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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞGísl Búdr 5I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 5’ 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. 946.

Þorkell GíslasonBúadrápa

Hrutu fyr borð bæði
— brustu herklæði —
hǫfuð ok hendr manna;
hræ nam vargr kanna.

Bæði hǫfuð ok hendr manna hrutu fyr borð; {herklæði} brustu; vargr nam kanna hræ.

Both heads and hands of men flew overboard; {war-garments} [ARMOUR] burst; the wolf started to search corpses.

Mss: 61(19vb), 53(16ra), 54(16ra), Bb(26rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [4] nam: munn Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 554, Skj BI, 537, Skald I, 261; Fms 1, 171, Fms 12, 42, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 188 (ch. 90), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 26, 79.

Context: The battle continues. There is great loss of men on both sides, though the greatest at this point is on Hákon jarl’s side, and the heads and limbs of men fall overboard.

Notes: [2] herklæði ‘war-garments [ARMOUR]’: See Note to st. 1/4. — [4] nam kanna ‘started to search’: Nam could alternatively be taken as an auxiliary verb without independent meaning. 


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  5. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2000. Danish Kings and the Jomsvikings in the Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.

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