Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 4II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 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, p. 116.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja

Lét, þás lypt vas spjótum,
liðs hǫfðingi kviðjat,
enn, þeirs undan runnu,
ulfs grôð, friðar bôðu.
Hann hefr fyr sæ sunnan
— svá finnask til minni —
opt með oddi keyptan
auð, þars leitt vas blauðum.

Hǫfðingi liðs lét kviðjat grôð ulfs, þás spjótum vas lypt, enn, þeirs runnu undan, bôðu friðar. Hann hefr opt keyptan auð með oddi fyr sæ sunnan, þars leitt vas blauðum; svá finnask minni til.

The commander of the host put a ban on the wolf’s hunger, as spears were raised up, and those who ran away begged for a truce. He has often purchased riches with his spear-point, south of the sea, where it was unpleasant for cowards; memorials of this are to be found.

Mss: Mork(2r) (Mork); Flat(193va) (Flat); H(25v), Hr(19ra) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] kviðjat: kviðja Flat    [3] þeirs: þeir Flat, Hr    [4] ulfs: ulf H, Hr    [7] keyptan: ‘keptan’ H    [8] leitt: so Flat, H, Hr, ‘leit’ Mork

Editions: Skj AI, 370, Skj BI, 340, Skald I, 171; Mork 1928-32, 72, Andersson and Gade 2000, 141, 472 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 299 (MH); Fms 6, 154 (HSig ch. 9), Fms 12, 142.

Context: Haraldr (under his alias Norðbrikt) and his troops bring a rich Sicilian town to its knees through force of arms and cunning use of birds loaded with burning sulphur to set it on fire.

Notes: [All]: Flat introduces the st., Suo segir þor. skalld. ‘As the poet Þór… says’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  5. 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.
  6. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  7. Internal references
  8. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ 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, pp. clxi-clxii.
  9. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  10. Not published: do not cite (MHII)

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