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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 34I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 34’ 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. 326.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Né sigbjarka serkir
sómmiðjungum rómu
Hôars við Hǫgna skúrir
hléðut fast of séðir.

Né hléðut {fast of séðir serkir {sigbjarka}} {sómmiðjungum} við {skúrir Hǫgna} {rómu Hôars}.
‘Nor did the firmly sewn shirts of the battle-birches [WARRIORS > ARMOUR] protect the bow-miðjungar [WARRIORS] against the showers of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [ARROWS] in the noise of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE].

notes and context

The helmingr is cited in SnE (Skm) in a passage containing examples of battle-kennings.

This dramatic moment in the battle against the Jómsvíkingar is also commemorated in Tindr Hákdr 1 and Hfr Hákdr 2III, and described by Snorri in Hkr (ÍF 26, 281). So many arrows get lodged in Hákon jarl’s armour that he is forced to remove it during the battle. These are likely to have been special arrow-heads capable of piercing armour and mail-shirts (see Paulsen 1999, 137-9).



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 Helgason skálaglamm, 3. Vellekla 35: AI, 131, BI, 123, Skald I, 69, NN §412; SnE 1848-87, I, 418-9, II, 327, 438, 587, SnE 1931, 149, SnE 1998, I, 67.


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