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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Steinn Óldr 9II

[4] fyrsta sinni ‘for the first time’: Jesch (2001a, 207) suggests that this and the following st. actually refer to Óláfr’s participation in the battle of the Nissan off the coast of Halland (9 August 1062), which is certainly very plausible. Steinn himself had been present at that battle (see Steinn Úlffl above), and both the verb veitk ‘I know’ (l. 1) (rather than frák ‘I learned’) and the minni ‘memories’ (l. 4) point to a first-hand knowledge of this particular battle. If this was the battle of the Nissan, and if Steinn commemorated Óláfr’s warlike exploits chronologically, it would mean that sts 9-10 (and 11?) should precede st. 1 and that the sts have been misplaced in their present contexts. See also Note to st. 11/8 below.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  3. Internal references
  4. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Steinn Herdísarson, Úlfsflokkr’ 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. 366-7.


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