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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ill Har 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Illugi bryndœlaskáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 282-3.

Illugi bryndœlaskáldPoem about Haraldr harðráði

Vargs vas munr, þats margan
— menskerðir stakk sverði
myrkaurriða markar —
minn dróttinn rak flótta.

Vas munr vargs, þats dróttinn minn rak margan flótta; {menskerðir} stakk {myrkaurriða markar} sverði.

It was the pleasure of the wolf that my lord put many to flight; {the necklace-diminisher} [GENEROUS MAN = Sigurðr] pierced {the dark trout of the forest} [SERPENT = Fáfnir] with the sword.

Mss: R(37r), Tˣ(39r), U(39v), A(14r), B(6r), 744ˣ(39v), C(6v) (SnE); papp10ˣ(53r), 2368ˣ(136), 743ˣ(101r) (LaufE)

Readings: [1] munr: munnr Tˣ, A, B, papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ, muðr U, C;    þats (‘þat er’): þar er U, A, B, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ, þá er C, þar papp10ˣ    [2] menskerðir: ‘men[…]ðir’ B    [3] myrkaurriða: ‘myrk[…]riða’ B, ‘myrk . . rriða’ 744ˣ, ‘mirkavridi’ papp10ˣ    [4] flótta: ‘[…]lotta’ B

Editions: Skj AI, 384, Skj BI, 354, Skald I, 177; SnE 1848-87, I, 478-9, II, 350, 455, 538, 594, SnE 1931, 169, SnE 1998, I, 88; LaufE 1979, 310, 401.

Context: The word vargr is given as one of several examples of heiti for ‘wolf’.

Notes: [All]: Because B is very difficult to read at this point, AM 744 4°ˣ (744ˣ), an early C18th copy of B made by Jón Ólafsson when B was more legible, has been consulted selectively. — [1, 4]: Most likely refers to Haraldr’s early exploits in Russia (see ÞjóðA Run 1, 3; Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 55). — [1] þats ‘that’: For the use of þats as a conj. (‘that’) see NS §267. — [1] munr (m. nom. sg.) ‘pleasure’: The variants munnr (or muðr) ‘mouth’ (so , U, A, B, C, 743ˣ) and þars ‘there where’ (so U, A, B, 743ˣ) give a less preferable reading of ll. 1 and 4: munnr (or muðr) vargs vas, þars dróttinn minn rak margan flótta ‘the mouth of the wolf was there where my lord put many to flight’. — [2-3]: The embedded cl. refers to Sigurðr’s slaying of the dragon Fáfnir (see Fáfn; NK 180-8; SnE 1998, I, 46).


  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. LaufE 1979 = Faulkes, Anthony, ed. 1979. Edda Magnúsar Ólafssonar (Laufás Edda). RSÁM 13. Vol. I of Two Versions of Snorra Edda from the 17th Century. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar, 1977-9.
  5. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  6. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  7. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  8. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  9. Sigfús Blöndal. 1978. The Varangians of Byzantium: An Aspect of Byzantine Military History. Trans. and rev. Benedikt S. Benedikz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. First published 1954 as Væringja saga. Reykjavík: Ísafoldarprentsmiðja.
  10. Internal references
  11. Not published: do not cite ()
  12. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Runhent poem about Haraldr 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 103-5.

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