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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Magndr 8II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Magnússdrápa 8’ 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. 217.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonMagnússdrápa

Vann, þás Venðr of minnir,
vápnhríð konungr síðan;
sveið of ôm at Jómi
illvirkja hræ stillir.
Búk dró bráðla steikðan
blóðugr vargr af glóðum;
rann á óskírð enni
allfrekr bani hallar.

Konungr vann síðan {vápnhríð}, þás Venðr of minnir; stillir sveið of ôm hræ illvirkja at Jómi. Blóðugr vargr dró búk, bráðla steikðan, af glóðum; {allfrekr bani hallar} rann á óskírð enni.

The king worked then {a weapon-blizzard} [BATTLE], which Wends remember; the ruler singed around dark corpses of evil-doers at Wollin. The bloody wolf dragged a body, swiftly-roasted, from the embers; {the most ravenous slayer of the hall} [FIRE] darted over unbaptised brows.

Mss: H(6v), Hr(7vb) (H-Hr); Flat(190vb) (Flat)

Readings: [1] Venðr (‘víndr’): ‘víndur’ Hr    [3] sveið: svefns Flat;    of ôm: ofan Flat;    at: af Flat    [4] stillir: stilli Flat, ‘jomní’ Flat    [5] bráðla: ‘bralla’ Flat    [6] vargr: vargi Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 340, Skj BI, 313, Skald I, 159, NN §820; Fms 6, 55 (Mgóð ch. 28), Fms 12, 132; Flat 1860-8, III, 275, Andersson and Gade 2000, 114-15, 469 (MH); Whaley 1998, 198-9.

Context: Magnús sails to the land of the Wends and devastates Wollin (Jóm).

Notes: [1] Venðr ‘Wends’: On the form, see Note to Arn Hryn 11/6. — [2] síðan ‘then’: The adv. is here construed with vann ‘worked’ (as in NN §820) rather than with impersonal minnir ‘remembered’ (as in Skj B). — [3] sveið of ôm hræ ‘singed around dark corpses’: (a) Sveið of ‘singed around’ here is supported by a citation for svíða um in Fritzner: svíða 1, and of is assumed to be the prep. of ‘over, around’ (later um). It could alternatively be the expletive particle. The corpses may be dark (m) because stained in blood (cf. Arn Þorfdr 7 í mu blóði Skota ‘in the dark blood of Scots’) or because they were burned. (b) Skj B reads sveið ófm hræ illvirkja ‘burned many evil-doers’ bodies’ (brændte mange ildgærningsmænds legemer), and the same solution is adopted in Skald and Whaley 1998. However, as pointed out in Andersson and Gade (2000, 469), this is unmetrical, and the l. must read sveið of m at Jómi (an A-type l.). Additionally, svíða ‘singe’ when transitive normally takes an acc. object, not dat., and although it would be possible to construe ófm illvirkja ‘not a few evildoer(s)’ as a poss. dat. qualifying n. acc. sg./pl. hræ ‘corpse(s)’ this is the less obvious analysis. — [3] Jómi ‘Wollin’: See Note to Arn Hryn 12/4. The Flat variant jomní (dat. sing; nom. sg. form unrecorded) resembles the Lat. form of the name Iumne used by Adam of Bremen (with variants Iumm(e) etc.) in his late C11th Gesta (ed. Schmeidler 1917, 80). — [7] á óskírð enni ‘over unbaptised brows’: The Wends were non-Christian.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  7. Schmeidler, Bernhard, ed. 1917. Magistri Adami Bremensis. Hamburgische Kirchengeschichte / Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum 2. 3rd edn. Hannover and Leipzig: Hahn.
  8. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  9. 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.
  10. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  11. Internal references
  12. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  13. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 11’ 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. 196-7.
  14. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, 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. 197-8.
  15. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 7’ 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. 237-8.

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