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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Herv Lv 18VIII (Heiðr 44)

Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 44 (Hervǫr, Lausavísur 18)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 403.


text and translation

Ek mun ganga         til gjálfrmara;
nú er hilmis mær         í hugum góðum.
Lítt ræki ek þat,         lofðunga niðr,
hvé synir mínir         síðan deila.

Ek mun ganga til {gjálfrmara}; nú er mær hilmis í góðum hugum. Ek ræki þat lítt, niðr lofðunga, hvé synir mínir deila síðan.
‘I will go to the sea-horses [SHIPS]; now the prince’s girl is in good spirits. I care little, son of rulers, how my sons contend afterwards.

notes and context

A lacuna of one folio in 2845 begins part way through l. 7; the rest of the dialogue between Hervǫr and Angantýr is now lost from that ms. — [7-8]: Hervǫr goes on to have two sons, the good-natured and popular Angantýr and the trouble-making Heiðrekr, who is sent away to be fostered. There is no indication of sibling ‘contention’ until Heiðrekr kills his brother with an indiscriminately-thrown stone. Tyrfingr is not involved in that trouble. Tolkien (Heiðr 1960, xi) suggests a now-lost account of strife between them may have once existed. Hervǫr’s grandsons, on the other hand, the sons of Heiðrekr, contend over their inheritance in what becomes a battle between nations, resulting in one brother slaying the other (cf. Schück 1918, 79; Heiðr 1960, xi and n. 3).



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. 5. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hervararsaga III 20: AII, 249, BII, 269, Skald II, 140; Heiðr 1672, 94, FSN 1, 441, 522, Heiðr 1873, 221, 321, Heiðr 1924, 32, 112, FSGJ 2, 21, Heiðr 1960, 18-19; Edd. Min. 19.


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