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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 6 August 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, 960

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

8 — Svart Skauf 8VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 8’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 960.

‘Þú munt heiman         halda verða
og afla bráða         til bús okkars.
Væri það skára         í venju að leggja,
sem virðum má         vest gegna.’

‘Þú munt verða halda heiman og afla bráða til bús okkars. Væri skára að leggja það í venju, sem má gegna virðum vest.’

‘You’ll have to go away from home and provide meat for our household. It would be better to make a habit of whatever will serve humans the worst.’

Mss: 603(81), Rask87ˣ(112v)

Readings: [4] okkars: okkar Rask87ˣ    [5] skára: so Rask87ˣ, om. 603    [6] í venju: so Rask87ˣ, til vinnu 603    [7] má: mætti Rask87ˣ    [8] vest: vestu Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 243, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 230, CPB II, 383, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 155, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 59.

Notes: [4] okkars ‘our’: Okkar ‘our’ (Rask87ˣ) is a later form (see Note to st. 5/4 above). — [5-6]: The reading of Rask87ˣ is also adopted by Jón Þorkelsson (1888; 1922-7) and Páll Eggert Ólason (1947). The 603 variant of these lines (væri það | til vinnu að leggja) can be rendered as follows: væri að leggja það til vinnu ‘one should make a habit of doing that’. However, that reading appears to be a lectio facilior. — [8] vest (adv., sup.) ‘worst’: The line is hypometrical and Jón Þorkelsson (1922-7) and Páll Eggert Ólason (1947) opt for the 603 reading vestu. That can only be construed as n. dat. sg. of the sup. adj. verstr (for the assimilation ‑rst- > ‑st- see ANG §272.3) and it is not clear how it can be made sense of syntactically. Gegna ‘avail’ takes a dat. object, but that is provided by virðum ‘humans’ (l. 7), and verstu is not otherwise recorded as a possible adverbial form.

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