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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Sv) 4II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Sverris saga 4’ 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, p. 845.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Sverris saga


This and the following st. (Anon (Sv) 4-5) are recorded in mss 327, Flat, 304ˣ, E, and 81a of Sv (327 is the main ms.). Ms. 8 has a lacuna here, and E conflates the two sts, giving ll. 1-6 of Anon (Sv) 4 together with ll. 7-8 of Anon (Sv) 5. The metre of both sts is hrynhent (see SnSt Ht 62-4III, SnE 1999, 27-8).

text and translation

Mánadag kvaddi mildingr sína
menn; drifu hart til vápna sennu,
Inga hirð en upp réð ganga
ár morgin til Sverrisborgar.
Ýtar reistu merki at móti
margar stengr, ok bǫrðusk lengi;
Baglar stóðu í brodda hagli;
brunnu skip, þás kappar runnu.

Mánadag kvaddi mildingr menn sína; drifu hart til {sennu vápna}, en hirð Inga réð ganga upp til Sverrisborgar ár morgin. Ýtar reistu merki at móti, margar stengr, ok bǫrðusk lengi; Baglar stóðu í {hagli brodda}; skip brunnu, þás kappar runnu.
‘On Monday the generous one summoned his men; they gathered quickly to the quarrel of weapons [BATTLE], and Ingi’s retinue advanced up to Sverresborg early in the morning. People raised standards against them, many poles, and they fought for a long time; the Baglar stood in the hail of missiles [BATTLE]; ships burned when champions fled.

notes and context

On 14 August 1198, Sverrir leaves Bergen with a hundred men to join those who have been rounding up cattle in the neighbouring districts. In his absence the Baglar launch a surprise attack on Sverrir’s garrison, and the Birkibeinar retreat to their stronghold. The Baglar also attack those Birkibeinar who are guarding Sverrir’s fleet at Holmen and burn all the ships. Then they recite this st.



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 [XII], B. Vers om bestemte personer og begivenheder 23: AI, 596, BI, 596, Skald I, 290-1; ÍF 30, 230 (ch. 151), Sv 1920, 159, Flat 1860-8, II, 669, E 1916, 401, Sv 1910-86, 202.


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