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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Frag 2II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments 2’ 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. 160-1.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonFragments


Four sts cited only in SnE (sts 2, 3, 5) or TGT (st. 4) have been associated with ÞjóðA Sex by Finnur Jónsson and to some extent by other eds: Fidjestøl (1982, 172) includes the four fragments, together with Sex 27, 28+29, 31 and 30, in a group of sts possibly connected with Sex; st. 26 also appears (presumably in error) both in this group and in those he lists as part of Sex. CPB (II, 207-8, 212) counts Frag 2 and 4 as fragments and 5 as part of Sex, while 3 is lacking. However, nothing in their content associates them definitely with Haraldr. Finnur’s rationale for including these sts in Sex, articulated in SnE 1848-87, III, 587, is that although these and other sts in SnE could praise either Magnús or Haraldr, the compiler seems only to have drawn on Sex. This is not quite the circular argument it seems, since no st. by Þjóðólfr that is certainly about Magnús is cited in SnE, and hence it can be considered likely, though far from certain, that the fragments belong in Sex. Although the policy of this edn in general is to print unidentified fragments from SnE and the grammatical treatises in SkP III, it is therefore appropriate to include them in the present vol., in closer proximity to Sex.

text and translation

Jarl lætr odda skúrar
optherðir gǫr verða
hrings, áðr hann of þryngvi,
hǫrð él, und sik jǫrðu.

Jarl, {optherðir {skúrar odda}}, lætr {hǫrð él hrings} verða gǫr, áðr hann of þryngvi jǫrðu und sik.
‘The jarl, frequent hardener of the shower of barbs [BATTLE > WARRIOR], causes harsh storms of the sword [BATTLES] to be made before he forces land under himself.

notes and context

The quotation, attributed to Þjóðólfr, is the first in a ch. on jarðar heiti ‘terms for the earth’ (which heading appears in A); it is cited to illustrate the use of jǫrð.



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 28: AI, 375-6, BI, 345, Skald I, 174, NN §§2032, 3085; SnE 1848-87, I, 472-3, II, 448, 592, SnE 1931, 167, SnE 1998, I, 85, 208.


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