Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Edáð Banddr 7I/3 — sundi ‘the sound’

Frák, hvar fleina sævar
fúrherðir styr gerði
endr í eyja sundi.
Eirekr und sik geira.
Hrauð fúrgjafall fjórar
folkmeiðr Dana skeiðar
— vér frôgum þat — vága.
Veðrmildr ok semr hildi.

Frák, hvar fleina sævar fúrherðir gerði endr styr í sundi eyja. Eirekr und sik geira … Folkmeiðr, vága fúrgjafall, hrauð fjórar skeiðar Dana; vér frôgum þat. Veðrmildr ok semr hildi …

I have heard where the hardener of the fire of the sea of barbs [(lit. ‘fire-hardener of the sea of barbs’) BLOOD > SWORD > WARRIOR = Eiríkr] again made war in the sound of islands. Eiríkr under himself of spears … The battle-tree [WARRIOR], bountiful with the fire of bays [(lit. ‘fire-bountiful of bays’) GOLD], cleared four warships of the Danes; we [I] have heard that. Storm-generous and contrives warfare …


[3] sundi eyja ‘the sound of islands’: Probably a bay or sound with a profusion of islands. This would fit the Gulf of Riga; cf. Ohlmarks (1958, 510), who suggests that Ösel, Dagö and Wormsö (Estonian Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Vormsi), off the Estonian mainland, are the islands referred to. That localisation is compatible with the geographical information in Hkr (see Context). However, the detailed accuracy of Hkr at this point is disputed, and Fsk (ÍF 29, 165), although it does not cite the stanza, places the capture of the Danish warships more plausibly in the Eyrarsund (Øresund). Fidjestøl (1982, 113, and cf. CPB II, 52, 570) suggests an error for Eyrarsundi in the stanza and favours the Fsk account, but ultimately there is no means of knowing whether Fsk is correct or is substituting a familiar location for an unfamiliar one. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; similarly ÍF 26) understands sundi eyja as ‘sound between two islands’.



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