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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pl 27VII

Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 27’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 198.

Anonymous PoemsPlácitusdrápa

‘Hyrgeymi frák heima
(hans vitjuðu) sitja
— kvôn vas hǫlds með hônum —
haukborðs (vinir forðum).
Ek em í útlegð stokkinn
afkárr vinum fjarri;
kvôns braut frá mér; mína
meindýr gripu sveina.

‘Frák {{{haukborðs} hyr}geymi} sitja heima; vinir vitjuðu hans forðum; kvôn hǫlds vas með hônum. Ek em stokkinn í útlegð, afkárr fjarri vinum; kvôns braut frá mér; meindýr gripu sveina mína.

‘I have heard that {the keeper {of the fire {of the hawk-table}}} [(lit. ‘fire-keeper of the hawk-table’) ARM > GOLD > MAN] sat at home; friends visited him in days gone by; the man’s wife was with him. [But] I am driven into outlawry, distraught, far from my friends; my wife has been taken from me; fierce beasts have seized my sons.

Mss: 673b(3r)

Readings: [1] Hyrgeymi: ‘Hurg(e)y[...]’(?) 673b, 673bHE, ‘Hurgdys’ 673bÞH, ‘Hurgeyme’ 673bFJ    [4] vinir: ‘viþ[...]’ 673b, ‘viþa’ or ‘viþir’, ‘vinir’ 673bÞH, ‘viþa’ 673bFJ    [7] mína: ‘m[...](a)’(?) 673b    [8] meindýr: mendýr 673b;    gripu: om. 673b

Editions: Skj AI, 612, Skj BI, 613-14, Skald I, 298, NN §§1249, 1797, 2135A, 2991C; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1833, 22, 50, Finnur Jónsson 1887, 236, Jón Helgason 1932-3, 156, Louis-Jensen 1998, 106.

Notes: [All]: As all versions of the prose text make clear (Tucker 1998, 38-9), Plácitus is here making an unfavourable comparison between his own sad condition and that of Job, arguing to God that his own trials have been far worse than that of the biblical figure. — [3] vinir forðum ‘friends ... in days gone by’: Skj B takes forðum with the cl. ... sitja heim, which creates a tripartite l. The present reading was suggested by Kock (NN §1248). — [6] afkárr ‘distraught’: This word is defined variously as ‘?difficult, contrary’ (ONP); vanskelig at komme tilrette med ‘difficult to come to agreement with’ (Fritzner); meget kraftig, ... voldsom ‘very strong, ... violent’ (LP); ‘strange, prodigious’ (CVC). — [8] gripu ‘have seized’: Emendation proposed by Finnur Jónsson 1887. Kock suggested rifu ‘have torn (up)’ (NN §2135B), citing the more common collocation of the verb rífa with animals. Jón Helgason, however, pointed out that grípa matches the prose text (cf. Tucker 1998, 39); in any case, the prose and poetic texts are all clear that the boys survive.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1833. Brot af Placidus-drápu. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  4. Jón Helgason. 1932-3. ‘Til skjaldedigtningen’. APS 7, 150-68.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1887. ‘Plácítúsdrápa’. In Opuscula Philologica: Mindre Afhandlinger, 210-64.
  8. 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.
  9. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  10. Tucker, John, ed. 1998. Plácidus saga. EA B 31. Copenhagen: Reitzel.
  11. 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.
  12. ONP = Degnbol, Helle et al., eds. 1989-. A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose / Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog. 1-. Copenhagen: The Arnamagnæan Commission.
  13. Louis-Jensen, Jonna, ed. 1998. ‘Plácitus drápa’. In Tucker 1998, 89-130.

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