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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 3’ 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. 233.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa

text and translation

Hétk, þás hvern vetr sôtum
hrafns verðgjafa, jafnan
— líð drakk gramr — á góðar,
gagnvert, skipa sagnir.

Hétk jafnan á góðar sagnir skipa, þás sôtum hvern vetr gagnvert {verðgjafa hrafns}; gramr drakk líð.
‘I called always to the worthy ships’ companies, as we [I] sat each winter facing the meal-giver of the raven [WARRIOR]; the lord drank strong drink.

notes and context

After comments on the peaceful rule of Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’, son of Haraldr Sigurðarson, there is a detailed excursus on the ancient manner of seating men at drinking sessions in Scandinavian royal halls. The st. authenticates the point that a revered counsellor would be placed in it óœðra ǫndugi ‘the lesser high-seat’ opposite the ruler, and that it was considered the greatest honour to receive toasts from him. The Mork version does nothing to contradict the impression that the st. is about Óláfr kyrri, whereas Fsk and H-Hr specify that Arnórr is telling how he sat with Þorfinnr jarl.



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, 5. Þórfinnsdrápa 1: AI, 344, BI, 316, Skald I, 160, NN §826; Mork 1928-32, 290, Andersson and Gade 2000, 280, 483 (Ólkyrr); Fsk 1902-3, 307 (ch. 69), ÍF 29, 300 (ch. 79); Fms 6, 439 (Ólkyrr ch. 2), Fms 12, 170; Whaley 1998, 223-4.


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