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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 16I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 16’ 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. 1048.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar

Hreinbyggvir lét hǫggva
hrófs af mǫrgum þjófi,
hinns of hvert ráð kunni,
hendr eða fœtr, at bœta.
Horvetna lét hjǫrva
hríðeflǫndum víða
austr, þeims unnu lǫstu,
ósið jǫfurr kviðjat.

{{Hrófs hrein}byggvir}, hinns kunni at bœta of hvert ráð, lét hendr eða fœtr hǫggva af mǫrgum þjófi. Horvetna austr lét jǫfurr kviðjat ósið víða {{hjǫrva hríð}eflǫndum}, þeims unnu lǫstu.

{The occupant {of the reindeer of the boatshed}} [(lit. ‘reindeer-occupant of the boatshed’) SHIP > SEAFARER], the one who could reform every state of life, had hands or feet chopped off many a thief. Everywhere in the east the prince had immorality banned far and wide {for strengtheners {of the storm of swords}} [(lit. ‘storm-strengtheners of swords’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] who practised vice.

Mss: Bb(112vb)

Editions: Skj AI, 576, Skj BI, 571, Skald I, 276, NN §1221; Munch and Unger 1847, 122, 141, Gullberg 1875, 16, 33.

Notes: [7] austr ‘in the east’: That is, from an Icelandic perspective, in Norway. One or both of the adverbs austr and víða ‘far and wide’ could equally be attached to the second clause in the helmingr, though the present arrangement is simpler (see NN §1221). — [7] lǫstu ‘vice’: Acc. pl. of lǫstr m., which can mean simply ‘defect, fault’, but in the present context means ‘reprehensible acts’. Whether these are crimes, as in the first helmingr, or offences against religion, as ósiðr ‘immorality’ suggests, is not clear.


  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. Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1847. Oldnorsk læsebog med tilhörende glossarium. Christiania (Oslo): Dahl.
  5. Gullberg, H., ed. 1875. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar: fragment ur “Bergsboken”. Lund: Berling.

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