Applications 19.   Handout.  On the Paroemiologicial Delineation of Character in Grettis Saga.
The 6th Annual Fiske Conference on Medieval Icelandic Studies [Norsestock 6]
Cornell University, June 2011   
                                    Richard L. Harris  heorot@sasktel.net

Ég  sé þig elta heim í hreysið
við hraunið, -- máni að baki skín,
þinn eigin skugga, auðnuleysið, --
sem eitt hélt tryggð við sporin þín.
“Útilegumaðurinn”, Sigurður Sigurðsson

1. References to Sturla Þórðarson, probably as a written source:
ÍF. VII. 49. 157.  Spjótit þat, sem Grettir hafði týnt, fannsk eigi fyrr en í þeira manna minnum, er nú lifa; þat spjót fannsk ófanverðum dögum Sturlu lögmanns Þórðarsonar ok í þeira mýri, er Þorbjörn fell, ok heitir þar nú Spjótsmýrr; ok hafa menn þat til merkja, at Þorbjörn hafi þar drepinn verit, þótt í sumum stöðum segi, at hann hafi á Miðfitjum drepinn verit.
CSI II. 49. 125.  [On the spear Grettir lost when he killed Thorbjorn.] The spear that Grettir had lost was not found for a long time, until the days that people still alive can remember.  It was found towards the end of Sturla Thordarson the Lawseaker’s life, in the marshland where Thorbjorn was killed, which is no known as Spjotsmyri (Spear-Mire.) This is taken as proof that Thorbjorn was killed there, although some accounts say that he was killed in Midfitjar.

ÍF. VII. 69. 226. Þá hafði hann fimmtán vetr eða sextán í sekð verit, at því sem Sturla Þórðarson hefir sagt.
CSI II. 69. 159.  [On the time when Grettir and Illugi went to settle on Drangey; the passage describes living conditions on the island.]  By that time he had been an outlaw for fifteen or sixteen years, according to Sturla Thordarson.

ÍF. VII. 93. Hefir Sturla lögmaðr svá sagt, at engi sekr maðr þykkir honum jafnmikill fyrir sér hafa verit sem Grettir inn sterki.  Finnr hann til þess þrjár greinir.  Þá fyrst, at honum þykkir hann vitrastr verit hafa, því at hann hefir verit lengst í sekð einnhverr manna ok varð aldri unninn, meðan hann var heill; þá aðra, at hann var sterkastr á landinu sinna jafnaldra ok meir lagðr til at koma af aptrgöngum ok reimleikum en aðrir menn; sú in þriðja, at hans var hefnt út í Miklagarði, sem einskis annars íslenzks manns; ok þat með, hverr giptumaðr Þorsteinn drómundr varð á sínum efstum dögum, sá in sami, er hans hefndi.
CSI II. 93. 191.
  Sturla the Lawspeaker has said that he does not consider any outlaw to have been as distinguished as Grettir the Strong, and justifies this on three grounds. Firstly, he regards him as the wisest, since he spent the longest time in outlawry of any man and was never overcome for as long as he kept his health.  Secondly, he was the strongest man in Iceland among his contemporaries, and more capable than others at laying ghosts and visitations to rest.  The third reason was that, unlike any other Icelander, he was avenged in Constantinople, and what is more, the man who avenged him, Thorstein Dromund, became so exceptionally favoured by fortune in the last years of his life.

2. Infant Episodes in the Gospel of Thomas, Second Greek Form:
4. And some days after, when Jesus was going through the midst of the city, a boy threw a stone at Him, and struck Him on the shoulder. And Jesus said to him: Thou shalt not go on thy way. And directly falling down, he also died. And they that happened to be there were struck with astonishment, saying: Whence is this child, that every word he says is certainly accomplished? And they also went and reproached Joseph, saying: It is impossible for thee to live with us in this city: but if thou wishest to do so, teach thy child to bless, and not to curse: for he is killing our children, and everything that he says is certainly accomplished. 5. And Joseph was sitting in his seat, and the child stood before him; and he took hold of Him by the ear, and pinched it hard. And Jesus looked at him steadily, and said: It is enough for thee.

