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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Edáð Banddr 5I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 5’ 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. 463.

Eyjólfr dáðaskáldBandadrápa

Stœrir lét at Stauri
stafnviggs hǫfuð liggja
— gramr vélti svá — gumna.
Gunnblíðr ok ræðr síðan.
Sleit at sverða móti
svǫrð víkinga hǫrðu
unda már fyr eyri.
Jarl goðvǫrðu hjarli.

{Stœrir gumna} lét hǫfuð {stafnviggs} liggja at Stauri; gramr vélti svá. Gunnblíðr ok ræðr síðan … {Már unda} sleit svǫrð víkinga at {hǫrðu móti sverða} fyr eyri. Jarl goðvǫrðu hjarli …

{The strengthener of men} [RULER] let the head {of the prow-horse} [SHIP] lie off Staurr; the ruler arranged it in this way. Rejoicing in battle and rules since then … {The gull of wounds} [RAVEN/EAGLE] ripped the scalp of the vikings in {the hard meeting of swords} [BATTLE] off the sand-spit. Jarl god-defended land …

Mss: (199v), F(34ra), J1ˣ(122v), J2ˣ(108v-109r) (Hkr); 61(65rb), 53(62ra), 54(60va), Bb(96ra), Flat(69rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Stœrir: ‘Sterir’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    at: af 54, Bb;    Stauri: stýri F    [2] ‑viggs: vígs F, J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat;    hǫfuð: so F, J1ˣ, 61, 54, Bb, Flat, hǫfn Kˣ, ‘hofð’ 53    [3] gramr: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat, ‘gram(r)’(?) Kˣ;    svá: sá J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [4] ræðr: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, réð Kˣ, F, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat    [5] at: á J1ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat    [6] víkinga: víkingar 53;    hǫrðu: jǫrðu Flat    [7] már: marr 53, 54, Bb, Flat;    fyr: so F, ‘fra ⸜ad⸝’ Kˣ, á J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 201, Skj BI, 191, Skald I, 101; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 416, IV, 94, ÍF 26, 338, Hkr 1991, I, 229-30 (ÓTHkr ch. 89), F 1871, 153; Fms 2, 288, Fms 12, 56, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 242 (ch. 243), Flat 1860-8, I, 519.


In Hkr st. 5 is placed almost immediately after st. 4 (similarly ÓT), describing Eiríkr’s expedition southward to Vinðland (Wendland) and attack on vikings there.

Notes: [All]: Lines 4 and 8 belong to the klofastef ‘split refrain’ and stand outside the syntax of the stanza; see st. 9 and Notes. — [1] stœrir ‘the strengthener’: CPB (II, 570, but contrast 52), followed by Skj B, emends to stýrir ‘ruler, steerer’. — [1-2] lét hǫfuð stafnviggs liggja at Stauri ‘let the head of the prow-horse [SHIP] lie off Staurr’: The word hǫfuð ‘head’ may be literal here, denoting a zoomorphic prow-ornament (cf. Jesch 2001a, 145). It may also extend the imagery of the kenning ‘horse of the sea’ in combination with the p. n. Staurr, since staurr m. means ‘stake’: the ship is moored to a jetty or mooring post like a horse tethered to a stake. — [1] at Stauri ‘off Staurr’: CPB II, 52, followed tentatively by ÍF 26, 399, identifies this with Staber (Dan. Staver), in the south-east of the southern Baltic island of Fehmarn (Dan. Femern), Schleswig-Holstein (cf. Ohlmarks 1958, 508). See also Note to ll. 1-2. — [3] gramr vélti svá ‘the ruler arranged it in this way’: The verb véla has two distinct meanings which reflect separate etymologies: either ‘deal with, arrange, manage’ (Fritzner: véla 2; AEW: véla 1) or ‘trick, betray’ (Fritzner: véla 1; AEW: véla 2). Ohlmarks (1958, 509) assumes the latter here, suggesting that Eyjólfr is alluding to some kind of surprise attack on Eiríkr’s part. — [4] ræðr ‘rules’: The pres. tense in ll. 4 and 8 reflects the fact that they belong to the stef and do not share the same temporal perspective as the rest of the stanza (cf. Konráð Gíslason 1879a, 185; Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). The alternative reading pret. réð ‘ruled’ is better supported in the mss (and F has réð at the repeat of the line in st. 8/4), but it has probably arisen through influence of the other verbs in the stanza. The other two verbs in the stef are uniformly pres. tense in the mss (dregr ‘draws’ in st. 2/8, semr ‘contrives’ in sts 4/8, 7/8), and semr is guaranteed by the metre. — [8]: This line appears to echo KormǪ Sigdr 2/4III hjarls Sigvarði/Sigurði jarli, which may also have formed part of a stef (Fidjestøl 1982, 186; cf. Note to st. 2/8 above).


  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. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  7. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  8. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  12. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  13. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  14. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  15. Konráð Gíslason. 1879a. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i Skáldskaparmál’. ÅNOH, 185-202.
  16. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  17. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  18. Internal references
  19. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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].
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  21. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Kormákr Ǫgmundarson, Sigurðardrápa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 277.

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