This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Bǫðvarr balti (Balti)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Sigurðardrápa (Sigdr) - 4

Skj info: Bǫðvarr balti, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 504-5, BI, 476-7).

Skj poems:

Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 255, 263, 277) lists Bǫðvarr balti ‘Bear’ (Balti) among the poets of Sigurðr munnr ‘Mouth’ Haraldsson (d. 1155; see ‘Royal Biographies’ in Introduction to this vol.), but he is otherwise unknown. His nickname is given as halti ‘the Lame’ in Mork (see Introduction below), but that must be a scribal error because both Skáldatal and ms. U of SnE agree on balti. We do not know whether Bǫðvarr was from Iceland or Norway.

Sigurðardrápa (‘Drápa about Sigurðr’) — Balti SigdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 533-6.

 1   2   3   4 

Skj: Bǫðvarr balti: Sigurðardrápa, o. 1150 (AI, 504-5, BI, 477-8)

SkP info: II, 535-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Balti Sigdr 4II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 535-6.

Alls engi verðr Inga
undir sólar grundu
bǫðvar hvatr né betri
brœðr landreki œðri.

Alls engi landreki, hvatr bǫðvar, verðr œðri né betri {brœðr Inga} undir {grundu sólar}.

No land-ruler at all, brave in battle, will become more distinguished or better than {Ingi’s brother} [= Sigurðr munnr] beneath {the ground of the sun} [SKY/HEAVEN].

Mss: R(26r), Tˣ(26v), W(56), U(29r), B(5r) (SnE); 2368ˣ(94), 743ˣ(73v) (LaufE)

Readings: [1] verðr: varð U

Editions: Skj: Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa 4: AI, 505, BI, 478, Skald I, 235; SnE 1848-87, I, 316-17, II, 313, 526, SnE 1931, 113, SnE 1998, I, 34; LaufE 1979, 350.

Context: Grund sólar ‘the ground of the sun’ is given in Skm and LaufE as a variant kenning for ‘heaven’ (land sólar ‘the land of the sun’).

Notes: [All]: The various mss of SnE attribute this st. to different poets (see Introduction above). — [All]: Finnur Jónsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 640) believed that this half-st. could have been the refrain (stef) in Bǫðvarr‘s drápa, but the content suggests that it belonged to the end of the poem (see Fidjestøl 1982, 160). — [1] Inga ‘Ingi’s’: Ingi Haraldsson (d. 1161). — [3] hvatr bǫðvar ‘brave in battle’: As Fidjestøl (1982, 160) points out, this appears to be a deliberate pun on the name of the poet, Bǫðvarr, functioning as his signature, as it were. Sigvatr (Sigv) employs a similar technique in his encomium to Queen Ástríðr (Sigv Ást 1/4I) when he calls Óláfr Haraldsson sigrhvatastr ‘the most battle-brave’, and Fidjestøl suggests that Bǫðvarr knew Sigvatr’s poem and imitated it consciously.

© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.