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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, ‘(Introduction to) 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.


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

SkP info: I, 1029

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Anon Sveinfl 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Flokkr about Sveinn Álfífuson 1’ 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.

Vasa sunnudag, svanni,
— seggr hné margr und eggjar —
morgin þann, sem manni
mær lauk eða ǫl bæri,
þás Sveinn konungr sína
saman tengja bað drengi
— hrátt gafsk hold at slíta
hrafni — skeiðar stafna.

Svanni, vasa þann morgin, sunnudag, sem mær bæri manni lauk eða ǫl — margr seggr hné und eggjar —, þás Sveinn konungr bað drengi sína tengja saman stafna skeiðar; hrátt hold gafsk hrafni at slíta.

Lady, on that morning, a Sunday, it was not as if a maiden was bringing a man leek or ale — many a man sank down beneath blades — when King Sveinn ordered his warriors to join together the stems of the longship; raw flesh was given to the raven to tear.

Mss: (491r-v), 39(11vb), E(2v) (Hkr); 61(74rb), 53(72ra), Bb(110ra) (ÓT); Holm2(72v), 972ˣ(575va-576va), J2ˣ(238r), 325VI(40va), 73aˣ(211v), Holm4(68ra), 61(129rb), 325V(87va), 325VII(40v), Bb(204va), Tóm(160r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Vasa (‘Vara’): ‘Varar’ E, ‘Varr a’ 53, var á Bb(110ra), 61(129rb), Tóm, ‘Va’ Bb(110ra), var at 73aˣ    [2] hné: fell 73aˣ    [3] manni: mǫnnum 53, 325VII    [4] mær: ‘mor’ 61(129rb);    lauk: lausn J2ˣ, ‘lęk’ 61(129rb);    bæri: ‘bęki’ 61(129rb)    [5] þás (‘þá er’): er 61(74rb), 53, Bb(110ra), Holm2, 972ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, Bb(204va), en Holm4, 61(129rb), Tóm, ok 325V;    sína: sinna 73aˣ, sínu Tóm    [6] tengja: ‘t(r)ingia’(?) 972ˣ;    drengi: drengja Tóm    [7] hrátt: hart Bb(110ra);    gafsk: ‘ga(d)t’(?) Tóm

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI], [3]. Flokkr om Sven Alfifassön: AI, 423, BI, 393, Skald I, 195; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 339 (ch. 282); Hkr 1893-1901, II, 527-8, IV, 177, ÍF 27, 413-14, Hkr 1991, II, 555 (ÓHHkr ch. 249); ÓH 1941, I, 612 (ch. 250).

Context: Vying for power in Norway, Sveinn Álfífuson and Tryggvi, son of Óláfr Tryggvason, bring their fleets together at Bókn (Bokn in Boknafjorden, Rogaland) and engage in a fierce battle on a Sunday. The following prose records the victory of Sveinn and the death of Tryggvi and many of his men.

Notes: [All]: For this battle, see also Sigv Tryggfl and its Context; and for a suggested connection between Sigv Nesv, Sigv Tryggfl and this stanza, see Hellberg (1972, 24-30) and Introduction to Sigv Tryggfl. — [1] sunnudag ‘a Sunday’: That the battle was fought on a Sunday, i.e. that sunnudag modifies the main clause, is the most natural interpretation and is the understanding of Snorri Sturluson (see Context). Alternatively, the word could conceivably be taken with the sem-clause in ll. 3-4, so that the battle is not fought on a Sunday, but is contrasted with pleasant relaxation on a Sunday. — [1] svanni ‘lady’: See Introduction. — [3] þann morgin ‘on that morning’: This could alternatively be taken with the intercalary clause in l. 2 (so ÍF 27). — [4] lauk ‘leek’: Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 27), cites Sigrdr 8/3 where laukr is thrown into a drink (albeit in a context involving magic); cf. also Vígf Lv 1/1 for laukr in a similar general context to the present one. On the properties of laukr, see further Note to Anon Vǫlsa 4/4. — [5] Sveinn: I.e. Sveinn Álfífuson, illegitimate son of Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great) and the English Álfífa (Ælfgifu of Northampton). He ruled Norway 1030-5 after the fall of Óláfr Haraldsson at Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad). — [6] drengi ‘warriors’: Drengr m. can mean ‘(young) man, (manly) man, warrior, servant’, and at least in early usage often has connotations of belonging to a tightly-bonded group (see Fritzner, LP: drengr; SnE 1998, II, 258; Jesch 1993a; Jesch 2001a, 216-32; Goetting 2006).

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