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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 16II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 16’ 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. 594.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

Orð skal Ermingerðar
ítr drengr muna lengi;
brúðr vill rǫkk, at ríðim
Ránheim til Jórðánar.
Enn, es aptr fara runnar
unnviggs of haf sunnan,
rístum, heim at hausti,
hvalfrón til Nerbónar.

Ítr drengr skal muna orð Ermingerðar lengi; rǫkk brúðr vill, at ríðim {Ránheim} til Jórðánar. Enn rístum {hvalfrón} til Nerbónar, es {runnar {unnviggs}} fara aptr, heim at hausti, sunnan of haf.

The outstanding warrior will remember the words of Ermingerðr for a long time; the stately lady wants us to ride {Rán’s <sea-goddess’s> world} [SEA] to the Jordan. We will carve {the whale-country} [SEA] to Narbonne again, when {the trees {of the wave-horse}} [SHIP > SEAFARERS] travel back, home in the autumn, from the south across the sea.

Mss: 325I(12v), Flat(140ra), R702ˣ(46r-v) (Orkn)

Readings: [3] brúðr: Þrúðr R702ˣ;    rǫkk: rǫsk R702ˣ;    ríðim: ríðum R702ˣ    [6] of: fyrir Flat    [8] Nerbónar: so Flat, R702ˣ, ‘nerbvnar’ corrected from ‘velbvnar’ 325I

Editions: Skj AI, 508, Skj BI, 482, Skald I, 236-7, NN §§806, 2066; Flat 1860-8, II, 479, Orkn 1887, 161, Orkn 1913-16, 234, ÍF 34, 211 (ch. 86), Bibire 1988, 232-3.

Context: Having left Narbonne, Rǫgnvaldr and his poets are sailing in a good wind, and are sitting and drinking, and in good spirits. Rǫgnvaldr, Ármóðr and Oddi each recite a st. containing Ermingerðr’s name.

Notes: [1] Ermingerðar ‘of Ermingerðr’: See Note to st. 15 [All] above. — [2] ítr drengr ‘the outstanding warrior’: As Kock pointed out (NN §2066), Rǫgnvaldr was not shy about using such expressions about himself; see also sts 8, 14. — [7]: Kock (NN §806) suggests that at hausti ‘in the autumn’ (and therefore also heim ‘home’) should be construed with rístum ‘we will carve’ while Sigurður Nordal (Orkn 1913-16; so also Skj B) punctuates the l. so that heim but not at hausti is construed with rístum. However, it seems unlikely that Rǫgnvaldr would refer to Narbonne as heim, and both ÍF 34 and Bibire 1988 construe heim at hausti with the verb fara, as here, where it is assumed that Rǫgnvaldr is promising Ermingerðr to look in on her on his way back home. — [8] Nerbónar ‘Narbonne’: While the first element of this p. n. is variously spelled Ner- and Nar- in the mss of Orkn (1913-16, 231, 234, 250), the vowel of the second element is confirmed by the rhyme both in this st. and in st. 25.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  6. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  7. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Bibire, Paul. 1988. ‘The Poetry of Earl Rǫgnvaldr’s Court’. In Crawford 1988, 208-40.
  9. Orkn 1887 = Gudbrand Vigfusson 1887-94, I.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].

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