skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Ólhelg Lv 6I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson, Lausavísur 6’ 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. 524.

Óláfr inn helgi HaraldssonLausavísur
567

Lítt mun herr enn hætta
— hrafn sleit af ná beitu —
— vér unnum gný Gunnar —
glaðr í nótt á Jaðri.
Umstilli hefr illa
(ættgóðr) of rof sætta
(Erlingr beið til árla
andrán) getit hônum.

Lítt mun herr enn hætta, glaðr í nótt á Jaðri; hrafn sleit beitu af ná; vér unnum {gný Gunnar}. Umstilli of rof sætta hefr getit hônum illa; ættgóðr Erlingr beið andrán til árla.

Little will the army again take respite, glad tonight in Jæren; the raven tore its meal from the corpse; we made {the clamour of Gunnr <valkyrie>} [BATTLE]. The machinations over the breach of settlements have brought him a bad outcome; Erlingr, of good kindred, was robbed of life too soon.

Mss: Holm4(56ra), 61(116vb), 75c(39r), 325V(69rb), 325VII(32r), Bb(189va), Flat(119rb), Tóm(147r), 325XI 2 b(1ra) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Lítt: ‘Avrr’ Bb;    herr: hauldr 325V    [2] sleit: skeit 61;    af: ‘[...]’ 325XI 2 b;    ná: gná Flat;    beitu: peitu 61, 75c, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 b    [3] vér: nær 61;    Gunnar: geira 75c, 325VII, Bb, 325XI 2 b, gumnar Tóm    [4] glaðr: glaðir 325VII, Flat, 325XI 2 b;    á: so 325V, 325VII, fyrir Holm4, 61, 75c, Bb, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 b    [5] Umstilli: so 325VII, verstilli Holm4, verstillir 61, 75c, Bb, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 b, verstillis 325V    [6] ættgóðr: ‘ręgiodr’ Bb;    of: so 61, 75c, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 b, ok Holm4, 325V;    rof: ‘r[...]’ 325XI 2 b;    sætta: ‘s[...]ta’ 325XI 2 b    [7] beið: ‘[...]d’ 325XI 2 b    [8] andrán: ‘andra’ Tóm

Editions: Skj AI, 222, Skj BI, 212, Skald I, 110-11; Fms 5, 16, Fms 12, 95, ÓH 1941, I, 487 (ch. 173), Flat 1860-8, II, 311.

Context: Erlingr Skjálgsson has acted as an agent of Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great) in bribing Norwegian magnates to oppose Óláfr. This precipitates a naval battle in which Erlingr is killed by a too-zealous follower of Óláfr. The sons of Erlingr raise a large army to retaliate against Óláfr, who is ultimately forced to leave Norway. The stanza is spoken by Óláfr as he realises the strength of the opposition.

Notes: [All]: For the sea-battle in 1027 or 1028 against Erlingr at Bókn (Bokn in Boknafjorden, Jæren, Rogaland), see also Sigv Erlfl, BjHall Kálffl 1-2. — [All]: The attribution of the stanza in ÓH is tentative: Sva segia menn at hann orti þa visv þesa ‘people say that he then composed this stanza’ (variant visor þessar ‘these stanzas’), and the mutual relationship of Lv 6-7 is problematic. Nine C-class ÓH mss have both lausavísur at this point, while the mss of Hkr, ÓHLeg and Fsk, along with five other ÓH mss, have Lv 7 only, suggesting that the first has lesser authority. Contamination between the two stanzas has clearly occurred, with some exchanging of variants from one stanza to the other (thus halr/hauldr, Lv 6/1, 7/1 and possibly Gunnar/geira, Lv 6/3, 7/3). Finnur Jónsson concluded that the first stanza was a mere variant upon the second and edits accordingly in Skj, printing a single stanza with textual variants in Skj A and a main text immediately followed by an alternative text of ll. 5-8 in Skj B. Nevertheless, the two stanzas are sufficiently distinct and the first stanza is sufficiently well attested that they are edited separately here, following Fidjestøl (1982, 67-70), but with the stanzas in the order found in the mss. The fact that the two stanzas take opposed attitudes to Erlingr (as pointed out by Fidjestøl 1982, 68) suggests that they represent closely linked components in a debate or riposte format (on this format, see Grove 2008, 124-5). That there was widespread and vehement debate about issues of honour attaching to both Erlingr’s and Óláfr’s conduct during these events is attested from a variety of sources including Sigv Erlfl and Sigv Erl, which exhibit clear verbal parallels to the present stanzas (Fidjestøl 1982, 69; see also Jesch 2001a, 263-5). But the indifferent transmission of the stanzas in the C class of ÓH mss has no doubt effaced many of the fine details of the original stanza-pair. — [1] herr ‘the army’: This apparently refers to the army assembled by the sons of Erlingr. — [1] hætta ‘take respite’: The sense of the verb is unclear; when used in the sense of ‘cease, come to a stop’ it normally carries, explicitly or tacitly, an object in the dat. case (Fritzner: hætta). The reading may be corrupt. — [2]: A common ‘beast of battle’ image. Exact counterparts to this line are found in Þmáhl Máv 8/6V (Eb 10) and Hást Lv 4/6IV (Fidjestøl 1982, 68). — [5] umstilli ‘the machinations’: This reading is poorly supported but the majority reading, verstilli-, is impossible because of the failure in alliteration. The error ver for um could have arisen from the interchangeability of <u> and <v> and a misreading of an abbreviation for <m>. Likewise, stillir for stilli could have arisen from scribal expectations that the common agentive class of noun in -ir was intended here. The ‘machinations’ of Erlingr and others of Knútr’s agents were stigmatised by advocates for Óláfr (e.g. Sigv Lv 13-15; cf. Fidjestøl 1975; Jesch 2001a, 262-3). Alternatively, it is possible that all the variant readings derive from some unknown word; Fidjestøl (1982, 68) suggests ýstillir ‘bow-user [WARRIOR]’. — [5] illa ‘a bad outcome’: Grammatically an adv. here and in Lv 7/5. — [7-8] Erlingr beið andrán til árla ‘Erlingr … was robbed of life too soon’: Beið andrán is lit. ‘suffered breath-robbery’. An oppositional attitude to Óláfr seems to be expressed here. See Context above and compare especially Sigv Erlfl and Sigv Erl 1. On Erlingr see also ‘Biographies of other dignitaries’ in Introduction to this volume.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  7. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1975. ‘Kongetruskap og gullets makt: Om nokre Bibel allusjonar hjå Sigvat skald’. MM, 4-11.
  8. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  9. 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.
  10. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  11. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  12. Grove, Jonathan. 2008. ‘Skaldic Verse-Making in Thirteenth-Century Iceland: The Case of the Sauðafellsferðavísur’. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 4, 85-131.
  13. Internal references
  14. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  16. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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. clxxvi-clxxix.
  17. 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.
  18. Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Poem about Erlingr Skjálgsson’ 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. 628.
  19. Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson’ 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. 629.
  20. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 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. 879.
  21. Not published: do not cite (Hást Lv 4IV)
  22. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Poem about Erlingr Skjálgsson 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. 628.
  23. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 13’ 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. 715.
  24. Not published: do not cite (Þmáhl Máv 8V (Eb 10))
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

Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.