Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Tindr Hákdr 6I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 6’ 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. 348.

Tindr HallkelssonHákonardrápa

Gjǫrðusk — Gǫndlar borða
glaumr óx þar at * Naumu —
auði grimms at eyðask
ǫll lǫnd Dana brandi.
Kennt hefr heggr at hǫggva
hræ*birtinga sævar
veðreggjǫndum viggja*
vegg*s niðr of þat skeggi.

Ǫll lǫnd grimms auði gjǫrðusk at eyðask brandi Dana; {glaumr {borða Gǫndlar}} óx þar at * Naumu. {Heggr {hræ*birtinga}} hefr kennt {{{{sævar viggja*} vegg*s} veðr}eggjǫndum} at hǫggva skeggi niðr of þat.

All the lands of the one hostile to riches [Hákon] came to be laid waste with the sword of the Danes; {the revelry {of the planks of Gǫndul <valkyrie>}} [SHIELDS > BATTLE] increased there at Nauma. {The bird-cherry {of the corpse-trout}} [SWORDS > WARRIOR = Hákon] has taught {the inciters {of the weather {of the wall {of the horses of the sea}}}} [(lit. ‘weather-inciters of the wall of the horses of the sea’) SHIPS > SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIORS] to hit down with their beards on account of that.

Mss: 510(62r) (Jvs)

Readings: [2] at *: at er 510    [3] eyðask: eyðisk 510    [5] heggr: hægur 510    [6] hræ*birtinga: ‘hræber bírtíngum’ 510;    sævar: ‘senar’ 510    [7] veðr‑: veðs 510;    viggja*: viggjar 510    [8] vegg*s: ‘veggurs’ 510;    niðr: niðs 510

Editions: Skj AI, 146, Skj BI, 137, Skald I, 75, NN §433; Fms 11, 138, Fms 12, 239, SHI 11, 119, 124-5, Jvs 1879, 83.

Context: As for st. 4.

