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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Magnkv 12II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 12’ 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. 424-5.

Gísl IllugasonErfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr

Margan hǫfðu        Magnúss liðar
bjǫrtum oddi        baugvang skorit.
Varð hertoga        hlíf at springa
kapps vel skipuð        fyr konungs darri.

Liðar Magnúss hǫfðu skorit {margan baugvang} bjǫrtum oddi. Hlíf hertoga, kapps vel skipuð, varð at springa fyr darri konungs.

Magnús’s companions had cut {many a ring-meadow} [SHIELD] with the bright spear-point. The shield of the army-leader, magnificently equipped, was forced to shatter by the king’s spear.

Mss: Mork(23r) (Mork); H(89r), Hr(61va) (H-Hr); F(58vb)

Readings: [1] Margan: Margir F    [4] baug‑: borð‑ F;    skorit: skotit Hr, skotinn F    [7] skipuð: skrifuð F

Editions: Skj AI, 442, Skj BI, 411, Skald I, 203; Mork 1867, 145, Mork 1928-32, 320, Andersson and Gade 2000, 301, 486 (Mberf); Fms 7, 45 (Mberf ch. 22); F 1871, 271 (Mberf).

Context: As sts 10-11 above.

Notes: [6] hlíf ‘shield’: Lit. ‘protection’, but commonly used in the meaning ‘shield’ in skaldic poetry (see LP: hlíf; Falk 1914, 139). — [7] kapps vel skipuð ‘magnificently equipped’: Kapps vel skrifuð ‘magnificently painted’ (so F) is possible and would mean that Hugh’s shield was painted or adorned (so Skj B; Skald). For the custom of adorning shields with painted images, see Falk 1914b, 144-7. Kapps (n. gen. sg.) vel is used adverbially before the adj. skipuð ‘equipped’ with an intensifying meaning (‘magnificently’). — [8] fyr darri konungs ‘by the king’s spear’: A light spear designed for throwing (see Falk 1914, 74).


  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. 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.
  6. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  7. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  8. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  9. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. Falk, Hjalmar. 1914b. Altnordische Waffenkunde. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter, II. Hist.-filos. kl. 1914, 6. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  11. Mork 1867 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1867. Morkinskinna: Pergamentsbog fra første halvdel af det trettende aarhundrede. Indeholdende en af de ældste optegnelser af norske kongesagaer. Oslo: Bentzen.
  12. Internal references
  13. Not published: do not cite (MberfII)

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