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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ólhv Hryn 8II

Lauren Goetting (ed.) 2009, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 8’ 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. 664-5.

Óláfr hvítaskáld ÞórðarsonHrynhenda

text and translation

Hilmir fór með herskap stóran
hildar borðs á Upplǫnd norðan;
merki skókusk ljós á Láku;
lá ferð vegin skǫrpum sverðum.
Þunnum reið til Þrándheims sunnan
þingfrœkn jǫfurr Vǫlum stinga;
herskip brendi hilmir grundar
hyggjugegn, en líf gaf þegnum.

{Hilmir {borðs hildar}} fór norðan á Upplǫnd með stóran herskap; ljós merki skókusk á Láku; ferð lá vegin skǫrpum sverðum. Þingfrœkn jǫfurr reið {þunnum Vǫlum stinga} sunnan til Þrándheims; {hyggjugegn hilmir grundar} brendi herskip, en gaf þegnum líf.
‘The ruler of the board of battle [SHIELD > WARRIOR = Skúli] went from the north to Opplandene with a large retinue; bright standards shook at Låke; the host lay slain by sharp swords. The battle-daring prince rode the slender Valir <horses> of rods [SHIPS] from the south to Trøndelag; the clever-minded ruler of the land [= Hákon] burned warships but spared the lives of men.

notes and context

The first helmingr refers to the battle of Låke (9 March 1240), fought between Skúli and his men and the Birkibeinar, led by Jarl Knútr Hákonarson. The Birkibeinar were routed in the battle and Knútr fled to Tønsberg. The second helmingr describes Hákon’s journey by ship to Trøndelag (February 1240) to confront Skúli there and check his growing power. Once Hákon arrived, he found that Skúli had fled south with 500 men, leaving behind many of his adherents, to whom Hákon granted clemency.

For the battle of Låke, see also Sturl Hákkv 10.



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: Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld, 2. Et hrynhent digt 8: AII, 95, BII, 107, Skald II, 57, NN §1346; E 1916, 593, F 1871, 507, Hák 1910-86, 536-7, Hák 1977-82, 116, Flat 1860-8, III, 140.


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