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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magn 12II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi 12’ 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. 99-100.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonStanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi

text and translation

Svíðr of seggja búðir
— siklingr í her miklum
eyðir byggð sem bráðast —
bjartr eldr Danaveldi.
Móðr berr halr of heiði
halds Danmarkar skjǫldu;
vér hlutum sigr, en sárir
Sveins menn fyrir renna.

Bjartr eldr svíðr of búðir seggja Danaveldi; siklingr í miklum her eyðir byggð sem bráðast. Halr, móðr halds Danmarkar, berr skjǫldu of heiði; vér hlutum sigr, en menn Sveins renna sárir fyrir.
‘Bright fire flames across the dwellings of men in the realm of the Danes; the prince, in a great army, destroys the settlement with all haste. A warrior, weary of defending Denmark, carries shields across the heath; we won victory, but Sveinn’s men run wounded away.

notes and context

The st. follows Magn 11 without interruption in most Hkr mss and with a brief link in J2ˣ and H-Hr.

[1-4]: As Kock pointed out (NN §869), the helmingr is capable of various construals, since the verbs svíðr ‘flames, burns’ (l. 1) and eyðir ‘destroys’ (l. 3) could be read with either siklingr ‘prince’ or bjartr eldr ‘bright fire’ as their subject, while sem bráðast ‘with all haste’ is an apo koinou adverbial that could qualify either cl. Although svíða occurs with human subjects (LP and Fritzner: svíða), however, the pairing svíðrbjartr eldr, and the arrangement of clauses shown above, seem the most likely.



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: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson, 4. Lausavísur 6: AI, 378, BI, 348, Skald I, 175, NN §§869, 3231; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 66-7, IV, 205, ÍF 28, 60-1, Hkr 1991, 596 (Mgóð ch. 33), F 1871, 190, E 1916, 31; Fms 6, 88 (Mgóð ch. 40), Fms 12, 139.


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