Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halli stirði (Halli XI)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Russell Poole;

Flokkr (Fl) - 6

Skj info: Halli stirði, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 401-2, BI, 370-1).

Skj poems:
Flokkr

The poet who composed these sts is unidentified in the extant medieval sources. However, Johan Peringskiöld’s edn of Hkr (Hkr 1697, II, 143) contains an ascription to one ‘Halli stríði’ ‘the Stern’. This might have originated in a lost source (cf. Fidjestøl 1982, 145-6) but is more plausibly explained as a result of a misinterpretation of contracted svá sem hér segir ‘as is told here’ in Hkr as svá segir Halli stríði ‘as Halli stríði says’ or similar (ÍF 28, 160). This attribution might have been prompted by mention of an otherwise unknown Halli stirði ‘the Stubborn’, with nearly identical nickname, in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) as one of the skalds of Haraldr harðráði. Possibly Peringskiöld was aware of this attestation. Halli stirði must be a separate identity from Haraldr’s well-known skald, Sneglu-Halli (SnH), since Skáldatal lists both Sneglu-Halli and Halli stirði among the poets who eulogised Haraldr. Also, the present sts indicate that their speaker was with Haraldr in 1064 when the events narrated took place, whereas, according to Sneglu-Halla þáttr (Snegl), Sneglu-Halli returned permanently to Iceland at an earlier date. Sneglu-Halli also composed encomiastic poetry, as indicated in Snegl (see Mork 1928-32, 234-47; ÍF 9, 261-95; Andersson and Gade 2000, 243-52).

Flokkr — Halli XI FlII

Russell Poole 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Halli stirði, Flokkr’ 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. 337-43.

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Skj: Halli stirði: Flokkr, 1064 (AI, 401-2, BI, 370-1)

SkP info: II, 342

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Halli XI Fl 5II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2009, ‘Halli stirði, Flokkr 5’ 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, p. 342.

Ofreiði verðr jǫfra
allhætt, ef skal sættask;
menn, þeirs miðla kunnu,
môl ǫll vega í skôlum.
Dugir siklingum segja
slíkt allt, es her líkar;
veldr, ef verr skulu hauldar,
vili grandar því, skiljask.

Ofreiði jǫfra verðr allhætt, ef skal sættask; menn, þeirs kunnu miðla, vega ǫll môl í skôlum. Dugir segja siklingum allt slíkt, es líkar her; vili grandar veldr því, ef hauldar skulu skiljask verr.

The excessive anger of the kings becomes most dangerous, if there must be a settlement; men, who know how to mediate, weigh all the issues in the balance. It is good to tell princes all such things as please the people; an inclination to evil-doing causes it if the freeholders must part on worse terms.

Mss: (567v), 39(28vb), F(50rb), E(23r), J2ˣ(287v) (Hkr); H(59r), Hr(43va) (H-Hr, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [1] Ofreiði: Ófriði E, H, Hr    [3] kunnu: kunna F, Hr    [5] siklingum: siglingum 39    [8] grandar: girnðar E

Editions: Skj: Halli stirði, Flokkr 5: AI, 402, BI, 371, Skald I, 185; ÍF 28, 161 (HSig ch. 71), F 1871, 235, E 1916, 82; Fms 6, 332 (HSig ch. 88).

Context: As for st. 4 in Hkr. In H-Hr the first helmingr of st. 5 is all that is quoted and it is prefaced by the formula Ok enn kvað skáldit ‘And in addition the skald said’.

Notes: [4] vega ǫll môl í skôlum ‘weigh all the issues in the balance’: The metaphor derives from the portable scales used by Scandinavian and other traders to determine the value of currency and precious metals (Foote and Wilson, 1970, 196-7). — [6] hauldar ‘freeholders’: Although rhymes of -ld- : -- are an occasional licence, here we probably see the poet using the Norw. form hauldar, not Icel. hǫlðar, as indicated by the internal rhyme and the ms. readings ‘hꜵldar’ (, F, J2ˣ) and ‘haulldar’ 39, E. See also Note to Anon Nkt 15/2.

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