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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Vǫls) 1VIII (Vǫls 1)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Vǫlsunga saga 1 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsunga saga 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 792.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Vǫlsunga saga

text and translation

Ristu af magni         mikla hellu,
Sigmundr hjörvi         ok Sinfjötli.

Ristu mikla hellu af magni, Sigmundr hjörvi ok Sinfjötli.
‘They cut the huge stone slab with strength, Sigmundr with his sword and Sinfjǫtli.

notes and context

Sigmundr and his son Sinfjǫtli, the latter begotten incestuously with Sigmundr’s sister Signý, live in the forest while contriving vengeance for the death of their father Vǫlsungr at the hands of Signý’s husband Siggeirr. Siggeirr has the two Volsungs imprisoned in a huge burial-mound made of stones and turf, thinking to starve them to death. Signý contrives to send them food in the shape of a piece of pork into which Sigmundr’s sword has been thrust. Stanza 1 describes how Sigmundr and Sinfjǫtli use Sigmundr’s sword to saw through the huge stone slab that blocked the entrance to the mound. It is introduced with the words sem kveðit er ‘as it is told’.

The source of these lines is unknown, and the introductory formula, like many in Vǫls, is imprecise. ÍF Edd. does not include these lines.


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

FSN I, 134, Vǫls 1906-8, 19, FSGJ I, 127, Vǫls 1965, 13 (Vǫls ch. 8); NK 321.


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