Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 34’ 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. 989.
Þar lét Vígfúss verða
— þann era þǫrf at segja
þátt — helfarar veittar.
Þorleifr of vann þjokkva
— hart vá hann með kylfu —
hǫggrammr brotit leggi.
Þar lét vegrœkinn Vígfúss helfarar verða veittar Ásláki; era þǫrf at segja þann þátt. Hǫggrammr Þorleifr of vann brotit þjokkva leggi þrekstœrðum Hávarði; hann vá hart með kylfu.
There, glory-cultivating Vígfúss caused the way to Hel to be granted to Áslákr; there is no need to relate that episode. Þorleifr, powerful with blows, broke the thick legs of the outstandingly strong Hávarðr; he fought hard with a club.
Mss: R(54r); 61(20rb), 53(16vb), 54(16va), Bb(27ra) (ÓT)
Readings:  segja: so 61, 53, 54, inna R, seggja Bb  þjokkva: þykkva all others  vá: so all others, lét R  brotit leggi: so all others, ‘b(rotit legg)[...]’(?) R
Context: The men on Eiríkr jarl’s ship are named and some details about them provided; one is the exceptionally strong Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson. When Vígfúss sees Áslákr hólmskalli killing many men, he takes up a sharp-pointed anvil in both hands and strikes Áslákr in the head with it, killing him. Simultaneously, Þorleifr skúma beats Hávarðr hǫggvandi with a club until he falls with badly broken bones.
Notes: [1, 4] lét ... helfarar verða veittar ‘caused the way to Hel to be granted’: That is, Vígfúss killed Áslákr. The cpd helfǫr (here acc. pl. ‑farar) is unique. In Old Norse heathen belief, Hel was the realm of the dead and the monstrous daughter of Loki who presided over it, and hence ‘death’ in general; see LP: 1. hel, Hel, and see Turville-Petre (1964, 270-2) on journeys to the world of the dead. It is not clear whether hel in the present context alludes to the heathen belief, or to the Christian Hell, or a more neutral concept of death. —  Vígfúss: The Icelander Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson (Vígf); see his Biography. He fights on the Norwegian side at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen), and is credited with Vígf Lv, which anticipates the battle. —  Ásláki ‘Áslákr’: A champion, nicknamed hólmskalli, on the side of the Jómsvíkingar; see Note to st. 13/5, 8. —  segja ‘relate’: The R reading inna ‘relate, perform’ works equally well in terms of sense, but it produces a skothending with vann in the odd line, which is not usual in Jóms; see Introduction. —  Þorleifr: The Icelander Þorleifr skúma Þorkelsson (Þskúm). The nickname skúma is obscure: see his Biography. Þorleifr fights for the Norwegians at Hjǫrungavágr and is credited with a fornyrðislag stanza (Þskúm Lv) in which he anticipates the damage his eikikylfa ‘oaken club’ will do to vikings and Danes. —  þrekstœrðum ‘outstandingly strong’: Lit. ‘strength-increased’. —  Hávarði ‘Hávarðr’: Another champion of the Jómsvíkingar; see Note to st. 13/5, 8. —  vá ‘fought’: The R reading lét could have arisen from a misunderstanding of the syntax. It would normally be an auxiliary meaning ‘caused’, with a p. p. or inf., and may have been taken with p. p. brotit ‘broken’ in l. 8, but this is governed by vann ‘caused, made’ in l. 5, hence vann brotit ‘broke’.
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