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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Útsteinn Útkv 5VIII (Hálf 45)

Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 45 (Útsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Útsteinskviða 5)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 340.

Útsteinn GunnlaðarsonÚtsteinskviða

text and translation

Fari Úlfs synir         út at berjaz,
átta drengir         við eitt höfuð.
Mun ekki stökkva,         þóat Steinn hafi
færa nokkut         í flokki lið.

Fari Úlfs synir út at berjaz, átta drengir við eitt höfuð. Mun ekki stökkva, þóat Steinn hafi nokkut færa lið í flokki.
‘Let Úlfr’s sons go outside to fight, eight men against one head. He [Steinn] will not flee, although Steinn has somewhat fewer people in his host.

notes and context

Útsteinn’s call for the sons of Úlfr to come out and fight him brings the verbal warfare to an abrupt end. Lines 5-8 emphasise the apparent inequality of the combat through their use of understatement.



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 8: AII, 264, BII, 285, Skald II, 149; Hálf 1864, 29, Hálf 1909, 117, FSGJ 2, 121, Hálf 1981, 128, 188; Edd. Min. 72.


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