Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Bjbp Jóms 43I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 43’ 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. 996.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa

‘Vilt,’ kvað hringa hreytir
hyggjugegn at Vagni,
‘élsvellandi, yðvart,
Yggjar, líf of þiggja?’
‘Eigi munk, nema efnak,’
(ungr) ‘þat er heit nam strengja,’
(svá kvað Ullr at jarli
egghríðar) ‘fjǫr þiggja.’

{Hyggjugegn hreytir hringa} kvað at Vagni, ‘{{Yggjar él}svellandi}, vilt of þiggja líf yðvart?’ ‘Eigi munk þiggja fjǫr, nema efnak heit, þat er nam strengja’; svá kvað {ungr Ullr {egghríðar}} at jarli.

{The thought-steady scatterer of rings} [GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr] said to Vagn, ‘{Sweller {of the storm of Yggr <= Óðinn>}} [(lit. ‘storm-sweller of Yggr’) BATTLE > WARRIOR = Vagn], will you accept your life?’ ‘I shall not accept [my] life unless I fulfil the vow that I made’; thus spoke {the young Ullr <god> {of the blade-storm}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Vagn] to the jarl.

Mss: 61(20va), 53(17ra), 54(17ra), Bb(27va) (ÓT)

Readings: [4] of: af 54, at Bb    [5] nema efnak (‘nema ek efna’): so 54, Bb, nema efna 61, 53    [6] þat er: þat 53    [7] svá: ‘[...]va’ 54;    at: af Bb    [8] egg‑: elg‑ Bb;    ‑hríðar: so all others, ‑hrið 61

Editions: Skj AII, 9, Skj BII, 10, Skald II, 6; NN §3141Fms 1, 181-2, Fms 12, 45, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 198 (ch. 90), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 33, 84; Fms 11, 175, Jvs 1879, 118-19.

Context: Eiríkr asks Vagn if he will accept a truce; Vagn replies that he will if he can fulfil his oath (see Note to l. 6 heit below).

Notes: [All]: On the text of sts 41-5, see Note to st. 41 [All]. The novelty in this stanza is the use of direct speech, which is rare in early skaldic poetry (see Fidjestøl 1993c) and not found elsewhere in Jóms, though it is common in later poetry, for instance much of the Christian poetry in SkP VII. — [6] ungr ‘young’: Following Skj B and Ólafur Halldórsson (2000), the adj. is taken here as qualifying the warrior-kenning with the base-word Ullr which is the subject of the intercalary clause. A simpler word order is produced if it is taken with þat er nam strengja, hence ‘that I swore when young’ in Vagn’s response to Eiríkr (so Fms 12; also Kock in NN §3141 and Skald). — [6] heit ‘the vow’: This is the vow that Vagn swore at the feast back in Denmark, concerning the Norwegian Þorkell leira’s daughter, Ingibjǫrg; see st. 14/5, 6, 8 and Note to st. 14/5. — [6] nam strengja ‘I made’: Another pleonastic use of nam (cf. Note to st. 37/1). Nam, though lacking enclitic -k here, is 1st pers. sg.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1993c. ‘Skaldenstrophen in der Sagaprosa: Bemerkungen zum Verhältnis zwischen Prosa und Poesie in der Heimskringla’. In Wolf 1993, 77-98.
  7. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  8. SkP VII = Poetry on Christian Subjects. Ed. Margaret Clunies Ross. 2007.
  9. Jvs 1879 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1879. Jómsvíkinga saga (efter Cod. AM. 510, 4:to) samt Jómsvíkinga drápa. Lund: Gleerup.
  10. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2000. Danish Kings and the Jomsvikings in the Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  11. Internal references
  12. Emily Lethbridge 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa’ 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. 954.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.