fr -- verb; 3rd singular past of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- proceeded
  • vlcr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <vlkr> such -- quite
  • hfingi -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hfingi> chief, ruler -- the chief
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • vra -- verb; infinitive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- be (true)
  • mtti -- verb; 3rd singular past subjunctive of <mega> be able to, can; may -- might # indicative or subjunctive in form
  • etta -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <sj> this -- that
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- ...
  • sghi -- verb; 3rd plural present subjunctive of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • r -- pronoun; nominative plural of <> thou, you -- you # r from earlier r, with co-opted from the 2nd pers. pl. verb ending
  • sannum -- verb; 1st plural present of <sanna (a)> affirm; (refl.) prove to be true -- agree on # Note a shows no u-mutation, a feature characteristic of Old Norwegian.
  • vr -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ek> I -- we
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- this
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • vilde -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend -- wanted
  • -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless -- though
  • bia -- verb; infinitive of <bja> offer, provide; command, summon -- to offer
  • brr -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <brir> brother -- brother
  • snum -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <snn> own, one's own -- his
  • gri -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <gri> (pl.) peace, protection -- peace
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • mikit -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <mikill> great, large, big; severe -- great
  • valld -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <vald> power, control -- power
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- ...
  • vri -- verb; 1st singular past subjunctive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- would... be
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • vst -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <vss> certain, wise -- certainly
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • callar -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <kalla> call, cry out; name; say, declare -- called
  • vrri -- comparative adjective; nominative singular masculine of <verri> worse -- a worse
  • hfingi -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hfingi> chief, ruler -- leader
  • -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless -- rather
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- if
  • enn -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular masculine of <s> that -- the
  • cost -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <kostr> choice, alternative; offer; chance, opportunity; money available; match, marriage; condition, quality; terms -- offer
  • t'kem -- verb; 1st plural present subjunctive of <taka> take, take hold of; seize, capture; take to oneself, undertake; choose; accept, receive; begin (with infin.); reach, touch, strike against; happen, come to pass -- should take
  • vr -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ek> I -- we
  • hldre -- adverb; <heldr> rather, any the more -- ...
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- and
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • biae -- verb; 1st singular past subjunctive of <bia (a)> await -- might have awaited # biae = biaa
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- such
  • lli -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <elli> old age -- old age
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • vre -- verb; 1st singular past subjunctive of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- would... be
  • banamar -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <banamar> slayer -- killer
  • bror -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <brir> brother -- brother's
  • mns -- possessive adjective; genitive singular masculine of <minn> my, mine, of me -- my
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- for
  • -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless -- ...
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it is
  • btra -- comparative adjective; nominative singular neuter of <betri> better -- better
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • iggja -- verb; infinitive of <iggja> accept, receive -- accept
  • bana -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <bani> death; cause of death, slayer -- death
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- from
  • brr -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <brir> brother -- brother
  • snum -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <snn> own, one's own -- your
  • enn -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- than
  • vita -- verb; infinitive of <veita (tt)> grant, give; help; pay, yield; (recip.) back one another -- to grant
  • honom -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- to him
  • bana -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <bani> death; cause of death, slayer -- death

"Ltil konongr var esse," saghe Haraldr konongr, "oc st vl stigrip sin." et sghia menn, at Haraldr konongr kve vsu essa:

  • ltil -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <ltill> little, short -- a small
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • esse -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <sj> this -- that one
  • saghe -- verb; 3rd singular past of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • st -- verb; 3rd singular past of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- stood
  • vl -- adverb; <vel> well, readily, easily -- well
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • stigrip -- noun, neuter; accusative plural <stigrip> stirrup -- stirrups
  • sin -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <snn> own, one's own -- his
  • et -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • sghia -- verb; 3rd plural present of <segja (saga)> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- say
  • menn -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <mar> man, person; husband; henchman -- men
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • kve -- verb; 3rd singular past subjunctive of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- recited
  • vsu -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <vsa> verse, stanza -- verse
  • essa -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular feminine of <sj> this -- this

"Fram gengom vr fylkingu,
        bryniulausir mer blr ggiar;
        hialmar skna, hfkaek mna;
        n liggr scr vrt at scipum niri."

