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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

I. Flokkr about Sveinn Álfífuson (Sveinfl) - 1

not in Skj

Flokkr about Sveinn Álfífuson — Anon SveinflI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘ Anonymous, Flokkr about Sveinn Álfífuson’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1029. <> (accessed 28 May 2022)


Skj: Anonyme digte om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI]: [3]. Flokkr om Sven Alfifassön, o. 1034 (AI, 423, BI, 393); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: Hkr, ÓH, ÓHHkr, ÓT

SkP info: I, 1029

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


The stanza (Anon Sveinfl) contrasts the grim reality of a sea-battle with being plied with refreshments by a woman, and hence belongs to a tradition also represented, for instance, in Sigv Nesv 7/5-8, or in Tindr Hákdr 1, Vígf Lv 1 and Stefnir Lv 1/5-8, all three of which contrast seafaring or warfaring with the warm embrace of a woman. Anon Sveinfl is addressed to an anonymous and perhaps fictional lady (svanni, l. 1; cf. Frank 1990a). King Sveinn is mentioned in l. 5 (see Note below and Context), and the stanza is introduced in the sources as a remnant of a flokkr about him. According to the prose sources, the stanza commemorates a sea-battle off Bókn (Bokn), which is placed two or three years into Sveinn’s reign in Norway, hence suggesting a date of composition c. 1032. The stanza is preserved in Snorri Sturluson’s Óláfs saga helga in both the Separate version (ÓH) and Hkr version (ÓHHkr), as well as in ÓT. The mss used are listed below; is the main ms.

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