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Runic Dictionary

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Þorleikr fagri (Þfagr)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson (Sveinn) - 10

Þorleikr’s background is unknown. In 1051 he travelled from Iceland via Norway to Denmark to present a poem to Sveinn Úlfsson (ÍF 28, 113; ÍF 29, 253; Mork 1928-32, 161; Flat 1860-8, III, 338; Fms 6, 256). Both his name and his nickname fagri ‘the Fair’ indicate that he may have come from the family of the Laxdœlir (see Genealogy IIIa in ÍF 5; SnE 1848-87, III, 737-9; LH 1894-1901, I, 641-2). Þorleikr was a rather common name among the Laxdœlir (e.g. Þorleikr Hǫskuldsson and Þorleikr Bollason), and members of that family, such as Hǫskuldr Dala-Kollsson, Óláfr pá ‘Peacock’ Hǫskuldsson and Hallgerðr Hǫskuldsdóttir, were admired for their beauty (see ÍF 5, 14, 27; ÍF 12, 6-7). Þorleikr is listed in Skáldatal as one of the poets who eulogised Sveinn Úlfsson, and it is not said that he composed about any other dignitary or ruler (see SnE 1848-87, III, 258, 267, 283).

Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson — Þfagr SveinnII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson’ 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. 313-22. <> (accessed 23 May 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 

Skj: Þórleikr fagri: En flokk om Sven Ulfssön, 1051 (AI, 396-9, BI, 365-8); stanzas (if different): 11 | 12 | 13

SkP info: II, 315-16

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Þfagr Sveinn 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 3’ 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. 315-16.

Fœrir reiðr, sás rauða
rǫnd hefr opt fyr lǫndum,
breið á Buðla slóðir
borðraukn Haraldr norðan.
En lauks of sæ sœkja
Sveins fagrdrifin steini
glæsidýr, þess’s geira,
gullmunnuð, rýðr, sunnan.

Reiðr Haraldr, sás opt hefr rauða rǫnd fyr lǫndum, fœrir {breið borðraukn} norðan á {slóðir Buðla}. En {gullmunnuð glæsidýr lauks} Sveins, þess’s rýðr geira, sœkja sunnan of sæ, fagrdrifin steini.

The enraged Haraldr, who frequently raises the red shield-rim off the shores, steers {the broad draught-animals of the ship-board} [SHIPS] from the north onto {Buðli’s <sea-king’s> trails} [SEA]. And {the gold-mouthed splendid beasts of the mast} [SHIPS] of Sveinn, who reddens spears, advance from the south across the sea, beautifully covered with colour.

Mss: Mork(9r) (Mork); Flat(197vb) (Flat); H(45r), Hr(32rb) (H-Hr); FskBˣ(70v-71r) (Fsk); Kˣ(542v), 39(23vb), F(45vb), E(16r), J2ˣ(270v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Fœrir: ‘Fær’ Flat;    rauða: randa Flat    [2] lǫndum: landi Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ    [4] ‑raukn: ‑rǫgn Hr, 39, F    [7] glæsidýr: ‘glæsibyr’ Flat, ‘glæ dyrð’ 39, ‘gloar dyrð’ F;    geira: geisa Hr, geiri FskBˣ    [8] ‑munnuð: ‑munnuðr Flat, 39, F, ‑munni Hr;    rýðr: fyrir with a word erased before it Flat, ríðr FskBˣ, Kˣ

Editions: Skj: Þórleikr fagri, En flokk om Sven Ulfssön 3: AI, 397, BI, 366, Skald I, 183; Mork 1867, 55, Mork 1928-32, 161-2, Andersson and Gade 2000, 198-9, 476 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 338 (MH); Fms 6, 257 (HSig ch. 50); ÍF 29, 254 (ch. 55); ÍF 28, 113-14 (HSig ch. 34), F 1871, 213, E 1916, 56.

Context: As st. 3 above.

Notes: [2] hefr ‘raises’: This verb can be 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of hefja ‘raise, hoist’ or hafa ‘have’ (so Skj B). — [2] lǫndum (n. dat. pl.) ‘shores’: Lit. ‘lands’. The Hkr variant landi (n. dat. sg.) ‘shore, land’ is also possible. — [3] á slóðir Buðla ‘onto Buðli’s <sea-king’s> trails [SEA]’: For the use of the acc. after the preposition á ‘on’, see Note to st. 2/3 above. Buðli was a legendary king, the father of Atli (see Akv, Am and Ill Har 4/3). The name also occurs as the name of a sea-king, and it is unclear whether the two are identical (see LP: Buðli 1-2). — [6] fagrdrifin steini ‘beautifully covered with colour’: Ships could be adorned with painted pictures (see Jesch 2001a, 144, 158; Steinn Óldr 13/2). See also the description in Encomium Emmae Reginae of Sveinn tjúguskegg’s fleet setting out to conquer England (Campbell 1998, 4, 4, pp. 12-13): Sed quid nunc tibi latera carinarum memorem, non modo ornatitiis depicta coloribus, uerum etiam aureis argenteisque aspera signis ‘But why should I now dwell upon the sides of the ships, which were not only painted with ornate colours, but were covered with gold and silver figures’. — [8] gullmunnuð ‘gold-mouthed’: Refers to golden animal heads used as stem ornaments (see Notes to Valg Har 10/5, 11/4 and Gísl Magnkv 16/5).

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