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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Hfl 16I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 16’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 761.

Óttarr svartiHǫfuðlausn

text and translation

Blágjóða, tókt, bræðir
bengjalfrs, ok þá sjalfa,
skatti gnœgðr, með skreyttu
skeið Hôkonar reiði.
Ungr sóttir þú, Þróttar
þings mágrennir, hingat,
(máttit jarl) þaus ôttuð,
áttlǫnd (fyr því standa).

{Bræðir {blágjóða {bengjalfrs}}}, gnœgðr skatti, tókt skeið Hôkonar með skreyttu reiði ok þá sjalfa. {{{Þróttar þings} má}grennir}, þú sóttir ungr áttlǫnd hingat, þaus ôttuð; jarl máttit standa fyr því.
‘Feeder of the dark ospreys of the wound-sea [BLOOD > RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR = Óláfr], replete with tribute, you captured the warship of Hákon with [its] ornamented tackle, and the men themselves. Feeder of the gull of the assembly of Þróttr <= Óðinn> [(lit. ‘gull-feeder of the assembly of Þróttr’) BATTLE > RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr], you sought [when] young your ancestral lands here, which you owned; the jarl could not stand in the way of that.

notes and context

The stanza is quoted in an account of Óláfr’s ambush of Hákon jarl Eiríksson’s warship in Sauðungssund (Sauesund).

For Óláfr’s encounter with Hákon, see also Sigv Víkv 15, which Snorri quotes shortly after this stanza.



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: Óttarr svarti, 2. Hǫfuðlausn 15: AI, 294, BI, 271, Skald I, 139; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 38-9, IV, 117, ÍF 27, 37 (ÓHHkr ch. 30); ÓH 1941, I, 63 (ch. 32), Flat 1860-8, II, 32.


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