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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Erlfl 10I/4 — stoð ‘of support’

Erlingi varð engi
annarr lendra manna,
ǫrr sás átti fleiri
orrostur stoð þorrinn.
Þrek bar seggr við sóknir
sinn, þvít fyrst gekk innan,
mildr, í marga hildi,
mest, en ór á lesti.

Varð engi lendra manna annarr Erlingi, sás ǫrr, þorrinn stoð, átti fleiri orrostur. Mildr seggr bar mest þrek sinn við sóknir, þvít gekk fyrst innan í marga hildi, en ór á lesti.

There was no-one among district chieftains other than Erlingr, who, bold, deprived of support, held more battles. The generous man deployed his stamina to the utmost in onslaughts, because he went first into many a fight, and out as the last.


[4] orrostur stoð þorrinn: stoð þorinn orrostu Bb(130va);    stoð þorrinn: fjǫlkostigr J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 321ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ


[4] þorrinn stoð ‘deprived of support’: Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) prefers the reading fjǫlkostigr ‘with many virtues’ which suits the context of general praise in the preceding prose. However, the best mss, and the majority, have the lectio difficilior of stoð þorrinn. Jón Skaptason (1983) takes this to refer to Erlingr’s reduced circumstances after the death of his patron Óláfr Tryggvason, as related in the preceding prose. However, coupled with the reference in l. 8 to Erlingr being the last to leave battles, the image of his being deprived of the support of his king may rather conjure up Erlingr’s final battle and his betrayal by Óláfr Haraldsson, which are the subject of most of the other surviving stanzas of this poem (cf. ÍF 27, 29 n., and see Introduction above).



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