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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjbp Jóms 41I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 41’ 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. 994.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa

text and translation

Þar lét Eirekr ǫndu
átján þegar týna
(heldr frágum þá þverra)
þegna (lið fyr Vagni).
Mæltu hraustar hetjur
— haukligt var þat fíkjum —
— þau hafa þjóðir uppi —
þróttarorð með fyrðum.

Eirekr lét þegar átján þegna týna ǫndu þar; frágum lið þá heldr þverra fyr Vagni. Hraustar hetjur mæltu þróttarorð með fyrðum; þat var fíkjum haukligt; þjóðir hafa þau uppi.
‘Eiríkr immediately had eighteen retainers lose their lives there; we [I] have heard that the troop then diminished rather for Vagn. Bold heroes spoke forceful words to men; that was extremely hawk-like; people remember them.

notes and context

The defeated Vagn and his men are bound by the Norwegians when they come ashore, with a single rope binding all their feet together as they sit on a log. Þorkell leira approaches Vagn and mocks him for his vow that he would kill Þorkell; Þorkell wields an axe and strikes at the Jómsvíkingar one by one. Eighteen, though not Vagn, are put to death in this way, each of them speaking bold words before dying.

R does not preserve sts 41-5; the text here is from 61, as the best ÓT ms. The edn of the poem in Fms 11 and Jvs 1879 is also completed by using the ÓT text.



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 41: AII, 9, BII, 9, Skald II, 6; Fms 1, 180, Fms 12, 45, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 196-7 (ch. 90), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 32, 83; Fms 11, 174-5, Jvs 1879, 118-19.


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