Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Sturla Þórðarson, 4. Hákonarflokkr, 5 [Vol. 2, 749-50]

[8] Laufvíkingar ‘the Forest-vikings [= the Ribbungar]’: Lit. ‘Leaf-vikings’. Taken (with Kock, Skald and NN §§1366, 1997) as a derogatory term for the Ribbungar; i.e. outlaws who live in the forest. This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that ll. 5-8 of the present st. bear strong resemblance to Sturl Hákkv 6/5-8: ok þar stökk lið Grýtlinga á glapstíg ‘and there the force of the Grýtlingar [= the Ribbungar] fled on a pernicious path’. That helmingr describes an earlier battle in Oslo (in 1221) against the Ribbungar, and it contains the phrase á glapstíg ‘on a pernicious path’ (l. 8; cf. á glapstígu ‘onto pernicious paths’ (l. 6 above)) as well as the derogatory label Grýtlingar lit. ‘Gravelings’ (i.e. outlaws who hide among cliffs or rocks or live in caves), which parallels Laufvíkingar ‘Forest-vikings’ in the present st. Skj B treats lauf ‘leaf’ as a separate word but marks it as untranslatable. In LP: lauf, lauf is taken with ríkis ‘power’: magtens løv (eller frugt) ‘the leaf (or fruit) of power’, which makes little sense.


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