  • fram -- adverb; <fram> forward, on; away; out -- forth
  • gengom -- verb; 1st plural past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- went
  • vr -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ek> I -- we
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • fylkingu -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <fylking> battle array, host -- the ranks
  • bryniulausir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <brynjulauss> without mail, unprotected -- byrnie-less
  • mer -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • blr -- adjective; accusative plural feminine of <blr> blue; black -- blue
  • ggiar -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <egg> edge -- edges
  • hialmar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <hjlmr> helmet -- helmets
  • skna -- verb; 3rd plural present of <skna> shine, gleam -- shine
  • hfkaek -- verb; 1st singular present of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I + enclitic adverb; <at> not + pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I have not # hfkaek = hef-ek-at-ek
  • mna -- possessive adjective; accusative plural masculine of <minn> my, mine, of me -- mine
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- ...
  • liggr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <liggja> be situated; lie (down); be slain -- lies
  • scr -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <skr> cloth, stuff; mailcoat -- coat
  • vrt -- possessive adjective; nominative singular neuter of <vrr> our, of us -- my
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- on
  • scipum -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <skip> ship, boat -- the ship
  • niri -- adverb; <niri> down; below -- below

Emma ht brynia hans; hon tc ofan mitt bin hanum, oc sv strk at cki festi vpn henne. mlti Haraldr konongr, "etta er illa ort, oc scal gra n ara vsu btri." oc cva etta:

  • Emma -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Emma> Emma -- Emma
  • ht -- verb; 3rd singular past of <heita> to call, name; promise; be called, be named -- was called
  • brynia -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <brynja> coat of mail -- byrnie
  • hans -- demonstrative used as pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <hann> this one -- his
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- it
  • tc -- verb; 3rd singular past of <taka> take, take hold of; seize, capture; take to oneself, undertake; choose; accept, receive; begin (with infin.); reach, touch, strike against; happen, come to pass -- went
  • ofan -- adverb; <ofan> from above, down; southwards -- all the way down
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- to
  • mitt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <mir> middle, the middle of -- the middle of
  • bin -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <bein> bone; ivory -- leg
  • hanum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- his
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • strk -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <sterkr> strong -- (was)... strong
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • cki -- adverb; <ekki> not, by no means -- no
  • festi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <festa (t)> fasten; strengthen; learn by heart; bite, take effect on -- had any effect
  • vpn -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <vpn> weapon -- weapon
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- on
  • henne -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- it
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • mlti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mla (t)> speak -- said
  • Haraldr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haraldr> Harald -- Harald
  • konongr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <konungr> king -- king
  • etta -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <sj> this -- that
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • illa -- adverb; <illa> ill, badly -- poorly
  • ort -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- composed
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- so
  • scal -- verb; 1st singular present of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- I shall
  • gra -- verb; infinitive of <gra> make, build; write, compose -- devise
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • ara -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- another
  • vsu -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <vsa> verse, stanza -- verse
  • btri -- comparative adjective; accusative singular feminine of <betri> better -- better
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • cva -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kvea> say, declare; utter, say in verse; recite; utter a cry -- recited
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • etta -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <sj> this -- this

"Kripum vr firir vpna
        (valtigs) brkon ighi
        (sv bau Hilldr) at hialdri
        (haldor) bugh skialdar;
        htt ba mec, er's mtozt,
        mennskur bera forom,
        lackar s oc husar,
        hialmstal gn malma."

  • kripum -- verb; 1st plural present of <krjpa> creep, crouch -- do... creep
  • vr -- pronoun; nominative plural of <ek> I -- we
  • firir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- before
  • vpna -- noun, neuter; genitive plural of <vpn> weapon -- of weapons
  • valtigs -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <valtigr> hawk's ground, i.e. the arm -- of the hawk's land # Words in parentheses should be taken together to form one unified clause.
  • brkon -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <brkon> clashing -- the clashing
  • ighi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • bau -- verb; 3rd singular past of <bja> offer, provide; command, summon -- commanded
  • Hilldr -- proper noun, feminine; nominative singular of <Hildr> Hildr, a valkyrie -- the lady
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- in
  • hialdri -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <hjaldr (rs)> battle -- battle
  • haldor -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <haldorr> true of word -- true of speech
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- behind
  • bugh -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <bughr> curve -- the curve
  • skialdar -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <skjldr> shield -- of the shield
  • htt -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <hr> tall, high; loud -- on high
  • ba -- verb; 3rd singular past of <bija> ask; beg; pray; bid -- bade
  • mec -- pronoun; accusative singular of <ek> I -- me
  • er's -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- where # er's = ar + es = ar er
  • mtozt -- verb; 3rd plural present middle of <mta (tt)> meet; deal with; (mid.) join, meet -- meet
  • mennskur -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mennskur> weaver of necklace, lady -- the lady
  • bera -- verb; infinitive of <bera> bear, bring, carry; wear; give birth to; overcome; endure; bear (witness) -- to carry
  • forom -- adverb; <forum> formerly, some time ago -- long ago
  • lackar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <hlkk> clash; battle -- of battle
  • s -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <ss> ice, icicle -- the ice # s for expected ss; 'the ice of battle' = 'the gleaming sword'
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • husar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <hauss> skull -- skulls
  • hialmstal -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hjalmstallr> the support of the helmet, i.e. the head -- the helmet's seat
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- into
  • gn -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <gnr> clash, din -- the clash
  • malma -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <mlmr> metal -- of metal

N vita nglar Normnnum rei oc var mt virtaca hr, oc sv vro sttar ksiurnar oc koms et mest vir hestana.

