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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 32I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 32’ 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. 323.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Hvar viti ǫld und einum
jarðbyggvi svá liggja
— þat skyli herr of hugsa —
hjarl sextían jarla?
Þess ríðr fúrs með fjórum
folkleikr Heðins reikar
logskundaðar lindar
lofkenndr himins endum.

Hvar viti ǫld hjarl sextían jarla liggja svá und {einum jarðbyggvi}? Herr skyli of hugsa þat. {Lofkenndr folkleikr} {fúrs reikar Heðins} {þess {lindar log}skundaðar} ríðr með fjórum endum himins.
‘Where would people know of the territory of sixteen jarls lying in such a way under one land-owner [RULER]? The army ought to consider that. The renowned army-game [BATTLE] of the fire of the hair-parting of Heðinn <legendary hero> [SWORD] of that impeller of the fire of the spring [(lit. ‘fire-impeller of the spring’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] spreads along the four ends of the sky.

notes and context

Hákon jarl is said to have ruled sixteen districts (fylki), delegating power to sixteen jarls – a system instituted by King Haraldr hárfagri.

The first helmingr lacks hendingar in ll. 1 and 3, and l. 2 has a skothending instead of an aðalhending, while the second helmingr has regular hendingar. But emendation for the sole purpose of achieving well-formed hendingar (as for instance by Jón Þorkelsson, 1884, 57) is not justified.



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 37: AI, 131, BI, 124, Skald I, 69, NN §§1887, 2240A, C; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 342-3, IV, 91, ÍF 26, 290, Hkr 1991, I, 195 (ch. 45), F 1871, 126; Fms 1, 187, Fms 12, 46, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 204 (ch. 93); Flat 1860-8, I, 216.


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