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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sveinfl 1I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Flokkr about Sveinn Álfífuson 1’ 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. 1029.

Anonymous PoemsFlokkr about Sveinn Álfífuson1

text and translation

Vasa sunnudag, svanni,
— seggr hné margr und eggjar —
morgin þann, sem manni
mær lauk eða ǫl bæri,
þás Sveinn konungr sína
saman tengja bað drengi
— hrátt gafsk hold at slíta
hrafni — skeiðar stafna.

Svanni, vasa þann morgin, sunnudag, sem mær bæri manni lauk eða ǫl — margr seggr hné und eggjar —, þás Sveinn konungr bað drengi sína tengja saman stafna skeiðar; hrátt hold gafsk hrafni at slíta.
‘Lady, on that morning, a Sunday, it was not as if a maiden was bringing a man leek or ale — many a man sank down beneath blades — when King Sveinn ordered his warriors to join together the stems of the longship; raw flesh was given to the raven to tear.

notes and context

Vying for power in Norway, Sveinn Álfífuson and Tryggvi, son of Óláfr Tryggvason, bring their fleets together at Bókn (Bokn in Boknafjorden, Rogaland) and engage in a fierce battle on a Sunday. The following prose records the victory of Sveinn and the death of Tryggvi and many of his men.

For this battle, see also Sigv Tryggfl and its Context; and for a suggested connection between Sigv Nesv, Sigv Tryggfl and this stanza, see Hellberg (1972, 24-30) and Introduction to Sigv Tryggfl.



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 om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI], [3]. Flokkr om Sven Alfifassön: AI, 423, BI, 393, Skald I, 195; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 339 (ch. 282); Hkr 1893-1901, II, 527-8, IV, 177, ÍF 27, 413-14, Hkr 1991, II, 555 (ÓHHkr ch. 249); ÓH 1941, I, 612 (ch. 250).


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