  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • vita -- verb; 3rd plural present of <veita (tt)> grant, give; help; pay, yield; (recip.) back one another -- give
  • nglar -- proper noun, masculine plural; nominative of <Englar> Angles, the English -- the Angles
  • Normnnum -- proper noun, masculine; dative plural of <Normar> a Norwegian -- the Norsemen
  • rei -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <rei> cavalry charge -- a charge
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- comes
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- in
  • mt -- preposition; <mti> against; towards; to meet -- return
  • virtaca -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <virtaca> reception, defense -- reception
  • hr -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <harr> hard, severe, sharp -- a harsh
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • vro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- were
  • sttar -- past participle; nominative plural feminine of <setja> set, place, put; seat; set up; establish; endow; direct; hurl; adorn -- set
  • ksiurnar -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <ksia> a kind of halberd, long spear + definite article; nominative plural feminine of <inn> the -- the long spears
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • koms -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- hit
  • et -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <s> that -- it
  • mest -- superlative adjective; nominative singular neuter of <mestr> most, greatest -- hard
  • vir -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- against
  • hestana -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <hestr> stallion, horse + definite article; accusative plural masculine of <inn> the -- the horses

Lesson Text

Haraldr konongr Sighurarsun ri svrtum hesti blesttom firir framan fylking sna ok s hvrsu liit st, ok skipae im framar er villde hann. Ok esse ri fell hestrenn undir hanum oc konongrenn framm af, oc mllti, "Fall er farar hill." mllti Haraldr nghla konongr vir Normenn er me hanum vro, "Kenndo r enn hinn myckla mer im bl kyrtli oc hin faghra hialm, er er skaut sr af hestinum frem? eir svarao, "Kennom vr; et var Normanna konongr." mllti nghla konongr, "Mikill mar oc hfinghlegr er hann, oc hitt er n venna at farinn s at hamingiu."

N ra fram xx riddarar fyrir fylking Normanna oc allir albryniaer. mlti inn riddarenn, "Hvar er Tsti iarl, hvrt er hann lii ea ighi?" Hann svarae, "Eighi er v at lyna, hr munu r hann finna megha." mllti enn riddarenn: "Haraldr konongr brer yar sndi yr kviu oc er mer et, at r skulur hafa gri oc Norymbraland allt, oc nn vill hann, hlldr enn it briz, gefa yr riiung rkis sns mer sr." svarae iarlenn, "Boet er nccut annat enn frir oc svviringinn sem vetr, oc en etta vre fyrr boet, vre marghr mar s hill oc mer lfi er n er ighi, oc mun ighi verr standa rki Englanz. N takum vr enna kost; enn hvat vilir r n bia Haraldi kononge firir sitt starf?" svarae riddarenn: "Sact hfir hann er ncut af hvrs hann mun hanom unna af Englande, hann scal hafa vii fta lng -- oc v lngra, sem hann er hrre enn arir menn." svarae iarlenn, "Farit n oc sghit Haraldi kononge at hann biz til orrosto, firir v at annat skal sannaz enn et sem Normenn sghu at Tsti iarl munde svkia Harald konong oc skiliaz vir hann, eghar hann skulde briaz um, oc fylla flock findmanna hans, enn hldr skulum vr n taca allir itt r, dya hldr me smd ea f ngland me sighri."

N riu riddarar aftr. mlti Haralldr konongr Sighurarsun til iarlsens, "Hvr var essi hinn snialli mar?" svarae iarlenn, "er var Haraldr konongr Govinasun." mlti Haraldr konongr, "Oflngi var ec esso lyndr. eir vro sv comnir firir li vrt, at ighi munde esse Haraldr kunna sghia duaror vrra manna." "Satt er et, herra," saghe iarlinn, "varlegha fr vlcr hfingi oc vra mtti etta er n sghi r; sannum vr at, en hann vilde bia brr snum gri oc mikit valld, oc vri ec vst callar vrri hfingi, at enn cost t'kem vr, hldre enn ec biae sv lli at ec vre banamar bror mns; enn er btra at iggja bana af brr snum enn vita honom bana." "Ltil konongr var esse," saghe Haraldr konongr, "oc st vl stigrip sin." et sghia menn, at Haraldr konongr kve vsu essa:

"Fram gengom vr fylkingu,
        bryniulausir mer blr ggiar;
        hialmar skna, hfkaek mna;
        n liggr scr vrt at scipum niri."

Emma ht brynia hans; hon tc ofan mitt bin hanum, oc sv strk at cki festi vpn henne. mlti Haraldr konongr, "etta er illa ort, oc scal gra n ara vsu btri." oc cva etta:

"Kripum vr firir vpna
        (valtigs) brkon ighi
        (sv bau Hilldr) at hialdri
        (haldor) bugh skialdar;
        htt ba mec, er's mtozt,
        mennskur bera forom,
        lackar s oc husar,
        hialmstal gn malma."

