Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Jór Send 1I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr 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. 145.

Jórunn skáldmærSendibítr

Bragningr réð í blóði
— beið herr konungs reiði —
— hús lutu opt fyr eisum —
óþjóðar slǫg rjóða.

Bragningr réð rjóða slǫg í blóði óþjóðar; herr beið reiði konungs; hús lutu opt fyr eisum.

The ruler reddened weapons in the blood of evil people; the army suffered the king’s anger; houses often collapsed because of fires.

Mss: R(40r), Tˣ(41v), U(37v), A(15r), B(6v), 744ˣ(42v), C(9r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] réð í blóði: ‘[…]’ B, réð blóði 744ˣ;    réð: rauð U, C, ‘ręð’ A    [2] beið herr konungs: ‘[…]’ B, ‘beið … konungss’ 744ˣ    [3] lutu: hlutu U    [4] ó‑: so Tˣ, U, A, 744ˣ, ‘i‑’ R, ‘[…]’ B, ‘y‑’ C;    slǫg: so all others, slog R;    rjóða: hrjóða C

Editions: Skj AI, 60, Skj BI, 53, Skald I, 33, NN §§247, 303B; SnE 1848-87, I, 524, II, 344, 541, 608, SnE 1931, 184, SnE 1998, I, 103-4, 222.

Context: The helmingr is cited in the Skm section of SnE for its use of the word bragningr ‘ruler’, one example of the honorific titles (tignarnǫfn) derived from the names given to the descendants of the sons of the legendary king Hálfdan gamli ‘the Old’, in this case Bragi.

Notes: [All]: The C18th copy 744ˣ has been used in the Readings above where B is not legible. — [All]: Although the helmingr refers to burning of buildings and the anger of a king, it does not clearly match the prose narrative with which Send is associated (see Introduction), but rather seems to be a generic battle description. Kreutzer (1972, 93-4) takes it to be the first half of st. 3. — [1, 2] bragningr; konungs ‘the ruler; the king’s’: Without a clear context for this stanza (see second Note to [All]), it is not certain who is indicated by these terms, but the most likely is that both refer to Haraldr hárfagri, the king who is named in st. 2/1, 4 and prominent throughout Send. — [1] réð: An auxiliary to inf. rjóða (l. 4), hence réð rjóða ‘reddened’.  — [3] opt ‘often’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) was scathingly criticised by Kock (NN §247) for construing this with réð rjóða ‘reddened’ (ll. 1, 4), thereby interrupting the apparently straightforward syntax of this line and creating a highly complex word order. — [3] eisum ‘fires’: This word occurs predominantly in poems of the C12th or later, supporting Fidjestøl’s suggestion (1982, 181) that this is a later poem based on historical events. — [4] óþjóðar ‘of evil people’: Another word which seems to be typical of the C12th or later, though it does occur in Arn Hryn 12/1II.


  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. 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.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Kreutzer, Gert. 1972. ‘Jórunn skáldmær’. skandinavistik 2, 89-98.
  7. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  8. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  9. Internal references
  10. 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].
  11. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  12. Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Jórunn skáldmær, Sendibítr’ 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. 143.
  13. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 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. 197-8.

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