Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson (Ólhv)

13th century; volume 2; ed. Lauren Goetting;

1. Poem about Hákon (Hák) - 1

Skj info: Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld, Islandsk skjald og lærd, d. 1259. (AII, 92-8, BII, 104-10).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om kong Hákon
2. Et hrynhent digt
3. Árónsdrápa
4. Af et digt om Thomas Becket
5. Lausavísur

prose works

Óláfr hvítaskáld ‘White Skald’ Þórðarson (Ólhv) was an accomplished Icel. scholar and a prolific poet. Details of his life are documented in Sturlunga saga (Stu), Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (Hák), and Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl). He was born c. 1210-12 at Staður on Snæfellsness, Iceland, as the eldest son of Þórðr Sturluson and his concubine Þóra. He was the nephew of Snorri Sturluson (SnSt; d. 1241), with whom he spent long periods of time as a young man, and the older brother of Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl; d. 1284). In 1237 he left Iceland with Snorri to embark upon a career as a professional poet at the courts of Scandinavia. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256-8, 260, 378-84) Óláfr composed poetry in honour of a large number of kings and noblemen, including the following: (in Norway) Jarl Skúli Bárðarson (d. 1240), King Hákon Hákonarson (d. 1263) and his son Hákon ungi ‘the Young’ Hákonarson (d. 1257), Jarl Knútr Hákonarson (d. 1261); (in Sweden) King Eiríkr Eiríkson (d. 1250); (in Denmark) King Valdimarr Valdimarsson (d. 1241). Because of Óláfr’s close association with Valdimarr, from whom he hafði ... margar ágætligar frásagnir ‘got ... many excellent narratives’ (ÍF 35, 315), he is thought by some to have written Knýtl, which recounts the history of Dan. rulers (see LH 1894-1901, II, 275, 784-5). Around 1242 Óláfr returned to Iceland and founded a school at Stafaholt in Borgarfjörður, where he wrote the Third Grammatical Treatise (TGT) and devoted himself to teaching and writing until his death in 1259. In addition to these pursuits, he was ordained subdeacon at some point after his return to Iceland and also served as lawspeaker 1248-50.

Most of Óláfr’s extant poetry consists of encomia to King Hákon Hákonarson and is inserted throughout the prose in Hák. This includes part of Hrynhenda (Ólhv Hryn), one st. from a Poem about Hákon (Ólhv Hák), and two lvv. (Ólhv Lv). One lv. traditionally assigned to him, has been reassigned in the present edn to Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson (Ólsv Love 3III). Aside from the aforementioned, the remainder of Óláfr’s known poetic works includes two sts from ÁrónsdrápaDrápa about Árón’ (Ólhv ÁrdrIV), composed about his friend Árón Hjǫrleifsson, and two sts from ThómasdrápaDrápa about Thomas (ꜳ Becket)’ (Ólhv ThómdrIII), recorded in the Fourth Grammatical Treatise (FoGT). Finally, nine fragments of sts from TGT (Ólhv FragIII), treated as anonymous in previous eds, are attributed to Óláfr in this edn.

Poem about Hákon — Ólhv HákII

Lauren Goetting 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Poem about Hákon’ 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. 657-8.

 1 

Skj: Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld: 1. Et digt om kong Hákon, 1239 (AII, 92-3, BII, 104); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: II, 657-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Ólhv Hák 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Lauren Goetting (ed.) 2009, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Poem about Hákon 1’ 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. 657-8.

Vígstorma, namt Vermum,
valdr, fláræði gjalda;
lézt ræsir gim geisa;
gekk eldr of sjǫt rekka.
Bœndr hlutu kvǫl, þás kyndisk
kapps hár logi, sára;
gegn, létuð hyr hegna,
hjaldréls frǫmuðr, vélar.

{Valdr vígstorma}, namt gjalda Vermum fláræði; ræsir, lézt gim geisa; eldr gekk of sjǫt rekka. Bœndr hlutu sára kvǫl, þás kapps hár logi kyndisk; {gegn frǫmuðr hjaldréls}, létuð hyr hegna vélar.

{Controller of battle-storms} [WARRIOR = Hákon], you repaid the Vermir for their treason; ruler, you made fire rage; flames rose above men’s houses. Farmers suffered bitter torment when the tremendously high blaze was kindled; {righteous promoter of the battle-shower} [WARRIOR = Hákon], you made fire punish their deceits.

texts: Flat 844, Hák 20

editions: Skj Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld: 1. Et digt om kong Hákon (AII, 92-3; BII, 104); Skald II, 55; E 1916, 529, F 1871, 448, Hák 1910-86, 406, Flat 1860-8, III, 69.

sources

AM 47 fol (E) 155v, 24 - 155v, 26 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 96vb, 15 - 96vb, 19 (Hák)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 42 folx (42x) 117v, 29 - 118r, 3 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
AM 81 a fol (81a) 85vb, 10 - 85vb, 14 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 170vb, 40 - 170vb, 42 (Hák)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 259r, 6 - 259r, 13  image  
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