3. Proverbs of the Infant Episode in Grettla:
ÍF VII. 14. 38. “Vinr er sá annars, er ills varnar,” sagði Grettir.
CSI II. 14. Grettir when Asmund relieves him from his job of keeping the geese:
65.A true friend spares others from evil,” Grettir said.
ASB 8.   14. 40. 7.  17. Man beachte die für Grettir charakteristische gnomische ausdrucksweise. Dasselbe sprichwort ist auch aus Dänemark nachgewiesen: Det er en ærlig ven, der varer en ad sin skade (Molbech, Danske ordsprog s. 246).
FJ Proverb word 458. Page 199. vinr – vinr er sás vörnuð býðr Sigv. Bers. 13. ‘Det er en ven som advarer’. Omtrent samme betyder: vinr er sá annars er ills varnar Grett 23 (Boer 40). ‘Den er en ven som advarer en mod det onde’.
TPMA 4.   47. FREUND/ami/friend 3. Art der wahren Freundschaft und des richtigen Verhaltens gegenüber Freunden 3.11. Mut zu berechtigter Mahnung und Verzicht auf falsches Lob 3.11.1. Man tadle und strafe, ermahne und warne seinen Freund zu seinem Besten46  Nord. 788 Vinr ’s sás . . . Vörnuð býðr Derjenige ist ein Freund, der warnt SIGVATR 11, 13 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 458. JÓNSSON 181). 789 Ef þú vin átt, Þann er þér vildr sé, Fýs hann gott at gera, Orða þinna Þótt oþökk kunni, Þó skalt hann við vammi vara Wenn du einen Freund hast, der dir lieb ist, ermahne ihn, Gutes zu tun! Auch wenn dir für deine Worte keinen Dank weiss, sollst du ihn dennoch vor Schande warnen HUGSVINNSMÁL 25. 790 Vinr er sá annars, er ills varnar Derjenige ist des andern Freund, der ihn vom Bösen abhält GRETTIS SAGA 14, 7.     46Vgl. WHITING S 124.

ÍF VII. 14. 38.Fleira veit sá, er fleira reynir,” sagði Grettir, “eða hvat skal ek nú gera?”
CSI II. 14. Grettir when Asmund says he’ll find him another task:
65.The more you try, the more you learn,” Grettir replied. “What am I supposed to do now?”
ASB 8. 14. 41. 7.
FJ Proverb word 461. Page 201. vita – . . . fleira veit sá er fleira reynir Grett 23 (Boer 40). ‘Jo mere man prøver, desto mer ved man’. = GJ.

ÍF VII. 14. 38. Grettir segir: “Illt er at eggja óbilgjarnan.”
CSI II. 14. Grettir when Asmund tells him to scratch his back more vigorously:
65.It’s a bad thing to goad the obstinate,” said Grettir.
ASB 8.   14. 41. 10.  17. óbilgjarn, “unerschrocken”, “furchtlos”, vgl. verðr e-hm bilt, “jemand fängt an sich zu fürchten”. Der Orms þáttr St. (Flat. I, 522, 3) hat die variante: illt er at eggja ofstopamennina; vgl. auch Sig. kv. skamma 21, 1: dælt vas at eggja óbilgjarnan.
FJ Proverb word 297. Page 175. óbilgjarn – ilt er at eggja óbilgjarnan (ofstopamanninn) Grett 24 (Boer 41), FMS III 206. ‘Det er slemt at ægge den der self ikke er til sinds at give efter (den voldsomme)’. I Sig. sk. 21 hedder det: dælt vas at eggja óbílgjarnan. GJ har ordspr., med var.: ofstopamannin.
TPMA 9. 276. REIZEN/provoquer/to provoke 1. Man reize keinen Kühnen (Anmassenden)  Nord. 1 Illt er at eggja óbilgjarnan Schlimm ist es, den Kühnen zu reizen GRETTIS SAGA 14, 10 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 297. JÓNSSON 126). 2 Ílt er at eggja ofstopamanninn Schlimm ist es, den Anmassenden zu reizen ORMS ÞÁTTR STÓRÓLFSSONAR 1 (→FMS III, 206 [= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 297]).   Anders: Nord. 3 Dælt var at eggja óbilgjarnan Leicht war es, den Kühnen zu reizen SIG. SKAMMA 21, 1 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 297).

