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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 53VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 53’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 50.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Myndi mest und fjǫndum
Miklagarðr ok jarðir
(hryggs dugði lið) liggja
(lagar eldbrota) veldi,
nema rǫnd í byr branda
(barðraukns) fáir harða
(rǫðuls bliku vôpn í veðri)
Væringjar framm bæri.

Mest veldi, Miklagarðr ok jarðir, myndi liggja und fjǫndum — lið {hryggs {lagar eld}brota} dugði —, nema harða fáir Væringjar bæri rǫnd framm í {byr branda}; vôpn bliku í {veðri {rǫðuls {barðraukns}}}.
‘Most of the kingdom, Constantinople and the territories, would have lain under enemies — the army of the sorrowful breaker of the flame of the sea [(lit. ‘sorrowful flame-breaker of the sea’) GOLD > GENEROUS RULER = Byzantine king] did well —, except that a very few Varangians pushed [their] shields forward in the fair breeze of swords [BATTLE]; weapons gleamed in the storm of the sun of the prow-ox [SHIP > SHIELD > BATTLE].

notes and context



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 53: AI, 469, BI, 440, Skald I, 217, NN §944; Flat 1860-8, I, 5-6, Cederschiöld 1873, 8, Chase 2005, 103, 158.


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