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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þloft Glækv 7I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Glælognskviða 7’ 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, p. 872.

Þórarinn loftungaGlælognskviða

En þar upp
af altári
Kristi þæg
kerti brenna.
Svá hefr Ôleifr,
áðr andaðisk,
sôlu borgit.

En þar brenna kerti, þæg Kristi, upp af altári. Svá hefr synðalauss Ôleifr borgit sôlu, áðr andaðisk.

And there candles burn, acceptable to Christ, up from the altar. So has the sinless Óláfr saved his soul before he died.

Mss: (487r), 39(11ra) (Hkr); Holm2(71v), 325VI(39vb), 321ˣ(273), 61(128vb), 325V(86rb), 325VII(40r), 325XI 2 n(1r), Bb(203va), Flat(127va), Tóm(159r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] En þar upp: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 n;    þar: þar af Tóm;    upp: om. 61    [2] af altári: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 n;    altári: ‘allteri’ Holm2    [3] Kristi þæg: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 n;    þæg: ‘[…]g’ 39, ‘kier’ Bb    [4] kerti brenna: ‘[…]na’ 325XI 2 n    [7] ‑lauss: lausan 61    [8] sôlu: slum 61, Flat, Tóm;    borgit: brugðit 325VI, 321ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 326, Skj BI, 301, Skald I, 153; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 520, IV, 175, ÍF 27, 408 (ÓHHkr ch. 245); ÓH 1941, I, 604 (ch. 245), Flat 1860-8, II, 377; Magerøy 1948, 12, 17, 27-8.

Context: See Context to st. 2 above.

Notes: [All]: This stanza is marked by the presence of new, ecclesiastical vocabulary, unrecorded in any prior extant Old Norse sources; see Notes below. — [2] altári ‘the altar’: A loanword from Lat., probably via OS (Halldór Halldórsson 1969, 112-14). There is some uncertainty as to whether the second syllable should be short or long. — [4] kerti ‘candles’: Another loanword from Lat., probably via OS (Halldór Halldórsson 1969, 114-16). — [6] áðr andaðisk ‘before he died’: It has been suggested that andask as a middle-voice verb is a distinctively Christian term in skaldic verse (see Lange 1958a, 116, 285).  — [7] synðalauss ‘sinless’: ON synð is a loanword, probably from OS (Halldór Halldórsson 1968); synð is the older form, synd the younger. In later ON translations from Lat. the cpd synðalauss ‘sinless’ is often used to render sine culpa/debito/peccato ‘without fault/debt/sin’ (Walter 1976, 47). — [8] sôlu ‘his soul’: A loanword from OE (Fischer 1909, 25; AEW: sál). The verb bjarga takes the dat. in the sense ‘to save, help’ (Fritzner, CVC: bjarga); the dat. pl. reading sôlum in certain mss must mean that Óláfr has saved other people’s souls, rather than his own. As Magerøy (1948, 28) notes, the phrase bjarga slu also occurs in Hfr Lv 28/3, 4V (Hallfr 34) (along with the verb andask), referring to the skald’s own death.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  4. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  5. Halldór Halldórsson. 1969. ‘Some Old Saxon Loanwords in Old Icelandic Poetry and their Cultural Background’. In Gellinek 1969, 109-26.
  6. Walter, Ernst. 1976. Lexikalisches Lehngut im Altwestnordischen. Untersuchungen zum Lehngut im ethisch-moralischen Wortschatz der frühen lateinisch-altwestnordischen Übersetzungsliteratur. Abhandlungen der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Phil.-Hist. Kl. 66, 2. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
  7. 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.
  8. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  9. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  10. Lange, Wolfgang. 1958a. Studien zur christlichen Dichtung der Nordgermanen 1000-1200. Palaestra 222. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  11. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  12. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  13. Fischer, Frank. 1909. Die Lehnwörter des Altwestnordischen. Palaestra 85. Berlin: Mayer & Müller.
  14. Magerøy, Hallvard, ed. 1948. Glælognskviða av Toraren Lovtunge. Bidrag til nordisk filologi av stederende ved Universitet i Oslo 12. Oslo: Aschehoug.
  15. Halldór Halldórsson. 1968. ‘Synd – An Old Saxon Loanword’. Science in Iceland / Scientia Islandica 1, 60-4.
  16. Internal references
  17. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  18. Not published: do not cite (Hfr Lv 28V (Hallfr 34))

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