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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 2I/1 — Bróður ‘brother’

Bróður fundu þær Bjarnar         í brynju fara,
konung inn kostsama,         kominn und gunnfana.
Drúpðu dolgráar,         en darraðr hristisk;
        upp vas þá hildr of hafin.

Þær fundu bróður Bjarnar fara í brynju, inn kostsama konung, kominn und gunnfana. Dolgráar drúpðu, en darraðr hristisk; hildr vas þá upp of hafin.

They [the valkyries] found Bjǫrn’s brother [= Hákon] putting on a mail-shirt, that admirable king, stationed under his battle-standard. Enmity-yard-arms [SPEARS] drooped, and the banner shook; the battle was then begun.


[1] bróður Bjarnar ‘Bjǫrn’s brother [= Hákon]’: Bjǫrn ruled Vestfold after the death of his father Haraldr hárfagri. Krause (1990, 41-2) is possibly right that Hákon’s relation to him is mentioned here because of Bjǫrn’s popularity, and because of the unpopularity that his brother Eiríkr blóðøx (father of Hákon’s opponents here at the battle of Fitjar) gained by killing him. Olsen (1916a, 3; see also Paasche 1916, 15) sees this as a reminder of Hákon’s duty to avenge Bjǫrn’s death upon Eiríkr’s sons, complicated as such a supposed duty may seem.



case: acc.


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