Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Hundk Lv 1VIII (HjǪ 29)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 29 (Hundingi konungr, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 521.

Hundingi konungrLausavísur

Hverr er sá,         kominn ór Manheimum,
ungr at aldri,         oss at kveðja?
Berr þú, inn ungi,         ormfrán augu;
mun ek við brögðum         búaz mega.

Hverr er sá, kominn ór Manheimum, ungr at aldri, at kveðja oss? Þú, inn ungi, berr ormfrán augu; ek mun mega búaz við brögðum.

Who is he, come from Manheimar, young in age, to greet us [me]? You, young one, have snake-flashing eyes; I will be able to prepare myself for tricks.

Mss: 109a IIIˣ(273v), papp6ˣ(53v), ÍBR5ˣ(95) (HjǪ)

Readings: [3] aldri: so papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, aldi 109a IIIˣ    [6] ormfrán: örn framar papp6ˣ, orm framm ÍBR5ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 338, Skj BII, 359, Skald II, 194, NN §3298; HjǪ 1720, 48-9, FSN 3, 492, FSGJ 4, 217, HjǪ 1970, 40, 95, 156.

Context: King Hundingi greets Hjálmþér, but with a threat of mixed hospitality.

Notes: [1] hverr er sá ‘who is he’: Many eds (e.g. Skj B, Skald, FSGJ) have added karla ‘of men’ to the end of this line to provide alliteration and a metrical line. — [2] ór Manheimum ‘from Manheimar’: See Note to HjǪ 18/8. The corresponding passages of Hjálmþérsrímur (V. 24-5, Finnur Jónsson 1905-22, II, 36) do not locate Hjálmþér’s home in Manheimar, but rather in Denmark, a difference that has suggested that the introduction of Manheimar was the work of a later redactor and that the saga’s original location was in Denmark. — [6] ormfrán ‘snake-flashing’: An epithet invariably collocated with augu ‘eyes’, as here, and often applied to the terrifying glances of powerful rulers (cf. Marold 1998a); in Sigv ErfÓl 13/8I, for example, it is applied to the terror-inspiring eyes of King Óláfr Haraldsson.  — [7-8] ek mun mega búaz við brögðum ‘I will be able to prepare myself for tricks’: Kock (NN §3298) questions what reason the king would have to anticipate tricks from the bright-eyed young man, noticing that ormfránn is used elsewhere suggestive of ambition and vigour. Rather than translating brögðum as ‘tricks’, Kock prefers a more positive anticipation, of ‘feats’ or ‘exploits’. Against this, the meaning of bragð as ‘cunning, tricks’ is well attested (cf. LP: bragð 3), and the prose saga indicates that Hundingi has the power to understand the inner motivation of an apparently polite young man like Hjálmþér.


  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. FSN = Rafn, Carl Christian, ed. 1829-30. Fornaldar sögur nordrlanda. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  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. 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.
  7. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  8. Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1905-22. Rímnasafn: Samling af de ældste islandske rimer. 2 vols. SUGNL 35. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Marold, Edith. 1998a. ‘Die Augen des Herrschers’. In Meier 1998, 7-29.
  10. HjǪ 1720 = Peringskiöld, Johann, ed. 1720. Hialmters och Olvers saga, Handlande om trenne Konungar i Manahem eller Sverige, Inge, Hialmter, och Inge, samt Olver Jarl och om theras uthresor til Grekeland och Arabien. Stockholm: Horn.
  11. HjǪ 1970 = Harris, Richard L., ed. 1970. ‘Hjálmþérs saga: A Scientific Edition’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Iowa.
  12. Internal references
  13. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 13’ 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. 679.
  14. Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 18 (Hergunnr, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 510.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.