Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Austv 19I/3 — ætt ‘the kinsman’

Folk réð of sik, fylkir,
flest, es ek kom vestan,
ætt sem áðr of hvatti
Eireks svika þeira.
En, þvít jarla frænda
eins þats tókt af Sveini,
yðr, kveðk jǫrð es nôðuð,
Ulfs bróður lið stóðusk.

Flest folk réð of sik, fylkir, es ek kom vestan, sem ætt Eireks áðr of hvatti svika þeira. En kveðk, es nôðuð jǫrð, þvít eins lið frænda jarla, bróður Ulfs, þats tókt af Sveini, stóðusk yðr.

Most people considered their options, chieftain, when I came from the west, as the kinsman of Eiríkr [?= Sveinn] earlier had incited [them] to that treason. But I declare that you got hold of the land only because the troop of the jarls’ kinsman [= Eilífr], Úlfr’s brother [= Eilífr], which you took away from Sveinn, supported you.


[3] ætt: ótt R686ˣ, 972ˣ, eitt 325V, Bb, æt 68


[3, 4] ætt Eireks ‘the kinsman of Eiríkr [? = Sveinn]’: The word ætt means ‘family’ in prose, but in verse it may refer to a single kinsman (though Toll 1930-3, 542 argues that the sense of the word is here pl.). Since his brother Sveinn is mentioned later in the stanza, Eirekr may be Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson of Hlaðir (Lade; so ÍF 27; Hkr 1991) rather than King Eiríkr inn sigrsæli ‘the Victorious’ Bjarnarson, father of Óláfr, the then current King of Sweden (though Ternström 1871 adopts the latter view, as does Finnur Jónsson 1932, 18).




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