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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjbp Jóms 26I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 26’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 982.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa

text and translation

Klauf með Yggjar eldi
ólmr Goll-Búi hjálma;
niðr lét hann í herðar
hringserkja bǫl ganga.
Hart nam hǫgg at stœra
Hávarðr liði fyrða;
við hefr illr at eiga
Áslákr verit fíkjum.

Ólmr Goll-Búi klauf hjálma með {eldi Yggjar}; hann lét {bǫl hringserkja} ganga niðr í herðar. Hávarðr nam at stœra liði fyrða hǫgg hart; Áslákr hefr verit fíkjum illr at eiga við.
‘Furious Gull-Búi (‘Gold-Búi’) split helmets with the fire of Yggr <= Óðinn> [SWORD]; he let the bale of mail-shirts [SWORD] drive down into shoulders. Hávarðr intensified [his] blows strongly upon the troop of men; Áslákr was extremely bad to deal with.

notes and context

Two men who accompanied the Jómsvíkingar from Denmark are named: Hávarðr hǫggvandi and Áslákr hólmskalli. They are Búi’s stafnbúar ‘forecastle-men’, and are exceptionally tough and difficult to deal with; iron does not bite Áslákr. Búi’s blows are also described as very powerful.

[7-8]: (a) The ÓT readings illr and Áslákr produce a couplet in which Áslákr is the subject of the clause (so also Fms 12, 42; Skj B; Skald). Við ‘with’ is adverbial. (b) The R readings illt and Áslák produce good sense, ‘it was extremely difficult to deal with Áslákr’ (and are adopted in Fms 12, 245 and Jvs 1879), but við is then a prep. and detached from its object Áslák.



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: Bjarni Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 26: AII, 6, BII, 6, Skald II, 4; Fms 11, 170, Fms 12, 245, Jvs 1879, 112-13; Fms 1, 171-2, Fms 12, 42, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 188 (ch. 90), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 26, 79.


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