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Bragi inn gamli Boddason (Bragi)

9th century; volume 3; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

1. Ragnarsdrápa (Rdr) - 12

It is not possible to be precise about either the dates of Bragi Boddason’s (Bragi) floruit or about the details of his life. Some of the latter are almost certainly legendary (e.g. the narratives associated with Bragi Lv 1abIV, VIII and Bragi Troll), while his sobriquet inn gamli ‘the Old’ places him almost in prehistory, seen from an Icelandic viewpoint. Landnámabók (Ldn, ÍF 1, 82) mentions him as being associated by marriage with the family of Arinbjǫrn hersir from Firðir (Fjordane) in Western Norway, and Egils saga (Eg, ÍF 2, 182) places him in the same context. Ldn tells that Bragi’s wife was Lopthœna, daughter of another poet, Erpr lútandi ‘the Stooping’. Bragi seems to have been active as a poet in Norway one or two generations before the settlement of Iceland, hence c. 850-70. In Skáldatal’s list of poets (SnE 1848-87, III, 251, 259, 270), Bragi is the first named skald whose works have survived, at least in part. There he is associated with three patrons: Bjǫrn at Haugi, probably a Norwegian ruler, though some sources consider him Swedish (see Jón Jóhannesson 1940), Eysteinn beli and Ragnarr loðbrók ‘Shaggy-breeches’, there said to be a Danish king who himself composed poetry. Snorri Sturluson (SnE 1998, I, 72-3) associates Bragi’s poem Ragnarsdrápa (Rdr) with Ragnarr loðbrók, and he may be one and the same as the Ragnarr mentioned in Rdr’s refrain and ‘the son of Sigurðr’ referred to in Rdr 2/4. If Bragi’s patron Ragnarr is to be identified with the Viking leader who led an attack on Paris in 845, supposedly died in a snake-pit at the hands of King Ælla of Northumbria, and was the father of the Ingware and Ubba that the F version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle claims led raids on England in the 860s and 70s (de Vries 1928a; McTurk 1991a), then their association is just possible chronologically and geographically, as Ragnarr’s connections within Scandinavia were with Norway as well as with Denmark (Smyth 1977, 17-20).

Alongside information about Bragi the poet, Icelandic traditions also mention a god or supernatural being of this name (Grí 44/7, Lok, Sigrdr 16/2, SnE 2005, 25). In the frame narrative of Skm, Snorri Sturluson represents Bragi as the god who informs a curious sea-giant Ægir about the nature of skaldic diction. The connection between Bragi the poet and Bragi the god is uncertain, but it seems likely that Bragi Boddason’s iconic status as the first skald whose poetry survived into historical times contributed to the formation of the concept of a deity closely associated with the practice of skaldic verse in a courtly context (cf. Anon EirmI, Eyv HákI). Some scholars have linked Bragi and the origin of dróttkvætt with the influence of Irish poetry and culture, but their arguments are inconclusive (cf. Turville-Petre 1971; Kuhn 1983, 272-5; Sayers 1992).

Ragnarsdrápa (‘Drápa about Ragnarr’) — Bragi RdrIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Ragnarsdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 27.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12 

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa (AI, 1-4, BI, 1-4); stanzas (if different): 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

in texts: FoGT, Gramm, LaufE, Skm, SnE

SkP info: III, 27

notes: in SnE and Hkr (verse 13)

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 1 [Vol. 3, 28] — Bragi Rdr 1III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Vilið Hrafnketill heyra,
hvé hreingróit steini
Þrúðar skalk ok þengil
þjófs ilja blað leyfa.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 1 (AI, 1; BI, 1); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: A, C, R, Tx, U, W; texts: Skm 239
 
2 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 2 [Vol. 3, 30] — Bragi Rdr 2III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Nema svát góð ens gjalla
gjǫld baugnafaðs vildi
meyjar hjóls enn mæri
mǫgr Sigurðar Hǫgna.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 2 (AI, 1; BI, 1); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: A, C, R, Tx, U, W; texts: Skm 240
 
