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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þskakk Erldr 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáld, Erlingsdrápa 2’ 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. 634.

Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáldErlingsdrápa

text and translation

Greitt frák, gumna dróttinn,
(Gríðar fáks) í víðu
(trauðr esa tenn at rjóða)
Túnsbergi þér snúna.
Hræddusk bjartra brodda
býjarmenn við rennu;
uggðu eld ok sveigðan
alm dynviðir malma.

{Dróttinn gumna}, frák snúna þér greitt í víðu Túnsbergi; esa trauðr at rjóða tenn {fáks Gríðar}. Býjarmenn hræddusk við rennu bjartra brodda; {{malma dyn}viðir} uggðu eld ok sveigðan alm.
‘Lord of men [= Erlingr], I heard it turned out smoothly for you in spacious Tønsberg; you are not reluctant to redden the teeth of Gríðr’s <troll-woman’s> steed [WOLF]. The townspeople were terrified by the rush of bright arrow-points; the trees of the clash of weapons [(lit. ‘clash-trees of weapons’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] feared the fire and the bent elm-bow.

notes and context

The st. documents the battle of Tønsberg (Vestfold, Norway) between Erlingr skakki and King Hákon herðibreiðr ‘Broad-shoulder’ Sigurðarson in 1161.

The same event is described in Anon (MErl).



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: Þórbjǫrn skakkaskáld, Erlingsdrápa 2: AI, 534-5, BI, 515, Skald I, 252, NN §§964, 993, 2990H, 3197D; ÍF 28, 377-8 (MErl ch. 3), F 1871, 363, E 1916, 227; Fms 7, 284 (Hherð ch. 23).


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