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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Knútdr 5I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Knútsdrápa 5’ 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. 772.

Óttarr svartiKnútsdrápa

text and translation

Gunni lézt í grœnni,
gramr, Lindisey framða;
belldu viðr, þvís vildu,
víkingar þar ríki.
Bíða lézt í breiðri
borg Hemminga sorgir
œst fyr Úsu vestan
engst folk, Svía þrøngvir.

Gramr, lézt gunni framða í grœnni Lindisey; þar belldu víkingar ríki viðr, þvís vildu. {Þrøngvir Svía}, lézt œst engst folk bíða sorgir í breiðri borg Hemminga fyr vestan Úsu.
‘King, you caused battle to be fought in green Lindsey; there the vikings used in opposition the strength they wished. Oppressor of the Swedes [= Knútr], you angrily caused the English people to experience sorrows in broad Hemingbrough, to the west of the Ouse.

notes and context

This stanza is quoted after a brief statement that Knútr had his first battles in England in Lindisey (Lindsey) and Hemingaborg (Hemingbrough).

The ASC (s.a. 1016) records that early in 1016 Knútr took his army north through Lincolnshire into Northumbria. — [3-4]: These are difficult lines, and some form of emendation seems necessary. Knýtl 1919-25 and ÍF 35 (followed here) prefer to emend því to þar in l. 4, while Skj B and Skald emend þvís to þeirs in l. 3, resulting in the sense ‘the vikings who wished used in opposition that strength’. The former interpretation seems preferable from a scribal point of view, as the second því could have arisen through dittography, perhaps encouraged by agreement with the following ríki.



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, 3. Knútsdrápa 5: AI, 297, BI, 273, Skald I, 140, NN §§735, 2218C; Fms 11, 188-9, Fms 12, 248, SHI 11, 177-8, Knýtl 1919-25, 38, ÍF 35, 106 (ch. 8).


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