3 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 3 [Vol. 3, 31] — Bragi Rdr 3III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Knátti eðr við illan
Jǫrmunrekkr at vakna
með dreyrfáar dróttir
draum í sverða flaumi;
rósta varð í ranni
Randvés hǫfuðniðja,
þás hrafnbláir hefnðu
harma Erps of barmar.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 3 (AI, 1; BI, 1); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: C, R, Tx, W; texts: FoGT 23, LaufE 35(251n), Skm 155
 
4 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 4 [Vol. 3, 33] — Bragi Rdr 4III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Flaut of set, við sveita,
sóknar alfs í golfi
hræva dǫgg, þars hǫggnar
hendr sem fœtr of kendusk;
fell í blóði blandinn
brunn ǫlskála - runna
þat's á Leifa landa
laufi fátt - at hǫfði.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 4 (AI, 1-2; BI, 1); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: C, R, Tx; texts: Skm 156
 
5 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 5 [Vol. 3, 35] — Bragi Rdr 5III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Þar, svát gerðu gyrðan
golfhǫlkvis sá fylkis,
segls Naglfara siglur
saums andvanar standa;
urðu snemst ok Sǫrli
samráða þeir Hamðir
hǫrðum herðimýlum
Hergauts vinu barðir.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 5 (AI, 2; BI, 2); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: C, R, Tx; texts: Skm 157
 
6 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 6 [Vol. 3, 36] — Bragi Rdr 6III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Mjǫk lét stála støkkvir
styðja Gjúka niðja
flaums, þás fjǫrvi næma
Fogl-hildar mun vildu,
ok bláserkjar birkis
(ball) fagr-gǫtu allir
(ennihǫgg ok eggjar)
Jónakrs sonum launa.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 6 (AI, 2; BI, 2); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: C, R, Tx; texts: Skm 158
 
7 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 7 [Vol. 3, 38] — Bragi Rdr 7III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Þat segik fall á fǫgrum
flotna randar botni;
Ræs gǫfumk reiðar mána
Ragnarr ok fjǫlð sagna.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 7 (AI, 2; BI, 2); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: C, R, Tx; texts: Skm 159
 
8 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 8 [Vol. 3, 39] — Bragi Rdr 8III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Ok ofþerris æða
ósk-Rôn at þat sínum
til fárhuga fœra
feðr veðr boga hugði,
þás hristi-Sif hringa
hals, en bǫls of fylda,
bar til byrjar drǫsla
baug ørlygis draugi.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 8 (AI, 2; BI, 2); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: R, Tx, W; texts: Skm 252
 
9 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 9 [Vol. 3, 41] — Bragi Rdr 9III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Bauða sú til bleyði
bœti-Þrúðr at móti
malma mætum hilmi
men dreyrugra benja;
svá lét ey, þótt etti
sem orrostu letti,
jǫfrum ulfs at sinna
með algífris lifru.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 9 (AI, 2; BI, 2); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: R, Tx, W; texts: Skm 253
 
10 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 10 [Vol. 3, 42] — Bragi Rdr 10III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Letrat lýða stillir
landa vanr á sandi
(þá svall heipt í Hǫgna)
hǫð glamma mun stǫðva,
es þrymregin þremja
þróttig Heðin sóttu,
heldr an Hildar svíra
hringa þeir of fingi.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 10 (AI, 3; BI, 2-3); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: R, Tx, W; texts: Skm 254
 
11 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 11 [Vol. 3, 43] — Bragi Rdr 11III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Ok fyr hǫnd í holmi
hveðru brynju Viðris
fengeyðandi fljóða
fordæða nam ráða;
allr gekk herr und hurðir
Hjarranda framm kyrrar
reiðr af Reifnis skeiði
raðaralfs mari brôðum.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 11 (AI, 3; BI, 3); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: R, Tx, W; texts: Skm 256
 
12 Vol. 3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 12 [Vol. 3, 46] — Bragi Rdr 12III

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Þá má sókn á Svǫlnis
salpenningi kenna;
Ræs gǫfumk reiðar mána
Ragnarr ok fjǫlð sagna.

Skj: Bragi enn gamli: 1. Ragnarsdrápa 12 (AI, 3; BI, 3); dróttkvætt; ed. MCR; group: B; mss: R, Tx, W; texts: Skm 255
 
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated