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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Hrólf) 1VIII (Hrólf 10)

†Desmond Slay and Margaret Clunies Ross (eds) 2017, ‘Hrólfs saga kraka 10 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Hrólfs saga kraka 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 547.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísa from Hrólfs saga kraka

These two couplets are found both in Hrólf and in mss of SnE, in that section of Skm that tells of King Hrólfr’s visit to King Aðils’ hall in Uppsala in the context of explaining the gold-kenning sáð Kraka ‘the seed of Kraki’, a reference to Hrólfr’s dropping a gold ring to delay the pursuing Aðils. As the SnE mss offer a more metrically correct and probably earlier text, R has been chosen as the main ms. for both couplets.

Aukum enn elda         at Aðils húsum.

Aukum enn elda at húsum Aðils.

Let us further increase the fires at Aðils’s dwellings.

Mss: R(32r), Tˣ(33v), W(74), U(43v), C(3v) (SnE); 285ˣ(27v), 9ˣ(36v), 11ˣ(32v), 109a IIˣ(246r), papp17ˣ(302v) (Hrólf)

Readings: [1] enn: om. Tˣ, C, vér nú U, nú 285ˣ, 9ˣ, 11ˣ, papp17ˣ;    elda: eldana 285ˣ, 9ˣ, 11ˣ, 109a IIˣ, papp17ˣ    [2] at Aðils húsum: at Aðils borg 285ˣ, 9ˣ, 109a IIˣ, papp17ˣ, at bón Aðils kongs ok boði 11ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 181, Skj BI, 171, Skald I, 92; SnE 1848-87, I, 396, II, 361, 580, SnE 1931, 141, SnE 1998, I, 59, 188; Hrólf 1960, 97.

Context: The story is told slightly differently in the two works. In Hrólf, after Aðils has fuel added to the fires down the centre of his hall, trying to force Hrólfr to reveal himself among his champions (kappar), and their clothes begin to burn, the visitors throw their shields on the fires. Bǫðvarr and Svipdagr speak these words, and they throw onto the fires the men who had built them up. In SnE, Hrólfr and his berserks are in a lodging Queen Yrsa had provided for them. Aðils’s men come in, add fuel to the fires until their clothes begin to burn, and ask if it is true that Hrólfr and his berserks flee neither fire nor iron. Hrólfr then speaks these words, throws his shield on the fires, and leaps over them.

Notes: [All]: In SnE 1998 this couplet and the next are printed as prose in the text, but a note acknowledges that perhaps they are lines of verse. In Skj and Skald this couplet and the next are printed separately from the rest of the stanzas in Hrólf and are treated as a single half-stanza. — [2] húsum ‘dwellings’: The Hrólf mss all have borg ‘stronghold’, but this makes the line hypometrical.


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Hrólf 1960 = Slay, Desmond, ed. 1960a. Hrólfs saga kráka. EA B 1. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  7. Internal references
  8. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  9. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Hrólfs saga kraka’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 539.
  10. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)

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