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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 49VIII (Bret 49)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 49 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 49)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 176.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘Þeir flest taka         fljóða sveita
hervígssamir         ok hóra mengi.
Ok sameignar         sín*ar kvánir
gera geirvanir;         geigr es í slíku.’

‘Hervígssamir taka þeir flest sveita fljóða ok mengi hóra. Ok geirvanir gera kvánir sín*ar sameignar; geigr es í slíku.’
‘‘Belligerent, they will take most bands of women and a multitude of whores. And the spear-accustomed ones will have their women in common; peril lies in that.’

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 157.229-30; cf. Wright 1988, 111, prophecy 53): Fetore narium mulieres corrumpent et proprias communes facient ‘By the stench of their nostrils they will corrupt women and make the women of individual men into women shared in common’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 156). Gunnlaugr adds the final summative statement of moral condemnation.



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: Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínússpá I 49: AII, 19, BII, 20, Skald II, 13, NN §99; Bret 1848-9, II, 33 (Bret st. 49); Hb 1892-6, 276; Merl 2012, 112-13.


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