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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Útsteinn Útkv 4VIII (Hálf 44)

Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 44 (Útsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Útsteinskviða 4)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 339.

Útsteinn GunnlaðarsonÚtsteinskviða

text and translation

Þótti ekki Hrókum         né Hálfdani
raun at berjaz         við ragmenni,
þá er vér fjórir         falla létum
átta jarla         fyrir Ann*snesi.

Þótti ekki Hrókum né Hálfdani raun at berjaz við ragmenni, þá er vér fjórir létum átta jarla falla fyrir Ann*snesi.
‘It did not seem a trial to either the Hrókar or Hálfdan to fight against cowardly wretches, when we four slew eight jarls off Annsnes.

notes and context

This stanza follows a format frequently found in the mannjafnaðr; the speaker refers to his own or his companions’ bravery, implying that it is much greater than that of their cowardly opponents. Frequently a place, often legendary, is mentioned as the site of the battle.  The information that the four Hálfsrekkar slew eight jarls implies that Úlfr’s eight sons do not stand a chance either.



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. 6. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hálfssaga VIII 7: AII, 263-4, BII, 285, Skald II, 149; Hálf 1864, 28-9, Hálf 1909, 116, FSGJ 2, 121, Hálf 1981, 128, 188; Edd. Min. 72.


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