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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (SnE) 8III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Snorra Edda 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 518.

Anonymous LausavísurStanzas from Snorra Edda


This anonymous couplet in málaháttr (Anon (SnE) 8) is transmitted in mss R (main ms.), , W, A and C of Skm (SnE). Finnur Jónsson (Skj) assigns it to the tenth century, but that dating cannot be established.

text and translation

Baugr es á beru sœmstr         en á boga ǫrvar.

Baugr es sœmstr á beru en ǫrvar á boga.
‘A ring is most seemly on a shield and arrows on a bow.

notes and context

The couplet is cited among stanzas illustrating kennings for ‘shield’ and baugr ‘ring’ as a part of the shield.

As Kock (NN §85) points out, the couplet belongs to the gnomic poetic tradition, and these two lines have close parallels in the Old English Maxims (Krapp and Dobbie 1936, 162; Dobbie 1942, 56): Maxims I 153a boga sceal stræle ‘a bow belongs to an arrow’; Maxims II 37b Rand sceal on scylde ‘A rim belongs on a shield’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [X], II. B. 5. Lignende [citat af et ældre digt]: AI, 182, BI, 172, Skald I, 92, NN §85; SnE 1848-87, I, 428-9, II, 440, 590, SnE 1931, 152, SnE 1998, I, 70.


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