N vita nglar Normnnum rei oc var mt virtaca hr, oc sv vro sttar ksiurnar oc koms et mest vir hestana.

Translation

King Harald Sigurtharson rode on a black horse with a white mark out before his troop and saw how the retinue was positioned, and he arranged them further forward, as he then wanted. And during this ride the horse fell beneath him, and the king from off it, and he said: 'A fall is a good sign for a journey.'
Then Harald, king of the Angles, spoke with the Norsemen who were with him: 'Do you know that noble man with the blue kirtle and impressive helmet, who launched himself off his horse?' They answered, 'We know him; that was the king of the Norsemen.' Then the king of the Angles said, 'He is a great and princely man, and it is likely that he has come to the end of his luck.'
Now 20 horsemen ride out before the host of the Norsemen and all are clad in mail. Then one horseman said, 'Where is earl Tosti -- is he in the troop or not?' He answered, 'It is not to be concealed that you might be able to find him here.' Then the horseman said, 'King Harald your brother would send you greetings and in addition to this, that you should have protection and the whole of Northumberland; and further he wishes, rather than you fight, to give you a third of his kingdom beside him.' The earl answered, 'Now there is a request for something other than the hostility and disgrace of last winter; but had that been sought before, then sound and with life would be many a man who now is not, and the kingdom of England might be none the worse for it. Now we have an alternative; but what would you now offer King Harald for his trouble?' Then the horseman answered, 'He said there something of how much of England he would grant him, he shall have a plot of 7 feet -- and longer by as much as he is taller than other men!' The earl responded, 'Go now and tell King Harald that he should ready himself for battle, since something else will prove true than that which the Norsemen said, that Earl Tosti would betray King Harald and part with him, he would fight at once, and increase the number of his enemies; but rather we all will now adopt a single purpose, to die with honor, or to take England in victory.'
The horsemen rode back. Then King Harald Sigurtharson said to the earl, 'Who was that eloquent man?' The earl answered, 'That was King Harald Gothvinason.' King Harald said, 'Too long was I ignorant of this. They came before our troop so that this Harald might not be permitted to pronounce our men's death-tidings.' 'That is true, lord', said the earl, 'the chief proceeded quite incautiously and that which you say might be true; we agree on this, but though he wanted to offer his brother peace and great power, I would certainly be called a worse leader rather if we should take the offer and I might have awaited such old age that I be my brother's killer; for it is better to accept death from your brother than to grant death to him.' 'That one was a small king,' said King Harald, 'and stood well in his stirrups.' Men say that King Harald recited this verse:
    'We went forth in the ranks,
    byrnie-less, with blue edges;
    helmets shine, I have not mine;
    my coat lies on the ship below.'
His byrnie was called Emma; it went all the way down to the middle of his leg, and was so strong that no weapon had any effect on it. Then King Harald said, 'That was poorly composed, so I shall now devise another better verse', and then recited this:
    'We do not creep in battle,
    before the clashing of weapons,
    behind the curve of the shield --
    so commanded the lady of the hawk's land, true of speech;
    the lady bade me, where meet
    skulls and the ice of battle,
    long ago to carry on high
    the helmet's seat into the clash of metal.'
Now the Angles give the Norsemen a charge and a harsh reception comes in return, and so the long spears were set and it hit hard against the horses.

Grammar

31. The Fifth Strong Conjugation

The fifth strong conjugation comprises verbs whose stem ends in a single non-resonant consonant (i.e. a consonant other than l, r, m, n), and whose present stem vowel is e or i. The ablaut series is as follows.

    e, i -- a -- , from Proto-Germanic e -- a -- .

The typical present stem vowel is e, but some verbs have present stems which are followed by a j-augment. This has the effect of raising the stem vowel from e to i, which remains throughout the entire present system. The most common verbs of this type are bija 'bid, ask', stem bij-, and sitja 'sit', stem sitj-. Some examples of present forms are the following: ek bi, sitr, vr bijum, r siti, eir bija. The remaining forms follow the normal pattern of the fifth conjugation: ek ba, sazt, v'er stum, r bu, beinn, setinn.

The verbs liggja 'lie, recline' and iggja 'accept, receive' have stems ending in a doubled consonant and a j-augment: liggj-, iggj-. The augment does not appear in the past forms; the past stems ended in a single consonant, which disappeared in the singular forms by the time of the ON texts. The past plural forms are regular, retaining the single consonant. Consider the following forms:

  • present: ek ligg, hann iggr, vr liggjum, r iggi;
  • past singular: ek l, ltt, hann ;
  • past plural: vr lgum, r lgu, eir gu;
  • past participle: leginn, eginn.

