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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 31II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 31’ 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. 607-8.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

text and translation

Ríðum Ræfils Vakri!
Rekuma plóg af akri!
Erjum úrgu barði
út at Miklagarði!
Þiggjum þengils mála!
Þokum framm í gný stála!
Rjóðum gylðis góma!
Gerum ríks konungs sóma!

Ríðum {Vakri Ræfils}! Rekuma plóg af akri! Erjum úrgu barði út at Miklagarði! Þiggjum mála þengils! Þokum framm í {gný stála}! Rjóðum góma gylðis! Gerum sóma ríks konungs!
‘Let’s ride the Vakr <horse> of Ræfill <sea-king> [SHIP]! Let’s not drive the plough from the field! Let’s plough with a drenched prow out to Constantinople! Let’s receive the wages of the prince! Let’s move forward in the din of weapons [BATTLE]! Let’s redden the gums of the wolf! Let’s create the honour for the powerful king!

notes and context

Sailing north to Byzantium, Rǫgnvaldr’s fleet sail með prís miklum, sem þeir vissu, at gǫrt hafði Sigurðr Jórsalafari ‘in great style, as they knew Sigurðr jórsalafari had done’ (ÍF 34, 235).

For similar exhortatory sts from the C12th, see Nefari Lv and Blakkr Lv 1. The metre of this st. however is in minzta runhenda, as defined in SnE and exemplified in SnSt Ht 88III (SnE 1999, 35-6); see Notes to Hbreiðm Lv and Árm Lv 3. — [5-8]: In the following ch. (89) of Orkn, Rǫgnvaldr and his men are well received in Byzantium by Emperor Menelías (Manuel I) and it is even said that the jarl was given much money by the emperor, but there is no further detail about the ways in which the crusaders earned their keep.



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 31: AI, 511, BI, 486, Skald I, 238, NN §3236; Flat 1860-8, II, 488, Orkn 1887, 178, Orkn 1913-16, 258, ÍF 34, 235-6 (ch. 88), Bibire 1988, 238.


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