Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

ÞjóðA Sex 11II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 11’ 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. 123-4.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja

text and translation

Gegn skyli herr, sem hugnar,
hjaldrvitjaðar sitja,
dolgstœranda dýrum,
dróttinvandr ok standa.
Lýtr folkstara feiti
(fátt es til, nema játta
þat, sem þá vill gotnum)
þjóð ǫll (konungr bjóða).

Gegn herr {hjaldrvitjaðar} skyli sitja ok standa dróttinvandr, sem hugnar {dýrum dolgstœranda}. Ǫll þjóð lýtr {feiti {folkstara}}; fátt es til, nema játta þat, sem konungr vill þá bjóða gotnum.
‘The worthy troop of the battle-frequenter [WARRIOR] must sit and stand lord-loyal, as it pleases the excellent war-sweller [WARRIOR]. The whole people bends to the fattener of the war-starling [RAVEN > WARRIOR]; there is little option except to agree to what the king wants to command men at the time.

notes and context

The context in , which may be the most original source (Fidjestøl 1982, 136), cites the st. as printed above immediately before narrating Haraldr’s assassination of Einarr þambarskelfir ‘Paunch-shaker’ (?), underlining the king’s addiction to power, and Hkr similarly cites it at a pause in the narrative about Einarr. Fsk, Mork and Flat preserve ll. 5-8, the stef ‘refrain’ after st. 22/5-8 in a different context: that of Haraldr’s crushing of the Upplendingar (see sts 19-21) and their submission to his rule. In Fsk, the stef follows st. 22/5-8 with a prose sentence in between, but in Mork and Flat the two helmingar form a single st. H-Hr combines the two approaches: the eight-l. st. printed above is cited in the same context as Hkr, then ll. 5-8 are cited after st. 20 in a narrative of Haraldr’s suppression of the Upplendingar. At this point ll. 5-6 are explicitly identified as the refrain (stefit) in a drápa about Haraldr.

In Mork, st. 22/5-6 is written on the top l. of fol. 11r, with 21/7-8 and the stef continuing in the upper margin, while in Flat the same eight ll. are written continuously in the main text. — [5-8]: These ll. comprise a stef or refrain—the only survivor of the six referred to in Sexstefja’s title—which would have punctuated part of the poem at regular intervals, so that its placing in the prose sources varies (see Context above) and is problematic here.



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, 3. Sexstefja 10: AI, 371, BI, 341, Skj AI, 371, 374, Skj BI, 341, 344 (l. 5), Skald I, 172, NN §2029; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 133-4, IV, 222, ÍF 28, 123, Hkr 1991, 637 (HSig ch. 42), F 1871, 217, E 1916, 61; Fms 6, 269 (HSig ch. 57), Fms 12, 152; 1952, 7; Mork 1928-1932, 188, Andersson and Gade 2000, 216-17, 477 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 351 (MH); Fms 6, 339 (HSig ch. 91); Fsk 1902-3, 278 (ch. 47), ÍF 29, 273 (ch. 57).


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.