Notes: [1-4]: This helmingr seems to indicate that the Danes raided Norway widely, if sporadically, in advance of the battle at Hjǫrungavágr (cf. ÍF 26, 277). Many difficulties are posed by these lines, however. (a) In this edn the key assumptions are that the initial verb is gjǫrðusk (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘came to be’, lit. ‘made themselves’ from gera (so Sveinbjörn Egilsson, SHI 11); that ms. er in l. 2 should be deleted (Kock, NN §433, noting that superfluous words occur frequently in the text of 510); that Naumu (dat. sg.) in l. 2 represents a p. n. Nauma, governed by prep. at; that grimms (gen. sg.) ‘hostile’ in l. 3 is an adj. used substantivally (SHI 11; cf. Sigv Nesv 6/2, 14/8); that ms. ‘eyðiz’ (l. 3) should be emended to eyðask ‘be laid waste’; and that brandi (dat. sg.) in l. 4 means ‘with the sword’. The helmingr has been extensively debated in previous scholarship, with the following as the principal contributions. (b) Sveinbjörn Egilsson wavered between eyðask ‘to be laid waste’ and brandi ‘sword’ on the one hand (SHI 11), and eyðis ‘of the destroyer’ and brandi ‘flame’ on the other (Fms 12; cf. LP (1860): eyðir). (c) Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 338; cf. Skj B) reversed the relationship of the main and subordinate clauses and took ms. ‘giorduzt’ as representing a form of gerða ‘to surround’, combined with brandi in the sense of ‘ship’s prow’, and he emended at in l. 2 to the expletive particle of. This gives Gǫndlar borða naumu glaumr óx, þar es ǫll lǫnd auði grimms Dana eyðis of gerðusk brandi ‘The revelry of the giantess of the planks of Gǫndul <valkyrie> [SHIELDS > VALKYRIE > BATTLE] intensified, where all the lands of the devastator of the Danes [= Hákon], hostile to gold, were encircled by the prow(s)’. For the idea of encirclement as a protection against an invading adversary, Finnur Jónsson cites ÞKolb Eirdr 2/5-8. Nauma is here taken as a giantess-name. This interpretation, however, entails the problematic assumption that of (by emendation) and gjǫrðusk are to be construed together, although so distant in the text. (d) Kock (NN §433) rejects Finnur’s þar es ‘where’ on the grounds that it would reduce to one syllable, making the line unmetrical. He reverts to gerðusk/gjǫrðusk ‘came to be’ as from gera, brandi as ‘with the sword’ and eyðisk (seemingly construed as subj. from eyðask) as ‘laid waste’ and proposes to interpret Gǫndlar borða glaumr… at naumu as gnyende av sköldetrollet ‘clamour from/of the shield-troll’. Presumably Kock regarded this as equivalent to a kenning ‘clamour of the troll-woman of the shield [AXE > BATTLE]’ but the prepositional phrase at naumu does not conform to normal kenning structure. (e) Reichardt (1928, 204) continues Finnur Jónsson’s analysis of the lexis but normalises the relationship between main and subordinate clauses. — [2] Naumu ‘Nauma’: This heiti is most frequently attested as the name of a giantess or possibly a goddess (see Þjóð Yt 22/6, Ótt Lv 3/8 and Notes), and it is taken thus in most previous eds, but this leads to problems with the kennings, as noted above. An alternative is to interpret Nauma as a p. n. It is listed among the island-heiti in Þul Eyja 4/1III (though the place is unidentified), is attested in the Norw. p. n. Numedal (ON Naumudalr) and is postulated as a p. n. or river-name in Norw. place names such as Namsen and Namsfjorden (see Sandnes and Stemshaug 1990, 229, 237). A p. n. Nauma does not occur elsewhere in the Jómsvíking tradition, but Tindr’s poem may have preserved information missing from other accounts: cf. the mention of the apparent p. n. Goðmarr in st. 11/4. — [3] grimms auði ‘of the one hostile to riches [Hákon]’: An unusual substantival use of the adj. is assumed here, resulting in a phrase that contains the same notion as many kennings for ‘generous man’: that a man is hostile to rich goods since he gives them away lavishly to his followers. — [4] Dana ‘of the Danes’: The mention of Danes here complements the previous mention of the Wends (st. 4/1), making clear that the two groups had formed a joint expedition against Hákon jarl (ÍF 26, cxi). — [5-8]: This edn adopts the readings proposed by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B, followed by Kock in Skald); several of these also go back to Sveinbjörn Egilsson in Fms 12. Necessary emendations are heggr, the tree-name ‘bird-cherry’, for ‘hægur’ in l. 5; gen. pl. birtinga for dat. pl. birtingum ‘sea-trout’ in l. 6; sævar ‘of the sea’ for ‘senar’ in l. 6; viggja ‘of horses’ for ‘viggjar’ in l. 7; and niðr ‘down’ for ‘niðz’ in l. 8. In l. 6, ‘hræber bírt-’ is evidently a dittography for hræ birt-. — [5, 8] hǫggva skeggi niðr ‘hit down with their beards’: I.e. to fall dead; cf. HaukrV Ísldr 12/5, 8IV hǫggva bǫrðum í gras ‘strike their beards into the grass’. Skeggi is lit. ‘(with the) beard’ (dat. sg.). — [8] of þat ‘on account of that’: I.e. because of the attack on Norway by the Danish king’s fleet (Janus Jónsson 1889, 283).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  9. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1928. Studien zu den Skalden des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Palaestra 159. Leipzig: Mayer & Müller.
  10. Jvs 1879 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1879. Jómsvíkinga saga (efter Cod. AM. 510, 4:to) samt Jómsvíkinga drápa. Lund: Gleerup.
  11. Sandnes, Jørn and Ola Stemshaug. 1990. Norsk stadnamnleksikon. 3rd edn. Oslo: Det norske samlaget.
  12. Finnur Jónsson. 1886b. ‘Bidrag til en rigtigere forståelse af Tindr Hallkelssons vers’. ÅNOH, 309-68.
  13. Janus Jónsson. 1889. ‘Om orðið vigg’. ANF 5, 278-83. With response from Finnur Jónsson, pp. 283-4.
  14. Internal references
  15. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Eyja heiti 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 977.
  16. Not published: do not cite (HaukrV Ísldr 12IV)
  17. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 6’ 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. 565.
  18. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 788.
  19. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 2’ 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. 491.
  20. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 22’ 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. 48.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.