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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Run 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Runhenda 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 552.

Einarr SkúlasonRunhenda

text and translation

Víkverjum galt
— varð þannig hallt —
gǫrræði gramr
gjafmildr ok framr.
Flest folk varð hrætt,
áðr fengi sætt,
en gjǫldin jók,
sás gísla tók.

Gramr, gjafmildr ok framr, galt Víkverjum gǫrræði; þannig varð hallt. Flest folk varð hrætt, áðr fengi sætt, en, sás tók gísla, jók gjǫldin.
‘The ruler, generous and outstanding, repaid the Víkverjar for their unlawful ways; things accordingly went awry. Most people were afraid before they reached a settlement, but he who took hostages increased the payments.

notes and context

Stanzas 2-3 document how Eysteinn put down a rebellion by the people of Viken, Norway.

It is not clear why the people of Viken rebelled against Eysteinn, and the surrounding prose is derived from the poetry. — [7-8]: The reading of the other mss, en, sás jók gjǫldin, tók gísla ‘but he who increased the payments, took hostages’ is possible and has been adopted by most previous eds. The prose of Mork reflects the order of events described in the Mork version of the st. (i.e. Eysteinn took hostages and then exacted payments), whereas the prose of Hkr and H-Hr states that Eysteinn first exacted heavy payments and then took hostages.



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, 7. Runhenda 2: AI, 473, BI, 445-6, Skald I, 219, NN §3107; Mork 1867, 225, Mork 1928-32, 442-3, Andersson and Gade 2000, 390, 494 (Hsona); ÍF 28, 326 (Hsona ch. 19), F 1871, 338, E 1916, 198; Fms 7, 234 (Hsona ch. 19).


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