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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Nefari (Nefari)

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

Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Skj info: Nefari, Nordmand(?), 12. årh. (AI, 537, BI, 518).

Skj poems:

Nefari (Nefari) is otherwise unknown. He was in the company of Jón kuflungr ‘Monk’ and his party (the Kuflungar) during a sea-voyage in the late autumn of 1186, when the Kuflungar were on their way north from Oslo to attack Sverrir and the Birkibeinar in Trondheim (see also Blakkr Lv 1-2). Finnur Jónsson (LH 1894-1901, II, 29) suggests that Nefari may have been from Norway, which is possible, but cannot be confirmed.

Lausavísa — Nefari LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Nefari, 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. 645-6.


Skj: Nefari: Lausavísa, 1186 (AI, 537, BI, 518); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: II, 645-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Nefari Lv 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Nefari, 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. 645-6.

Týnum Birkibeinum!
Beri Sverrir hlut verra!
Lǫtum randhœing reyndan
ríða hart ok tíðum!
Hœlumk minnst í máli!
Metumk heldr at val felldan!
Lǫtum skipta guð giptu!
Gerum hríð, þás þeim svíði!


Let’s destroy the Birkibeinar! May Sverrir suffer defeat! Let’s make {the tested shield-rim salmon} [SWORD] swing hard and frequently! Let’s boast the least in our speech! Rather, let’s measure ourselves when the slaughtered ones have fallen! Let’s allow God to decide the outcome! Let’s make a storm that will smart for them!

context: The Kuflungar are sailing in strong winds north to Agdenes in Trøndelag (1186). Nefari incites his companions to act rather than to boast when they face Sverrir and the Birkibeinar in Trondheim.

notes: For a similar incitement from one of the Birkibeinar a year later, see Blakkr Lv 1-2 below.

texts: Flat 816, Sv 10

editions: Skj Nefari: Lausavísa (AI, 537; BI, 518); Skald I, 253; ÍF 30, 161 (ch. 105), Sv 1920, 112, Flat 1860-8, II, 627, E 1916, 354, Sv 1910-86, 138.


AM 327 4° (327) 55r, 5 - 55r, 8 (Sv)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 155va - 155va (Sv)  image  image  image  
Holm perg 8 fol (8) 9v, 15 - 9v, 17 (Sv)  transcr.  image  
AM 47 fol (E) 102v, 5 - 102v, 7 (Sv)  image  
AM 81 a fol (81a) 31ra - 31ra (Sv)  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 15r, 11 - 15r, 18  image  
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