The verb vega 'slay' (stem veg-) loses the final g of the stem in the past singular, with attendant vowel shift: hann veg, hann v.

Some verbs show a complex treatment of v within the stem. The combinations (consonant + v + vowel) and (v + back vowel) show different results in the two verbs sofa 'sleep' (stem svef-) and vefa 'weave' (stem vef-). Consider the following forms of sofa:

  • present stem svef-: ek sf, hann sfr, vr sofum, r sofi;
  • past singular stem svaf-: ek svaf, svaft;
  • past plural stem svf-: vr svfum, r svfu;
  • past participle svef-: sofinn.

Compare these forms with those of vefa:

  • present stem vef-: ek vef, vefr, vr vefum;
  • past singular stem vaf-: ek f, ft;
  • past plural stem vr fum, r fu;
  • past participle stem vef-: ofinn.

The verb troa 'tread' is irregular, showing o instead of e in the stems of the present forms and of the past participle. The past tense stems are regular. Consider the following forms:

  • present: ek tr, trr, vr troum, r troi;
  • past singular: ek tra, trazt;
  • past plural: vr trum, r tru;
  • past participle: troinn.

The verb sj 'see' belongs to this class, deriving from earlier *seh-. Various changes, however, have made the verb irregular. The present is built from the stems s-, sj-, the past singular from s-, the past plural from s-, and the past participle from s-. The forms are as follows.

sj   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   s   s    
2   sr   sr   sr
3   sr   s, sji, sjir    
             
1 Pl.   sjm   sm   sjm
2   s, sji   s   s, sji
3   sj   s    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   s   sa    
2   stt   sir    
3   s   si    
             
1 Pl.   sm   sim    
2   su   si    
3   s, su   si    
             
Infinitive   sj        
             
Pres. Ptc.   sjndi        
             
Past Ptc.   snn        

The verb reka 'drive', with principal parts reka -- rekr -- rak -- rku -- rki -- rekinn, illustrates the typical fifth class strong conjugation. The active forms are as follows.

Class V   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   rek   reka    
2   rekr   rekir   rek
3   rekr   reki    
             
1 Pl.   rekum   rekim   rekum
2   reki   reki   reki
3   reka   reki    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   rak   rka    
2   rakt   rkir    
3   rak   rki    
             
1 Pl.   rkum   rkim    
2   rku   rki    
3   rku   rki    
             
Infinitive   reka        
             
Pres. Ptc.   rekandi        
             
Past Ptc.   rekinn        

The middle forms are listed below.

Class V   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   rekumk   rekumk    
2   reksk   rekisk   reksk
3   reksk   rekisk    
             
1 Pl.   rekumsk   rekimsk   rekumsk
2   rekizk   rekizk   rekizk
3   rekask   rekisk    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   rkumk   rkumk    
2   rakzk   rkisk    
3   raksk   rkisk    
             
1 Pl.   rkumsk   rkimsk    
2   rkuzk   rkizk    
3   rkusk   rkisk    
             
Infinitive   rekask        
             
Pres. Ptc.   rekandisk        
             
Past Ptc.   rekizk        
32. The Sixth Strong Conjugation

The sixth strong conjugation consists of verbs whose present stem vowel is a. The stem-final velar consonant (k, g) of some verbs causes fronting of a to e in the past participle. The ablaut series is

    a -- -- a, e, from Proto-Germanic a -- -- a.

The present stem vowel a is always fronted in the present singular of Class VI verbs. Thus the verb fara 'go' has the following prinicipal parts: fara -- ferr -- fr -- fru -- fri -- farinn. Likewise taka 'take' has principal parts taka -- tekr -- tk -- tku -- tki -- tekinn. The verb draga 'drag' loses the stem-final g in the past singular, analogous to the verbs stga (Class I) and fljga (Class II): ek dr, drtt, hann dr.

The verb standa 'stand' loses the -n- outside of the present system. The d remains as , so that standa has the stems stand-, st-, st-, sta-.

The verbs sverja 'swear' (stem svarj-) and hefja 'heave' (stem hafj-) have present stems with a j-augment. This causes fronting of the root vowel in the present stem in both singular (common to all Class VI verbs) and plural. For example, ek sver, vr sverjum, r sveri; ek hef, hefr, r hefi, eir hefja.

Verbs containing v before back round vowels lose the v in past singular and plural forms. For example, sverja above has forms ek sr, sort, vr srum, eir sru; similarly, vaxa 'grow, wax' (present stem vax-) has past stem x- in singular and plural, and vaa 'wade' (present stem va-) has past stem - in singular and plural.

