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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Jómsvíkinga saga — Jvs

 

Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035 8. Volume Introduction 3. Sources for skaldic poetry cited in the kings’ sagas: manuscripts, facsimiles and editions 3.1. Sagas of the kings of Norway to c. 1035 8. Jómsvíkinga saga (Jvs)

8. Jómsvíkinga saga (Jvs)

Manuscripts: A group

291:     AM 291 4° (c. 1275-1300). The oldest ms. and considered the best.

Flat:      GKS 1005 fol (c. 1387-95). Abridged and interpolated version of Jvs within ÓT. See also separate entry for Flat.

7:         Holm perg 7 4° (c. 1300-25). Abridged and interpolated Jvs.

310:     AM 310 4° (c. 1250-75). Two sections of Jvs incorporated into ÓTOdd (1932, 47-53 and 109-12), with a text close to that of 291 but containing no poetry.

Manuscripts: B group

No mss survive, but a B-text is believed to be among the sources for Fsk, Hkr and the poem BjBp Jóms.

Manuscript: A and B versions combined

510:     AM 510 4° (c. 1550).

(Cf. also Arngrímur Jónsson’s Latin translation, 1592-3, in Jakob Benediktsson, ed., 1950-7, I, 87-140, IV, 117-40, 171-80.)

Editions: Fms 11, Jvs 1875 [ms. 7], Jvs 1879 [ms. 510], Jvs 1882 [ms. 291], Jvs 1962 [ms. 7], Jvs 1969 [ms. 291].

The saga, normally dated c. 1200, is an account of the Danish royal house, mainly in the tenth century. The second part foregrounds the Danes’ allies, the Jómsvíkingar, a warrior fraternity based at Jóm or Jómsborg on the Baltic island of Wolin. The climactic event is their fatal sea-battle c. 985 at Hjǫrungavágr (Liåvagen) against Hákon jarl Sigurðarson’s force (see Section 4.1 ‘Ruler biographies’ below). From the vows that instigate the action to the beheadings of the captured Jómsvíkingar, which they meet with unflinching defiance, the narrative is highly coloured and full of extravagant heroics. The turning-point of the battle is ascribed to Hákon jarl’s sacrifice of his son to the female deity Þorgerðr Hǫlgabrúðr, which is followed by a freak hailstorm, and the Jómsvíkingr Búi digri ‘the Stout’ is depicted leaping overboard and calling to his men to follow; he grasps a treasure-chest in his wrists, his hands having been hacked off. Some of these motifs enter into the historical poems ÞGísl Búdr and Bjbp Jóms, which may be contemporary with versions of the prose saga, and diverse accounts of the Jómsvíkingar are given in Fsk, Hkr, ÓTOdd, ÓT and Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl).

The genesis of the saga is elusive and the relationships between the five different redactions exceptionally complex (see Jakob Benediktsson 1962, 607-8; Ólafur Halldórsson, Jvs 1969, 7-12; Megaard 2000a). The scheme above represents a traditional consensus and is particularly indebted to Ólafur Halldórsson (1993, 343). Megaard (2000a) has proposed a more complex stemma with less clear differentiation between mss of the A and B groups.

Poetry

The redactions of the saga preserve very different complements of stanzas. Ms. 510 contains all eleven extant stanzas of Tindr Hákdr, together with ÞKolb Eirdr 2, 3, Eskál Lv 1a, 2a, 3, Þskúm Lv, Vígf Lv, Vagn Lv, Vígf Hák and Anon (Fsk). Ms. 7 contains only six of the lausavísur; 291 has seven, and alone preserves EValg Lv.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Jvs 1879 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1879. Jómsvíkinga saga (efter Cod. AM. 510, 4:to) samt Jómsvíkinga drápa. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Jvs 1882 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1882. Jómsvíkinga saga efter Arnamagnæanska handskriften No. 291 4:to i diplomatariskt aftryck. SUGNL 7. Copenhagen: Berling.
  5. Jvs 1962 = Blake, N. F., ed. and trans. 1962. The Saga of the Jomsvikings. London etc.: Nelson.
  6. Jvs 1969 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1969a. Jómsvíkinga saga. AM 291 4to. Reykjavík: Prentsmiðja Jóns Helgasonar HF.
  7. Megaard, John. 2000a. ‘Studier i Jómsvíkinga sagas stemma: Jómsvíkinga sagas fem redaksjoner sammenlignet med versjonene i Fagrskinna, Jómsvíkingadrápa, Heimskringla og Saxo’. ANF 115, 125-82.
  8. Ólafur Halldórsson. 1993. ‘Jómsvíkinga saga’. In MedS, 343-4.
  9. Jvs 1875 = Cederschiöld, Gustaf J. Chr., ed. 1875. Jómsvíkinga saga: efter skinnboken no: 7, 4:to å Kungl. biblioteket i Stockholm. Lund: Berling.
  10. Jakob Benediktsson. 1962. ‘Jómsvíkinga saga’. KLNM 7, 607-8.
  11. Internal references
  12. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  13. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ 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. clxi-clxii.
  14. 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.
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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. clxiii-clxvi.
  16. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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. clxxiv-clxxv.
  17. Emily Lethbridge 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa’ 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. 954.
  18. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyjólfr Valgerðarson, Lausavísa’ 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. 276.
  19. Emily Lethbridge and Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa’ 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. 941.
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorleifr skúma Þorkelsson, Lausavísa’ 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. 359.
  21. Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa’ 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. 336.
  22. 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.
  23. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, Lausavísa’ 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. 364.
  24. Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Vagn Ákason, Lausavísa’ 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. 366.
  25. Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísa from Fagrskinna’ 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. 1081.
  26. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 2’ 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. 491.
  27. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Lausavísur 1a’ 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. 331.
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Information about a text: poem, sequence of stanzas, or prose work

This page is used for different resources. For groups of stanzas such as poems, you will see the verse text and, where published, the translation of each stanza. These are also links to information about the individual stanzas.

For prose works you will see a list of the stanzas and fragments in that prose work, where relevant, providing links to the individual stanzas.

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The final section, ‘sources’ is a list of the manuscripts that contain the prose work, as well as manuscripts and prose works linked to stanzas and sections of a text.