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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 2II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 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. 165-6.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonLausavísur

text and translation

Sumar annat skal sunnar
— segik eina spô — fleini
— vér aukum kaf króki —
kaldnefr furu halda.

Annat sumar skal kaldnefr halda furu fleini sunnar; segik eina spô; vér aukum kaf króki.
‘Next summer shall cold-beak [the anchor] hold the fir vessel with its fluke further south; I speak a prophecy; we will increase the plunging of the hook.

notes and context

Hkr and H-Hr: Haraldr, in his second year as sole king of Norway, takes a fleet south to Jylland (Jutland) and raids there. He anchors in the Randersfjord (Goðnarfjǫrðr), and composes HHarð Lv 4, bidding Þjóðólfr to compose in reply, which he does in Lv 2. FskBˣ treats the helmingar as a single st. by Þjóðólfr while Mork (with a hint of doubt) and Flat attribute it to Haraldr.

This campaign of 1048 is also commemorated in Hharð Lv 4, Bǫlv Hardr 8, Grani Har 1-2 and Anon (HSig) 1. — As noted above, this helmingr forms a single st. with Hharð Lv 4 in some sources. That st. is among those collected by Perkins (1984-5, 194-5) in support of his thesis that skaldic poetry originated in rowing chants. As in ÞjóðA Har 6, the ll. are rich in vocabulary relating to anchors: kaldnefr ‘cold-beak’ (l. 4), fleinn, usually ‘arrow(-barb)’ or ‘spear(-point)’ (l. 2), and krókr ‘hook’ (l. 3), often referring to a fish-hook. Viking Age anchors such as that in the Ladby ship (Jesch 2001a, 169) were similar to modern ones, with a main shaft or stock and curved, pointed flukes or bills to each side.



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, 4. Lausavísur 11: AI, 379, BI, 349, Skald I, 175, NN §3086; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 120, IV, 217, ÍF 28, 109, Hkr 1991, 627-8 (HSig ch. 32), F 1871, 211, E 1916, 54; Fms 6, 252 (HSig ch. 47), Fms 12, 149; Fsk 1902-3, 250 (ch. 46), ÍF 29, 251 (ch. 55); Mork 1928-32, 156; Andersson and Gade 2000, 194, 475 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 335 (MH).


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