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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pl 16VII

Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 16’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 192.

Anonymous PoemsPlácitusdrápa

text and translation

Sik bað stríða stǫðvir
stirðs, es at kom firði,
hyrlund heiðni kenndan
herleiks of sæ ferja.
Veittit fremðar flýti
flugstyggum aldyggva
fetrjóðr Fenris jóða
farning inn bǫlgjarni,

{Stǫðvir stríða}, es kom at firði, bað {{{stirðs herleiks} hyr}lund}, kenndan heiðni, ferja sik of sæ. {Inn bǫlgjarni fetrjóðr {jóða Fenris}} veittit aldyggva farning {flugstyggum flýti fremðar},
‘The calmer of distress [HOLY MAN], when [he] came to the bay, asked the tree of the fire of harsh army-play [(lit. ‘fire-tree of harsh army-play’) BATTLE > SWORD > WARRIOR], known for paganism, to ferry them over the sea. The evil-eager paw-reddener of the offspring of Fenrir <wolf> [WOLVES > WARRIOR] did not provide reliable transportation for the flight-shy begetter of honour [HOLY MAN],

notes and context

In the legend, Plácitus and his family seek passage to Egypt with a ship’s captain who is variously described as dominus … barbarus ‘the barbarous master’ and scips drottiɴ …heiþiɴ oc grímr ‘the ship’s captain … heathen and cruel’ (A1) (Tucker 1998, 32). The warrior-kennings in sts 16 and 17 refer to this man, who quickly sees that the family is destitute and decides to seize Theopista, whom he finds very attractive, in payment for the crossing.



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], G [1]. Plácítúsdrápa 16: AI, 610, BI, 610-11, Skald I, 297; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1833, 17, 46, Finnur Jónsson 1887, 233, Louis-Jensen 1998, 101.


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