ÍF VII. 14. 40-1. Grettir segir: “Skýzk þeim mörgum vísdómrinn, er betri ván er at.”
CSI II. 14. Grettir when Asmund thinks it’s going to blizzard, based on Kengala's behaviour:
66.Wisdom falls short where it is most expected,” said Grettir.
ASB 8. 14. 44. 19.
FJ Proverb word 459. Page 200. vísdómr – skýzk þeim mörgum vísdómrinn er betri ván er at Grett 25 (Boer 44). ‘Visdommen svigter mange, af hvem man skulde vænte noget bedre (i retning af visdom’).

ÍF VII. 14. 41.Verðr þat, er varir,” sagði Grettir, “ok svá hitt, er eigi varir.”
CSI II. 14. Grettir when Asmund expects Kengala’s back to be as firm as ever:
66. The foreseeable happens, and the unforeseeable too,” said Grettir.
ASB 8. 14. 45. 20.
FJ Proverb word 436. Page 197. vara (2) – . . . verðr þat er varir ok svá hitt er eigi varir Grett 26 (Boer 45) ‘Det hændes mange som man mindst vænter’. jfr GJ: margan hendir það hann hugsar ekki (sækir það hann sízt varir).
TPMA 3. 49. ERWARTEN/attendre/to expect 1. Oft tritt ein, was man nicht erwartet  Nord. 4 Mart gengr verr, en varir Vieles geht schlechter, als man erwartet HÁVAMÁL 40, 6 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 436. JÓNSSON 174). 5 Margan þat sœkir, Es minst of varir Manchen sucht das heim, was er am wenigsten erwartet SÓLARLJÓÐ 8, 4 (= GERING S. 13). 6 Mart verðr annann veg enn maðrinn ætlar Manches kommt anders, als man erwartet JÓMSVÍKINGA SAGA 47 (→FMS XI, 150 [= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 450. JÓNSSON 178]). 7 Þat er satt, sem mællt er, at margan hendir þat, er minnzst varir Das ist wahr, was man sagt, dass manchem das widerfährt, was er am wenigsten erwartet ORKNEYINGA SAGA 30 S. 83, 4 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 436. GERING S. 13. JÓNSSON 174). 8 Nú verðr sumt þats mangi varir Nun geschieht manches, was niemand erwarter MÁLSHÁTTAKVÆÐI 25, 6 (= GERING S. 13). 9 Mart kann öðru víss til at bera en menn hyggja Manches kann sich anders zutragen, als die Menschen erwarten MÖTTULS SAGA 22 (→JÓNSSON, ARKIV 33 [= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 14]).   Ähnlich: Nord. 15 “Verðr þat er varir”, sagði Grettir, “ok svá hitt, er eigi varir” “Das geschieht, was man erwartet”, sagte Grettir, “und ebenso das, was man nicht erwartet” GRETTIS SAGA 14, 20 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 436. JÓNSSON 174).

ÍF VII. 14. 41.Verðr þat, er varir,” sagði Grettir, “ok svá hitt, er eigi varir.”
CSI II. 14. Grettir when Asmund expects Kengala’s back to be as firm as ever:
66. “The foreseeable happens, and the unforeseeable too,” said Grettir.
ASB 8. 14. 45. 20.

4. With Auðun:
ÍF VII. 15. 44. Grettir kvað ekki þurfa at halda á sér sem ólmum hundi ok mælti þetta, “Þræll einn þegar hefnisk, en argr aldri.”
CSI II. 15. Grettir objects when men hold him back from his fight with Audun:
68. Grettir said there was no need to hold him like a mad dog – “Only a slave takes vengeance at once, and a coward never.”
ASB 8. 15. 48. 7.  4. argr (= ragr), “unmännlich”, “feige”, hier in substantivischer funktion.

