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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ásb Ævkv 2VIII (OStór 5)

Peter Jorgensen (ed.) 2017, ‘Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar 5 (Ásbjǫrn, Ævikviða 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 609.


Annat var, þá er inni.
Ölkátirvér sátum
ok á fleyskipi fórum
fjörð af Hörðalandi.
Drukkum mjöð ok mæltum
mart orð saman forðum;
nú emk einn í öngvar
jötna þröngvar genginn.

Annat var, þá er inni. Vér sátum ölkátirok fórum fjörð á fleyskipi af Hörðalandi. Drukkum mjöð forðum ok mæltum mart orð saman; nú emk einn genginn í öngvar þröngvar jötna.

It used to be different, when inside. We would sit merry with ale and sail the fjord on a fast ship away from Hordaland. We drank mead in days gone by and spoke many a word together; now I have come alone into the confining straits of giants.

Mss: Flat(70va), 2845(23v), 554h βˣ(63r-v) (ll. 1-6) (OStór)

Readings: [1] Annat var þá er inni: so 2845, Annat var þá ek inni Flat, Önnr var þá æfi 554h βˣ    [4] fjörð af Hörðalandi: ‘rfer fiǫrðu, harða jǫrðu’ 554h βˣ    [8] genginn: gengit 2845

Editions: Skj AII, 342, Skj BII, 365, Skald II, 197, NN §2495A; ÓT 1689, 13, Fms 3, 218Flat 1860-8, I, 528, Þorleifur Jónsson 1904, 212-13, Guðni Jónsson 1935, 183 (ch. 7), Guðni Jónsson 1946-9, 11, 457-8 (ch. 7), Faulkes 2011b, 69 (ch. 7) (OStór).

Notes: [1]: The first line of sts 5-11 is unvarying, constituting a kind of initial line refrain, similar to the practice of another ævikviða, Anon Krm’s Hjuggu vér með hjörvi ‘We hewed with the sword’. The purpose of these refrains is to draw attention to the contrast between the speaker’s present situation and his former heroic life. This edn, along with Skj B, adopts 2845’s version of l. 1, which is also found verbatim in Gr (ÍF 7, 52; Grett Lv 6/1V (Gr 14)), where inni ‘inside’ is definitely used adverbially. Kock (NN §2495A and Skald) emends to þat er inni ‘which I relate’ (following Flat’s ek inni), treating inni as 1st pers. sg. pres. indic. of inna ‘tell, relate’ on the ground that the adverbial sense of inni does not suit five of the seven stanzas (6-8, 10 and 11) in which it occurs. However, if one assumes imitation from Gr, or even a general imitation of the practice of other ævikviður, the loose fit of this refrain line is probably acceptable (cf. Faulkes 2011b, 94-5 n.). Ms. 554h ßˣ has the same alternative reading of l. 1 in sts 7-11 as here. — [3] á fleyskipi ‘on a fast ship’: The precise nature of a fley or fleyskip is not clear. Fritzner: fleyskip identifies it as a type of larger vessel, but one smaller than a longship. Others (CVC: fley) consider it a type of fast ship, possibly a merchant ship. — [6] emk ‘I have’: Lit. ‘I am’. The ms. reads er ek, which reflects C14th usage, when the 3rd pers. sg. form of the pres. tense of vera ‘be’ was often generalised to the 1st pers. sg. (cf. ANG §531.1). The non-cliticised form of the pron. ek has also been normalised here to give a metrically regular line. — [7-8]: These lines are omitted in 554h ßˣ, which follows l. 6 with two lines that correspond loosely to OStór 6/3-4. The rest of OStór 6 is missing in 554h ßˣ. — [7-8] í öngvar þröngvar jötna ‘into the confining straits of giants’: It is assumed here that öngr ‘narrow, cramped, confining’ is an adj. and þröng is a f. pl. noun ‘narrowing, straits’ (as with LP: ǫngr, þrǫng f., 2), but it is possible, as Faulkes (2011b, 95 n.) points out, that the reverse is the case, with öngvar as a f. pl. noun, and þröng as an adj. The meaning would be the same in both cases.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  8. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  9. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  10. ÍF = Íslenzk fornrit.
  11. ÍF 7 = Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar. Ed. Guðni Jónsson. 1936.
  12. Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1946-9. Íslendinga sögur. 13 vols. Reykjavík: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan. Rpt. 1953.
  13. Faulkes, Anthony. 2011b. Two Icelandic Stories: Hreiðars þáttr, Orms þáttr. New edition. London: Viking Society. First published [n. d. (1967)].
  14. ÓT 1689 = [Anonymous] 1689. Saga þess haloflega herra Olafs Tryggvasonar, Noregs kongs. Skálholt: Jón Snorrason.
  15. Þorleifur Jónsson. 1904. Fjörutíu Íslendinga-Þættir. Reykjavík: Sigurður Kristjánsson.
  16. Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1935. Íslendinga þættir. Reykjavík: Sigurður Kristjánsson.
  17. Internal references
  18. (forthcoming), ‘ Unattributed, Flateyjarbók’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 21 September 2021)
  19. (forthcoming), ‘ Anonymous, Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar’ in Tarrin Wills, Kari Ellen Gade and Margaret Clunies Ross (eds), Poetry in Sagas of Icelanders. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 5. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 21 September 2021)
  20. 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 602. <> (accessed 21 September 2021)
  21. Rory McTurk 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Krákumál’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 706. <> (accessed 21 September 2021)
  22. Not published: do not cite (Grett Lv 6V (Gr 14))
  23. Peter Jorgensen (ed.) 2017, ‘Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar 6 (Ásbjǫrn, Ævikviða 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 610.

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