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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Árm Lv 1II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Ármóðr, Lausavísur 1’ 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, pp. 620-1.


Eigi metr inn ítri
allvaldr gjafar skaldi
Yggs við aðra seggi
élstœrir mér fœra.
Snjallr bar glæst með gulli
grundar vǫrðr at mundum
buðlungr nýztr it bezta
blóðkerti Ármóði.

Inn ítri allvaldr, {{Yggs él}stœrir}, metr eigi við aðra seggi fœra mér, skaldi, gjafar. {Snjallr vǫrðr grundar}, nýztr buðlungr, bar {it bezta blóðkerti}, glæst með gulli, Ármóði at mundum.

The illustrious mighty ruler, {the enlarger {of the storm of Yggr <= Óðinn>}} [(lit. ‘storm-enlarger of Yggr’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] does not charge other men with bringing gifts to me, the poet. {The keen guardian of the land} [RULER = Rǫgnvaldr], the most useful prince, brought {the best blood-candle} [SPEAR], made bright with gold, to Ármóðr’s hands.

Mss: Flat(139va), R702ˣ(45r) (Orkn)

Readings: [2] gjafar: gjafir R702ˣ    [4] ‑stœrir: stœris R702ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 530, Skj BI, 511, Skald I, 250, NN §988; Flat 1860-8, II, 475, Orkn 1887, 153, Orkn 1913-16, 222, ÍF 34, 201-2 (ch. 85), Bibire 1988, 230-1.

Context: After the arrival of Ármóðr and Oddi in Orkney, Jarl Rǫgnvaldr hosts a great Christmas feast, at which he gives out gifts. He presents Ármóðr with a gold-inlaid spear which he shakes at him, challenging him to compose a st. in return.

Notes: [All]: This event probably took place in 1148 (ÍF 34, lxxxviii). — [4] mér ‘to me’: All previous eds except Guðbrandur Vigfússon (Orkn 1887) adopt a suggestion by Konráð Gíslason (Nj 1875-8, 559) and emend to at ‘to’ (inf. marker with fœra ‘bring’) which is, however, unmetrical (Gade 1991, 370-3). — [8] blóðkerti ‘blood-candle [SPEAR]’: This type of kenning, with a word for ‘fire’ or ‘flame’ as the base-word, ought to mean ‘sword’, but the prose context explicitly mentions a spear and Meissner (146) notes one other possible example. See also Notes to Sturl Hákkv 16 [All] and 17/1, 8.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1991. ‘Fang and Fall: Two Skaldic termini technici’. JEGP 90, 361-74.
  6. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  7. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  8. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Bibire, Paul. 1988. ‘The Poetry of Earl Rǫgnvaldr’s Court’. In Crawford 1988, 208-40.
  10. Orkn 1887 = Gudbrand Vigfusson 1887-94, I.
  11. Internal references
  12. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 16’ 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, pp. 711-12.

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