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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 17II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 17’ 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. 595-6.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

text and translation

Vín bar hvít in hreina
hlað-Nipt alindriptar;
sýndisk fegrð, es fundumsk,
ferðum Ermingerðar.
Nú tegask ǫld með eldi
eljunfrœkn at sœkja
— ríða snǫrp ór slíðrum
sverð — kastala ferðir.

Hvít bar {in hreina hlað-Nipt {alindriptar}} vín; fegrð Ermingerðar sýndisk ferðum, es fundumsk. Nú tegask eljunfrœkn ǫld at sœkja ferðir kastala með eldi; snǫrp sverð ríða ór slíðrum.
‘White, the pure headband-Nipt <norn> of forearm-snow [GOLD > WOMAN] served wine; the beauty of Ermingerðr was shown to men when we met. Now staunchly bold people prove ready to attack the men of the castle with fire; sharp swords swing out from scabbards.

notes and context

After a lengthy siege of a castle in Galicia, Rǫgnvaldr orders the attack on the tenth day of Christmas. His men place firewood all around the castle and set it alight once they are ready to attack.

This episode took place during Christmas 1151. Having arrived in Galicia, the crusaders decided to spend the festive season there. Finding it difficult to buy supplies, they made an agreement with the local inhabitants to buy supplies from them in exchange for driving out the oppressive lord Guðifreyr and his men from his castle. The episode is similar to one involving Sigurðr jórsalafari, also in Galicia (MsonaHkr ch. 4).



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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 17: AI, 509, BI, 482-3, Skald I, 237, NN §§976, 2065; Flat 1860-8, II, 481, Orkn 1887, 165, Orkn 1913-16, 239-40, ÍF 34, 215-16 (ch. 87), Bibire 1988, 233.


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