ÍF VII. 15. 44. Grettir kvað ekki þurfa at halda á sér sem ólmum hundi ok mælti þetta, “Þræll einn þegar hefnisk, en argr aldri.”1    1Einungis þræll hefnir sín þegar í stað, en ragur maður hefnir sín aldrei. Til samanburðar má minna á orð Hákonar jarls í Njálu (88. kap.), er Hrappur hafði brennt up hof Guðbrands í Dölum og flett goðin: “En goð hefna eigi alls þegar”.
CSI II. 15. Grettir objects when men hold him back from his fight with Audun:
68. Grettir said there was no need to hold him like a mad dog - “Only a slave takes vengeance at once, and a coward never.”
ASB 8. 15. 48. 7.  4. argr (= ragr), “unmännlich”, “feige”, hier in substantivischer funktion.
FJ Proverb word 482. Page 204. þræll – . . . þræll einn þegar hefnisk en argr aldri Grett 28 (Boer 48). ‘Trællen ene hævner sig straks, den feje aldrig’. Synes at antyde, at en træl vil straks hævne sig, medens en fribåren godt kan vænte og vise sin overlegenhed vid udførelsen. GJ har: þrællinn hefnir en argr aldrei, hvilket giver en god mening for sig.
TPMA 9. 177. RACHE/vengeance 8. Verschiedenes  Nord. 140 Eigi veit áðr hefndum lýkr Man weiss nich (, wie es ausgeht), bevor die Rache vollzogen ist MÁLSHÁTTAKVÆÐI 18, 6 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 166. JÓNSSON 66). 141 Þræll einn þegar hefniz, en argr aldri Ein Knecht rächt sich schnell, aber ein Feiger nie GRETTIS SAGA 15, 7 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 482. JÓNSSON 190). 142 Fornrar skemðar skal fyrr hefna Alte Schande soll man zuerst (wörtl.: früher) rächen BÆRINGS SAGA 24 S. 111, 26 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 165. JÓNSSON 66).
Ed. note.  See Deskis, p. 124, fn 77.

5. With Þorsteinn drómundr Ásmundarson:
ÍF VII.   41. 137. Grettir segir: "Satt er þat, sem mælt er, at engi maðr skapar sik sjálfr.ngi maðr skapar sik sjálfr. Láttu mik nú sjá þína handleggi," segir hann.
CSI II.   41. Grettir to Thorstein, who has said it would have been better if his brother's arms were thinner and somewhat luckier:
114. “I would have preferred less muscle and more good fortune,” said Thorstein. Then Grettir said, “The saying is true: no man is his own creator. Show me your arms then.”
ASB 8.   41. 155. 3.  1. Satt – mælt er, s. zu c. 20, 6.
FJ Proverb word 361. Page 185. skapa – engi maðr skapar sik sjálfr Grett 97 (Boer 155). ‘Ingen skaber (har skabt) sig selv’.
TPMA 3.   42. ERSCHAFFEN/créer/to create  1. Niemand kann sich selbst erschaffen  Nord. 1 Satt er þat, sem mælt er, at engi maðr skapar sik sjálfr Wahr ist, was gesagt wird, dass niemand sich selber erschaft GRETTIS SAGA 41, 3 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 361. JÓNSSON 148).

