Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Einarr Skúlason, 11. Lausavísur, 2 [Vol. 2, 569-70]

[All]: This episode is also told in Hkr (ÍF 28, 269-70) in a slightly different version and with different characters (an Icelander, Jón, being saved by Sigurðr’s retainer, Sigurðr Sigurðarson). It is one of a series of episodes included in Mork (and Hkr) to document Sigurðr jórsalafari’s growing insanity (see Mork 1928-32, 388-99; ÍF 28, 262, 269). In his old age, Sigurðr suffered increasingly from delusions, and he was aware of his own mental state. According to Mork (1928-32, 397), he uttered the following prophetic statement about the future political situation in Norway: Illa ero þer at staddir Noregs menn at hafa øran konvng ifir yþr. en sva segir mer hvgr vm at þer myndot rꜹþo gulli cꜹpa af stvndo at ec vera helldr konvngr en þeir Haralldr oc M. aɴaʀ er grimr en aɴaʀ vvitr ‘You people of Norway are in a bad way having a mad king ruling you. But my mind tells me that you would soon wish to pay red gold to have me as a king rather than Haraldr and Magnús. One is mean and the other a fool’.


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