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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Balti Sigdr 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa 1’ 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. 533-4.

Bǫðvarr baltiSigurðardrápa

text and translation

Nú skal lýst, hvé, Lista
læskjarr konungr, — harra
gerðisk afreksorða
efnd — þíns fǫður hefndir.
Létuð — hjalms at holmi
hríð spurðisk sú víða —
— ofkúgi dó jǫfra —
allvaldr, Sigurð falla.

{Læskjarr konungr Lista}, nú skal lýst, hvé hefndir fǫður þíns; efnd afreksorða harra gerðisk. Allvaldr, létuð Sigurð falla; {sú hríð hjalms} at holmi spurðisk víða; {ofkúgi jǫfra} dó.
‘Deceit-shy king of Lista [NORWEGIAN KING = Sigurðr munnr Haraldsson], now it shall be described how you avenged your father; the fulfilment of the lord’s words of courage took place. Mighty ruler, you caused Sigurðr to fall; that storm of the helmet [BATTLE] near the island was heard of far and wide; the oppressor of princes [= Sigurðr slembidjákn] died.

notes and context

The first three sts describe the battle of Holmengrå in Hvaler, present-day Sweden (12 November 1139), when the army of the sons of Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’, Ingi and Sigurðr munnr, overcame and killed Sigurðr slembidjákn ‘Fortuitous-deacon’ (?) Magnússon and Magnús inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Sigurðarson.


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: Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa 1: AI, 504, BI, 477, Skald I, 234, NN §971; Mork 1867, 222, Mork 1928-32, 438, Andersson and Gade 2000, 387-8, 494 (Sslemb).


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