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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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FriðÞ Lv 24VIII (Frið 30)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 30 (Friðþjófr Þorsteinsson, Lausavísur 24)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 227.

Friðþjófr ÞorsteinssonLausavísur

text and translation

Hafa skal ek baug         ór beggja höndum
ór svefnhúsi         seggja meiðma.
Sá er hugr á mér         af þeim hringi digrum;
verðr þeim, er varðar         við lítilmagna.

Ek skal hafa baug ór svefnhúsi ór beggja höndum seggja meiðma. Sá hugr er á mér af þeim digrum hringi; verðr þeim, er varðar við lítilmagna.
‘I am determined to have a ring out of the sleeping house from both arms of the men of treasures. That thought is upon me on account of that substantial ring; let it belong to the man who protects [it] from a weakling.

notes and context

In the A redaction, Friðþjófr speaks this stanza immediately after leaving the sanctuary at Baldrshagi. He holds up the ring he has rescued from Helgi’s wife as he does so.

The metre of this stanza is problematical. Line 1 is hypometrical, and could be ‘restored’ by using pl. bauga or rearranging as baug skal ek hafa (Type A2k). Lines 2, 6-8 are málaháttr and ll. 3-5 fornyrðislag. — This and the following stanza (Frið 31) are only in A redaction mss, and not in all of those. These display numerous variant readings (see further Frið 1914, 24, nn.), most of which are very difficult to make sense of and differ quite widely from the text of 510. The stanza is not in 568ˣ. Frið 30-1 come shortly after Frið 27 in those mss that include Frið 30. As Falk observed (1890, 80-1) this stanza is illogically placed where it stands, as it appears to refer to the situation before Friðþjófr has snatched back his ring, not after it, as here. — [1-4]: Ms. 510’s text is impossible to construe without some emendation. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends in the following places in ll. 1-4: beggja (l. 2) to brúðar ‘of the bride, woman’, svefnhúsi (‘suennhusi’ 510) (l. 3) to sumlhúsi ‘banqueting house’, seggja meiðum (l. 4) to seima meiða, together with brúðar (l. 2), forming a woman-kenning, ‘of the bride of trees of gold wires [MEN > WOMAN]’. The present edn takes up a suggestion of Wenz (Frið 1914, lxxviii) that meiðum (l. 4) may be a scribal error for some form of the noun meiðm ‘treasure, valuables’ (usually in pl.). The emendation to seggja (l. 4) is minor. — [7-8]: The syntax of these lines is obscure; this edn follows Kock’s proposed interpretation (NN §3194). The word við (l. 8) could be from the noun viðr ‘tree, wood’ or the prep. við(r) ‘against, to, with’, as it is understood here, even though a prep. in first position in a line would not normally bear alliteration.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 7. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Friðþjófssaga ens frækna I 29: AII, 276, BII, 298, Skald II, 157, NN §§1476 Anm., 2597, 3194; Falk 1890, 80-1, Frið 1893, 53, Frið 1914, 24.


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