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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hryn 3II/6 — rán ‘plundering’

Öldum segik, hvé ófrið gulduð,
unnviggs skipuðr, Dönum sunnan;
víða settu þínar þjóðir
þunnar skeiðr af fýrihlunnum.
Stórir höfðu útboð ærin
yðrir þegnar rán at hegna
(ýtum þóttit leiðangr lítill)
langa stund (fyrir víðri grundu).

Segik öldum, hvé gulduð Dönum ófrið sunnan, skipuðr unnviggs; þjóðir þínar settu víða þunnar skeiðr af fýrihlunnum. Stórir þegnar yðrir höfðu ærin útboð at hegna rán langa stund; ýtum þóttit leiðangr lítill fyrir víðri grundu.

I tell men how you repaid the Danes for hostility from the south, commander of the wave-steed [SHIP > KING]; your troops launched far and wide slender warships from the fir-rollers. Your mighty liegemen had ample conscription to punish plundering for a long time; men did not consider the fleet to be small off the wide land.

readings

[6] rán at hegna: rána hegnar E, rána hegnir 8, Flat

notes

[5-6] stórir þegnar yðrir höfðu ærin útboð at hegna rán ‘your mighty liegemen had ample conscription to punish plundering’: In the summer of 1247, Norw. ships were attacked by the Danes, as well as by Ger. merchants from Lübeck, off the shore of Halland. King Hákon demanded compensation from the Dan. king, Kristófór, who had ascended the throne in 1252. Hákon summoned his troops in 1253 and threatened to attack Halland with the support of Jarl Birgir Magnússon, who later acted as a mediator and made the Dan. king agree to pay restitution the following year. Sturla stresses Hákon’s right to avenge the Norw. ships, both in the prose and in this st., but he does not give the real reason for the warfare: the king wanted to add Halland to his kingdom to gain control over the route across the Baltic and took the opportunity to do so when internal conflict had weakened the Dan. crown (Helle 1974, 128-32).

grammar

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