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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Poem about Hákon jarl(?) — Vígf HákI

Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, Poem about Hákon jarl(?)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 362.


This stanza (Vígf Hák) consists of past-tense general description of a battle, which the reference to Vagn (Ákason) identifies as the famous sea-battle at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen, c. 985). It is tentatively assumed here to be a fragment of an extended poem in praise of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson (see Biography of Vígfúss above; for Hákon, the battle of Hjǫrungavágr and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume). This is suggested in SnE 1848-87, III, 707-8 and Skj, and the introductory words in Fsk (see Context) would also be compatible with that view. On the other hand, as Fidjestøl (1982, 165) notes, the case for the stanza belonging to a praise-poem is less strong if l. 5 reads nom. pl. þrøngvar ‘forcers’ (see Note), and the 510 ms. of Jvs imagines the stanza being uttered as a lausavísa, although it can hardly have been composed in the midst of the action as claimed (see Context). The stanza is preserved in Fsk (FskBˣ being used here as the main ms., together with FskAˣ as the best representative of the other branch of the stemma) and in Jvs (510 only).


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  4. Internal references
  5. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. clix-clxi.

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