Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þorm Lv 19I

[1, 2] ǫrstiklandi þryngr ‘the arrow-shooter [WARRIOR = Óláfr] presses’: The ms. variants of þryngr are mostly mere alternate spellings (see CVC: þröngva). There are two main interpretations of the construction, and an alternative using the variant -stiklanda: (a) On the analysis offered here, ǫrstiklandi is the subject of þryngr, cf. Arn Þorfdr 18/2II mildingr þrǫng at hildi ‘the bountiful one stormed into battle’. (b) The verb is well attested in impersonal usage with at, meaning ‘draws nigh, approaches’ (see Vígf Lv 1/3; LP: þryngva), and this is how eds (beginning with Bartholin 1689, 174) have understood it: ‘the battle draws nigh’. Accordingly, the cpd has generally been interpreted as a vocative (as in Skj B, ÍF 6 and ÍF 27). (c) Finnur Jónsson (1932-3) argues for reading ǫrstiklanda as a dat., ‘for the arrow-shooter’, on the ground that direct address to the king is uncommon in other skalds’ verses; but cf. the next stanza, and ǫrstiklanda is for the most part the reading of the less reliable mss.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  5. ÍF 6 = Vestfirðinga sǫgur. Ed. Björn K. Þórólfsson and Guðni Jónsson. 1943.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Bartholin, Thomas. 1689. Antiquitatum danicarum de causis contemptæ a Danis adhuc gentilibus mortis libri tres ex vetustis codicibus & monumentis hactenus ineditis congesti. Copenhagen: J. P. Bockenhoffer.
  8. Finnur Jónsson. 1932-3. ‘Þórmóðr Kolbrúnarskald’. APS 7, 31-82.
  9. Internal references
  10. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 18’ 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. 250.
  11. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, Lausavísa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 364.


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