Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 4I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 4’ 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. 1036.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar

Reggstrindar bað randir
ráðfimr bera snimma
jóskreytandi ýta
auðmildr á skip rauðar.
Frá reist framr, en s*ýjur
flóð kǫnnuðu góðar,
foldar hring til fengjar
fóstrjǫrð konungr bǫrðum.

{Ráðfimr, auðmildr {{reggstrindar} jó}skreytandi} bað ýta bera rauðar randir snimma á skip. Framr konungr reist {hring foldar} bǫrðum frá fóstrjǫrð til fengjar, en góðar s*ýjur kǫnnuðu flóð.

{The counsel-swift, wealth-generous adorner {{of the stallion {of the boat-land}}} [(lit. ‘stallion-adorner of the boat-land’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] ordered men to carry red shields early on board ship. The outstanding king clove {the ring of the earth} [SEA] with prows from his foster-land for booty, and good vessels explored the flood.

Mss: Bb(112va)

Readings: [5] s*ýjur: ‘sky(j)or’(?) Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 574, Skj BI, 568, Skald I, 275; Munch and Unger 1847, 121, 140, Gullberg 1875, 11, 24.

Notes: [5, 8] frá fóstrjǫrð ‘from his foster-land’: The separation of prep. and noun here is highly unusual (see Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions), but there is no plausible alternative analysis.  — [5] s*ýjur ‘vessels’: Ms. ‘sky(j)or (?)’ could be nom./acc. pl. of the rare word skýja f. ‘dangerous, disgraceful journey’ (Fritzner: skýja), but the context would seem to require a word for ‘ship’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s emendation (1832, 8) to sýjur (pl. of sýja f. ‘row of rivets, strake’), a word commonest in C13th poetry (LP: sýja 1), has been accepted by all previous eds. It may have its precise sense or, as assumed here, be a pars pro toto expression for ‘vessel, ship’. — [8] fóstrjǫrð ‘his foster-land’: Garðar (Russia): see st. 3/2 í Gǫrðum and Note. 


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  5. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1983. Das Dróttkvætt. Heidelberg: Winter.
  6. Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1847. Oldnorsk læsebog med tilhörende glossarium. Christiania (Oslo): Dahl.
  7. Gullberg, H., ed. 1875. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar: fragment ur “Bergsboken”. Lund: Berling.

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