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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ásmk Lv 1VIII (Ásm 7)

Peter Jorgensen (ed.) 2017, ‘Ásmundar saga kappabana 7 (Ásmundr kappabana, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 21.

Ásmundr kappabanaLausavísur


In Ásm several lines of prose text follow Hildbrandr’s lausavísur, and describe his death and Ásmundr’s journey to ask for the hand of Æsa in fagra ‘the Fair’. The two groups of stanzas are separated by only slightly more text in Saxo. The stanzas are again in fornyrðislag.

text and translation

Lítt varði mik         laga þeira,
at †mik manns einskis         ofyr kvæði†,
þá er mik til kappa         kuru Húnmegir
átta sinnum         fyr jöfurs ríki.

Lítt varði mik laga þeira, at †mik manns einskis ofyr kvæði†, þá er Húnmegir kuru mik átta sinnum til kappa fyr ríki jöfurs.
‘I little expected of their laws that …, when the Huns chose me for contests eight times before the king’s realm.

notes and context

Entering the hall where Æsa is, Ásmundr utters this and the following three stanzas, which retrospectively celebrate his own prowess in a series of single combats with multiple opponents and, in the last of these, his encounter with Hildibrandr.

[3-4]: Almost as many emendations have been proposed for these lines as there have been eds, though none have been convincing. The ms.’s ‘ofyr’ is not an Old Norse word. Skj B’s proposed emendation of ll. 3-4 to at mik engum | øfra kvæði, translated as at man vilde sige, at jeg ingen kunde overgå ‘that one would say that I could not outmatch anyone’ is the most plausible of these, although it does not fit well with the sense of ll. 1-2. For further suggestions, see Edd. Min. 87 n.


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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 12. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ásmundar saga kappabana II 1: AII, 321, BII, 341, Skald II, 183; Peringskiöld 1722, 22-3 (ch. 10), FSN 2, 486 (ch. 10), Detter, 1891, 99, FSGJ 1, 407 (ch. 10) (Ásm); CPB I, 191Halvorsen 1951, 18; Edd. Min. 87.


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