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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 17I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 17’ 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. 1049.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar

text and translation

                     ... tafni.
Øx reið, en sveif síðan
sundvargs boða mǫrgum
— hæstr varð geirs at gusti
grams tírr — af bol svíri.

... tafni. Øx reið, en síðan sveif svíri af bol {mǫrgum boða {sundvargs}}; tírr grams varð hæstr at {gusti geirs}.
‘ ... carrion. The axe swung, and then neck swept from trunk for many an offerer of the sea-wolf [SHIP > SEAFARER]; the ruler’s glory became greatest in the gust of the spear [BATTLE].

notes and context

The extant poem resumes with commemoration of the sea-battle at Svǫlðr c. 1000, for which see also Hfr ErfÓl 1-24, Skúli SvǫlðrIII, Stefnir Lv 1 (cf. OSnorr Lv), Eþsk Couplet, Hókr Eirfl, ÞKolb Eirdr 8, and the non-contemporary HSt Rst 15-23; see further the entry on Óláfr Tryggvason in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [4]: The entire first helmingr, except for its final word tafni (n. dat. sg.) ‘carrion, prey’ or ‘offering, sacrifice’, is lacking in Bb. Apparently the scribe’s exemplar had a lacuna here; a much later hand notes vantar í ‘some missing’ at the bottom of fol. 112v, after st. 16. It is likely that a significant number of stanzas are missing (see Introduction).


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 17: AI, 576, BI, 571, Skald I, 277; Munch and Unger 1847, 122, 141, Gullberg 1875, 16, 34.


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