Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mark Eirdr 24II/2 — stýrir ‘The ruler’

Blíðan gœddi bjǫrtum auði
Bjarnar hlýra Frakklands stýrir;
stórar lét sér randgarðs rýrir
ríks keisara gjafir líka.
Hônum lét til hervígs búna
harra spjalli láðmenn snjalla
alla leið, áðr ǫðlingr næði
Jóta grundar Césars fundi.

Stýrir Frakklands gœddi blíðan hlýra Bjarnar bjǫrtum auði; rýrir randgarðs lét sér líka stórar gjafir ríks keisara. Spjalli harra lét hônum snjalla láðmenn, búna til hervígs, alla leið, áðr ǫðlingr grundar Jóta næði fundi Césars.

The ruler of France [= Philip I] endowed the pleasant brother of Bjǫrn [= Eiríkr] with bright wealth; the diminisher of the shield-wall [WARRIOR] found himself pleased with the great gifts of the powerful emperor [= Henry IV]. The companion of lords [RULER = Henry IV] gave him brave guides, ready for battle, all the way, before the noble leader of the land of the Jótar [= Denmark > = Eiríkr] was able to meet Caesar.


[2] stýrir Frakklands ‘the ruler of France [= Philip I]’: Philip ruled 1052-1108. Foote (1975, 70-1 and n. 50) equates this ruler with Emperor Henry IV (see Note to l. 4 below). While Foote’s argumentation is persuasive, the Knýtl prose does make a distinction between the two here, and that distinction is maintained in the present edn. Frakkland denoted the kingdom of the Franks, which did not extend as far east as modern France. Foote (1975, 69) defines Frakkland as ‘the territory which to the west and north-west was bordered by Valland (Normandy and the lower Seine region), Flæmingjaland (Flanders), Frísland (Frisia), to the north-east by Saxland and to the south-east by Langbarðaland (Lombardy)’.




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