skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Nóregs konungatal — Anon NktII

Anonymous Poems

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Nóregs konungatal’ 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. 761-806.

 

Nóregs konungatal ‘Enumeration of the Kings of Norway’ (Anon Nkt) is recorded in its entirety on fols 144va-b of Flateyjarbók (Flat). Stanza 29/1-4 is also preserved on fol. 72v in a later copy of Fsk (AM 301 4°ˣ = 301ˣ), in the hand of Árni Magnússon. The title of the poem is given in Flat in red ink at the bottom of fol. 144rb: ... Noreghs konga tal er Sæmundr frodi orti ‘... Nóregs konungatal which Sæmundr fróði (‘the Learned’) composed’. The erroneous attribution to Sæmundr (d. 1133) most likely stemmed from the wording in st. 36/7-8: sem Sæmundr sagði inn fróði ‘as Sæmundr inn fróði (‘the Learned’) said’. In Flat the poem is located between Orkn and Brenna Adams byskups (‘the Burning of Bishop Adam’; see ÍF 34, 298-300).

Nkt is an encomium in kviðuháttr metre composed in honour of the Icel. chieftain Jón Loptsson of Oddi, grandson of Sæmundr Sigfússon and foster-father of Snorri Sturluson (for the family of the Oddaverjar, see Halldór Hermannsson 1932b; for Jón Loptsson, see ‘Biographies of Other Dignitaries’ in Introduction to this vol.). The poet is unknown, but some scholars have speculated that the poem could have been an early composition of Snorri’s (Mogk 1888, 240-4), while others reject that attribution (see LH 1894-1901, II, 114-15). Nkt traces Jón’s ancestry to the Norw. royal dynasty of Haraldr hárfagri (Jón’s mother, Þóra, was the daughter of King Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson), and it gives the regnal years, the mode of death and the burial place of each of the Norw. monarchs. Hence Nkt was clearly modelled on the earlier genealogical kviðuháttr poems Ynglingatal (Þjóð YtI) and Háleygjatal (Eyv HálI). Because the poet made use of a written royal genealogy composed by Sæmundr up until the year 1047 (see above and st. 36), Nkt is an important source for our knowledge of the chronology in the earliest kings’ sagas (see Gjessing 1896; Bjarni Einarsson in ÍF 29, lxx-lxxv; Ólafía Einarsdóttir 1964, 165-83). The poem must have been composed prior to Jón’s death on 1 November 1197. Because it mentions the death of Magnús Erlingsson (d. 1184) in sts 63-4 and the reign of Sverrir Sigurðarson (d. 1202) is described as current (st. 65), the poem is usually dated to around 1190.

The order of sts in Nkt presents no problem, but, as is common in most kviðuháttr poems, the poet frequently avails himself of concatenations of clauses which obliterate stanzaic boundaries and helmingr boundaries (see Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 26, xxxvii; Gade 2005). In Flat, the poem is recorded as a series of eighty-three eight-l. sts. The end of each st. is marked by a period, and the beginning of the next is signalled by a capital letter in black and red. Both Skj and Skald retain the stanzaic divisions of Flat, which results in awkward incomplete syntax (with clauses straddling stanzaic boundaries). Because it is doubtful whether poems in kviðuháttr metre were originally conceived of as sequences of eight ll. (see ÍF 26, xxxvii; Gade 2005), the present edn attempts to accommodate the syntactic and contextual structure of the poem, and some sts contain more than eight ll. Hence the numbering of the seventy-five sts diverges from that of earlier eds (st. 6 = Skj sts 6-7; st. 10 = Skj sts 11-12; st. 16 = Skj sts 18-19; st. 25 = Skj sts 28-9; st. 39 = Skj sts 43-4; st. 54 = Skj sts 59-60/4; st. 55 = Skj sts 60/5-61; st. 60 = Skj sts 66-67/4; st. 61 = Skj sts 67/5-68; st. 68 = Skj sts 75-6).

The poem was first edited in 1787 by Jón Eiríksson (Jon Loptssöns Encomiast…; see Fms 10, xiv) and in 1835 by Sveinbjörn Egilsson in Fms 10, 422-33, with variants from the 1787 edn. A Lat. version of the 1835 edn with ON prose w. o. is found in vol. 10 of SHI (pp. 393-419). These early eds are outdated and have not been considered in the present edn, which includes Flat 1860-8, Skj and Skald in the critical apparatus.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  5. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Gade, Kari Ellen. 2005. ‘The Syntax of Old Norse kviðuháttr Meter’. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 17, 155-81.
  8. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  9. LH 1894-1901 = Finnur Jónsson. 1894-1901. Den oldnorske og oldislandske litteraturs historie. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Gad.
  10. Mogk, Eugen. 1888. ‘Das Noregs Konungatal’. ANF 4, 240-4.
  11. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  12. Gjessing, A. 1896. ‘Sæmund frodes forfatterskab’. In Sproglig-historiske studier tilegnede C. R. Unger, 125-52. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug.
  13. Internal references
  14. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  16. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Biography of) Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson’ 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. 385-90.
  17. Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal’ 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. 195.
  18. Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal’ 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. 3.
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Information about a text: poem, sequence of stanzas, or prose work

This page is used for different resources. For groups of stanzas such as poems, you will see the verse text and, where published, the translation of each stanza. These are also links to information about the individual stanzas.

For prose works you will see a list of the stanzas and fragments in that prose work, where relevant, providing links to the individual stanzas.

Where you have access to introduction(s) to the poem or prose work in the database, these will appear in the ‘introduction’ section.

The final section, ‘sources’ is a list of the manuscripts that contain the prose work, as well as manuscripts and prose works linked to stanzas and sections of a text.