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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 17II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 17’ 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. 130-1.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja

Sogns kvôðu gram gegnan
glæst sjau tøgu it fæsta
senn á svipstund einni
Sveins þjóðar skip hrjóða.

Kvôðu {gegnan gram Sogns} hrjóða glæst skip þjóðar Sveins, it fæsta sjau tøgu senn á einni svipstund.

They said that {the upright lord of Sogn} [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] cleared adorned ships of Sveinn’s people, at least seventy at once, in a single fleeting time.

Mss: (562r), 39(27rb), F(49ra), E(21v), J2ˣ(284r) (Hkr); FskBˣ(75v), FskAˣ(280) (Fsk); Mork(13r) (Mork); Flat(200va) (Flat); H(56v), Hr(41va) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] Sogns: ‘Sꜹngs’ Mork, Flat, H, Hr;    kvôðu: hǫfðu E;    gegnan: gegnann FskBˣ, gengin Mork, Hr, ganga Flat, genginn H    [2] glæst: glæstar Flat;    sjau tøgu: ‘taugu’ Flat;    fæsta: næsta F, Flat    [3] svipstund: sviftu FskBˣ, FskAˣ    [4] hrjóða: so F, E, H, Hr, ‘rioð’ Kˣ, rjóða 39, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Flat, ‘hroþa’ Mork

Editions: Skj AI, 372, Skj BI, 342-3, Skald I, 172; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 165, IV, 230, ÍF 28, 151, Hkr 1991, 658 (HSig ch. 63), F 1871, 229, E 1916, 76; Fsk 1902-3, 271 (ch. 47), ÍF 29, 268 (ch. 57); Mork 1928-32, 211, Andersson and Gade 2000, 230, 478 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 363 (MH); Fms 6, 319 (HSig ch. 78), Fms 12, 157.

Context: Defeated Danes flee the battle at the Nissan (Niz) estuary by boarding ships that have not been joined together as fighting platforms (or that they have cut free), but at least seventy of Sveinn’s ships are left behind.

Notes: [1] gram Sogns ‘the lord of Sogn [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr]’: The variant saungs (so Mork, Flat, H, Hr) would presumably be gen. sg. of sǫngr ‘song’ (as a variant to sǫngvar), but makes no sense in context. — [4] hrjóða ‘cleared’: The inf. depends on kvðu ‘they said’, hence lit. ‘they said to clear’. The variant rjóða (where it is not merely a Norwegianism for hrjóða, as probably in the Fsk mss) also makes good sense: ‘redden (with blood)’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  13. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  14. Internal references
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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. clix-clxi.
  16. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  17. Not published: do not cite (MHII)

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