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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ív Sig 5II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Ívarr Ingimundarson, Sigurðarbálkr 5’ 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, p. 505.

Ívarr IngimundarsonSigurðarbálkr

Ól hertogi        hrafna í fjǫrðum;
skulfu skeyti        í Skota blóði,
þars fyr jǫfri        austan komnum
morðáls metendr        merki bôru.

Hertogi ól hrafna í fjǫrðum; skeyti skulfu í blóði Skota, þars {metendr {morðáls}} bôru merki fyr jǫfri austan komnum.

The army-leader nourished ravens in the fjords; arrows shook in the blood of the Scots, where {the testers {of the battle-eel}} [SWORD > WARRIORS] bore the standards before the prince who had come from the east.

Mss: Mork(32v) (Mork)

Editions: Skj AI, 496, Skj BI, 469, Skald I, 230; Mork 1867, 202, Mork 1928-32, 407, Andersson and Gade 2000, 368, 491 (Sslemb).

Context: Stanzas 5-7 document battles in Scotland in which Sigurðr participated. The only battle fought by David that would fit the approximate time-frame is the battle of Stracathro against the men of Moray (1130). See Anderson 1922, II, 149, 173-4. The prose surrounding these sts appears to have been derived from the content of the poetry.

Notes: [3] skeyti skulfu ‘arrows shook’: For this l., see also st. 22/5 below. Etymologically related to skjóta ‘shoot’, skeyti ‘arrow’ could also denote a short spear that was thrown (see Falk 1914, 95).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  4. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  5. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  6. Anderson, Alan Orr. 1922. Early Sources of Scottish History A.D. 500 to 1286. 2 vols. Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd.
  7. Mork 1867 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1867. Morkinskinna: Pergamentsbog fra første halvdel af det trettende aarhundrede. Indeholdende en af de ældste optegnelser af norske kongesagaer. Oslo: Bentzen.

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