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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bragi Rdr 2III

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Ragnarsdrápa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 30.

Bragi inn gamli BoddasonRagnarsdrápa

text and translation

Nema svát góð ins gjalla
gjǫld baugnafaðs vildi
meyjar hjóls inn mæri
mǫgr Sigvarðar Hǫgna.

Nema svát {inn mæri mǫgr Sigvarðar} vildi góð gjǫld {ins gjalla baugnafaðs hjóls {meyjar Hǫgna}}.
‘Unless in such a way that the famous son of Sigurðr [= Ragnarr loðbrók] should want good recompense for the resounding boss-hubbed wheel of the maid of Hǫgni <legendary king> [= Hildr > SHIELD].

notes and context

As for Rdr 1; however, the main kenning of this helmingr is cited because it contains a reference to the shield boss or its surround (baugr) as well as the whole shield. The helmingr is introduced with the words Bragi skáld kvað þetta um bauginn á skildinum ‘The poet Bragi said this about the ring on the shield’. After the quotation, Skm explains the kenning thus: Hann kallaði skjǫldinn Hildar hjól, en bauginn nǫf hjólsins ‘He called the shield Hildr’s wheel, and the boss the hub of the wheel’.

This helmingr is clearly incomplete grammatically, consisting only of a subordinate clause, introduced by nema ‘unless’.



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: Bragi enn gamli, 1. Ragnarsdrápa 2: AI, 1, BI, 1, Skald I, 1; SnE 1848-87, I, 426-7, II, 329, 440, 589, III, 80-1, SnE 1931, 152, SnE 1998, I, 70.


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