Book Series Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, vol. 8

Poetry in fornaldarsögur

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed)

  • Pages:2 vols, 1076 p.
  • Size:160 x 240 mm
  • Language(s):English, Old Norse
  • Publication Year:2017

Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-51900-5
  • Hardback
  • Temporarily Out of Stock

Poetry in fornaldarsögur is a new edition of the corpus of poetry, mostly in eddic metres, from Icelandic mythical-heroic sagas.


“Like the earlier volumes, Poetry in Fornaldarsögur impressively combines scholarship of formidable range and depth with a lucid mode of presentation which makes realistic the expressed hope that the work might find users amongst students of other European languages and in disciplines such as history, archaeology, and the history of religion (p. xciii).” (John Kennedy, in Parergon, 35/1, 2018, p. 158)

“It is impossible to do justice to such a large work even in a longer review, but I hope I have said enough to inspire readers to take a deep breath and plunge into the volumes themselves. The editors are to be congratulated (and thanked) for so deftly bringing Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages two more steps toward completion.” (Martin Chase, in Speculum, 95/1, 2020, p. 238)



This volume contains all the anonymous poetry from medieval Icelandic mythical-heroic sagas (fornaldarsögur), such as Heiðreks saga, Gautreks saga, and other sagas set in prehistoric Scandinavia and more exotic locations. This diverse body of poetry is treated here for the first time as significant in its own right rather than as an appendage to the Poetic Edda. It also contains a new edition with extensive notes of Gunnlaugr Leifsson's Merlínuspá, based on Geoffrey of Monmouth's Prophecies of Merlin, as well as the little-known but entertaining Skaufhala bálkr by Svartr á Hofstöðum, a mock-heroic poem about a fox.


Volume Editor’s Preface and Acknowledgements ix

General Abbreviations xi

Sigla used in this Volume xvii

  • Sigla for Skaldic Poems and Stanzas xvii
  • Sigla for Manuscript Collections xxxix
  • Sigla for Manuscripts used in the Editions of this Volume xxxix
  • Sigla for Sagas, Tættir and Compendia xli
Technical Terms xlv

The Contributors li

Introduction lv

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages – a New Edition lv

  • The Icelandic fornaldarsaga lvi
  • The poetry in this volume lxi
  • Manuscripts lxii
  • Editions lxix
  • Metre lxxi
  • Structure, style and diction of fornaldarsaga poetry lxxix
  • Normalisation xci
  • How to use this edition xciii
Poetry in fornaldarsögur: The Corpus


Áns saga bogsveigis ・ Edited by Beatrice La Farge 3

Ásmundar saga kappabana — Edited by Peter Jorgensen 15

Bósa saga — Edited by Wilhelm Heizmann 25

Breta saga — Edited by Russell Poole 38

Gunnlaugr Leifsson 38

Merlínusspá I 38

Merlínusspá II 134

Fridtjófs saga ins froekna — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 190

Starkadr gamli Stórvirksson — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 241

Gautreks saga — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 241

Gríms saga lodinkinna — Edited by Beatrice La Farge 288

Gǫngu-Hrólfs saga — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 298

Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka — Edited by Hubert Seelow 303

Hervarar saga ok Heidreks — Edited by Hannah Burrows 367


Hjálmtés saga ok Ǫlvis — Edited by Richard Harris 489

Hrólfs saga kraka — Edited by †Desmond Slay 540

Ketils saga hoengs — Edited by Beatrice La Farge 549

Máguss saga jarls — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 597

Orms táttr Stórólfssonar — Edited by Peter Jorgensen 603

Ragnars saga lodbrókar — Edited by Rory McTurk 617

Krákumál — Edited by Rory McTurk 707

Ragnars sona táttr — Edited by Rory McTurk 778

Sturlaugs saga starfsama — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 782

Sǫrla táttr — Edited by Rory McTurk 786

Vǫlsunga saga — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 791

Tjalar-Jóns saga — Edited by Philip Lavender 799

Ǫrvar-Odds saga — Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross 805

Poem recorded outside a saga context

Svartr á Hofstödum — Edited by Kari Ellen Gade 951

Skaufhala bálkr 951

Bibliography — Edited by Hannah Burrows 985

Index of First Lines 1037

Indices of Names and Terms 1057

  1. Mythical, Biblical and Legendary Names 1057
  2. Personal Names 1068
  3. Nicknames 1068
  4. Ethnic and Regional Names (including names of royal dynasties) 1069
  5. Place Names 1070
  6. Miscellaneous Names 1074
  7. Indigenous Terms 1074