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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Liðs 10I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Liðsmannaflokkr 10’ 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. 1028.

Anonymous PoemsLiðsmannaflokkr

Dag vas hvern, þats Hǫgna
hurð rjóðask nam blóði,
ár, þars úti vôrum,
Ilmr, í fǫr með hilmi.
Kneigum vér, síz vígum
varð nýlokit hǫrðum,
fyllar dags, í fǫgrum,
fit, Lundúnum sitja.

Hvern dag vas, þats {hurð Hǫgna} nam rjóðask blóði, ár, þars vôrum úti, Ilmr, í fǫr með hilmi. Vér kneigum, síz nýlokit varð hǫrðum vígum, {fit {dags fyllar}}, sitja í fǫgrum Lundúnum.

Every day it came about that {the door of Hǫgni <legendary hero>} [SHIELD] was reddened with blood, the year when we were out, Ilmr [lady], on the expedition with the king. We are able, since hard battles have recently ended, {meadow {of the day of the sea}} [GOLD > WOMAN], to sit in pleasant London.

Mss: Flat(186vb) (Flat); DG8(73r) (ÓHLeg)

Readings: [2] hurð: ‘huð’ DG8    [5] síz: ‘saz’ DG8;    vígum: ‘vigi’ DG8    [6] ný‑: gný‑ DG8

Editions: Skj AI, 423, Skj BI, 393, Skald I, 194, NN §§907, 1909B; Flat 1860-8, III, 238, ÓH 1941, II, 684; ÓHLeg 1922, 11-12, ÓHLeg 1982, 52-3.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [3] ár ‘the year’: Here interpreted as an adv. = ‘in the year’; cf. Bǫlv Hardr 3/3II hvert ár ‘every year’. An alternative possibility is ‘early’ (cf. in der Frühe, ÓHLeg 1982, 53). Finnur Jónsson combined it with Ilmr (l. 4) by tmesis to produce ár-Ilmr ‘food-Ilmr [WOMAN]’ (Skj B; LP: 1. ár 3, ár-Ilmr, 2. Ilmr). This would be the only example of a woman-kenning with food (other than laukar ‘leeks, herbs’) as the determinant (cf. Meissner 418), and it seems forced. — [4] Ilmr ‘Ilmr [lady]’: A goddess-heiti functioning as a half-kenning for ‘woman’; cf. st. 7/6 Syn, and Note. The speaker is to be imagined as telling the tale of his brave deeds to this female companion (see Introduction). — [5-8]: The poet leaves it open to his audience to assume that the siege of London led directly to the occupation of the city. More realistic is the ASC account (s. a. 1016) which states that the Londoners bought peace with the invading army, who brought their ships into London and overwintered there.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  9. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  10. ASC [Anglo-Saxon Chronicle] = Plummer, Charles and John Earle, eds. 1892-9. Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1952.
  11. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  12. Internal references
  13. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 3’ 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, p. 289.

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