Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson (Hfr)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

1. Óláfsdrápa (Óldr) - 14

Skj info: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld, Islandsk skjald, død ved 1007. (AI, 155-73, BI, 147-63).

Skj poems:
1. Hákonardrápa
2. Óláfsdrápa
3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa
4. Eiríksdrápa
5. Lausavísur

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ‘Troublesome-poet’ Óttarsson (Hfr) was brought up in Vatnsdalur, northern Iceland, probably in the 960s. He is the subject of Hallfreðar saga (Hallfr), which survives both as a continuous text (ÍF 8, 133-200) and interpolated into ÓT. The main strands of the saga are Hallfreðr’s unhappy relationship with Kolfinna Ávaldadóttir, his travels as trader, fighter and poet, his conversion to Christianity and his devotion to Óláfr Tryggvason, and all these aspects of his life occasioned poetry which partially survives.

Fragments of an early drápa for Hákon jarl Sigurðarson (r. c. 970-c. 995) are extant (Hfr HákdrIII; ÍF 8, 151), but the greater part of Hallfreðr’s court poetry, and the poetry edited in this volume, concerns King Óláfr Tryggvason (c. 995-c. 1000): Óláfsdrápa (Hfr Óldr) and Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar (Hfr ErfÓl). Like other Icelanders, Hallfreðr accepted Christian baptism under the influence of Óláfr. The difficulty, for a poet and pagan, of this switch of religious allegiance is the theme of Hfr Lv 6-10V, and is, according to the sagas, alluded to in his nickname vandræðaskáld, lit. ‘Poet of difficulties’. The sagas agree that the name was bestowed by the king, though they differ about the precise reason (ÓTOdd 1932, 125-6; Hkr, ÍF 26, 331-2; Hallfr, ÍF 8, 155; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 387). Hallfreðr is attributed with a lost Uppreistardrápa ‘Restoration drápa’ (?), supposedly composed to atone for his journey into pagan Gautland (Västergötland, ÍF 8, 178). He is also credited in Hallfr (ÍF 8, 194-5) with an encounter with Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (r. c. 1000-c. 1014) and in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 257, 266, 280) with poetry for him; this is vestigially preserved in Eiríksdrápa (Hfr EirdrV). The saga also shows Hallfreðr presenting a flokkr to the Danish jarl Sigvaldi (ÍF 8, 168) and a poem to the Swedish king Óláfr Eiríksson (ÍF 8, 177-8), but no traces of these survive.

The marriage of Kolfinna, the love of Hallfreðr’s youth, to Gríss Sæmingsson provoked Hallfreðr both early and later in life to compose strikingly inventive stanzas which intertwine themes of yearning love and rivalry (Hfr Lv 1-3, 15-24V), and his níð against Gríss led to legal proceedings and indirectly to the killing of Hallfreðr’s brother Galti (Ldn, ÍF 1, 224; ÍF 8, 189-90). In the course of an adventure in Västergötland (Hfr Lv 12-14V), Hallfreðr met and married Ingibjǫrg Þórisdóttir, who died young, but not before bearing two sons, Auðgísl and Hallfreðr. According to Hallfr (ÍF 8, 196-9), Hallfreðr himself died at the age of nearly forty, from a combination of illness and injury as he sailed through the Hebrides; he was buried on Iona (cf. Hfr Lv 26-7V).

file 2002-03-21 - York Hfr paper notes
file 2002-03-27 - York Hfr paper draft

Óláfsdrápa (‘Drápa about Óláfr’) — Hfr ÓldrI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 387.

 1   2   3   4   5   6 

for reference only:  1x   1y   2x   2y   4x   4y   8z   9z 

Skj: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld: 2. Óláfsdrápa, 996 (AI, 156-9, BI, 148-50); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 2, 7 | 3 | 3, 4/1-4 | 4/1-4 | 4/5-8, 5 | 4/5-8 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8/1-4, 9/5-8 | 8/5-8, 9/1-4

SkP info: I, 395

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Hfr Óldr 4I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

 Kx Hilmir let at hólme | hræscoð roðiɴ bloþe | hvat vm dyldi þeꜱ hꜹlþar | hꜹrð ok ꜹstr i gꜹrðom   [KSH]  edit 
 Kx Rógs bra recka | lœgir ríkr valkøra líki | herstefnir let hrꜹfnom | holld flœmingía golldít  edit 
 39 Rogs bra recka lægir | réik valkera liki herstefnir hraufnum holld | flæmingia golldit.   [KSH]  edit 
 F Hilmir let at holmi hrø̨ | skoð roþiɴ bloði hvat of dylþí þess hꜹlþar horð ok ꜹstr ⸝i gꜹrðom·⸜ |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 F Rógs bra recka | lǿ̨gir rikr valkera likí herstefnir let hrꜹfnom holld flø̨min | gía golldít·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J1x Hilmir let at hol | mi hræskoð roþinn bloþu hvað of dylþi þes ha | ulþar harþ ok austr i gorþvm ·   [KSH]  edit 
 J1x Rogs bra rekra lægir ri | kir valkera liki herstefnir let hrꜹfnum holld fle | mingia golldit.   [KSH]  edit 
 61 Hilmir | let at holmi . hræskoð roðin bloði . huat of dylði þess ho᷎ld⸌a⸍ | ho᷎rð ok austr i go᷎rdum.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 61 Rogs bra recka lægir . rikr ual ker | a liki . her stefnir let hraufnum . holld flæmingia golldit. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 53 Hilmir let at hólmi · herskod rodin bló | di · hvar dyldi þess haulda · hord ok austr i gordum·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 54 Hilmir let aho᷎l || mí. herskód rodín blodi. huat of dyldi þess hau | ka. horð ok austr i gordum ·   [KSH]  edit 
 54 Rogs bra recka lægir · rikr valkera | liki · herstefnir let hrofnum · holld flæmíngia gol | ldit ·   [KSH]  edit 
 62 Hilmir let at holmi. hræskod roðín bloði hvat ofdvl | di þ[...]ss [...]lda. hord ok avstr j gordvm ·   [KSH]  edit 
 62 Rogs bra recka lægir | rikr valskera ʀiki herstefnir let hrofnvm holld flęmingía | golldit |   [KSH]  edit 
 Flat Hilmír let at holmi herskoð ʀodín bloðe h | uatt vm dulde þess ho᷎lda haurd ok austr j gaurdum ·   [KSH]  edit 
 Flat rogs || bra rekka lægir rikr valskeriar ʀiki herstefnir let hro᷎fnum holld flęmín | gia golldít ·   [KSH]  edit 
 FskBx Hilmer vann at holme | hialm skoð roðenn bloðe | hvar of dylde | horð oc austr igarðum | rogs bra rekka læger | rikr valkæra liki | hærstæmnír let jamnum | holld flæmingia golldet   [KSH]  edit 
 FskAx Hilmir vann at holme | halm skoð roðinn bloðe | hvat ofdylde þess holdar | horð oc austr i gorðum | rogs bra ræcka læghær | rikr valkera liki | hær stæmnir let rofnum || hold flæmingia golldit   [KSH]  edit 
 310 Hilmir vann at holmi hialmscoð roðin bloði huat of dulðu þess | holðar horð oc austr i gorðum  rogs bra recka lægir rikr | valkera liki herstefnir let hrofnum holld flæmingia golldit. |   [VEÞ]  edit 

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