Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Frag 5II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments 5’ 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. 163.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonFragments

Útan bindr við enda
elgvers glǫðuðr hersa
hreins við húfi rónum
hafs botni far gotna.

{Glǫðuðr hersa} bindr far gotna útan við enda {hreins elgvers} við botni hafs, rónum húfi.

{The gladdener of hersar} [RULER] ties up the vessel of men out at the edge {of the pure elk-sea} [LAND], by the inlet of the ocean, rowed by the hull.

Mss: R(26r), Tˣ(27r), W(57), U(29v) (ll. 1-2), B(5r) (SnE)

Readings: [2] elgvers: ‘eliv gers’ U;    glǫðuðr: ‘gloþ[...]r’ W    [3] hreins: hrein W;    við: ‘[...]’ W;    húfi: ‘[...]vfi’ W;    rónum: ‘þunum’ Tˣ    [4] far: so Tˣ, W, B, ‘fiar’ R

Editions: Skj AI, 376-7, Skj BI, 346, Skald I, 174; SnE 1848-87, I, 322-3, II, 315, 528, SnE 1931, 115, SnE 1998, I, 36.

Context: The st. appears earlier in the same section of Skm as Sex 3. The section begins by listing types of earth-kenning including sjár dýranna ‘sea of animals’.

Notes: [2] elgvers ‘of the elk-sea [LAND]’: It is tempting to suspect a pun between elg- ‘elk’ and hreins in l. 3, which although it is here clearly the adj. ‘pure, clean’ qualifying elgvers (and/or possibly hafs ‘ocean’s’) could also call to mind hreinn m. ‘reindeer’. Ver is strictly a fishing-ground. — [4] far gotna ‘the vessel of men’: So most eds, and this is the most natural reading. Sveinbjörn Egilsson mentioned this as an alternative, but otherwise took hersa gotna ‘chieftains of men’ (præfectores virorum) together (SnE 1848-87, I, 322-3 and n. 11).


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Internal references
  7. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  8. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 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, pp. 114-16.

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