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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Frag 3III

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2017, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Fragments 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 5.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonFragments

text and translation

Siklinga venr snekkjur
sælútar konr úti;
hann litar herskip innan
— hrafns góð es þat — blóði.

{Konr siklinga} venr sælútar snekkjur úti; hann litar herskip innan blóði; þat es góð hrafns.
‘The descendant of princes [RULER] trains sea-plunging longships [to sail] out at sea; he stains warships within with blood; that is the raven’s gain.

notes and context

The helmingr is cited in Skm (SnE) within a discussion of poetic terms for rulers, and illustrates the use of siklingr.

The helmingr’s depiction of a hero sailing warships out to sea and spilling (enemy) blood for the benefit of the raven could fit any of Arnórr’s patrons: the Norwegian kings Magnús and Haraldr, the Orcadian jarls Þorfinnr or Rǫgnvaldr or Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great; cf. Arn Frag 4 and Note to [All]). But the known dróttkvætt poems for the first four are all erfidrápur ‘memorial drápur’ (edited in SkP II), whereas the fragment is in the pres. tense, which would be compatible with the suggestion (e.g. LH I, 611) that this could be a remnant of the lost BlágagladrápaDrápa of Dark Geese (= Ravens (?))’ which Arnórr is said to have recited for Haraldr Sigurðarson on the same occasion as Arn HrynII was addressed to Magnús Óláfsson (see Biography of Arnórr, SkP II, 177; Mork 1928-32, 118; ÍF 23, 146). — The B text is damaged (though less badly than in the case of Frag 2), and is supplemented by 744ˣ where necessary.



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, 7. Vers af ubestemmelige digte, samt én lausavísa 2: AI, 354, BI, 326, Skald I, 165; SnE 1848-87, I, 526-7, II, 344, 462, 541-2, 608, III, 110, SnE 1931, 184, SnE 1998, I, 104; Whaley 1998, 310-11.


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