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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 5II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 5’ 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. 213-15.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonMagnússdrápa

text and translation

Afkarlig varð jarla
orðgnótt, sús hlaut dróttinn;
fylgði efnð, þvís ylgjar
angrtælir réð mæla:
at framm í gný grimmum
grafnings und kló hrafni
fúss lézk falla ræsir
feigr eða Danmǫrk eiga.

Orðgnótt jarla, sús dróttinn hlaut, varð afkarlig; efnð fylgði, þvís {{angrtælir} ylgjar} réð mæla: at ræsir lézk fúss falla feigr und kló hrafni framm í {grimmum gný grafnings} eða eiga Danmǫrk.
‘The lordly wealth of words with which the liege was endowed was prodigious; his deeds matched what the grief-beguiler [GLADDENER] of the she-wolf [WARRIOR = Magnús] did say: that the prince said, glad, he would fall doomed under the claw of the raven, ahead in the cruel clash of the graven shield [BATTLE], or else possess Denmark.

notes and context

In Hkr, Snorri tells of a message that Magnús sent to the Danes after Hǫrðaknútr’s death in England, reminding them of his claim to Denmark, and takes this st. as a reference to this. In Fsk too, Hǫrðaknútr is said to have died in England. Magnús receives the news in Norway and vows publicly to possess Denmark; there is no mention of an embassy to the Danes. In H-Hr and Flat, the st. follows the account, mentioned in the Context to Arn Hryn 9, of the feast held for Magnús in Denmark at which Hǫrðaknútr is poisoned. In the H-Hr version Magnús declaims his vow immediately, while in Flat it is spoken after his return to Norway.



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 5: AI, 339, BI, 312, Skald I, 158, NN §§818, 819A, 2989A; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 35-6, ÍF 28, 32-3, Hkr 1991, 577 (Mgóð ch. 18), F 1871, 178, E 1916, 19; Fsk 1902-3, 202 (ch. 40), ÍF 29, 216 (ch. 48); Fms 6, 49 (Mgóð ch. 24), Fms 12, 131; Flat 1860-8, III, 272, Andersson and Gade 2000, 112, 468 (MH); Whaley 1998, 192-5.


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