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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ill Har 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Illugi bryndœlaskáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 2’ 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. 283-4.

Illugi bryndœlaskáldPoem about Haraldr harðráði

Enn helt ulfa brynnir
— eiskaldi gramr beisku
mildr réð orms of eldi —
austrfǫr þaðan gǫrva.

Enn helt {brynnir ulfa} gǫrva austrfǫr þaðan; mildr gramr réð beisku eiskaldi orms of eldi.

Again {the thirst-quencher of wolves} [WARRIOR] embarked on a well-prepared expedition eastward; the generous ruler moved the bitter heart of the snake across the fire.

Mss: A(21v) (SnE)

Editions: Skj AI, 384, Skj BI, 354, Skald 178, NN §2034; SnE 1848-64, II, 493.

Context: The word eiskaldi is given as a heiti for ‘heart’.

Notes: [1] helt ‘embarked on’: Skj B silently emends to lét ‘let’, which Finnur connects with gǫrva ‘be readied’ (see also SnE 1848-87, III, 597-8). That emendation is unnecessary. For this meaning of halda, see Fritzner: halda 14. — [2] eiskaldi (n. dat. sg.) ‘heart’: The etymology of eiskald n. (also eiskǫld f., eiskaldr m.) is obscure (see AEW: eiskald). The same word occurs in Fáfn, and the similarity of wording indicates that Illugi knew that poem (see Fáfn 27; NK 185): Sittu nú, Sigurðr, | enn ec mun sofa ganga, | oc halt Fáfnis hiarta við funa! | eiscǫld | ec vil etinn láta | eptir þenna dreyra drycc ‘Sit down now, Sigurðr,—and I will go to sleep—and hold Fáfnir’s heart to the fire! The heart I shall eat after this drink of blood’. — [3] réð ‘moved’: Skj B emends to helt ‘held’, most likely prompted by the wording of Fáfn 27 (see NN §2034; see also SnE 1848-87, III, 598). For the meaning of ráða e-u ‘to put in motion, move sth. from or to a place, put into or out of a certain position’, see Fritzner: ráða 11. — [4] austrfǫr ‘expedition to the east’: Haraldr’s journey from Russia to Constantinople (see Jesch 2001a, 90).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. 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.
  4. SnE 1848 = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1848. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar, eða Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál og Háttatal. Reykjavík: Prentsmiðja landsins.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  8. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  9. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  10. 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.
  11. Internal references
  12. Not published: do not cite ()

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