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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 18I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 18’ 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. 305.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

Enn reið ǫðru sinni
jarl borðmǫrum norðan;
sǫngherðir lét sverða
sótt Ragnfrøði at móti.

Enn reið jarl ǫðru sinni {borðmǫrum} norðan; {{sverða sǫng}herðir} lét sótt at móti Ragnfrøði.

Yet a second time the jarl rode {the gunwale-horses} [SHIPS] from the north; {the strengthener {of the song of swords}} [(lit. ‘song-strengthener of swords’) BATTLE > RULER] advanced to an encounter with Ragnfrøðr.

Mss: FskBˣ(20r), 51ˣ(17v), 302ˣ(27v-28r), FskAˣ(79-80), 52ˣ(31r), 301ˣ(28v) (Fsk)

Readings: [2] ‑mǫrum: so 51ˣ, 302ˣ, FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ, ‘‑ararum’ FskBˣ    [3] sǫng‑: sókn‑ FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ;    ‑herðir: so FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ, ‘‑horðir’ FskBˣ, 51ˣ, 302ˣ    [4] sótt: ‘sort’ FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ;    Ragn‑: rang‑ FskAˣ;    at: á FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 126, Skj BI, 120, Skald I, 67; Fsk 1902-3, 71 (ch. 14), ÍF 29, 113 (ch. 16).

Context: Ragnfrøðr Eiríksson comes to Norway after Hákon has ruled there for one year, demanding that he relinquish power to him. Hákon confronts him with an army.

Notes: [3] sverða sǫngherðir ‘the strengthener of the song of swords [(lit. ‘song-strengthener of swords’) BATTLE > RULER]’: The reading of FskBˣ, sǫng-, is chosen here (as in Fsk 1902-3; Skj B; Skald; ÍF 29). The reading of FskAˣ, sókn (adopted in Vell 1865, 99; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 130), results in an unacceptable kenning structure, sókn sverða ‘attack of the swords [BATTLE]’, in which the referent of the kenning is already contained in the base-word sókn (see Finnur Jónsson 1891a, 168-9).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  6. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  7. Vell 1865 = Freudenthal, Axel Olof. 1865. Einar Skålaglams Vellekla / öfversatt och förklarad af Axel Olof Freudenthal. Helsingfors: Frenckell.
  8. Finnur Jónsson. 1891a. ‘Vellekla: Tekstkritiske bemærkninger’. ÅNOH, 147-82.

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