The verb sl 'strike, slay' had alternating stems slag-/slah-. Loss of -h led to a new present stem sl-. Other forms follow analogously to draga. The indicative forms are given below:

    Present   Past   Participle
             
Stem   sl-   slah-   slag-
             
1 Sg.   sl   sl   sleginn
2   slr   sltt    
3   slr   sl    
             
1 Pl.   slm   slgum    
2   sli   slgu    
3   sl   slgu    
             

The verb hlja 'laugh', which originally had a stem-final -g/-h and therefore conjugates similarly, is often listed with the seventh conjugation. Compare the following forms:

  • present hlj-: ek hl, hlr, hann hlr, vr hljum, r hli, eir hlja;
  • past singular hl-: ek hl, hltt, hann hl;
  • past plural hlg-: vr hlgum, r hlgu, eir hlgu;
  • past participle hleg-: hleginn.

The verb deyja 'die', though a j-augmented verb similar to hlaupa of the seventh conjugation, nevertheless has forms similar to hlja:

  • present deyj-: ek dey, deyr, hann deyr, vr deyjum, r deyi, eir deyja;
  • past singular d-: ek d, dtt, hann d;
  • past plural d-: vr dum, r du, eir du;
  • past participle d-: dinn.

The verb fara 'go', with principal parts fara -- ferr -- fr -- fru -- fri -- farinn, illustrates the typical conjugation of the Class VI verbs. The active forms are as follows.

Class VI   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   fer   fara    
2   ferr   farir   far
3   ferr   fari    
             
1 Pl.   frum   farim   frum
2   fari   fari   fari
3   fara   fari    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   fr   fra    
2   frt   frir    
3   fr   fri    
             
1 Pl.   frum   frim    
2   fru   fri    
3   fru   fri    
             
Infinitive   fara        
             
Pres. Ptc.   farandi        
             
Past Ptc.   farinn        

The middle forms are listed below.

Class VI   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   frumk   frumk    
2   fersk   farisk   farsk
3   fersk   farisk    
             
1 Pl.   frumsk   farimsk   frumsk
2   farizk   farizk   farizk
3   farask   farisk    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   frumk   frumk    
2   frzk   frisk    
3   frsk   frisk    
             
1 Pl.   frumsk   frimsk    
2   fruzk   frizk    
3   frusk   frisk    
             
Infinitive   farask        
             
Pres. Ptc.   farandisk        
             
Past Ptc.   farizk        
33. The Genitive Case

The genitive case is the possessive case. This is truly a gross oversimplification; more abstractly, the genitive case denotes relationship of one sort or another. The relation may be possessive, as in Modern English 'the boy's bicycle'; but 'possession' is less appropriate for describing certain relations, e.g. 'the boy's love'. A noun in the genitive may be a logical subject of the noun on which the genitive depends: 'the boy's death'. By contrast, the noun in the genitive could be the logical object: 'Lincoln's assassination'. Suffice it to say, the range of use of the genitive case is quite broad, and its uses in ON are very often paralleled by its uses in Modern English.

The genitive is frequently used to refer to the whole, from which a part has been specified. This is typical with numbers: the decades are treated as nouns, and a genitive is used to specify what is being enumerated. For example, rr tigir manna 'thirty menn', but literally 'three tens of men'. The usage is the same for a hundred and a thousand. The remaining cardinals, by contrast, are used adjectivally: tuttugu menn 'twenty men'; me fjra ok ra tegu menn 'with thirty-four men'. The part may be indeterminate: frari an hverr mar annarra 'sooner than all the others' (literally 'sooner than any man of the others'); hafir ekki dyrsins 'you have nothing of the animal'; snimma dags 'early in the morning'.

The genitive is used to specify characteristic or measure. For example, mikils httar mar 'a man of great import'; afreks verk 'a deed of heroism'; ess konar sending 'a message of this sort'; riggja vetra bjrg 'sustenance for three winters (years)'. Typically in ON the material of which something consists is denoted by composition or a prepositional phrase using r 'out of' or af 'from'. For example, gullker 'a gold vessel' or ker r (af) gulli 'a vessel of gold'. The genitive may also be used as a complement to several adjectives: ker fult mjaar 'a vessel full of mead'; einhvers verr 'worthy of something'; einhvers fss 'willing (to do) something'; einhvers benn 'ready for something'; grinn sra sinna 'healed of his wounds'.

The genitive has a usage with proper names which does not exactly parallel the similar usage in Modern English. Modern English statements like 'they gave him the name of Onund' (meaning 'they gave him the name "Onund"') have their exact counterpart in ON: gfu honum nundar nafn. ON however extends such use of the genitive to situations where Modern English would simply use apposition: askr Yggdrasils 'the ash-tree Yggdrasil'.

The genitive may be used in an adverbial sense, independent of any other noun or phrase, to specify time or place. For example, frra ntta 'within a few nights'; mira gara 'in between the fences'; sama dags 'on the same day'; loks(ins) 'finally'; annars staar 'otherwise'; essa heims ok annars 'in this world and the next'.

