Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Har 6II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr 6’ 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. 156-7.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonStanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr

Hléseyjar lemr hôvan
hryngarð konungr barði;
neytir þá til þrautar
þengill snekkju strengja.
Eigis jarni bjúgu
indæll skaði lindis;
gnegr af gaddi digrum
grjót ok veðr in ljótu.

Konungr lemr {hôvan hryngarð Hléseyjar} barði; þengill neytir þá strengja snekkju til þrautar. Eigis {skaði lindis} indæll bjúgu jarni; grjót ok in ljótu veðr gnegr af digrum gaddi.

The king strikes {the high roaring enclosure of Læsø} [SEA] with the prow; the prince then uses the warship’s cables to the limit. Not at all is {the harmer of the lime-tree} [WIND] easy on the curved iron [anchor]; rocks and the foul weather gnaw at the stout anchor-fluke.

Mss: (559r), F(48va), E(20v), J2ˣ(281v) (Hkr); H(55r), Hr(40rb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] Hlés‑: ‘Hlæss‑’ H;    lemr: skerr F    [2] hryn‑: hrann F, hrum E, hlym‑ H, hlyn‑ Hr    [4] strengja: strengjar E, drengja H, Hr    [5] bjúgu: ‘bíuggu’ Hr    [6] skaði: snagi H, Hr    [7] gnegr: ‘gnøgr’ F, ‘gnægr’ J2ˣ, ‘gagr’ H, Hr;    digrum: so F, E, H, Hr, fǫgrum Kˣ, J2ˣ    [8] grjót: ‘got’ Hr;    ok: of F, af E, á H, Hr;    veðr in: viðri F

Editions: Skj AI, 382, Skj BI, 352, Skald I, 177; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 158, IV, 226, ÍF 28, 144 (HSig ch. 60), F 1871, 226, E 1916, 73; Fms 6, 310 (HSig ch. 76), Fms 12, 154-5.

Context: In the storms (cf. st. 5, Context), Haraldr’s great ship needs secure anchorage.

Notes: [1] Hléseyjar ‘of Læsø’: An island in the Kattegat. The p. n. is so specific that it is almost tempting to take it literally, but if the Context of the st. is correct it must be the determinant of a kenning for ‘sea’ in general. — [7] gnegr ‘gnaw’: The verb is sg., agreeing with the sg. but collective n. noun grjót ‘rock(s)’. As often in skaldic poetry, another subject (ok in ljótu veðr ‘and the foul weather’) shares the sg. verb (see NS §70).


  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. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  9. Internal references
  10. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)

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