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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallr Snorrason (HSn)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Magnússdrápa Erlingssonar (Magndr) - 1

Skj info: Hallr Snorrason, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 535-6, BI, 516-17).

Skj poems:
1. Af en drape om Magnus Erlingsson(?)
2. Lausavísur

Hallr Snorrason (HSn) is otherwise unknown. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 255, 264, 277), he was one of Magnús Erlingsson’s poets. A possible fragment of a panegyric to Magnús (edited in SkP III) is preserved in SnE (Skm) and attributed to ‘Hallr’ (see HSn MagndrIII), whom scholars tend to identify with Hallr Snorrason (see SnE 1848-87, III, 643; LH 1894-1901, II, 76; Fidjestøl 1982, 160). Otherwise the only extant poetry by Hallr is the two lvv. below. The name of the poet is given in full in all mss.

Magnússdrápa Erlingssonar (‘Drápa about Magnús Erlingsson’) — HSn MagndrIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Hallr Snorrason, Magnússdrápa Erlingssonar’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 228.


Skj: Hallr Snorrason: 1. Af en drape om Magnus Erlingsson(?) (AI, 535, BI, 516); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: LaufE, LaufE, Skm, SnE

SkP info: III, 228

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This half-stanza, Magnússdrápa ErlingssonarDrápa about Magnús Erlingsson’ (HSn Magndr), clearly belongs to an encomium about a ruler, and it is attributed to ‘Hallr’ in most mss. His patronymic is not given, but the only other Hallr mentioned in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 276) is Hallr múnkr ‘Monk’, who allegedly composed about Haraldr gillikristr ‘Servant of Christ’ Magnússon (r. 1130-6). No poetry of his survives. Hallr Snorrason, on the other hand, was one of King Magnús Erlingsson’s (r. 1161-84) skalds, and two of his lausavísur are preserved in Sverris saga (HSn Lv 1-2II; on Hallr Snorrason, see his Biography in SkP II). The title of the poem to which the present half-stanza is assigned (Skj: Af en drape om Magnus Erlingsson(?) ‘From a drápa about Magnús Erlingsson(?)’; Skald: Drápa) is a modern construct. The helmingr is a typical ‘beast of prey’ stanza (likdyrstrofe, Fidjestøl 1982, 160), playing on the imagery of wolves feasting on corpses. Hallr employs two heiti for ‘wolf’, and the translation given below retains the literal translations of these heiti. The half-stanza is preserved in mss R (main ms.), , U, A, B, C of Skm (SnE), in LaufE (mss papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ) and in RE 1665(Ll3). The latter is copied from LaufE and not considered in this edition. In LaufE the half-stanza is given as ll. 5-8 of Ill Har 1II, and the entire stanza (ll. 1-8) is attributed to Illugi.
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