Several verbs govern an object in the genitive rather than the accusative. For example, the verbs leita 'seek'; ba 'await'; f in the sense 'obtain a wife'; kenna 'sense'; minnask 'remember' all govern objects in the genitive. Some verbs relating to perception govern two objects, with a person in the accusative and a thing in the genitive. This parallels Modern English constructions of the sort 'ask someone (accusative) about something (genitive)'. Some such verbs in ON are spyrja 'ask'; bja 'beg'; eggja 'drive (someone to something)'; letja 'deter'. Other verbs govern a person in the dative and thing in the genitive. For example, hefna 'avenge': ek at hefna honum mikillar sneypu 'I have a great injustice to avenge upon him.' Some verbs govern objects in the genitive only when used as present participles. For example, ra einhverju 'to give counsel concerning something', but ert nkkurs randi hr 'do you have something to advise here?'

34. The Dative Case

The basic function of the dative case is to denote the indirect object, or rather, the referent of an action. Such instances of the dative are usually akin to Modern English constructions using 'to' or 'for'. This basic usage is greatly expanded in ON, where the dative case has also taken on the roles ascribed to the Ablative, Locative, and Instrumental of other Indo-European languages, such as Sanskrit. These correspond roughly to Modern English 'from', 'in', and 'with', respectively.

The dative is commonly used in conjunction with adjectives. The so-called dative of cause stems from an instrumental or ablative usage: fegenn einhverju 'pleased about something'. The dative of respect stems from an instrumental usage: frastr snum 'beautiful to behold'; betri kostum 'richer with opportunities'. With comparative adjectives, the dative has two basic uses, denoting the

  • point of comparison: the dative denotes the origin, or benchmark, of the comparison. For example, Tryggvi var hverjum manni meiri ok sterkari 'Tryggvi was bigger and stronger than any man'; hann fekk eigi mlt tveim orum lengra samt 'he cannot put more than two words together'.
  • degree of difference: the dative denotes the degree to which the comparison holds. For example, li miklu meira 'a much bigger troop' (literally 'a troop bigger by much'); viku fyrr 'a week earlier' (literally 'earlier by a week').

The dative also has several independent uses. The following uses stem from the Instrumental function:

  • dative of means or instrument: generally translated by 'with' or 'by means of'. For example, tk Hrlfr kraki hgri hendi gullit 'then Hrolf Pole-Ladder seized the gold with the right hand'.
  • dative of amount: for example, gjalde at fullum gjldum 'he paid this with full retribution'; ra fullom dagleium 'to ride a full day's journey'.
  • dative of attendant circumstances: fara hulu hfi 'to go with head covered'; mla hendingum 'to speak in rhymes'.
  • dative of accompaniment: sigldi Hrtr lii snu sur 'Hrut sailed south with his band.'

The dative may be used as a Locative to place something in space or time. For example, einu sinni 'once'; llum misserum 'for all half-years, the whole year through'; stundum 'at times'.

In several Germanic languages, a handful of verbs take objects in the dative case. This class of verbs is quite extensive, by comparison, in ON. Several verbs in ON take dative objects where the corresponding verbs in other Germanic languages take an accusative. Some authors divide these verbs into four classes based on meaning:

  • 'to be well-disposed to someone': e.g. bjarga 'protect', unna 'love'; similarly verbs with the opposite meaning, e.g. spilla 'destroy', bana 'kill', hafna 'abandon'.
  • 'order, command': e.g. ra 'advise', skipa 'array', stefna 'summon'.
  • 'move quickly, transplant': e.g. brega 'throw', drepa 'stab', sna 'turn'.
  • 'change one's mind': e.g. fagna 'rejoice at', heilsa 'welcome', htta 'venture'.

The dative is also used with verbs of removing with the sense of an Ablative or Instrumental: ryja land vkingum 'to rid the land of plunderers'; rna mik lgum 'to rob me of (my) rights'.

The dative is often used in impersonal constructions with passive force. For example, honum var litit upp 'it steered his gaze' (literally 'it was looked at for him'); var eim ok mart talat 'their conversation took itself in many directions' (literally 'it was for them also much recounted').

35. Subordinate Clauses with er and at

The two particles er and at are extremely common in Old Norse, each with a wide range of meaning. Some of their uses are discussed below.

