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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 24II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 24’ 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. 602.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

text and translation

Erlingr gekk, þars okkur,
ógnsterkr, ruðusk merki,
frægr með fremð ok sigri
fleinlundr at drómundi.
Hlóðum vér, en víða
vas blóð numit þjóðum,
— sverð ruðu snjallir fyrðar
snǫrp — blámanna gǫrpum.

Erlingr, {frægr fleinlundr}, gekk ógnsterkr at drómundi með fremð ok sigri, þars merki okkur ruðusk. Vér hlóðum gǫrpum blámanna, en blóð vas víða numit þjóðum; snjallir fyrðar ruðu snǫrp sverð.
‘Erlingr, the renowned spear-tree [WARRIOR], went, threateningly strong, towards the dromon with success and victory, where our standards were reddened. We piled up the heroes of the black men, and blood was widely taken from the people; valiant men reddened sharp swords.

notes and context

The crusaders successfully attack a large dromon, killing everyone on board and acquiring a large amount of treasure.

Ch. 87 of Orkn describes how Rǫgnvaldr consults both his bishop and Erlingr skakki about the feasibility of attacking the dromon; the bishop is cautious, but Erlingr’s optimism and eloquence win the day. This episode happened somewhere in the Mediterranean, not far from Sardinia, in early 1152.



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 24: AI, 510, BI, 484-5, Skald I, 237-8, NN §1155 anm.; Flat 1860-8, II, 485, Orkn 1887, 172-3, Orkn 1913-16, 250, ÍF 34, 226 (ch. 88), Bibire 1988, 235-6.


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