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Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

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Bótólfr begla (Bót)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Judith Jesch;

Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Orkn describes Bótólfr begla (Bót) as íslenzkr maðr ok skáld gott ‘an Icelander and a good poet’ (ÍF  34, 257). The meaning of his nickname is not known but it may be related to a Norw. verb begla ‘hinder, bungle’ (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 298; Lind 1920-1, 17 cites this word as a noun). He is said to have lived at Knarrarstaðir, one of Rǫgnvaldr’s veizla-farms, which were obliged ‘to accommodate, feed and entertain the lord as he travelled round his possessions’ (Thomson 2001, 106; ÍF 34, 175). Bótólfr is not mentioned in Orkn other than in connection with this anecdote.

Lausavísa — Bót LvII

Judith Jesch 2009, ‘ Bótólfr begla, Lausavísa’ 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. 629-30. <> (accessed 7 December 2021)

stanzas:  1 

Skj: Bótolfr begla: Lausavísa, 1154 (AI, 532, BI, 513); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: II, 629-30

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Bót Lv 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Bótólfr begla, Lausavísa 1’ 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. 629-30.

Ferr at foglum harri
— firar neyta vel skeyta —
— vôn á heiðar hœna
hnakkadytts — und bakka.
Þar verðr almr, es olmir
undlinns stafir finnask
— land verr lofðungr brandi —
lynghœsn, dreginn kyngjum.


The lord has gone to hunt birds beneath the slopes; men are using shooting-weapons well; {the chicken of the heath} [GAME BIRD] has expectations of a neck-blow. The bow is being frequently drawn, where {the frenzied poles {of the wound-serpent}} [and] [SWORD > WARRIORS] {the heather-chicken } [GAME BIRD] meet; the prince defends the land with his sword.

context: Erlendr Haraldsson, who has just seen off Haraldr Maddaðarson in a fight nearby, arrives at Knarrarstaðir where Rǫgnvaldr is staying with Bótólfr. When they ask where Rǫgnvaldr is, Bótólfr replies that he had been there the previous night and recites this st. when the troop insist that he must know where Rǫgnvaldr is. They head off to chase him and Rǫgnvaldr escapes.

notes: This event takes place in 1154 (ÍF 34, lxxxix). Rǫgnvaldr has made common cause with his fellow jarl Haraldr Maddaðarson, while their rival Jarl Erlendr Haraldsson is supported by Sveinn Ásleifarson. While Erlendr and Sveinn plan an attack on both of the other jarls, Rǫgnvaldr slips away to his own estates during a storm. Erlendr defeats Haraldr the next day and then pursues Rǫgnvaldr. Bótólfr’s st. misleads the pursuers and gives Rǫgnvaldr a chance to escape.

texts: Flat 726, Orkn 82

editions: Skj Bótolfr begla: Lausavísa (AI, 532; BI, 513); Skald I, 251; Flat 1860-8, II, 499, Orkn 1887, 196, Orkn 1913-16, 286-7, ÍF 34, 258 (ch. 94), Bibire 1988, 239.


AM 325 I 4° (325I) 18r, 7 - 18r, 10 (Orkn)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 142rb, 1 - 142rb, 3 (Orkn)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated