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Svartr á Hofstöðum (Svart)

volume 8; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

VIII. Skaufhala bálkr (Skauf) - 42

Svartr (desyllabified Svartur) á Hofstöðum (Svart) is named in a first-person epilogue to Skaufhala bálkrBálkr about Tassel-tail’ (Svart Skauf 42/4) but his identity is uncertain. The internal evidence of the language and metre of Skauf, together with circumstantial evidence and an evaluation of the sources, point to Svartr Þorleifsson (d. 1392) from Hofstaðir, Reykhólar, Þorskafjörður, north-western Iceland, as the most likely candidate, though two other members of his family were also named Svartr and associated with Hofstaðir and there are two further traditions about authorship (see Introduction to Skauf). Very little is known about Svartr’s life. He appears to have been severely wounded during a fight at the alþingi in 1361, and the year before he died (1391) he went to Norway (see Storm 1888, 367, 407, 420). He apparently had two sons, Páll and Gísli (Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 222).

Skaufhala bálkr — Svart SkaufVIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 948. <> (accessed 20 September 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42 

SkP info: VIII, 957

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Svart Skauf 3VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 957.

Þá voru burtu         börn skaufhala
flestöll farin         ór föðurgarði.
Þó voru eftir         þeim til fylgdar
þrír yrmlingar         og þeira dóttir.

Þá voru flestöll börn skaufhala farin burtu ór föðurgarði. Þó voru þrír yrmlingar og dóttir þeira eftir til fylgdar þeim.

Then almost all of Tassel-tail’s children had gone away from their father’s dwelling. Yet three small vermin and their daughter were left as company for them.

Mss: 603(81), Rask87ˣ(112r)

Readings: [1] voru: voru í Rask87ˣ    [2] skaufhala: so Rask87ˣ, ‘skaufla’ 603    [7] þrír: armastir Rask87ˣ;    yrmlingar: ‘Jrmlingar’ Rask87ˣ    [8] og: og ein Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 242, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 229, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 154, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 57-8.

Notes: [1] burtu ‘away’: We should have expected the shorter form burt ‘away’ with a verb of motion voru farin ‘had gone’ (ll. 1, 3). The long form (burtu), which is a later form (see Bandle 1956, 435 and Note to st. 17/6), could have been caused by the proximity to the auxiliary voru lit. ‘were’ and the fact that the actual verb of motion, the p. p. farin ‘gone’, does not appear until l. 3 (see also Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, II, 194 and st. 5/3 below). — [7] þrír ‘three’: Armastir ‘most pitiful’ (so Rask87ˣ) makes the line hypermetrical, and causes a subsequent unmetrical addition to l. 8. — [7] yrmlingar ‘small vermin’: Lit. ‘small snakes’, i.e. the fox-cubs (so Kölbing 1876, CPB and Jón Þorkelsson 1888; 1922-7). Páll Eggert Ólason (1947) emends to yrðlingar ‘fox-cubs’ (see also CPB II, 610), which has no support in the mss. — [8] og þeira dóttir ‘and their daughter’: The Rask87ˣ variant og ein þeira dóttur lit. ‘and one daughter of theirs’ is hypermetrical and ein ‘one’ must have been added to furnish the missing alliteration (see Note to l. 7 above). CPB emends to ok þríar dætr ‘and three daughters’. That emendation results in a hypometrical line, and it makes poor sense since it contradicts the statement in st. 1/8 that the foxes had one daughter. Hence four cubs (three males and one female) are left in the lair.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated