Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Nkt 31II

[7] heilagt skrín ‘a holy shrine’: This particular shrine was commissioned by Óláfr’s son, Magnús inn góði. Snorri, who must have seen the shrine when he visited Norway, gives the following description (ÍF 28, 20): Magnús konungr lét gera skrín ok búa gulli ok silfri ok setja steinum. En skrín þat var svá gǫrt bæði at mikilleik ok at ǫðrum vexti sem líkkista, en svalir undir niðri, en yfir uppi vétt vaxit sem ræfr ok þar af upp hǫfuð ok burst. Eru á véttinu lamar á bak, en hespur fyrir ok þar læst með lukli ‘King Magnús had a shrine made and had it adorned with gold and silver and encrusted with precious stones. And that shrine was made like a coffin, both in terms of size and shape. There were porticos on the lower part and on top there was a lid in the shape of a roof and dragon-heads rising up from it and a ridge. On the lid there are hinges in the back and hasps in the front and there it is locked with a key’. The shrine, which contained the coffin of S. Óláfr, was destroyed during the Reformation. See also Sigv ErfÓl 24I.


  1. Bibliography
  2. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  3. Internal references
  4. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 24’ 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. 693.


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