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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halldórr skvaldri (Hskv)

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

2. Útfarardrápa (Útdr) - 12

Skj info: Haldórr skvaldri, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 485-9, BI, 457-61).

Skj poems:
1. Útfararkviða
2. Útfarardrápa
3. Haraldsdrápa

Halldórr skvaldri (Hskv) is otherwise unknown. True to his nickname, skvaldri ‘Prattler’, Halldórr is said to have composed about numerous rulers and noblemen, but little of that poetry has been preserved. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 254-5, 258, 260, 262-3, 267, 272, 276-7, 283), he commemorated the following persons: Sóni Ívarsson, jarl of Götaland (c. 1100), King Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson of Norway (d. 1103) and his sons, King Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ (d. 1130) and King Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’ (d. 1136), King Eiríkr eymuni ‘the Long-remembered’ of Denmark (d. 1137), the Swed. jarl Karl Sónason (c. 1140), King Sørkvir Kolsson of Sweden (c. 1150), King Ingi Haraldsson of Norway (d. 1161) and the Swed. jarl Jón Sørkvisson. See SnE 1848-87, III, 367-70. What survives of Halldórr’s poetic oeuvre are two poems about Sigurðr jórsalafari (Hskv Útkv, 1 st.; Hskv Útdr, 12 sts) one poem about Haraldr gilli (Hskv Hardr, 5 sts), and a fragment of an encomium (Hskv FragIII), which has been edited in SkP III.

Útfarardrápa (‘Drápa about the Journey Out’) — Hskv ÚtdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Halldórr skvaldri, Útfarardrápa’ 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. 483-92. <> (accessed 26 May 2022)

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Skj: Haldórr skvaldri: 2. Útfarardrápa, o. 1120? (AI, 486-8, BI, 458-60); stanzas (if different): 12 | 13

in texts: Fsk, Gramm, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Msona, TGT

SkP info: II, 483-92

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This dróttkvætt poem, which chronicles Sigurðr’s exploits in the Mediterranean, appears to be the encomium ÚtfarardrápaDrápa about the Journey Out’ (Hskv Útdr) which the skald Máni (Máni) recited in 1184 before the Norw. king Magnús Erlingsson (ÍF 30, 130): Hann kvað síðan Útfarardrápuna er Halldórr skvaldri orti um Sigurð konung Jórsalafara, móðurfǫður Magnús konungs ‘He then recited Útfarardrápa, which Halldórr skvaldri composed about King Sigurðr jórsalafari, the maternal grandfather of King Magnús’. The first eleven sts are transmitted in MsonaH-Hr (H, Hr). Stanzas 1-7, 9-11 are preserved in all mss of Msona in Hkr (, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ), sts 1-9 are recorded in Mork (Mork) and st. 11 in FskAˣ (Fsk). Stanza 12 is preserved in mss W and A of TGT, and because it addresses ‘Sigurðr’, it has been assigned to Útdr in this edn (so also in Skj). Another helmingr attributed to Halldórr is recorded in SnE, and Finnur Jónsson includes it Útdr. There is, however, no evidence to warrant such an assignment, and it is edited as Hskv FragIII in SkP III.

is the main ms., except for sts 8 (Mork is the main ms.) and 12 (W is the main ms.). All sts are attributed to Halldórr, and the order of sts 1-10 follows the chronology of the events they describe (many of the battles described are actually numbered in the poetry). In Mork, sts 7-8 (which commemorate the same event) are given in the reverse order, but, in terms of content, the sequence of H-Hr is preferable (see Fidjestøl 1982, 156, 174). Because Sigurðr is addressed directly in sts 3-4, 7-8, 11-12, the poem must have been composed prior to his death in 1130. It is of interest because it contains a wealth of foreign place names (most of which are otherwise unattested in poetry), and the surrounding prose is clearly derived from the poetry. For other poems documenting Sigurðr’s journey, see Introduction to Hskv Útkv above.

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