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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magn 4II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi 4’ 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, pp. 91-2.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonStanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi

text and translation

Spurði einu orði
— ǫld blóðroðna skjǫldu,
satts, at svá mǫrg átti —
Selunds mær, hverr vé bæri.
Auðtróðu varð auðit
yfir of skóg at spróga;
títt bar týmargr flótti
til Hringstaða iljar.

Mær Selunds spurði einu orði, hverr bæri vé; satts, at svá mǫrg ǫld átti blóðroðna skjǫldu. {Auðtróðu} varð auðit at spróga yfir of skóg; týmargr flótti bar títt iljar til Hringstaða.
‘The maiden in Sjælland (Selund, Zealand) learned in a single word who carried the standard; it is true that so many men had blood-reddened shields. For the wealth-pole [WOMAN] her lot was to dash through the forest; a great many fugitives took their soles [feet] speedily to Ringsted (Hringstaðir).

notes and context

Magnús and his forces pursue Sveinn and his men into Sjælland (Selund, Zealand), killing those they catch.

[1-4]: (a) The arrangement adopted above is necessary since the obvious assumption that ǫld ‘men’ (l. 2) is the subject of spurði ‘learned’ (l. 1) would, among other things, leave átti ‘had, owned’ (l. 3) without a subject. (b) As a variant on this interpretation, satts, at svá mǫrg ‘it is true that so many / it is true that, thus, many’ could be taken with the outer cl. in ll. 1 and 4, bringing mǫrg mær ‘many a maiden’ together, rather than with the rest of ll. 2-3. This is adopted by Finnur Jónsson in Skj B, though the result is a somewhat more disjointed helmingr, against which Kock reacts in Skald and NN §§852, 2028, with ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991 following.



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: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson, 1. Magnúsflokkr 17: AI, 365, BI, 336, Skald I, 169, NN §§852, 2028, 2263; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 59, IV, 198, ÍF 28, 53, Hkr 1991, 591 (Mgóð ch. 31), F 1871, 187, E 1916, 28; Fms 6, 80 (Mgóð ch. 38), Fms 12, 135.


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