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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ormr Steinþórsson (Ormr)

11th century; volume 3; ed. Russell Poole;

2. Fragments (Frag) - 2

Skj info: Ormr Steinþórsson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh.(?) (AI, 415-416, BI, 385-386).

Skj poems:
1. Af et digt om en kvinde (?)
2. Af et ubestemmeligt digt

Nothing is known about Ormr Steinþórsson (Ormr). The patronymic indicates that he was probably an Icelander rather than a Norwegian (Ólafur Halldórsson 1969b, 156). Finnur Jónsson (Skj AI, 415) places him in the eleventh century, with a query, but commonalities between his work and certain other poems, noted below, make a floruit in the late twelfth century, perhaps even the turn of the thirteenth, more probable. He appears from the internal evidence of poetic fragments attributed to him to have composed for both male and female patrons; one of the male recipients was evidently blind (see Introduction to Ormr Frag below).

Fragments — Ormr FragIII

Russell Poole 2017, ‘ Ormr Steinþórsson, Fragments’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 332. <> (accessed 26 May 2022)

 1   2 

Skj: Ormr Steinþórsson: 2. Af et ubestemmeligt digt (AI, 416, BI, 386)

in texts: Skm, SnE, SnEU

SkP info: III, 332

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Two fragments by Ormr Steinþórsson (Ormr Frag) are transmitted in Skm (SnE). Fragment 1 is attested, with attribution to Ormr Steinþórsson, in SnE mss R (main ms.), , W, U and B. Fragment 2 appears uniquely in U. It is assumed by Finnur Jónsson (Skj), followed by Kock (Skald), that these two fragments belong to a single poem, but in fact there is no basis for certainty on this score (cf. SnE 1998, I, 183) and some slight indications against. Fragment 1 seems to envisage delivery of the poem to a blind man (though see Note to st. 2/1, 2 below), whereas Frag 2 speaks of delivery to a larger audience (though this could be conventional).
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