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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þham Magndr 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorkell hamarskáld, Magnússdrápa 1’ 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. 410-11.

Þorkell hamarskáldMagnússdrápa

text and translation

Vítt dró sínar sveitir
saman stórhugaðr Þórir
— heldr vôrut þau hauldum
haglig rôð — með Agli.
Snǫrp frák á, þvís urpu,
endr Skjalgs vinum, lendir
menn við morðvals brynni,
mein, of afl sér steini.

Stórhugaðr Þórir dró vítt saman sveitir sínar með Agli; þau rôð vôrut heldr haglig hauldum. Frák snǫrp mein vinum Skjalgs endr á, þvís lendir menn urpu steini of afl sér við {brynni {morðvals}}.
‘Great-spirited Þórir gathered his companies far and wide with Egill; those ventures were not very convenient for the freeholders. I heard that great harm formerly befell Skjálgr’s friends because the district chieftains threw a stone beyond their strength against the thirst-quencher of the strife-falcon [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR].

notes and context

The uprising against Magnús in 1094, spearheaded by the district chieftains Steigar-Þórir Þórðarson, Egill Áskelsson (or Ásláksson) and Skjálgr.

For Þórir and Egill, see SteigÞ Biography and Note to Kv 1/1. Skjálgr is identified as ‘Skjálgr af Jaðri’ (‘Skjálgr from Jæren’) in Mork and Fsk (see Mork 1928-32, 299; ÍF 29, 303), which suggests that he could have been a descendant of the powerful chieftain Erlingr Skjálgsson af Sóla (d. 1028) who had a son named Skjálgr. The present Skjálgr is otherwise unknown, however, and Hkr merely calls him ‘a powerful and wealthy man’ (maðr, ríkr ok auðigr; ÍF 28, 214). — [6-7] lendir menn ‘the district chieftains’: Lit. ‘landed men’. These were men who had been appointed by the king to serve as judicial administrators over one or more districts, men who held land in fief from the king. See also BjKálfs Lv, Anon Nkt 29 and Ólhv Hryn 2.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Þórkell hamarskáld, 1. Magnúsdrápa 1: AI, 438, BI, 407-8, Skald I, 201, NN §1150; Mork 1867, 132, Mork 1928-32, 299, Andersson and Gade 2000, 286-7, 484 (Mberf); Fms 7, 5 (Mberf ch. 4); F 1871, 262 (Mberf); ÍF 28, 214 (Mberf ch. 4), E 1916, 111; ÍF 29, 303-4 (ch. 80).


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