6. With Þorbjörg in digra Óláfsdóttir:
ÍF VII.   52. 169. "Eigi má nú við öllu sjá; vera varð ek nökkur."2     2nökkur: nokkurs staðar, einhvers staðar; sbr., Einhvers staðar verða vondir að vera.
CSI II.   52. Grettir excuses himself to Thorbjorg the Stout, Olaf Peacock's daughter, for causing trouble in her district:
131. You can’t provide for everything,” said Grettir. “I had to be somewhere.”
ASB 8.   52. 190. 15.   12. Eigi – sjá, vgl. c. 31, 4.
FJ Proverb word 358. Page 184. sjá – eigi má við öllu sjá Grett 119 (Boer 190). ‘Ikke kan man tage sig i agt for alt’. I poetisk form: engi er sá við öllu sér Þrændlur I 48. Også hos GJ.
TPMA 10.   373. SEHEN/voir/to see 9. Gut schauen, aufpassen 9.4. Man kann nicht aug alles achten (Rücksicht nehmen)  Nord. 152 Ekki verðr við öllu sèt Man kann nicht auf alles achten (wörtl.: Es wird nicht auf alles geachtet) HRÓLFS SAGA KRAKA 49 (→FAS I, 99). 153 Má eigi fyrir öllu sjá Man kann nicht auf alles achten GRETTIS SAGA 31, 4. 154 Eigi má nú (jetzt) öllu sjá EBD. 52, 15 (=JÓNSSON, ARKIV 358. JÓNSSON 146). 155 Ekki má fyrir ollu sjá EBD. 81, 8 (= GERING S. 12). 156 Eigi mun nú fyrir öllu verða umsèð Man kann jetzt nicht auf alles achten (wörtl.: Es kann jetzt nicht auf alles geachtet werden) EINDRIÐA ÞÁTTR 1 (→FMS V, 306). 157 Ekki verðr (nú) vilð öllu sét GUNNARS SAGA KELDUGNÚPSFÍFLS47, 28 (→GERING S. 12).

ÍF VII.   52. 169. "Eigi má nú við öllu sjá; vera varð ek nökkur."2     2nökkur: nokkurs staðar, einhvers staðar; sbr., Einhvers staðar verða vondir að vera.
CSI II.   52. Grettir excuses himself to Thorbjorg the Stout, Olaf Peacock's daughter, for causing trouble in her district:
131. “You can’t provide for everything,” said Grettir. “I had to be somewhere.”
ASB 8.   52. 190. 15.   12. Eigi – sjá, vgl. c. 31, 4.
Ed. note. Proverbial allusion:  Einhvers staðar verða vondir að vera. Íslenzkir Málshættir 364, citing JÁÞjóðs I 138, 140.

7. Grettir’s Death Scene:
ÍF VII.   82. 260. Þá mælti Grettir: “Berr er hverr á bakinu, nema sér bróður eigi.”
CSI II.   82. Grettir, to Illugi, while under attack:
176. Then Grettir said, “Bare is the back of a brotherless man.” Illugi threw a shield over Grettir and protected him so valiantly that everyone praised his defence.
ASB 8.   82. 283. 13.
FJ Proverb 25. Page 66. bak – berr er hverr á bakinu nema sér bróður eigi Grett 185 (Boer 283). ‘Enhver er bar på ryggen (værgeløs bagfra) medmindre han har sig en broder’. Også i GJ med udeladelse af sér.
Saxo (Kallstenius) 20. 17. nudum habere tergum fraternitatis inopem, referebat, s. 13519. – Bar er broderløs Bag, Vedel s. 8911. Se vidare D n:r 395 med komm., Rosenberg a. a. II s. 601 not, Gering Ark 32 s. 6 och JR II n:r 169 (s. 19).
TPMA 2.   128.  BRUDER/frère/brother  1. Ein Bruder ist wertvoll und von grossem Nutzen 1.3. Wer keinen Bruder hat, ist nackt (ungeschützt)  Mlat. 9 Nudum habere tergum fraternitatis inopem, referebat (scil. Ericus) Er (Ericus) rief, dass der Bruderlose einen ungeschützten Rücken habe SAXO GRAMM. 135, 19.  Nord. 10.11 Berr er hverr á bakinu (NJÁLS SAGA: at baki), nema sér bróður eigi Jeder ist am Rücken nackt, ausser demjenigen, der einen Bruder hat GRETTIS SAGA 82, 13 (= JÓNSSON, ARKIV 25. GERING S. 6. JÓNSSON 22). NJÁLS SAGA 152, 5. 12 Fratribus orbatus est pro nudo reputatus. – Bar ær brodherløss man Jemand, der seiner Brüder beraubt ist, wird als nackt angesehen. – Ein bruderloser Mann ist nackt LÅLE 395. Variiert: Nord. 13 Opt kømr mér Mána brúþar (H.s.: bjarnar2) Í byrvind Brœþraleyse; Hyggjomk umb, Es hildr þróask Oft kommt mir der Mangel an Brüdern in den Sinn (wörtl.: in den Fahrtwind der Mondbraut [des Mondbären]); ich denke darüber nach, wenn der Kampflärm anschwillt EGILL, SONATORREK 13, 1 (→EGILS SAGA S. 305).
In the Middle Ages both sides of human consciousness—that which was turned within as that which was turned without—lay dreaming or half awake beneath a common veil.  The veil was woven of faith, illusion, and childish prepossession, through which the world and history were seen clad in strange hues.  Man was conscious of himself only as a member of a race, people, party, family, or corporation—only through some general category. In Italy this veil first melted into air; an objective treatment and consideration of the State and of all things of this world became possible.  The subjective side at the same time asserted itself with corresponding emphasis; man became a spiritual individual, and recognized himself as such.
Jakob Burckhardt. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, Part II. The Development of the Individual. Chapter I. The Italian State and the Individual. 143.

