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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Edáð Banddr 9I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 9’ 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. 468.

Eyjólfr dáðaskáldBandadrápa

Dregr land at mun banda
Eirekr und sik geira
veðrmildr ok semr hildi
[gunnblíðr, ok ræðr síðan
jarl goðvǫrðu hjarli].

Eirekr dregr land und sik at mun banda, {geira veðr}mildr, ok semr hildi, [gunnblíðr, ok jarl ræðr síðan goðvǫrðu hjarli].

Eiríkr draws land under himself at the pleasure of the gods, generous with {the storm of spears} [(lit. ‘storm-generous of spears’) BATTLE], and contrives warfare, [rejoicing in battle, and the jarl rules since then the god-defended land].

Mss: R(36v) (ll. 1-3), Tˣ(38r) (ll. 1-3), U(36r) (l. 1), A(12v) (ll. 1-3), C(6r) (ll. 1-2) (SnE)

Readings: [2] geira: geiri A

Editions: Skj AI, 202, Skj BI, 192, NN §1853A; SnE 1848-87, I, 468-9, II, 340, 447, 591, SnE 1931, 165, SnE 1998, I, 84.

Context: The first three lines (only the first one or two in the case of U and C) are quoted in SnE to illustrate a heiti for ‘gods’, here bǫnd.

Notes: [All]: This is not strictly a stanza, since these five lines were dispersed, as the constituents of the klofastef ‘split refrain’, rather than grouped in the original poem. However, SnE preserves the first three lines together, the other two clearly belong here and it is useful to see all five together so that the syntax is complete (so also Konráð Gíslason 1879a, 185; Skj; ÍF 26, 340 n.). Line 1 appears at st. 2/8, l. 2 at sts 4/4 and 7/4, l. 3 at sts 4/8 and 7/8, l. 4 at st. 5/8 and l. 5 at 8/8. These five lines form a single, complete syntactic unit, and are dovetailed in such a way that there is no scope for insertion of further lines within the series (see Note to ll. 1-2). Fidjestøl (1982, 113-14) discusses the lines in relation to the stanza order of Banddr but his inferences concerning a set of two stef, each of three lines, seem not to take account of their syntactic unity.  — [1, 2]: Kock (NN §1853A) notes the positioning of the verb dregr ‘draws’ before its subject, a pattern that recurs in ll. 4 and 5 with the verb ræðr ‘rules’ and enables the poet to dovetail the constituent lines of the stef. — [1]: The repetition of the word banda ‘of the gods’ (l. 1) by placing it in the stef ‘refrain’ appears to affirm an ideology in which Eiríkr, as one of the jarls of Hlaðir (Lade), possesses a special affinity with the bǫnd ‘deities’ (cf. Marold 1992, 705-7) and conquers and retains lands at their will. The jarl and the ‘heathen’ deities are juxtaposed near the beginning and the end of the stef: banda | Eirekr (ll. 1-2) and jarl goðvǫrðu (l. 5) respectively. Perhaps especially indicative of heathen defiance is the expression goðvǫrðu ‘god-defended, divinely protected’, in an era where many communities, including those ruled over by the newly baptised Óláfr Tryggvason and Valdamarr (Vladimir, st. 6/4 and Note), would entrust defence of the land to the Christian God.


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  7. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. Konráð Gíslason. 1879a. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i Skáldskaparmál’. ÅNOH, 185-202.
  9. Marold, Edith. 1992. ‘Die Skaldendichtung als Quelle der Religionsgeschichte’. In Beck et al. 1992, 685-719.
  10. Internal references
  11. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  13. Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa’ 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. 454.

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