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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 11II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 11’ 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. 175-6.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonLausavísur

hefr ‘have’

hafa (verb): have

[1] hefr: om. Flat


afráð ‘penalty’

afráð (noun n.; °; -): [penalty]

[1] afráð: so F, E, J2ˣ, Mork, Hb, ‘afroð’ Kˣ, H, Hr, ‘afhrod’ Flat


[1] afráð ‘penalty’: Strictly, ‘tax, tribute, payment’, hence ‘loss, damage’. Gade suggests a possible echo of Vsp 23/5-6: hvárt scyldo æsir | afráð gialda ‘whether the gods should pay restitution’ (NK 6).





kveðk ‘I declare’

2. kveðja (verb): say, greet

[2] kveðk her (‘qveð ec her’): ‘quad eg hann’ Flat


her ‘the host’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host

[2] kveðk her (‘qveð ec her’): ‘quad eg hann’ Flat


stilltan ‘is quelled’

stilla (verb): control


[2] stilltan ‘quelled’: I.e. ‘quietened’ or ‘controlled’. This translation is appropriate if the word refers, with ironic understatement, to the men’s death in battle. The reference could alternatively be to the ill-advised nature of Haraldr’s campaign. Stilla can mean ‘bring into a dangerous, difficult situation’ (LP: stilla 3), and this sense seems the basis for interpretations in Skj B and Ulset 1975, 109-10. The eds of ÍF 28 and 29 interpret stilltan as ‘deceived, tricked’ (vélaður/vélaðan), and Hkr 1991 similarly has hafi verið ginnt ‘has been duped’.


fǫr ‘expedition’

fǫr (noun f.): journey, fate; movement

[3] fǫr: ferð E, J2ˣ, ‘for’ FskAˣ, Mork, Hb


Haraldr ‘Haraldr’

Haraldr (noun m.): Haraldr

[4] Haraldr: konungr E, J2ˣ


austan ‘westwards’

austan (adv.): from the east


Svá ‘in such a way’

svá (adv.): so, thus


siklings ‘prince’

siklingr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, ruler

[5] siklings: ‘siklingns’ FskAˣ


snjalls ‘of the bold’

snjallr (adj.): quick, resourceful, bold

[6] snjalls: ‘síallz’ 744ˣ


allir ‘all’

allr (adj.): all


lofðungr ‘sovereign’

lofðungr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, leader

[7] lofðungr: ‘lǫfðungr’ E, lofðung Flat


beið ‘endured’

bíða (verb; °bíðr; beið, biðu; beðit): wait, suffer, experience

[7] beið: fekk FskAˣ, Mork, H, Hr, Hb, ‘b..ð’ 744ˣ


[7] beið ‘endured’: The variant fekk ‘received, got’ (so FskAˣ, Mork, H, Hr, Hb) is equally good. — [8] inn leyfði ‘the praised’: This qualifies lofðungr ‘prince’; and the two may be etymologically related, sharing reference to ‘praise’ (AEW: lof). The variant ins leyfða (so Mork, H, Hr) instead qualifies lífs, hence ‘(destruction) of the praised life’.


inn ‘the’

2. inn (art.): the

[7] inn leyfði: ens leyfða Mork, Hr, hins leyfða H


leyfði ‘praised’

leyfa (verb): permit; praise

[7] inn leyfði: ens leyfða Mork, Hr, hins leyfða H


grand ‘destruction’

grand (noun n.): injury

[8] grand: ‘gran’ Hb


vǫndum ‘a difficult’

vandr (adj.): difficult


Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

In Hkr and H-Hr, Haraldr Sigurðarson is slain at the battle of Stamford Bridge, upon which Tostig (Tósti) jarl takes takes up the leadership under the king’s standard for the second phase of the battle. Fsk, Mork and Flat set the st. in a pause before the battle-lines clashed. In SnE, the second helmingr is cited to illustrate the way that names of legendary dynasties are used as general honorific titles, in this case both lofðungr and siklingr, which are traced respectively to an eponymous Lofði and Sigarr.

The B text (ll. 5-8) is so damaged that to note the many illegible places would be unhelpful, and it is therefore represented instead by the transcript in 744ˣ. — Flat names ‘Þorolfr’ as the skald; U cites only ll. 5-6, which are followed immediately by Arn Hryn 20. — For other poetry on the battle of Stamford Bridge, see note to Lv 11 [All].


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