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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 27II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 27’ 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. 604-5.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

text and translation

Ek hef lagða lykkju
(leiðar þvengs) of heiði
(snotr minnisk þess svanni
sút) fyr Jórðán útan.
En hykk, at þó þykki
þangat langt at ganga
— blóð fell varmt á víðan
vǫll — heimdrǫgum ǫllum.

Ek hef lagða lykkju of heiði fyr útan Jórðán; snotr svanni minnisk þess {sút {þvengs leiðar}}. En hykk, at þó þykki ǫllum heimdrǫgum langt at ganga þangat; varmt blóð fell á víðan vǫll.
‘I have placed a knot on the heath beyond the Jordan; the wise lady will remember this during the sorrow of the thong of the path [SNAKE > WINTER]. And I think that nevertheless it will seem to all stay-at-homes a long way to go there; warm blood fell onto the broad field.

notes and context

Rǫgnvaldr’s troop arrives in Jerusalem and visits all the most sacred sites there (Orkn ch. 88, ÍF 34, 231). When they go to bathe in the Jordan, Rǫgnvaldr and Sigmundr swim across the river and tie large knots in some brushwood.

This episode took place on 10 August 1152 (see Note to st. 28/4). See also Sigm Lv 2. For this practice of tying a knot on the far side of the Jordan, to taunt or challenge a competitor, see also MsonaHkr ch. 21. For other Scandinavian rulers swimming in the Jordan, see Ív Sig 9, Þstf Stuttdr 5 and ESk Sigdr I 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 27: AI, 511, BI, 485, Skald I, 238, NN §§980, 2990E; Flat 1860-8, II, 487, Orkn 1887, 176, Orkn 1913-16, 255, ÍF 34, 231-2 (ch. 88), Bibire 1988, 237.


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