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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 4II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 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, pp. 168-9.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonLausavísur

text and translation

Mildingr rauð í móðu
— mót hart vas þar — spjóta
(Dǫnum vôru goð) geira,
(grǫm) en þat vas skǫmmu.
Setti niðr á sléttu
Serklandi gramr merki;
— stóð at stillis ráði
stǫng — en þat vas lǫngu.

Mildingr rauð geira í {móðu spjóta}; hart mót vas þar; en þat vas skǫmmu; goð vôru grǫm Dǫnum. Gramr setti merki niðr á sléttu Serklandi; stǫng stóð at ráði stillis; en þat vas lǫngu.
‘The gracious ruler reddened lances in the river of spears [BLOOD]; a harsh encounter took place there; and that was a short time ago; the gods were wrathful towards the Danes. The lord planted his banner on level Serkland; the standard stood [high] at the command of the ruler; but that was a long time ago.

notes and context

In Mork, Flat and H-Hr, King Haraldr exchanges sts with a man fishing (Þfisk Lv 1, Hharð Lv 10), then bids Þjóðólfr join in. After he has recited, the king mocks the inexact rhyme of grǫm : skǫmmu, and Þjóðólfr refuses to participate further. Ms. F has a similar context but lacks the criticism.

[2] hart ‘harsh’: The variant reading illt ‘bad, dire’ (so Mork, H, Hr) is equally good.



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 13: AI, 380, BI, 350, Skald I, 176, NN §2268; F 1871, 255; Mork 1928-32, 248, Andersson and Gade 2000, 253, 479 (MH); Fms 6, 385-6 (HSig ch. 108), 12, 162; Flat 1860-8, III, 378 (MH).


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