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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorleikr fagri (Þfagr)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson (Sveinn) - 10

Skj info: Þórleikr fagri, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 396-9, BI, 365-8).

Skj poems:
En flokk om Sven Ulfssön
En flokk om Sven Ulfssön 11-13

Þorleikr’s background is unknown. In 1051 he travelled from Iceland via Norway to Denmark to present a poem to Sveinn Úlfsson (ÍF 28, 113; ÍF 29, 253; Mork 1928-32, 161; Flat 1860-8, III, 338; Fms 6, 256). Both his name and his nickname fagri ‘the Fair’ indicate that he may have come from the family of the Laxdœlir (see Genealogy IIIa in ÍF 5; SnE 1848-87, III, 737-9; LH 1894-1901, I, 641-2). Þorleikr was a rather common name among the Laxdœlir (e.g. Þorleikr Hǫskuldsson and Þorleikr Bollason), and members of that family, such as Hǫskuldr Dala-Kollsson, Óláfr pá ‘Peacock’ Hǫskuldsson and Hallgerðr Hǫskuldsdóttir, were admired for their beauty (see ÍF 5, 14, 27; ÍF 12, 6-7). Þorleikr is listed in Skáldatal as one of the poets who eulogised Sveinn Úlfsson, and it is not said that he composed about any other dignitary or ruler (see SnE 1848-87, III, 258, 267, 283).

Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson — Þfagr SveinnII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 313-22.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 

Skj: Þórleikr fagri: En flokk om Sven Ulfssön, 1051 (AI, 396-9, BI, 365-8); stanzas (if different): 11 | 12 | 13

SkP info: II, 314-15

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Þfagr Sveinn 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 314-15.

Vôn erumk vísa kœnum
vígs á Rakna stígu,
ǫrr í odda snerru
Innþrœnda lið finni.
Þó má enn, hvárr annan
ǫndu nemr eða lǫndum,
— lítt hyggr Sveinn á sáttir
sjaldfestar — goð valda.

Erumk vôn vígs kœnum vísa á {stígu Rakna}, ǫrr finni lið Innþrœnda í {snerru odda}. Þó má goð enn valda, hvárr nemr annan ǫndu eða lǫndum; Sveinn hyggr lítt á sjaldfestar sáttir.

I believe there is an expectation of battle for the wise ruler on {Rakni’s <sea-king’s> paths} [SEA], [and that] the brave one will meet the host of Innþrœndir in {the onslaught of spear-points} [BATTLE]. Yet God can decide again which one will deprive the other of life or lands; Sveinn cares little for shaky agreements.

Mss: Mork(9r) (Mork); Flat(197vb) (Flat); H(45r), Hr(32rb) (H-Hr); FskBˣ(70v), FskAˣ(264-265) (Fsk); Kˣ(542v), 39(23vb), F(45vb), E(16r), J2ˣ(270v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Vôn: Vann Flat;    erumk: ‘ę. med’ Flat, erumsk H, er at Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ;    vísa: vísi Flat, vápna E;    kœnum: ‘kæn[…]’ H, kœnan Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ, raunar E    [2] vígs á Rakna: ‘[…]aka’ H;    Rakna: ‘raka’ Hr;    stígu: stígum E    [3] ǫrr: ǫrt Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ;    í: at E;    snerru: snertu Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ    [4] finni: minna FskAˣ    [5] Þó: þá Flat, 39, F, því FskBˣ, þar FskAˣ, Kˣ, J2ˣ;    enn: ‘er annar’ Flat;    má: man FskAˣ;    hvárr: ‘hværr’ FskBˣ;    annan: annar Hr    [6] ǫndu: ‘[…]do’ H, 39, ‘endu’ Hr;    nemr: so Flat, H, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, ‘nemþr’ Mork, nærr Hr    [7] sáttir: sættir H, Hr, FskBˣ, FskAˣ    [8] goð: grið FskAˣ;    valda: valdi Hr

Editions: Skj: Þórleikr fagri, En flokk om Sven Ulfssön 2: AI, 397, BI, 365, Skald I, 183; Mork 1867, 54, Mork 1928-32, 161, Andersson and Gade 2000, 198, 476 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 338 (MH); Fms 6, 256-7 (HSig ch. 50); ÍF 29, 254 (ch. 55); ÍF 28, 113 (HSig ch. 34), F 1871, 212, E 1916, 56.

Context: Sveinn Úlfsson sent envoys to Haraldr harðráði of Norway challenging him to a battle by the Götaälv in Sweden. The one who won the battle would have the right to rule Norway and Denmark. Fsk gives sts 2-5 without intervening prose.

Notes: [1-4]: The Hkr text of the first helmingr is syntactically simpler: vns, at ǫrt lið Innþrœnda finni vísa, kœnan vígs, í snertu odda á stígu Rakna ‘it is to be expected that the brave host of Innþrœndir will meet the ruler, wise in battle, in the onslaught of spear-points on Rakni’s paths’. The Hkr version has been adopted in Skj B, Skald and ÍF 28. — [2] stígu (m. acc. pl.) ‘paths’: Because there is no overt motion involved, we should have expected the prep. á ‘on’ to take the dat. here. Skj B and Skald accordingly adopt the E variant stígum (m. dat. pl.) ‘paths’. However, all other mss have the acc., and it is possible that a verb of motion is implied (‘as he sets off to sea’: cf. st. 3/3 below). — [5] þó ‘yet’: The other variants, því (n. dat. sg. as the object of valda: ‘God can decide it’; so FskBˣ), þar ‘there’ (so FskAˣ, , J2ˣ) and þá ‘then’ (so 39, F, Flat), are also possible readings. Þó has been selected here because it has support from Mork and some Hkr mss. — [5] enn ‘again’: Skj B takes this adv. with nemr (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic.) ‘deprives’ (l. 6) and translates it as ‘eventually’ (hvem der endelig berøver den anden liv eller rige ‘which one will eventually deprive the other of life or lands’). However, enn is not attested in that meaning (see Fritzner: enn; LP: enn). — [8] sjaldfestar ‘shaky’: Lit. ‘seldom-firm’. Hap. leg.

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