Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pl 58VII

Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 58’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 219.

Anonymous PoemsPlácitusdrápa

Né víghressa vissi
†vel… …is†
tírmildr tiggja þeira
— Trájánus
Óþǫrfu bað erfi
ítrstyrkr …
andrán Adriánus
ǫrva móts …

Trájánus …; né vissi tírmildr †vel… …is† þeira víghressa tiggja. Ítrstyrkr Adriánus bað andrán {… {móts ǫrva}} óþǫrfu erfi …

Trajan …; the gloriously merciful … did not know … of their battle-zealous prince. The magnificently powerful Hadrian gave orders that the death {… {of the meeting of arrows}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR?] … with a harmful funeral feast …

Mss: 673b(5v)

Readings: [2] †vel… …is†: ‘uel[...]is’ 673b, ‘uel[...]s’ 673bÞH, ‘uel[...]eldes’ 673bFJ, ‘(u)el[...]tis’ 673bJH    [4] Trájánus …: ‘trai[...]r’ 673b, 673bFJ, 673bJH, ‘trau[...]’ 673bÞH    [6] ítrstyrkr …: ‘itr str[...]r[...]ur[...]a’ 673b, ‘itr str [...] urþa’ 673bÞH, ‘itr str[...]r[...]sika’ 673bFJ, ‘it(r) str(k)r [...]yr(k)a’(?) 673bJH    [8] móts …: ‘mots [...]’ 673b, ‘mets [...]’ 673bÞH, ‘m[...]ts [...]’ 673bFJ

Editions: Skj AI, 618, Skj BI, 621, Skald I, 302, NN §3; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1833, 34, 64, Finnur Jónsson 1887, 244, Jón Helgason 1932-3, 167-8, Louis-Jensen 1998, 122-3.

Notes: [All]: Jón Helgason 1932-3 proposed the following conjectures for this st. In l. 2, vellsviptandi skiptis ‘the gold-discarder’ (the subject of the cl.) and ‘the replacement’ (the object of his conjecture for l. 4 vánir). In l. 4, Trájánus dó; ... vánir ‘Trajan died; ... expected’. In l. 6, ítrstyrkr viðar dýrka ‘magnificently powerful ... of the tree ... be commemorated’. For l. 8 he suggested at blóti ‘with sacrifices’ but also gave alternatives, including ok blóti (taken with erfi), ok blóta (inf. of verb) and með blóti. The resulting st. would then read Trájánus dó; né vissi tírmildr vellsviptandi vánir skiptis þeira víghressa tiggja. Ítrstyrkr Adriánus bað dýrka andrán viðar móts ǫrva óþǫrfu erfi at blóti ‘Trajan died; the gloriously merciful gold-discarder [GENEROUS MAN] had not expected the replacement of their battle-zealous prince. The magnificently powerful Hadrian gave orders that the death of the tree of the meeting of arrows [BATTLE > WARRIOR] be commemorated with a harmful funeral feast with sacrifices’. — [All]: At this point in the prose versions, the Emperor Trajan dies and the new Emperor, Hadrian, orders the preparation of a pagan funeral feast involving sacrifices.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1833. Brot af Placidus-drápu. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  3. Jón Helgason. 1932-3. ‘Til skjaldedigtningen’. APS 7, 150-68.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1887. ‘Plácítúsdrápa’. In Opuscula Philologica: Mindre Afhandlinger, 210-64.
  7. Louis-Jensen, Jonna, ed. 1998. ‘Plácitus drápa’. In Tucker 1998, 89-130.

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