For pertinent data see The Distribution of Proverbs Attributed to Grettir in his saga.

Bibliography
ÍF VII.  Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar. Bandamanna saga. Odds þáttr Ófeigssonar. Guðni Jónsson gaf út.  Íslenzk fornrit VII. Reykjavík, 1936.   
CSI II.  
The Saga of Grettir the Strong. Tr. Bernard Scudder. The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, ed. Viðar Hreinsson. Reykjavík, 1997. 5 vols. Volume II, pp. 49-191.
ASB 8.   
Grettis Saga Asmundarsonar. Ed. RC Boer. Halle, 1900. (Altnordische Saga-bibliothek, 8.)
TPMA 
Samuel Singer Kuratorium, Thesaurus Proverbiorum Medii Aevi, 13 vols. and Quellenverzeichnis.
FJ 
Finnur Jónsson, “Oldislandske ordsprog og talemåder,” ANF 30 (1913-14) 61-111, 170-217. Articles are identified by Proverb word number and Page number.
Saxo (Kallstenius) 
Kallstenius, Gottfrid. “Nordiska ordspråk hos Saxo,” Studier til Axel Kock, ANF (Tillagsband til bd. 40 (ANF) Lund 1929) 16-31
Deskis
.  Deskis, Susan E. ‘Beowulf and the Medieval Proverb Tradition, Medieval & Renaissance Texts and Studies. Tempe, Arizona. Center for Medieval Studies, 1996.
Burckhardt, Jakob. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. New York, 1929.
Cook, Robert.  “The Reader in Grettis saga.” Saga-Book  21.3-4 (1984-5) 133-54, a re-worked expansion of his
__________ .  “Reading for Character in Grettis saga,” in Sagas of the Icelanders: a Book of Essays, ed. John Tucker. 1989.  226-240.
Harris, Richard. "The Deaths of Grettir and Grendel: A New Parallel." Scripta Islandica 24 (1973) 25-53.
Grettir’s Saga. Tr. Denton Fox & Hermann Pálsson. Toronto, 1975.
Honeck, Richard P. A Proverb in Mind. The Cognitive Science of Proverbial Wit and Wisdom. Mahwah, NJ, & London, 1997
Norrick, Neal R. How Proverbs Mean. Semantic Studies in English Proverbs.  Berlin, NY, 1985.
Obeng, Samuel Gyasi. Language in African Social Interaction. Indirectness in Akan Communication.  New York, 2003.
Patterson, Lee. "On the Margin: Postmodernism, Ironic History, and Medieval Studies," Speculum 65 (1990) 87-108.
Taylor, Archer. The Proverb. Chicago, 1931.

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