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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sól 63VII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 63’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 341.

Anonymous PoemsSólarljóð

Menn sá ek þá,        er mörgum hlutum
        véltu um annars eign;
flokkum þeir fóru        til Fégjarns borgar
        ok höfðu byrðar af blýi.

Ek sá menn þá, er véltu um eign annars mörgum hlutum; þeir fóru flokkum til borgar Fégjarns ok höfðu byrðar af blýi.

I saw men then, who had defrauded another of property in many things; they travelled in crowds to Fégjarn’s fortress, and carried burdens of lead.

Mss: 166bˣ(48r), papp15ˣ(6r-v), 738ˣ(82v), 167b 6ˣ(3r-v), 214ˣ(151v), 1441ˣ(86), 10575ˣ(9r), 2797ˣ(236)

Readings: [2] hlutum: hlut 1441ˣ    [3] véltu: so papp15ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, viltu 166bˣ, 738ˣ, 167b 6ˣ, 214ˣ;    eign: so papp15ˣ, 10575ˣ, eigu 166bˣ, 738ˣ, 167b 6ˣ, 214ˣ, 1441ˣ, 2797ˣ    [5] Fégjarns: ‘feyg yarns’ 738ˣ, Fégjarns Fégjarns 167b 6ˣ, ‘fegarins’ 214ˣ    [6] byrðar: so 738ˣ, ‘by[...]’ 167b 6ˣ, byrðir 167b 6ˣ, 214ˣ;    blýi: ‘býi’ papp15ˣ, ‘[…]’ 167b 6ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 637, Skj BI, 645, Skald I, 314, NN §2153; Bugge 1867, 367, Falk 1914, 38, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 19, Fidjestøl 1979, 68, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 92, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 69, 139.

Notes: [All]: Ms. 2797ˣ transposes sts 63 and 64. — [3] véltu ‘they defrauded’: The mss are divided on whether the verb is véltu from véla ‘to defraud, betray’ or viltu from villa ‘to lead astray, falsify, wilfully destroy’. In the last sense viltu would fit the present context, and is chosen by some eds (e.g. Skj B); véltu is the choice of Björn M. Ólsen, Skald, Fidjestøl and Njörður Njarðvík. — [3] eign ‘property’: The mss again divide between eign f. and eigu from eiga f., both with the same sense. Although eiga is attested in poetry, e.g. Lok 65 and Sigsk 47, eign is to be preferred here because it produces a metrical l., whereas eigu does not. — [5] fégjarns (gen. sg.): Lit. ‘eager for money’. Interpreted by all eds as a pers. n. of transparent etymology. Falk (1914a, 41-2) suggests it is a term for Mammon. Cf. Hávm 78’s use of the invented name Fitjungr (Evans 1986, 113). That Fégjarn should possess a fortress where ill-gotten gains are stored is reminiscent of a typical trope of sermon literature. Heito’s Visio Wettini has a sinful monk enclosed within a box of lead inside a castle in Purgatory (Dümmler 1883-4, 270). On avarice cf. in particular Hsv 44; cf also Hsv 22, 73, 96 and 97. — [6] blýi ‘lead’: The final –i is unlikely to have been pronounced (ANG §135). The lead is the hellish equivalent of the gold which the avaricious coveted in life.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Fidjestøl, Bjarne, ed. 1979a. Sólarljóð: Tydning og Tolkningsgrunnlag. Nordisk Instituts skrifteserie 4. Bergen, Oslo and Tromsø: Universitetsforlaget.
  6. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  7. Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1915a. Sólarljóð: gefin út með skíringum og athugasemdum. Safn til sögu Íslands og íslenzkra bókmenta 5.1. Reykjavík: Prentsmiðja Gutenberg.
  8. Bugge, Sophus, ed. 1867. Norrœn fornkvæði. Islandsk samling af folkelige oldtidsdigte om nordens guder og heroer. Almindelig kaldet Sæmundar Edda hins frøda. Christiania (Oslo): Malling. Rpt. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget 1965.
  9. Evans, David A. H., ed. 1986. Hávamál. Viking Society Text Series 7. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  10. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  11. Njörður P. Njarðvik, ed. 1991. Sólarljóð. Útgáfa og umfjöllun. Íslensk Rit 10. Reykjavík: Bókmenntafræðistofnun Háskóla Íslands og Menningarsjóður.
  12. Njörður P. Njarðvik. 1993. Solsången. Akademisk avhandling för filosofiedoktorsexamen i nordiska språk. Göteborgs universitet: Institutionen för svensk språket.
  13. Dümmler, Ernst, ed. 1883-4. [Heito] ‘Visio Wettini’. In Poetae latini aevi carolini 2, 267-333. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Poetarum latinorum medii aevi 2. Rpt. 1964. Berlin: Weidmann.
  14. Internal references
  15. Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 374.
  16. Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 44’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 387-8.
  17. Not published: do not cite ()
  18. Not published: do not cite ()
  19. Not published: do not cite ()

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