Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Lv 1II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 1’ 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, p. 165.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonLausavísur

{Two launchers {of the meadow {of the offspring of Fáfnir}}} [snake > gold > generous men] I let fall there to the ground, {linden tree {of the bright beacon {of the land of Leifnir ‹sea-king›}}} [sea > gold > woman]. Before

Leiða langar dauða
limar illa mik stillis;
bôrut menn inn mæra
Magnús í grǫf fúsir.

Langar limar dauða stillis leiða mik illa; menn bôrut inn mæra Magnús fúsir í grǫf.

The long branches of the death of the ruler affect me grievously; men did not carry the glorious Magnús gladly [lit. glad] into the grave.

Mss: A(4v), W(103) (TGT)

Readings: [1] langar: langir W    [3] bôrut: so W, bruð A

Editions: Skj AI, 379, Skj BI, 349, Skald I, 175; SnE 1848-87, II, 118-19, 411, TGT 1884, 18, 77, 187-8, TGT 1927, 53, 97, TGT 1998, 138-9.

Context: Among excerpts in TGT illustrating various types of solecism, this is cited to show tíðaskipti ‘change of tense’, presumably pres. tense leiða alongside pret. brut (so TGT 1927, 53 n.), though the pres. tense is justified by its continuing relevance.

Notes: [All]: A similar display of grief at Magnús’s death is depicted in Okík Magn 2-3 and Anon (MH). — [1, 2] limar; leiða ‘branches; affect’: Both mss clearly have f. pl. limar (unabbreviated in W), and A has the f. pl. adj. langar (though W has abbreviated m. pl. ‘langer’, normalised langir), so the noun seems to be limar f. ‘branches, boughs, offshoots’ rather than limir m. ‘limbs’ or ‘joints’. A similar figurative use of limar, meaning ‘consequences’, together with the verb leiða ‘lead, conduct’, is found in Reg 4, in the proverbial of lengi leiða limar ósaðra orða ‘too long do the branches of untrue words lead (one)’ (NK 174, here reordered as prose). The sense of leiða is slightly elusive in both contexts, but probably ‘lead’ shades into ‘affect’ (see the discussion by Björn Magnússon Ólsen, TGT 1884, 187-8). On the tense of leiða, see Context above.


  1. Bibliography
  2. TGT 1884 = Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1884. Den tredje og fjærde grammatiske afhandling i Snorres Edda tilligemed de grammatiske afhandlingers prolog og to andre tillæg. SUGNL 12. Copenhagen: Knudtzon.
  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. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  6. TGT 1927 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1927b. Óláfr Þórðarson: Málhljóða- og málskrúðsrit. Grammatisk-retorisk afhandling. Det kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. Historisk-filologiske meddelelser 13, 2. Copenhagen: Høst.
  7. TGT 1998 = Krömmelbein, Thomas, ed. and trans. 1998. Dritte grammatische Abhandlung. Studia nordica 3. Oslo: Novus.
  8. Internal references
  9. Tarrin Wills 2017, ‘The Third Grammatical Treatise’ 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].
  10. Not published: do not cite ()
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísa from Magnúss saga góða ok Haralds harðráða’ 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. 813-14.
  12. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddr kíkinaskáld, Poem about Magnús góði 2’ 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, p. 33.

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