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Þorbjǫrn dísarskáld (Þdís)

10th century; volume 3; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

2. Poem about a Saint (Saint) - 1

Nothing is known for certain about Þorbjǫrn dísarskáld ‘Lady’s poet’ (Þdís), aside from his name and two fragmentary poetic compositions ascribed to a Þorbjǫrn in mss of SnE. It is not even certain that the Þorbjǫrn to whom two stanzas of a Poem about Þórr (Þdís Þórr) are ascribed (SnE 1998, I, 16-17) is the same poet as the composer of the so-called Poem about a Saint (Þdís Saint, SnE 1998, I, 76). In the first case the poet is named in SnE mss as Þorbjǫrn dísarskáld, but in the second he is called Þorbjǫrn without the nickname. It has been conventionally assumed, and is so here, that both poems were the work of a single poet. If so, he must have lived about the time of the conversion to Christianity (c. 1000) and is likely to have been converted himself, as one poem praises the god Þórr and the other is about the baptism of an unknown man. The significance of the nickname dísarskáld can only be guessed at: possibly Þórbjǫrn was known for his composition of poetry about a lady or, as dís often refers to a supernatural being, he may have celebrated a particular goddess. It is not known whether he was Norwegian or Icelandic, but most earlier editors have regarded him as Icelandic.

Poem about a Saint — Þdís SaintIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘ Þorbjǫrn dísarskáld, Poem about a Saint’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 472. <> (accessed 19 May 2022)

stanzas:  1 

Skj: Þorbjǫrn dísarskáld: 2. Et helgendigt(?) (AI, 144, BI, 135); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: III, 472

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Þdís Saint 1III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þorbjǫrn dísarskáld, Poem about a Saint 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 472.

Hafreiðar vas hlœðir
hlunns í skírnar brunni,
Hvíta-Krists sás hæsta
hoddsviptir fekk giptu.

{Hlœðir {hafreiðar hlunns}} vas í brunni skírnar, {hoddsviptir}, sás fekk hæsta giptu Hvíta-Krists.

{The loader {of the sea-chariot of the slipway roller}} [SHIP > SEAFARER] was in the pool of baptism, {the hoard-flinger} [GENEROUS MAN], who received the highest grace of White-Christ.

texts: LaufE 175 (395), Skm 269, SnE 271

editions: Skj Þorbjǫrn dísarskáld: 2. Et helgendigt(?) (AI, 144; BI, 135); Skald I, 74, NN §428; SnE 1848-87, I, 446-7, II, 333, III, 89, 444, SnE 1931, 158, SnE 1998, I, 76.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 35v, 2 - 35v, 3 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 36v, 34 - 36v, 35 (SnE)  transcr.  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 80, 21 - 80, 22 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
DG 11 (U) 34r, 20 - 34r, 22 (SnE)  transcr.  image  
AM 748 I b 4° (A) 12r, 21 - 12r, 22 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated