Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 24I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 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. 1055.

Anonymous PoemsÓláfs drápa Tryggvasonar

Slóð drap svangt til grœðis
— sá vargr rekinn margan
hǫggvinn mann ór hrǫnnum —
hlaupstóð jǫtuns móður.
Fœtr bar fôlu Sóti
(fjǫrrán) í val grána
(áðr beið hirð fyr hauðri)
hungrtrauðr, en frá rauða.

{Svangt hlaupstóð {móður jǫtuns}} drap slóð til grœðis; vargr sá margan hǫggvinn mann rekinn ór hrǫnnum. {Hungrtrauðr Sóti fôlu} bar grána fœtr í val, en rauða frá; áðr beið hirð fjǫrrán fyr hauðri.

{The starved loping stud-horses {of the giant’s mother}} [GIANTESS > WOLVES] beat a path to the ocean; the wolf saw many a slain man cast up from the waves. {The hunger-shunning Sóti <horse> of the troll-woman} [WOLF] bore grey feet to the slain, but red away; earlier the retinue underwent life-robbing off the coast.

Mss: Bb(113ra)

Readings: [1] svangt: svangs corrected from svangt Bb    [2] vargr: varg Bb;    rekinn: rekin Bb    [3] hǫggvinn: hǫggvin Bb;    hrǫnnum: ‘hrꜹnum’ Bb    [4] jǫtuns: ‘j tvns’ Bb    [5] Fœtr: fótr Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 578, Skj BI, 573, Skald I, 277; Munch and Unger 1847, 123, 142, Gullberg 1875, 18-19, 39-40.

Notes: [2, 3] hǫggvinn ... rekinn ‘slain ... cast’: See Note to st. 7/8 vápnbautinn ‘weapon-beaten’. — [3] ór hrǫnnum ‘from the waves’: This slight emendation of ms. ‘hrꜹnvm’, made by all previous eds, gives straightforward sense and syntax. The double consonant also produces a more exact hending on mann, and an aðalhending in an odd line is not unusual in this poem (see Introduction). Cf. Note to st. 5/3 ár* on single/double consonant spellings in Bb. — [4] jǫtuns ‘the giant’s’: It is difficult to make sense of the ms. reading (prep. í ‘in’ + gen. sg. of tún n. ‘field’), and word-division errors are frequent in Bb. Emendation to jǫtuns yields a giantess-kenning which lacks exact parallels but conforms to the pattern of giant-heiti + kinship term (see Meissner 398-9). — [5] fœtr ‘feet’: Another minor, but necessary, emendation, since nom. sg. fótr in the ms. does not fit the syntax. — [8] en rauða frá ‘but red away’: Cf. Sjórs Lv 3/4II en rauðan frá, referring to a shield carried into battle white but red on return. 


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  4. Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1847. Oldnorsk læsebog med tilhörende glossarium. Christiania (Oslo): Dahl.
  5. Gullberg, H., ed. 1875. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar: fragment ur “Bergsboken”. Lund: Berling.
  6. Internal references
  7. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigurðr jórsalafari Magnússon, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 468-9.

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