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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞGísl Búdr 1I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 1’ 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. 943.

Þorkell GíslasonBúadrápa

text and translation

Bôru á vali víka
— vel frák þeim líka
seggjum snarræði —
sverð ok herklæði.

Bôru sverð ok {herklæði} á {vali víka}; frák snarræði líka þeim seggjum vel.
‘They carried swords and war-garments [ARMOUR] aboard the stallions of bays [SHIPS]; I have heard that bold action pleased those men well.

notes and context

King Sveinn tjúguskegg ‘Fork-beard’ of Denmark invites his allies the Jómsvíkingar to a joint memorial feast for their recently-deceased fathers, during which he makes a formal vow to kill or dethrone King Aðalráðr (Æthelred) of England within three years. His guest Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson makes a matching vow about Hákon inn ríki ‘the Mighty’ Sigurðarson, jarl of Hlaðir (Lade), and his brother Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ follows suit, joined, with variations, by other Jómsvíking heroes: Búi digri ‘the Stout’ Vésetason, his brother Sigurðr kápa ‘Cloak’, and Vagn Ákason. Next day, now sober, the Jómsvíkingar take counsel about the expedition and decide to make ready immediately.



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: Þórkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 1: AI, 553, BI, 536, Skald I, 260; Fms 1, 164, Fms 12, 40, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 180-1 (ch. 86), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 23, 76.


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