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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Nkt 10II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Nóregs konungatal 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 768-9.

Anonymous PoemsNóregs konungatal

Tók Eirekr
við jǫfursnafni
blóðøx brátt,
sem búendr vildu.
Vas vígfimr
vetr at landi
Eirekr alls
einn ok fjóra,
áðr * vinsæll
vestan kœmi
ok Hôkon
halfrar allrar
bróður sinn
beiddi erfðar.

Eirekr blóðøx tók brátt við jǫfursnafni, sem búendr vildu. Vígfimr Eirekr vas alls einn vetr ok fjóra at landi, áðr * {vinsæll einkafóstri Aðalsteins} kœmi vestan, ok Hôkon beiddi bróður sinn halfrar allrar erfðar.

Eiríkr blóðøx (‘Blood-axe’) at once received the royal title, as the farmers wanted. Battle-swift Eiríkr was altogether one year and four [king] in the country, before {the popular only foster-son of Æthelstan} [= Hákon] came from the west, and Hákon asked his brother for half of the whole inheritance.

Mss: Flat(144va)

Readings: [9] áðr *: áðr an Flat    [14] halfrar: halfar Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 580, Skj BI, 576-7, Skald I, 279, NN §2119 Anm; Flat 1860-8, II, 521.

Notes: [All]: According to Ágr (ÍF 29, 7), Eiríkr ruled five years before his exile to England (including the years of joint rule with his father Haraldr). Theodoricus (MHN 7) gives three years, and HN (MHN 105) has one year. See Ólafía Einarsdóttir 1964, 174-6. — [3] blóðøx ‘(“Blood-axe”)’: According to Ágr (ÍF 29, 7), Eiríkr earned this nickname because he killed his brothers, and Theodoricus (MHN 7) gives his nickname as ‘Brothers’ Bane’ (fratrum interfector). ‘Blood-axe’ is also recorded in HN (blothoex, id est sanguinea securis; MHN 104). Fsk (ÍF 29, 79) tells us that Eiríkr acquired the nickname from his viking raids in the west. — [11]: Æthelstan (Aðalsteinn) was king of England (r. 924-39) and Hákon Haraldsson’s foster-father. — [14] halfrar (f. gen. sg.) ‘half’: Halfar (f. nom./acc. pl.; so Flat) is ungrammatical and has been emended to agree in case and number with erfðar (f. gen. sg.) ‘inheritance’ (l. 16). Kock (NN §2119 Anm.) takes the word as a noun rather than as an adj. and suggests the emendation hǫlfu (f. gen. sg.) ‘the half’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  5. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  6. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  7. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  8. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  9. Theodoricus = Theodrici monachi historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium. In MHN 1-68.
  10. Internal references
  11. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.

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