Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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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:
Sigurðardrápa

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.

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