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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞSjár Þórdr 3I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar 3’ 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. 239.

Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson)Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar

Þrot vas sýnt, þás settusk
sinn róðrs við hlum stinnan
— maðr lét ǫnd ok annarr
ófár — búendr sárir.
Ok hjǫrkrafðir hǫfðu
huggendr Munins tuggu
gauks við gjǫlfrum leikna
grunnu* sand í munni.

Þrot vas sýnt, þás sárir búendr settusk við sinn stinnan hlum róðrs; maðr lét ǫnd ok ófár annarr. Ok {hjǫrkrafðir huggendr {gauks {tuggu Munins}}} hǫfðu sand í munni við grunnu*, leikna gjǫlfrum.

Exhaustion was obvious when wounded farmers seated themselves by their unbending oar-handle; a man gave up his life, and not a few others. And {the sword-claimed comforters {of the cuckoo {of Muninn’s <raven’s> mouthful}}} [CORPSE > EAGLE > WARRIORS] had sand in their mouths by the shallows, swept by the waves.

Mss: FskBˣ(11v-12r), FskAˣ(55) (Fsk); Kˣ(104v), F(18rb), J1ˣ(63r), J2ˣ(59v) (Hkr, ll. 1-4); 61(6rb), 325IX 1 a(2vb), Bb(8rb) (ÓT, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [1] Þrot: þrótt Kˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325IX 1 a, þreytt F;    þás (‘þa er’): þó er FskAˣ, þar er F;    settusk: so Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, sættusk FskBˣ, ‘sꝍctozt’ FskAˣ, sóttusk 325IX 1 a, Bb    [2] róðrs: so Kˣ, ‘roðs’ FskBˣ, ‘raðrs’ FskAˣ, róðr F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Bb;    hlum: limi FskAˣ, þrǫm Kˣ, F, J2ˣ, 61, ‘þrꜹ’ J1ˣ, straum 325IX 1 a, ‘strom’ Bb;    stinnan: ‘stuinna’ J1ˣ    [4] ófár búendr: so Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ófár en bœndr FskBˣ, ófár bœndr FskAˣ, 61, ófáir búendr 325IX 1 a, ófáir bœndr Bb    [6] tuggu: tungu FskAˣ    [7] gjǫlfrum: gjalfr um FskBˣ, FskAˣ    [8] grunnu*: grunnum FskBˣ, FskAˣ;    sand: samit FskAˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 328-9, Skj BI, 303, Skald I, 154, NN §1131; Fsk 1902-3, 45-6 (ch. 12), ÍF 29, 92 (ch. 13); Hkr 1893-1901, I, 217, ÍF 26, 191-2 (HákGóð ch. 31), F 1871, 83; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 45 (ch. 28).

Context: As st. 2 above.

Notes: [All]: In Hkr and ÓT, sts 3/1-4 and 4 form a single stanza. — [2] stinnan hlum róðrs ‘unbending oar-handle’: Lit. ‘unbending handle of rowing’; cf. Jesch (2001a, 154). The Hkr and ÓT variant stinnan þrǫm róðrs translates it as ‘unbending edge of rowing’, i.e. ‘railing’, which is an equally good reading. — [3-4] maðr lét ǫnd ok ófár annarr ‘a man gave up his life, and not a few others’: I.e. ‘many men gave up their lives’. Ófár annarr is grammatically sg. — [6] tuggu Munins ‘of Muninn’s <raven’s> mouthful [CORPSE]’: Muninn and Huginn (see st. 4/4) were Óðinn’s ravens in Old Norse myth (Gylf, SnE 2005, 32-3). — [7] gjǫlfrum ‘by the waves’: Both mss read gjalfr um, which must have been caused by a confusion of the adj. ending ‑um (n. dat. pl.) and the expletive particle um (with leikna ‘swept’).  — [8] grunnu* ‘the shallows’: Grunnum (m. dat. pl.), apparently a scribal error, has been emended to grunnu (m. acc. pl.) to agree with leikna ‘swept’ (m. acc. pl.). Kock (NN §1131) emends to grunna, claiming that this noun is an a-stem. However, AEW: grunnr gives the etymology grunnr < *grunþu (u-stem). — [8] í munni ‘in their mouths’: Lit. ‘in mouth’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  5. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  11. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  12. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  13. Internal references
  14. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  16. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)
  17. Not published: do not cite (HákGóðII)

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