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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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StarkSt Vík 20VIII (Gautr 28)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 28 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 20)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 273.

Starkaðr gamli StórvirkssonVíkarsbálkr

text and translation

Réð Friðþjófr         fyrst at senda
heiptarboð         horskum jöfri,
hvárt Víkarr         vildi gjalda
hilmi skatt         eða her þola.

Friðþjófr réð fyrst at senda horskum jöfri heiptarboð, hvárt Víkarr vildi gjalda hilmi skatt eða þola her.
‘Friðþjófr first sent a message of hostility to the wise prince, [enquiring] whether Víkarr wanted to pay tribute to the ruler or suffer his army.

notes and context

This stanza is said to be Starkaðr’s poetic summary of the situation described in a few lines of saga prose. Friðþjófr, having heard that his two brothers had been killed, returns to Opplandene and regains his kingdom from Víkarr. He then sends a message to Víkarr offering him the choice of paying tribute or facing an enemy attack.



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. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga α 4: AII, 329, BII, 349, Skald II, 188; FSN 3, 27, Gautr 1900, 23-4, FSGJ 4, 23-4; Edd. Min. 41.


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