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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 37I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 37’ 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. 329.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Þvít fjǫlkostigr flestu
flestr ræðr við son Bestlu
— tekit hefk morðs til mærðar —
mæringr an þú færa.

Þvít flestr fjǫlkostigr mæringr ræðr flestu færa an þú við {son Bestlu}; hefk tekit til mærðar morðs.
‘For most many-virtued famous men control much less than you with the son of Bestla <giantess> [= Óðinn]; I have begun the praise of the battle.

notes and context

The stanza is preserved in SnE (Skm) among stanzas exemplifying kennings and heiti for Óðinn.

In Skj the stanza is presented as part of the poem’s introduction. This edn places it at the end of the poem because it does not fit the imagery of the introduction, and because it is uncertain whether Einarr skálaglamm is even its author. Whereas SnE cites the name of the skald in every other instance as Einarr skálaglamm, this stanza alone is attributed merely to an Einarr. — These four lines consist only of a dependent clause introduced by þvít ‘for, because’, and very probably form the second helmingr of an eight-line stanza. The first helmingr might have praised Hákon jarl for his power or his conquests.



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 4: AI, 123, BI, 117, Skald I, 66; SnE 1848-87, I, 244, II, 305, 520, SnE 1931, 91, SnE 1998, I, 11.


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