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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr Óldr 1I/8 — grimmr ‘fierce against’

Svá frák hitt, at hôva
hǫrgbrjótr í stað mǫrgum
(opt kom hrafn at heipta)
hlóð valkǫstu (blóði).
Endr lét Jamta kindir
allvaldr í styr falla
(vanðisk hann) ok Vinða
grimmr (á þat snimma).

Svá frák hitt, at hǫrgbrjótr hlóð hôva valkǫstu í mǫrgum stað; hrafn kom opt at blóði heipta. Allvaldr, végrimmr, lét endr kindir Jamta ok Vinða falla í styr; hann vanðisk á þat snimma.

Thus I have learned this, that the shrine-destroyer piled up high corpse-heaps in many a place; the raven often came to the blood of strife. The mighty ruler, fierce against heathen temples, formerly caused the kin of the Jamtr and Wends to fall in the mêlée; he became accustomed to that early.


[8] grimmr: so F, 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, ‘[…]’ FskBˣ, ‘vegrunr’ 51ˣ, veggrimmr , FskAˣ, J1ˣ, Flat, víggrimmr 310


[8] végrimmr ‘fierce against heathen temples’: Although and other mss read veg-, perhaps ‘path’ or ‘honour’, this makes little sense compounded with grimmr ‘fierce’, and vé- ‘heathen temple’ is to be preferred. This reading is found in F and supported by ‘vegrimr’ in papp18ˣ and J2ˣ, both of which are transcripts of the vellum K at this point; it may also find some support in the 51ˣ reading ‘vegrunr’. Significant in its rarity, végrimmr matches hǫrgbrjótr ‘shrine-destroyer’ in l. 2 (which falls in a different stanza in the Hkr-ÓT arrangement of the poem), fleetingly portraying Óláfr in his role as militant missionary. Syntactically, the adj. could conceivably be taken to qualify hann ‘he’ in l. 7, but the present arrangement, which leaves the intercalated clause in ll. 7, 8 more terse, seems stylistically preferable and is favoured by earlier eds.



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