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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallvarðr Frag 1VIII (Frið 20)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 20 (Hallvarðr, verses 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 217.



The following five stanzas relate to the saga narrative of Friðþjófr’s arrival in Orkney and his reception there by the jarl and his entourage.

text and translation

Er á skála         skjól at sitja
vestrvíkingi,         sem vera inni.
Eru hraustari,         þeir er hlunngota,
drengir, ausa         í drifaveðri.

Er skjól á skála, sem vera inni, vestrvíkingi at sitja. Drengir, þeir er ausa {hlunngota} í drifaveðri, eru hraustari.
‘There is shelter from the hall, as a place of refuge inside, for the viking on a westward expedition to sit. Those men who bale the roller-steed [SHIP] in the storm of seaspray, are braver.

notes and context

Friðþjófr and his men find themselves in the Orkney islands, near the residence of Angantýr jarl. In the B recension only this place is said to be Effja, modern Evie on Mainland. The place is not named in the A recension. The jarl’s watchman is called Hallvarðr and he recites the following three stanzas (Frið 20, 21 and 22) in quick succession, telling what he sees.

This fornyrðislag stanza is only in the A recension mss. The first helmingr is difficult and the sense of l. 4 not entirely clear. Most eds, except for Wenz (Frið 1914, 18), emend l. 1 to Erat á skala ‘There is not in the hall’, but this is not necessary to achieve sense. The stanza contrasts the anticipated comfort of Friðþjófr and his men drinking in the shelter of the hall (where the speaker himself is) with the hard conditions of the men baling Elliði.



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. 7. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Friðþjófssaga ens frækna I 19: AII, 274, BII, 296, Skald II, 156, NN §3288; Falk 1890, 78, Frið 1893, 48, 74, Frið 1914, 18; Edd. Min. 100.


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