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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sveinn

skalds

Vol. 3, 397 —  — ed. Margaret Clunies Ross

Poetry

Biography

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sveinn’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 397.

Four fragmentary dróttkvætt stanzas are ascribed to a certain Sveinn (Sveinn), about whom nothing else is known: two in SnE mss, and two in TGT. SnE mss record of st. 2: Svá sagði Sveinn í Norðrsetudrápu ‘So said Sveinn in Norðrsetudrápa’ (SnE 1998, I, 39), giving the name of the poem. Although the poem title is not mentioned apropos any of the other stanzas, the common subject-matter of sts 1-3 indicates that they probably all belonged to this drápa.  The fourth stanza is treated here as belonging to a different poem (Sveinn Frag 1). Norðrseta (pl. ‑setur) was the name of an area to the north of the Western Settlement in Greenland, where the best hunting grounds were located, and where people also obtained driftwood (Ólafur Halldórsson 1993). The poem describes the kind of wild weather that one would be likely to encounter in Greenland, so it seems reasonable to consider Sveinn as either an inhabitant of Greenland or an Icelander who had visited the colony. Editors have conventionally suggested a date in the eleventh century for Sveinn, and this seems reasonable; cf. Jakob Benediktsson’s (1981) proposal that Hafgerðingadrápa ‘Tremendous waves’ drápa’ (Anon HafgIV), also about stormy sea-travel to Greenland, dates from the second half of the eleventh century.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  3. Ólafur Halldórsson. 1993. ‘Jómsvíkinga saga’. In MedS, 343-4.
  4. Internal references
  5. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  6. (forthcoming), ‘ Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, The Third Grammatical Treatise’ in Tarrin Wills (ed.), The Third Grammatical Treatise. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=32> (accessed 6 August 2021)
  7. Richard Perkins (forthcoming), ‘ Anonymous, Hafgerðingadrápa’ in Guðrún Nordal (ed.), Poetry on Icelandic History. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 4. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1013> (accessed 6 August 2021)
  8. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Sveinn, Fragment 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 397.

other information

Sveinn (Sveinn)

11th century

Skj AI, 418; BI, 387-388

volume 3

main editor: Margaret Clunies Ross

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