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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vitg Lv 1I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Vitgeirr seiðmaðr, Lausavísa 1’ 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. 141.

Vitgeirr seiðmaðrLausavísa1

text and translation

Þats vô lítil,         at vér síðim
karla bǫrn         ok kerlinga,
es Rǫgnvaldr síðr         réttilbeini
hróðmǫgr Haralds         á Haðalandi.

Þats lítil vô, at vér síðim, bǫrn karla ok kerlinga, es Rǫgnvaldr réttilbeini, hróðmǫgr Haralds, síðr á Haðalandi.
‘It is [does] little harm that we perform sorcery, children of lowly men and women, when Rǫgnvaldr réttilbeini, Haraldr’s glorious son, performs sorcery in Hadeland.

notes and context

King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ Hálfdanarson, who has taken a strong dislike to sorcery, sends a message to Vitgeirr in Hǫrðaland (Hordaland) commanding him to cease that practice. The stanza is Vitgeirr’s response to Haraldr’s request.

On the practice of seiðr ‘sorcery’, see Strömbäck (1935) and Buchholz (1968). — In ÓH in Bb(120ra) the stanza is paraphrased as prose: ok quad þat vera litil mvni þott ver seidím born ok kerlíngar. En raugnvalldr seidir rettilbeiní þiodmagr konungs ahadalandi ‘and said it to be of little interest if we perform sorcery, children and lowly women, when Rǫgnvaldr réttilbeini, the king’s mighty son, performs sorcery in Hadeland’.



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.

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