The particle er, earlier es (and not to be confused with the third person singular present er, es < vera 'be'), is a general relative particle and has no meaning of its own. It serves only to mark its clause as relative, the particular connection with the main clause being determined solely from context. Because of this, er appears in a wide range of contexts and is translated (or not, as the case may be) in several ways, depending on whether or not it stands alone or in combination with other deictic or interrogative words. Its usage in ON parallels the use of ei in Gothic and e in Old English.

er is used by itself to mark temporal clauses, substantival clauses, and conditional clauses. For example, ba hann koma til sn, er hann kvmi aptr 'he told him to come to him(self) when he should return'. The clause may have concessive force: hann girnisk ess at halda Nregs veldi undir sik, er engi Sva konungr hefir at fyrr girnzk 'he strove to this end, to hold under himself power over Norway, though no king of the Swedes had previously accomplished that.'

er combines with some adverbs to yield a combined relative adverb. Some of the more common are the following:

  • temporal: er 'as, when'; egar er 'as soon as'; n er 'now when'; sv fremi er 'not until'; sian er 'since'; unz 'until'; ar til er 'until'; nr(gi) er 'whenever'.
  • local: ar er 'where' (also conditional 'if' or causal 'considering that'); angat er, angat til er 'to the point where'; aan er 'from the point where'; hvar(gi) er 'wherever'; hvert(ki) er 'to wherever'; hvaan er 'from wherever'.
  • modal: hvgi er, hversu er, hvernveg er 'however'.

er also combines with certain pronouns, with or without prepositions, to produce a relative adverb. The most notable are given below:

  • temporal: v er 'at the moment when'; fr v er 'since'; epter at er 'after'; um at er 'until'; til ess er 'until'.
  • modal: at v er 'according as'.
  • causal: alz 'because'; vi at er 'considering that'.

In the later language er is found combined with the interrogative pronouns to produce relative pronouns, e.g. hverr er '(he) who, whoever'; hvrr er 'whoever (of two)'; hvat(ki) er 'whatever'; etc. This usage is an innovation in ON, imitative of Latin.

Old Norse has no specific relative pronoun, so that er is often employed to fill this role. More precisely, er signals the beginning of a relative clause which contains no relative pronoun, and so er may be construed as a relative in lieu of a more explicit pronoun. Interpreting er in this fashion, it may stand for a relative in any case required within the relative clause. For example, it may play the role of a pronoun in a case uniquely specified by the context, e.g. hann tekr hest, er Gunnarr tti 'he takes the horse which Gunnar owned'; or er may be construed as representing more than one case in combined relative clauses, e.g. au ttu son, er Haraldr konungr js vatni ok gaf nafn sitt 'they had a son, whom King Harald sprinkled with water and to whom he gave his own name.' er may be construed as representing a noun or pronoun not explicitly stated; in this sense, er introduces a clause which as a whole stands for the 'missing' grammatical element. For example, mltu, er ar vru 'then spoke (those who) were there.' er may, in fact, stand for itself, in an absolute manner: er eir rituu, er eim vru samta, er sgurnar eru fr '(the things) which they write, which are contemporary with them, from which the sagas stem.' er is nevertheless most frequently preceded by a demonstrative adjective or pronoun to which the relative clause correlates. This demonstrative however generally takes its case from its role in its own clause, and not from the relative clause. Consider the following examples: hvat f er at? -- Hr er f at, er Gunnarr greiddi mr 'What money is that? -- Here is the money which Gunnar paid me'; hann sendi hingat til lands prest ann es ht angbrandr 'he sent there to the land a priest who was called Thangbrand.'

The particle at 'that' is nearly as common as er, and parallels Modern English usage of 'that' as a subordinating conjunction. It commonly introduces substantival clauses, and less frequently result clauses: vera m, at gott s verkit 'it could be, that the deed be good'; mun ek veita r slkt li, sem will, at etta fari framm 'I will give you such assistance as you desire, so that this may go forth.'

at combines with other adverbs which further restrict its sense. A few of the most common are listed below:

  • modal, consecutive: sv at 'so that'; til ess at 'so that'. For example, lgu eir fltta, sv at f ein skip vru eptir me jarls skipi 'they took to flight, so that only a few ships were left with the earl's ship'; skulu vr frndr nir veita r styrk, til ess at komir aldrigi san slkt ngveiti 'we, your kinsmen, will give you assistance, so that you never again reach such straits.'
  • concessive: at, tt 'although, if, whether'. For example, at hann deyi mrgum syndum, lifir hann tr sinni 'though he may die with many sins, he lives in his faith'. Sometimes tt is closer in sense to Modern English 'that' or 'when': eigi gruna ek at, tt fair inn haldi ltt sttirnar 'that I do not doubt, that your father would scarcely have reconciliation.'
  • causal: (fyrir) v at 'because'. For example, hrau hann skipin skjtt, v at ar var boramunr mikill 'he cleared the ships quickly, because there was a great difference of height'; kallar hann at meirr verit hafa fyrir v jttat, at eir vru komnir greipr lfi konungi 'he says it was agreed more readily because they had fallen at that time into the clutches of King Olaf.'

The two particles er and at sometimes overlap in sense, so that either is possible. For example, er s engi minn frndi, at gangi etta ml 'there is no kin of mine who would enter into such a deal.'