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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

III. 3. Stanzas from Snorra Edda (SnE) - 18

not in Skj

2.1: Stanzas from Snorra Edda — Anon (SnE)III

Kari Ellen Gade, Margaret Clunies Ross and Matthew Townend 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Stanzas from Snorra Edda’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 512. <> (accessed 5 August 2021)

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SkP info: III, 528

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

16 — Anon (SnE) 16III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Snorra Edda 16’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 528.

This couplet in irregular dróttkvætt metre (Anon (SnE) 16) is transmitted in mss R (main ms.), , A, B(6r) (represented by 744ˣ because B is almost illegible) and C of Skm (SnE). Finnur Jónsson (Skj) dates it to the tenth century, but that date cannot be confirmed.

Haki vas brenndr á báli,
þars brimslóðir óðu.

Haki vas brenndr á báli, þars óðu {brimslóðir}.

Haki was burned on the pyre where they advanced {on the surf-tracks} [SEA].

Mss: R(38v), Tˣ(40v), A(13v), 744ˣ(38r), C(8r) (SnE)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [X], II. B. 2. Om Hake: AI, 182, BI, 171, Skald I, 92, NN §1094; SnE 1848-87, I, 506-7, II, 453, 537, 602, SnE 1931, 178, SnE 1998, I, 97.

Context: The couplet is one of several illustrating heiti for ‘fire’, here, bál ‘pyre’.

Notes: [1] Haki: For this legendary king, see Note to RvHbreiðm Hl 27 [All] and Anon (FoGT) 24, 27. Haki was mortally wounded at the epic battle of Fýrisvellir, and Hkr (ÍF 26, 45) gives the following account of his death: Þá lét hann taka skeið, er hann átti, ok lét hlaða dauðum mǫnnum ok vápnum, lét þá flytja út til hafs ok leggja stýri í lag ok draga upp segl, en leggja eld í tyrvið ok gera bál á skipinu. Veðr stóð af landi. Haki var þá at kominn dauða eða dauðr, er hann var lagiðr á bálit. Sigldi skipit síðan loganda út í haf, ok var þetta allfrægt lengi síðan ‘Then he had a warship brought, which he owned, and had it piled up with dead men and weapons. He then had it brought out to sea and the rudder affixed and the sail unfurled, and he had pinewood set on fire and a pyre made on the ship. There was an offshore breeze. Haki was already dead or almost dead when he was placed on the pyre. The ship then sailed out to sea all ablaze, and this event was very famous for a long time afterwards’. See also ÍF 26, 45-6 n. 3. — [2] óðu brimslóðir ‘they advanced on the surf-tracks [SEA]’: There is no overt subject here, and brimslóðir ‘surf-tracks’ is f. pl. acc. (of place) with the verb vaða ‘advance’ (lit. ‘wade’; óðu is 3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) assumes that the missing subject was contained in a following, now-lost line, which is entirely possible and finds support in the fact that vaða is often construed with a term for ‘ship(s)’ as the subject. However, as Kock (NN §1094) points out, 3rd pers. pl. subjects are frequently left out in poetry (see also NS §13 Anm. 2). Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 418) entertains both possibilities.

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