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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 12II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 12’ 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. 221-2.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonMagnússdrápa

text and translation

Vítt hefk heyrt at heiti
Helganes, þars elgi
vágs inn víða frægi
vargteitir hrauð marga.
Røkr ǫndurt bað randir
reggbúss saman leggja;
rógskýja helt rýgjar
regni haustnôtt gegnum.

Hefk heyrt, at heiti vítt Helganes, þars {inn víða frægi vargteitir} hrauð {marga elgi vágs}. Ǫndurt røkr bað {reggbúss} leggja saman randir; {regni {rýgjar {rógskýja}}} helt gegnum haustnôtt.
‘I have heard that it is called broad Helgenæs, where the widely famed wolf-cheerer [WARRIOR] stripped many elks of the wave [SHIPS]. At the beginning of twilight the ship-tree [SEAFARER] called for shields to be set together; the rain of the troll-woman of strife-clouds [SHIELDS > AXE > BATTLE] persisted through the autumn night.

notes and context

In Hkr and H-Hr, it is remarked that the battle off Helgenæs (Helganes) began in the evening, and that at the outset Magnús had a smaller force but larger and better-manned ships. In Fsk, the same battle is summarily narrated up to the point where, after a night-long battle, Sveinn flees ashore. In Flat, on the other hand, the st. follows a description of Sveinn’s flight to Sweden after the battle of Århus (Áróss), Magnús’s capture of Sveinn’s ships and treasure, and his reprisals on the men of Skåne (Skáney). SnE and LaufE quote st. 12/5-8 to show that maðr er kendr til viða—that a kenning for ‘man’ (here reggbúss) can have ‘tree’ as its base-word.

The battle off Helgenæs (Helganes) and its aftermath are also commemorated in sts 13-18 below, Ókík Magn 1, ÞjóðA Magnfl 8-18, ÞjóðA Magn 1-14 and Arn Hryn 14-15.



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: Arnórr Þórðarson jarlaskáld, 3. Magnúsdrápa 12: AI, 340-1, BI, 314, Skald I, 159, NN §822; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 63, ÍF 28, 56-7, Hkr 1991, 593-4 (Mgóð ch. 33), F 1871, 189, E 1916, 30; Fsk 1902-3, 214 (ch. 42), ÍF 29, 224 (ch. 50); Fms 6, 83 (Mgóð ch. 40), Fms 12, 137; Flat 1860-8, III, 285, Andersson and Gade 2000, 126, 470-1 (MH); SnE 1848-87, I, 414-15, II, 325, 436, 585, SnE 1931, 148, SnE 1998, I, 65; LaufE 1979, 373; Whaley 1998, 205-8.


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