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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 12I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 12’ 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. 1044.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Hraustr vann Hjaltland kristnat
hlífar þeys sem Eyjar
stýrir støkkvifúra
stalls sem Nóreg allan.
Lét á Grœnland gætir
gunnblíðr komit síðan
vengis vallar hringa
vegsamr trúu ramri.

{Hraustr stýrir {stalls {støkkvifúra {þeys hlífar}}}} vann Hjaltland kristnat sem Eyjar, sem allan Nóreg. {Vegsamr, gunnblíðr gætir {vengis {hringa vallar}}} lét síðan komit ramri trúu á Grœnland.
‘The bold controller of the stand of scattering flames of the breeze of the shield [BATTLE > SWORDS > SHIELD > WARRIOR] made Shetland Christian, and the Isles [Orkney], as well as all of Norway. The glorious, battle-joyful guardian of the field of the rings of the plain [SERPENTS > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] then had the powerful faith brought to Greenland.

notes and context

In HN (MHN 115-16) and Ágr (ÍF 29, 22) King Óláfr is said to have Christianized five countries: Norway, Iceland, Shetland, Orkney and the Faroes. HSt Rst and Anon Óldr also list five lands, but replace the Faroes with Greenland, and ÓTOdd (ÍF 25, 271) increases the tally to six by including both these countries. The basis for including Greenland is probably the tradition that Óláfr sent Leifr Eiríksson there on a missionary voyage (Hkr, ÍF 26, 347; see also ÓT 1958-2000, II, 200). But this is almost certainly a fiction, perhaps stemming from Gunnlaugr Leifsson’s lost biography of Óláfr (Jón Jóhannesson 1962-5; Ólafur Halldórsson 1978, 379-89). — [2]: The same rhyming words appear in HSt Rst 11/4.



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 XII], [1]. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 12: AI, 575-6, BI, 570, Skald I, 276, NN §2547; Munch and Unger 1847, 122, 141, Gullberg 1875, 14-15, 30.


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