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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Gráf 5I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 5’ 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. 254.

Glúmr GeirasonGráfeldardrápa

Hilmir rauð und hjalmi
heina laut á Gautum;
þar varð í gný geira
grundar vǫrðr of fundinn.

Hilmir rauð {laut heina} á Gautum und hjalmi; þar varð {vǫrðr grundar} of fundinn í {gný geira}.

The king reddened {the dell of whetstones} [SWORD] on the Gautar, wearing a helmet; there {the guardian of ground} [RULER = Haraldr] was to be found in {the din of spears} [BATTLE].

Mss: R(35v), R(39v) (ll. 1-2), Tˣ(37r), Tˣ(41r) (ll. 1-2), W(81), U(34v), U(37r) (ll. 1-2), B(6v) (ll. 1-2), C(9r) (ll. 1-2) (SnE)

Readings: [1] und: om. Tˣ(41r), í B;    hjalmi: hjalma B    [2] heina: hregg B;    laut: so Tˣ(37r), Tˣ(41r), W, U(37r), C, lǫt R(35v), R(39v), ‘lautr’ U(34v), ‘[…]’ B;    á Gautum: so Tˣ(37r), Tˣ(41r), W, U(34v), U(37r), und Gautum R(35v), ágætum R(39v), ‘[…]elkings eggiar’ B, á beinu C

Editions: Skj AI, 76, Skj BI, 66, Skald I, 41SnE 1848-87, I, 452-3, 518-9, II, 335, 342, 606; SnE 1931, 160, 182, SnE 1998, I, 79, 102, 203, 220. 

Context: The stanza is included among four that illustrate kennings for ‘king’, in this case vǫrðr lands ‘guardian of land’. The first two lines are repeated in most mss at a point where heiti for kings (here hilmir) are exemplified.

Notes: [2] laut heina ‘the dell of whetstones [SWORD]’: Laut f. ‘hollow place, dell’ is used elsewhere in kennings to represent land in general (see LP: laut). The conception of the sword as the ground that the whetstone covers is also found in, e.g., Hallv Knútdr 5/3III heinland ‘whetstone-land’. — [2] á Gautum ‘on the Gautar’: The people of Gautland (Götaland, southern Sweden). Haraldr gráfeldr and his brothers are more than once said to make a practice of raiding during the summers, but there is no specific reference in the prose sources to any attack in this region.


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  6. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Internal references
  8. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallvarðr háreksblesi, Knútsdrápa 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 236.

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