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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáld (Þskakk)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Erlingsdrápa (Erldr) - 3

Skj info: Þórbjǫrn skakkaskáld, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 534-5, BI, 515-16).

Skj poems:

Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáld ‘Skakki’s Poet’ (Þskakk) is unknown. Finnur Jónsson (Skj) gives his nationality as Icel., but that is conjectural. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 255, 257, 264, 266, 277-8, 281) he composed about Jarl Erlingr skakki ‘the Tilting’ Kyrpinga-Ormsson (d. 1179), Erlingr’s son Magnús (d. 1184) and Sverrir Sigurðarson (d. 1202). Only the three sts from his poetry about Erlingr survive.

Erlingsdrápa — Þskakk ErldrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáld, Erlingsdrápa’ 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. 631-5.

 1   2   3 

Skj: Þórbjǫrn skakkaskáld: Erlingsdrápa, o. 1170 (AI, 534-5, BI, 515-16)

SkP info: II, 634

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Þskakk Erldr 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáld, Erlingsdrápa 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, p. 634.

Greitt frák, gumna dróttinn,
(Gríðar fáks) í víðu
(trauðr esa tenn at rjóða)
Túnsbergi þér snúna.
Hræddusk bjartra brodda
býjarmenn við rennu;
uggðu eld ok sveigðan
alm dynviðir malma.

{Dróttinn gumna}, frák snúna þér greitt í víðu Túnsbergi; esa trauðr at rjóða tenn {fáks Gríðar}. Býjarmenn hræddusk við rennu bjartra brodda; {{malma dyn}viðir} uggðu eld ok sveigðan alm.

{Lord of men} [= Erlingr], I heard it turned out smoothly for you in spacious Tønsberg; you are not reluctant to redden the teeth {of Gríðr’s <troll-woman’s> steed} [WOLF]. The townspeople were terrified by the rush of bright arrow-points; {the trees {of the clash of weapons}} [(lit. ‘clash-trees of weapons’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] feared the fire and the bent elm-bow.

Mss: (693v-694r), F(78vb), E(64v), J2ˣ(372r-v), 42ˣ(59v-60r) (Hkr); H(133r), Hr(86vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] fáks: ‘fags’ J2ˣ, 42ˣ, ‘fars’ H, Hr    [3] tenn: tennr H, Hr    [4] þér: þar Hr    [5] Hræddusk: hræddisk E, hví hræddusk J2ˣ, 42ˣ;    bjartra: bjarta Hr    [6] býjar‑: ‘bæjar‑’ E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, H, Hr    [7] sveigðan: so E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, H, Hr, sveigðir Kˣ, sveigðu F    [8] dynviðir: so E, H, Hr, dynju þér Kˣ, F, dynjaðir J2ˣ, ‘dymoðir’ 42ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þórbjǫrn skakkaskáld, Erlingsdrápa 2: AI, 534-5, BI, 515, Skald I, 252, NN §§964, 993, 2990H, 3197D; ÍF 28, 377-8 (MErl ch. 3), F 1871, 363, E 1916, 227; Fms 7, 284 (Hherð ch. 23).

Context: The st. documents the battle of Tønsberg (Vestfold, Norway) between Erlingr skakki and King Hákon herðibreiðr ‘Broad-shoulder’ Sigurðarson in 1161.

Notes: [All]: The same event is described in Anon (MErl). — [2, 4] í víðu Túnsbergi ‘in spacious Tønsberg’: Town in Vestfold, south-eastern Norway. — [3] esa ‘is not’: This is technically 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. (plus the negation -a) of the verb vesa ‘be’. ANG (§532, Anm. 1) notes occurrences of es used in 2nd pers. sg., but that form is rare and archaic. An alternative would be to take dróttinn gumna ‘lord of men’ as the subject of esa (so Skj B), but that would leave the first cl. without a vocative referent for the form þér ‘for you’, which is highly irregular (see NN §993). — [7] uggðu eld ‘feared the fire’: When approaching Tønsberg from the sea, Erlingr and his men loaded a boat with straw and wood and set fire to this cargo. The boat drifted toward the harbour, and Erlingr and his troops, obscured by the smoke, rowed after it and came within shooting distance of Hákon’s forces which were marshalled on the pier. The people of Tønsberg feared that the burning ship would set fire to the town.

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