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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pl 33VII

Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 33’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 202.

Anonymous PoemsPlácitusdrápa

text and translation

Gǫr vas guðr, en verjask,
gramr þurfti her samna
trautt, áðr tíginn mætti
Trájánus vel ráni.
Bauð landreki lýða
liði ríðara fríðu
snildar framr at samna
sverðhríðar til víða.

Guðr vas gǫr, en áðr tíginn Trájánus mætti vel verjask ráni, þurfti gramr samna her trautt. Snildar framr landreki lýða bauð at samna víða fríðu liði ríðara til {sverðhríðar}.
‘Battle was begun, but before the noble Trajan could protect himself properly against plundering, the king had to gather an army with difficulty. The king of men, outstanding in prowess, bade [his men] gather from far and wide a fine band of knights for the sword-storm [BATTLE].

notes and context

According to the legend, an unnamed army began ravaging the Roman empire and Trajan needed to rally his forces against it. He remembered his former cavalry commander Plácitus, and asked his men where Plácitus was, but no one knew. He offered a reward to anyone who found him (st. 34), and this impelled two former soldiers who had served with Plácitus to go looking for him (st. 35).



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 33: AI, 613, BI, 615, Skald I, 299, NN §§1251, 2315n., 2369, 2811, 2812; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1833, 24, 52, Finnur Jónsson 1887, 238, Jón Helgason 1932-3, 156, Louis-Jensen 1998, 109.


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