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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorleikr fagri (Þfagr)

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

Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson (Sveinn) - 10

Skj info: Þórleikr fagri, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 396-9, BI, 365-8).

Skj poems:
En flokk om Sven Ulfssön
En flokk om Sven Ulfssön 11-13

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, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

 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, 320

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

8 — Þfagr Sveinn 8II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 8’ 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. 320.

Allt of frák, hvé elti
austmenn á veg flausta
Sveinn, þás siklingr annarr,
snarlundaðr, helt undan.
Fengr varð Þrœnda þengils
— þeir léttu skip fleiri —
allr á éli sollnu
Jótlandshafi fljóta.

Allt of frák, hvé snarlundaðr Sveinn elti austmenn á {veg flausta}, þás annarr siklingr helt undan. Allr fengr {þengils Þrœnda} varð fljóta á éli sollnu Jótlandshafi; þeir léttu fleiri skip.

I heard it all, how quick-tempered Sveinn pursued the Norwegians on {the path of ships} [SEA], when the other prince steered away. All the loot {of the lord of the Þrœndir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] had to float on the hail-swollen Kattegat; they emptied more ships [of their cargo].

Mss: Mork(9v) (Mork); Flat(198rb) (Flat); H(46r), Hr(33ra) (H-Hr); FskBˣ(72v-73r), FskAˣ(270-271) (Fsk); Kˣ(544v), 39(24ra), F(46ra-b), E(16v), J2ˣ(272r) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Allt: All FskAˣ;    of frák hvé: frák hvé Hr, frá hitt hví FskBˣ, opt frák hvé FskAˣ    [2] aust‑: austr‑ 39, F, E    [3] þás (‘þa er’): en Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ;    siklingr: ǫðlingr Flat, ‘siglingr’ Hr;    annarr: undan annarr Hr    [4] snar‑: ǫr‑ Flat    [5] varð: var Flat, FskBˣ    [6] léttu: létu Flat, H, Hr, Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ    [7] á: í Flat, FskBˣ;    sollnu: sollinn Hr    [8] ‑hafi: om. Flat;    fljóta: ljótu Flat

Editions: Skj: Þórleikr fagri, En flokk om Sven Ulfssön 8: AI, 398, BI, 367, Skald I, 183; Mork 1867, 59, Mork 1928-32, 168, Andersson and Gade 2000, 203, 476 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 342 (MH); Fms 6, 264 (HSig ch. 52); ÍF 29, 260 (ch. 55); ÍF 28, 117-18 (HSig ch. 35), F 1871, 214, E 1916, 57-8.

Context: Haraldr sailed from Denmark to Norway with Sveinn Úlfsson in hot pursuit. Sveinn gained on Haraldr, and Haraldr threw spoils and captives overboard. When the Danes stopped to retrieve the booty, Haraldr got away.

Notes: [All]: For this ruse, see Note to Grani Har 1/2. — [2] austmenn ‘Norwegians’: Lit. ‘east-men’. In Iceland and the Orkneys, the term austmaðr was used to designate a Norwegian. — [6] léttu (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘emptied’: The Hkr mss, Flat, H and Hr all have létu (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic. of láta) ‘lost’ for léttu ‘emptied, lightened’: þeir létu fleiri skip ‘they lost more ships’ (so Skj B; Skald; ÍF 28; ÍF 29). However, the ms. witnesses indicate that this reading is secondary. Furthermore, it is not said that any ships perished during this encounter, and all the prose texts contain the verb létta ‘empty, lighten’: þá bað hann sína menn létta skipin ‘then he [Haraldr] told his men to empty the ships’ (ÍF 28, 117; so also ÍF 29, 259; Mork 1928-32, 167; Flat 1860-8, III, 342; Fms 6, 263). — [8] Jótlandshafi ‘Kattegat’: The sea between Jylland, Denmark, and the western coast of Sweden.

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