Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Austv 19I/6 — af ‘away from’

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.


[6] af Sveini ‘from Sveinn’: Sveinn jarl Hákonarson is the brother of Eiríkr (see l. 4). His defeat at the hands of Óláfr Haraldsson in the battle of Nesjar in 1016 sealed the latter’s hold on Norway, ending Swedish control. Sveinn was brother-in-law to King Óláfr of Sweden, and at Óláfr’s behest he had governed the areas of Norway controlled by the Swedish king since the defeat of Óláfr Tryggvason in the battle of Svǫlðr (c. 1000). The Swedish Óláfr, according to Snorri, took him in after the defeat at Nesjar, and with the king’s support he was planning a reinvasion of Norway at the time of his death.



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