Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Ótt Hfl 20I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 20’ 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. 766.

Óttarr svartiHǫfuðlausn

text and translation

Gegn, (eru þér at þegnum)
þjóðskjǫldunga góðra
haldið hæft á veldi
(Hjaltlendingar kenndir).
Engi varð á jǫrðu
ógnbráðr, áðr þér nôðum,
austr, sás eyjum vestan,
ynglingr, und sik þryngvi.

Gegn, haldið hæft á veldi góðra þjóðskjǫldunga; Hjaltlendingar eru kenndir þér at þegnum. Engi ógnbráðr ynglingr, sás þryngvi und sik eyjum vestan, varð austr á jǫrðu, áðr nôðum þér.
‘Trustworthy one, you hold fittingly onto the power of good kings of the people; the Shetlanders are known to you as your thanes. No battle-bold king who subjugated under himself the islands in the west arose east in the land, before we got you.

notes and context

In the konungasǫgur, the context is an account of the relations between Óláfr and the Orcadian Rǫgnvaldr jarl Brúsason (in c. 1022), and Óláfr’s overlordship of Orkney and Shetland more generally. In SnE, ll. 5-8 are quoted in exemplification of the king-heiti ynglingr.

Ms. 744ˣ, has been used to supply B readings where necessary; see Note to st. 5 [All]. Ms. 75c is also badly rubbed and barely legible in places. — This stanza has the widest preservation of all the stanzas from the poem. The introductory words in ÓH, Hkr and Orkn attribute it to a drápa composed by Óttarr for King Óláfr. Ms. U attributes ll. 5-8 to Arnórr.



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 19: AI, 295-6, BI, 272, Skald I, 139; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 213, IV, 138, ÍF 27, 172-3 (ÓHHkr ch. 102); ÓH 1941, I, 254 (ch. 88), Flat 1860-8, II, 181-2; ÓHLeg 1922, 43, ÓHLeg 1982, 106-7; Fsk 1902-3, 159 (ch. 27), ÍF 29, 181 (ch. 31); Orkn 1913-16, 41, ÍF 34, 41 (ch. 19); SnE 1848-87, I, 526-7, II, 344-5, 463, 542, 609, SnE 1931, 185, SnE 1998, I, 105.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.