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Runic Dictionary

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Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson (Mberf)

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

Lausavísur (Lv) - 6

See ‘Royal Biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 5. Biographies > 1. Royal Biographies > 1. Kings of Norway > i. Magnús III berfœttr Óláfsson (Mberf) (r. 1093-1103)

Saga: Mberf (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson, the son of Óláfr kyrri, was king of Norway from 1093-1103 (for a discussion of his nickname, see Note to Anon Nkt 43/1). He died in battle in Ulster, Ireland, on 24 August 1103. See Theodoricus (MHN 59-63; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 49-51), Ágr (ÍF 29, 42-7; Ágr 1995, 60-71), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 297-337; Andersson and Gade 2000, 285-313), Fsk (ÍF 29, 301-15; Finlay 2004, 241-52), Hkr (ÍF 28, 210-37; Hollander 1991, 668-87), H-Hr (Fms 7, 1-73).  See also Orkn (ÍF 34, 92-102, 312-15, 343-4, 346-8; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 82-9). For the genealogies of Magnús and his sons, see Genealogies II.2.f and II.3 in ÍF 28.

Events documented in poetry: The joint rule of Magnús and his cousin, Hákon Magnússon, 1093-4 (Anon (Mberf) 1); the uprising against Magnús in 1094, spearheaded by the district chieftain Steigar-Þórir Þórðarson, and the subsequent hanging of the rebels (SteigÞ Kv; Bkrepp Magndr 2-3; Þham Magndr 1 and Lv; Gísl Magnkv 1-8; Anon (Mberf) 2-3); Magnús’s harrying in Halland, in present-day Sweden (c. 1093-5; Bkrepp Magndr 1); his first expedition to the west in 1098, the capture of King Lǫgmaðr Guðrøðarson of the Hebrides and the killing of Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in the Menai Strait (Mberf Lv 1; Kali Lv; Bkrepp Magndr 5-11; Þham Magndr 2-3; Gísl Magnkv 9-16); Magnús’s campaigns in Sweden against King Ingi Steinkelsson and the battle of Fuxerna (c. 1100-2; Mberf Lv 2; Eldj Lv 1-2; Þham Magndr 4; Gísl Magnkv 17-20; Anon (Mberf) 4-5); Magnús’s second expedition to the west and his death in Ulster in 1103 (Þham Magndr 5). Two anonymous lausavísur describe Magnús’s sailing (Anon (Mberf) 6-7) and his life is chronicled in Anon Nkt 42-4, 66-7. In addition to the two lausavísur mentioned above (Mberf Lv 1-2), another four stanzas are attributed to Magnús (Mberf Lv 3-6), describing his love for two women (Matilda and an unknown Irish woman).

Lausavísur — Mberf LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson, Lausavísur’ 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. 385-90. <> (accessed 17 September 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

Skj: Magnús berfœttr: Lausavísur (AI, 432-3, BI, 402-3)

SkP info: II, 390

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Mberf Lv 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson, Lausavísur 6’ 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, p. 390.

Mberf Lv 6 is recorded in Mberf in Mork (Mork) and H, Hr (H-Hr). It was also added by Árni Magnússon in the left margin of 128v of AM 301 4°ˣ (301ˣ) (Fsk). The variants show that ÁM cannot have copied the st. from any of the extant mss in which it is found (Mork, H, Hr).

Hvat skulum heimfǫr kvitta?
Hugrs minn í Dyflinni,
enn til Kaupangs kvinna
kømkat austr í hausti.
Unik, þvít eigi synjar
ingjan gamansþinga;
œrskan veldr, þvít írskum
annk betr an mér svanna.

Hvat skulum kvitta heimfǫr? Minn hugrs í Dyflinni, enn kømkat austr til kvinna Kaupangs í hausti. Unik, þvít ingjan synjar eigi gamansþinga; œrskan veldr, þvít annk írskum svanna betr an mér.

Why should we talk of the journey home? My heart is in Dublin, and I shall not return east to the women of Trondheim this autumn. I am content, because the girl does not deny me meetings of pleasure; youth causes [it], for I love the Irish woman better than myself.

Mss: Mork(24v) (Mork); H(93r-v), Hr(63vb) (H-Hr); 301ˣ(128v) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Hvat: Hvatt Hr;    skulum: þarf 301ˣ    [2] Dyflinni: dyflinn H, Hr    [4] kømkat (‘kem ek eigi’): so H, ‘kom ec eigi’ Mork, ‘kem eigi’ Hr, ‘keym ec eigi’ 301ˣ;    austr í hausti: ‘austi’ Hr    [5] eigi synjar: ‘endr...komom.’ 301ˣ    [6] ingjan gamansþinga: ‘ægileif und ... ægio’ 301ˣ;    gamansþinga: gamanþinga H, Hr    [7] œrskan: so H, 301ˣ, ‘orscan’ Mork, ‘æska’ Hr;    veldr: so all others, veld ek Mork;    þvít (‘þvi at’): því er H, 301ˣ    [8] an mér: ‘emer’ 301ˣ

Editions: Skj: Magnús berfœttr, Lausavísur 6: AI, 433, BI, 403, Skald 199; Mork 1867, 154, Mork 1928-32, 334, Andersson and Gade 2000, 311, 488 (Mberf); Fms 7, 70 (Mberf ch. 36); ÍF 29, 313-14 (ch. 85).

Notes: [3] enn ‘and’: The w. o. shows that this must be the conjunction en ‘and’, rendered as enn when stressed fully. Skj B (and Skald?) takes it as the adv. enn ‘again’, but that interpretation violates the w. o. of an independent cl. (the finite verb then comes in syntactic position 3). — [3] Kaupangs ‘of Trondheim’: See Note to Steinn Óldr 7/2. — [6] ingjan ‘girl’: The ON version of OIr. ingen ‘girl, daughter’. The identity of this Irish woman is unknown, but she could have been the mother of Magnús’s son, Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’, who later returned to Norway and ousted his nephew, Magnús inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Sigurðarson, from the throne. — [7] œrskan veldr ‘youth causes [it]’: I.e. his youthful infatuation causes him to be content. The reference to Magnús’s youth is somewhat exaggerated, because he was close to thirty years old when he was killed in Ulster in 1103 (see ÍF 28, 237).

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