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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Nkt 43II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Nóregs konungatal 43’ 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, p. 789.

Anonymous PoemsNóregs konungatal

Frák, berfœttr
bǫrn at ætti
Magnús mǫrg,
þaus metorð hǫfðu.
Vôru þess
þengils synir
fremðar fljóts
fimm konungar.

Frák, at Magnús berfœttr ætti mǫrg bǫrn, þaus hǫfðu metorð. Fimm konungar vôru synir þess þengils, fljóts fremðar.

I heard that Magnús berfœttr (‘Barelegs’) had many children who obtained noble status. Five kings were sons of that lord, swift in fame.

Mss: Flat(144vb)

Editions: Skj AI, 585, Skj BI, 583, Skald I, 284; Flat 1860-8, II, 525.

Notes: [1] berfœttr ‘(“Barelegs”)’: He was also known as berleggr ‘Bareleg’ (Ágr, ÍF 29, 42, 47) or berbeinn ‘Bareleg’ (MberfHkr, ÍF 28, 229). Theodoricus (MHN 59) renders the name as berfort and nudipes ‘Barefoot’. According to Snorri, Magnús earned his nickname because he and his men wore short tunics, which was the current fashion in Scotland and Ireland. See MberfHkr (ÍF 28, 229), Power 1986, 122-3 and n. 5, McDougall and McDougall 1998, 105-6 n. 284. Saxo reports that the nickname was bestowed on Magnús after he fled from the people of Halland and left his shoes behind (Saxo 2005, II, 13, 1, 2, pp. 86-7), and an amusing anecdote in The Chronicle of Man relates that, on one of his expeditions to the west, Magnús sent his shoes to the Irish king Muirchertach and told him to wear them on his shoulders in the presence of the Norw. envoys (Munch 1860, 6). — [5-8]: The last half-st. could also be construed as fimm synir þess þengils, fljóts fremðar, vru konungar ‘five sons of that lord, fast in fame, were kings’ (so Skj B and Skald). That w. o. is less preferable, because it divides syntactically the nominal phrase in the last l. The five kings were Óláfr (d. 1015), Eysteinn (d. 1122), Sigurðr jórsalafari (d. 1130), Haraldr gillikristr (d. 1136) and Sigurðr slembidjákn (d. 1139).


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 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. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  9. McDougall, David and Ian McDougall, trans. 1998. Theodoricus monachus. Historia de antiquitate regum norwagiensium: An Account of the Ancient History of the Norwegian Kings. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 11. University College, London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  10. Munch, P. A., ed. 1860. Chronica regvm Manniæ et Insvlarvm: The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys Edited from the Manuscript Codex in the British Museum and with Historical Notes. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  11. Power, Rosemary. 1986. ‘Magnus Bareleg’s Expeditions to the West’. Scottish Historical Review 65, 107-32.
  12. Saxo 2005 = Friis-Jensen, Karsten, ed. 2005. Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum / Danmarkshistorien. Trans. Peter Zeeberg. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Det danske sprog- og litteraturselskab & Gads forlag.
  13. Theodoricus = Theodrici monachi historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium. In MHN 1-68.

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