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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 14I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 14’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 681.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga

text and translation

Rauð í rekka blóði
rǫnd með gumna hǫndum
dreyrugt sverð, þars dýran
drótt þjóðkonung sótti.
Auk at ísarnleiki
Innþrœndum lét finnask
rœkinn gramr í reikar
rauðbrúnan hjǫr túnum.

Dreyrugt sverð rauð rǫnd með hǫndum gumna í blóði rekka, þars drótt sótti dýran þjóðkonung. Auk rœkinn gramr lét rauðbrúnan hjǫr finnask í {túnum reikar} Innþrœndum at {ísarnleiki}.
‘Gory sword reddened shield, along with the hands of men, in the blood of warriors, where the troop attacked the glorious mighty king. And the capable prince caused the red-brown sword to be found in the homefields of the hair-parting [HEAD] of Innþrœndir in the iron-play [BATTLE].

notes and context

The fighting gets fiercer and the king presses forward in the hand-to-hand fighting.

[5-8]: It is possible to construe the helmingr in two ways, depending on the interpretation of rauð (l. 8). (a) Rauð could form part of a cpd adj. rauðbrúnan (m. acc. sg.) ‘red-brown’ (so Skj B, Skald and this edn), cf. rauðljóss, lit. ‘red-light’, in Hallv Knútdr 4/1III (-brúnn is unlikely to mean ‘sharp’; see Note to Arn Magndr 2/8II). In this case ll. 5-8 constitute a single clause. (b) Rauð could be the pret. verb ‘reddened’, with gramr ‘prince’ as its understood subject (so ÍF 27). However, this interpretation presents difficulties in ll. 6-7, requiring lét ‘caused’ to take a dat. object (Innþrœndum ‘Innþrœndir’) and leaving the role of finnask ‘be found’ unclear.



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: Sigvatr Þórðarson, 12. Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 14: AI, 260-1, BI, 242, Skald I, 125, NN §§620, 661, 2988C; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 490, IV, 168, ÍF 27, 381, Hkr 1991, II, 531 (ÓHHkr ch. 226); ÓH 1941, I, 571 (ch. 224), Flat 1860-8, II, 355; Jón Skaptason 1983, 169, 304.


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