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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hskv Hardr 4II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Halldórr skvaldri, Haraldsdrápa 4’ 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. 495-6.

Halldórr skvaldriHaraldsdrápa

Máttit ǫld, þás ótta
ógnfýstr konungr lýsti,
— hljóp fyr hilmis vôpnum
herflótti — bý verja.

Ǫld máttit verja bý, þás ógnfýstr konungr lýsti ótta; herflótti hljóp fyr vôpnum hilmis.

People could not defend the town when the battle-inflamed king [= Magnús] showed fear; the fleeing army ran before the ruler’s weapons.

Mss: FskBˣ(92v), FskAˣ(366) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Máttit: so FskAˣ, Mttuð FskBˣ    [2] ‑fýstr: so FskAˣ, ‑fyrstr FskBˣ    [4] her‑: herr FskAˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 489, Skj BI, 461, Skald I, 227, NN §§806, 2059; ÍF 29, 326 (ch. 95).

Context: The helmingr commemorates the fall of the city of Bergen (1135), when Haraldr gilli and his men overpowered Magnús and his men and captured Magnús as he tried to flee on one of his ships.

Notes: [1, 2] lýsti ótta ‘showed fear’: Kock (NN §2059) suggests that lýsti ótta should be translated as förkunnade fara, visade sig farlig, injagade skräck ‘announced danger, showed himself to be dangerous, inspired terror’, but ótti ‘fear’ is not attested in that meaning (see Fritzner: ótti). In the present edn, the king who shows fear is Magnús who went out on his ship in his attempt to escape Haraldr’s troops. — [3] fyr vôpnum hilmis ‘before the ruler’s weapons’: Or: ‘on account of the ruler’s weapons’. This prepositional phrase could also belong to the first cl. (so Skj B; ÍF 29).


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. 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.
  6. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.

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