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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjbp Jóms 30I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 30’ 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. 985.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa

text and translation

Hvervetna frák hǫlða
— herr œxti gný darra —
fyr hreggviðum hjǫrva
hrøkkva gunnar rǫkkum,
áðr í ǫrva drífu
ýtum grimmr at blóta
— framm kom heipt in harða —
Hákun þegar tœki.

Frák hǫlða hrøkkva hvervetna fyr {{hjǫrva hregg}viðum} rǫkkum gunnar — herr œxti {gný darra} —, áðr Hákun, grimmr ýtum í {drífu ǫrva}, tœki þegar at blóta; in harða heipt kom framm.
‘I have heard that everywhere men recoiled before trees of the storm of swords [(lit. ‘storm-trees of swords’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] bold in battle — the army caused the din of spears [BATTLE] to increase —, before Hákon, cruel to men in the snow-storm of arrows [BATTLE], proceeded at once to make a sacrifice; the harsh violence proceeded.

notes and context

Hákon jarl sees that the battle is not going his way; he goes ashore and sacrifices his seven-year-old son Erlingr in order to attain victory.



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 30: AII, 7, BII, 7, Skald II, 4, NN §3257; Fms 11, 171, Fms 12, 245, Jvs 1879, 114-15; Fms 1, 174, Fms 12, 43, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 191 (ch. 90), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 27, 80.


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