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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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AngH Lv 2VIII (Heiðr 95)

Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 95 (Angantýr Heiðreksson, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 466.

Angantýr HeiðrekssonLausavísur

text and translation

Bresta mun fyrr, bróðir,         in blikhvíta lind,
ok kaldr geirr         koma við annan,
ok margr gumi         í gras hníga,
en ek mun Humlung         hálfan láta,
eða Tyrfing         í tvau deila.

Fyrr mun in blikhvíta lind bresta, bróðir, ok kaldr geirr koma við annan, ok margr gumi hníga í gras, en ek mun láta hálfan Humlung, eða deila Tyrfing í tvau.
‘The white-gleaming shield will break, brother, and the cold spear clash with another, and many a man sink into the grass, before I will allow the Humlungr (‘descendant of Humli’) half, or divide Tyrfingr in two.

notes and context

In R Angantýr tells Hlǫðr he has no right to the land and is acting unjustly. In U the stanza is introduced simply, Angantýr kvað ‘Angantýr said’.

This stanza poses various problems for, and has seen various attempts at, reconstruction. See Notes below. — [2-3]: Omitted in 2845; Skj and Skald insert these lines after the present ll. 5-6, but no ms. has this reading. — [2]: Ms. 2845’s word order gives alliteration on the wrong syllable. Ms. R715ˣ doubtless reflects the word order presented here, with its ‘iij’ in the place of in ‘the’ likely a misreading of the minims. Blikhvíta ‘white-gleaming’ is a hap. leg., but white or bright shields are a common motif in the corpus. See Note to Heiðr 63/6. — [5-6]: Edd. Min. places these lines in square brackets, but they appear in all mss. — [7-10]: None of the mss’ readings work perfectly as they stand, but the insertion of en to go with fyrr l.1 (= fyrr en ‘before’) from 203ˣ and the emendation of ms. ‘tau’, with the line break after the ‘t’, to tvau ‘two’ are the only changes necessary to 2845’s reading, and that is presented here. Skj B and FSGJ also follow this order, though the former places ll. 7-8 in square brackets, while Skald omits them altogether. Both begin l. 9 áðr ek ‘before I’. The U redaction reverses the order of the last two long-lines, but also presents variants, both compared to the R redaction and between the two U mss. Ms. 203ˣ gives the better reading: áðr en Tyrfing | í mið [ms, ‘midt’, ‘tuenn ra’ R715ˣ] deilak, | eða þér, Humlungr, | hálfan arf gefak ‘before I divide Tyrfingr in the middle, or I give to you, Humlungr, half the inheritance’. The enclitic 1st pers. pronouns could well have been in the original stanza, but are editorial in the ms. NK and Heiðr 1960 follow U, emending mið ‘middle’ to tvau ‘two’, while Edd. Min. follows the order of U, but picks and chooses variants from 2845 to produce a composite reading.



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 V 10: AII, 252, BII, 271-2, Skald II, 142; Heiðr 1672, 162, FSN 1, 493-4, Heiðr 1873, 270-1, Heiðr 1924, 88, 144, FSGJ 2, 56, Heiðr 1960, 49 (Heiðr); Edd. Min. 3-4, NK 304, ÍF Edd. II, 420, 422.


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