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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 15II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 15’ 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. 246-7.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa

text and translation

Nemi drótt, hvé sæ sótti
snarlyndr konungr jarla;
eigi þraut við ægi
ofvægjan gram bægja.

Drótt nemi, hvé snarlyndr konungr jarla sótti sæ; eigi þraut ofvægjan gram bægja við ægi.
‘Let the retinue take in how the quick-mettled king among jarls made out to sea; there was no end to the over-powering lord striving against the ocean.

notes and context

The first citation is within a review of the hierarchy of poetic terms for rulers, to illustrate how the same terms are used for jarls (jarlar) and tributary kings (skattkonungar) as for kings, except that tributary kings cannot be called kings of nations (þjóðkonunga(r)). The second citation is as the first of many skaldic citations which illustrate heiti for ‘sea’, here ægir.

SnE specifies at its first citation of the ll. that they concern Þorfinnr.



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 13: AI, 346, BI, 318-19, Skald I, 161; SnE 1848-87, I, 454-5, 492-5, II, 336, 449, 598, SnE 1931, 161, 174, SnE 1998, I, 79, 92-3; Whaley 1998, 249-50.


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