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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Humli Lv 2VIII (Heiðr 101)

Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 101 (Humli konungr, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 473.

Humli konungrLausavísur

text and translation

Vel skulum þér, Hlöðr,         herlið búa
ok framliga         hildi heyja
með tólfvetra mengi         ok tvævetrum fola.
Svá skal Húna         her um safna.

Hlöðr, skulum búa þér herlið vel ok heyja hildi framliga með mengi tólfvetra ok [með] tvævetrum [mengi] fola. Svá skal um safna her Húna.
‘We shall prepare the war-troop well for you, Hlǫðr, and wage war boldly, with a multitude of twelve-year-olds and [with] a two-year-old [multitude] of foals. Thus shall the army of the Huns be assembled.

notes and context

The stanza follows directly on from the previous one.

[3-4]: Previous eds have made various conjectural attempts at alliteration across these lines. Jón Helgason (1967, 232) highlights some other examples of this alliterative pattern in fornyrðislag, but only from later poetry. — [5-6]: The implication is that absolutely all resources will be drawn on, with warriors and horses utilised from the youngest possible age. Foote and Wilson (1980, 116) suggest ‘there are some signs that in an earlier period [than extant written laws] boys of twelve were accepted as full-grown members of society’.



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 VI 2: AII, 253-4, BII, 273, Skald II, 142, NN §3185; Heiðr 1672, 166-7, FSN 1, 496, Heiðr 1873, 275, Heiðr 1924, 147, FSGJ 2, 59, Heiðr 1960, 52 (Heiðr); Edd. Min. 6, NK 306, ÍF Edd. II, 424.


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