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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Hhárf) 1I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Haralds saga hárfagra in Heimskringla 1’ 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. 1070.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísa from Haralds saga hárfagra in Heimskringla1

Hann gaf Tréskegg trollum;
Torf-Einarr drap Skurfu.

Hann gaf Tréskegg trollum; Torf-Einarr drap Skurfu.

He gave Tréskegg (‘Wood-beard’) to the trolls; Torf-Einarr (Turf-Einarr) killed Skurfa (‘the Scabby’).

Mss: 332ˣ(9), Flat(29va) (Orkn); Kˣ(69r), F(12ra), J1ˣ(39v), J2ˣ(39r) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Hann gaf: þá gaf hann Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    trollum: ‘ta ꜵllum’ J1ˣ    [2] Torf‑: ‘torfu’ Flat;    Skurfu: ‘skyrfu’ J1ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 177, Skj BI, 167, Skald I, 90; Orkn 1913-16, 10, ÍF 34, 11 (ch. 7), Flat 1860-8, I, 223; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 138, ÍF 26, 129 (HHárf ch. 27), F 1871, 54.

Context: Torf-Einarr jarl Rǫgnvaldsson, on his first arrival in Orkney, encounters two vikings (Danish according to Orkn), whom he kills in battle.

Notes: [1] gaf Tréskegg trollum ‘gave Tréskegg (“Wood-beard”) to the trolls’: One of many instances, in prose and poetry, of this and related idioms (e.g. Anon (Gr) 1V (Gr 2), in which the named victim is Tréfótr ‘Wood-leg’). The sense is usually of killing, or wishing death upon a despised enemy, and the curse troll taki/hafi þik ‘may the trolls take/have you’ is particularly common (see further Note to ÞjóðA Sex 20/6, 7, 8II). The troll (or trǫll) is a monster or a hostile giant, a favourite target of the god Þórr (cf. Vsp 40/8; SnE 2005, 35). — [1, 2] Tréskegg; Skurfu ‘Tréskegg (“Wood-beard”); Skurfa (“the Scabby”)’: The identity of these two vikings is unknown, but their first names are given as Þórir (tréskegg) and Kálfr (skurfa). According to Orkn (ÍF 34, 10-11), the two had settled in Orkney, and Torf-Einarr was sent by his father, Rǫgnvaldr jarl Eysteinsson of Mœrr (Møre), to expel them from the Isles. — [2] Torf-Einarr ‘Torf-Einarr (Turf-Einarr)’: On his life, nickname and poetry, see skald Biography of Torf-Einarr (TorfE).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  4. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  12. Not published: do not cite (HHárfII)
  13. Not published: do not cite ()
  14. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 20’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 134-5.
  15. Not published: do not cite (Anon (Gr) 1V (Gr 2))

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