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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 47VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 47’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 45-6.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Gyrðisk hála herðum
heldr síðarla á kveldi
glaumkennandi gunnar
glaðr véttrima* naðri.
Drengr réð dýrr á vangi
— dagr rofnaðisk — sofna
ítrs landreka undir
ógnfimr berum himni.

{Glaðr glaumkennandi gunnar} gyrðisk {hála herðum naðri véttrima*} heldr síðarla á kveldi. Dýrr ógnfimr drengr {ítrs landreka} réð sofna á vangi undir berum himni; dagr rofnaðisk.
‘The happy noise-tester of battle [WARRIOR] girded himself with the well-hardened snake of sword-rings [SWORD] rather late in the evening. The valuable, battle-deft soldier of the splendid land-ruler [= Byzantine emperor] decided to sleep in a field in the open air [lit. under the bare sky]; the day was waning.

notes and context

Sts 47-50 conclude the narrative of Óláfr’s sword, Hneitir. A soldier in the army of the Greeks (44/7, 8) had the sword under his head one night, as he slept in the open air. When he woke, he found that the sword had moved and was lying on the ground some distance from him (st. 48). This miraculous happening took place on three successive nights (st. 49) and came to the attention of the Byzantine emperor, who bought it from the soldier and had it mounted over the altar of a church (st. 50).



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: Einarr Skúlason, 6. Geisli 47: AI, 467, BI, 438-9, Skald I, 216; Flat 1860-8, I, 5, Cederschiöld 1873, 7, Chase 2005, 97, 155.


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