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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Svartr á Hofstöðum (Svart)

volume 8; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

VIII. Skaufhala bálkr (Skauf) - 42

not in Skj

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 25 June 2022)

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SkP info: VIII, 977

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

32 — Svart Skauf 32VIII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Svartr á Hofstöðum, Skaufhala bálkr 32’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 977.

‘Hef eg oftliga         óþarfr verið
bændafólki         í bygð þessi,
skoðað jafnliga         skreið í hjöllum,
riklinga rár         og rafabelti.

‘Eg hef oftliga verið óþarfr bændafólki í þessi bygð, jafnliga skoðað skreið í hjöllum, rár riklinga og rafabelti.

‘I’ve frequently been destructive to the farming population in this settlement, regularly eyed stockfish in the racks, the stakes with dried flesh of halibut and their fattest strips.

Mss: 603(82), Rask87ˣ(115r)

Readings: [1] Hef: Hefi Rask87ˣ    [3] bænda‑: ‘bændum’ Rask87ˣ;    ‑fólki: og fólki Rask87ˣ    [4] þessi: þessari Rask87ˣ    [5] skoðað: skaðað Rask87ˣ    [6] skreið: so Rask87ˣ, ‘skrid’ 603    [7] riklinga rár: rikling allan Rask87ˣ

Editions: Kölbing 1876, 245, Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 233, CPB II, 384, Jón Þorkelsson 1922-7, 158, Páll Eggert Ólason 1947, 67.

Notes: [1-2]: These lines recall HallmGr Hallkv 6/3-4V (Gr 56): nær hefik ǫllum | óþarfr verit ‘I have been destructive to almost everyone’. — [3] bændafólki ‘to the farming population’: The Rask87ˣ variant, bændum og fólki ‘to the farmers and the people’, is also possible and is preferred by Páll Eggert Ólason (1947). — [4] þessi (f. dat. sg.) ‘this’: Þessari (f. dat. sg.) ‘this’ (Rask87ˣ; adopted by Páll Eggert Ólason 1947) is a later form of the demonstrative pron. (see Bandle 1956, 353) and results in a hypermetrical line. — [5] skoðað ‘eyed’: Skaðað (Rask87ˣ) is possibly a variant of skoðað i.e. p. p. of skoða ‘eye, observe’ (see Fritzner: skáða; Heggstad et al. 2008: skaða), or p. p. of skaða ‘harm’, which is, however, only used impersonally in Old Icelandic. — [6] skreið ‘stockfish’: So Rask87ˣ (‘skrid’ in 603 is a scribal error). Skreið is (usually) Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) that is hung on drying-racks (hjallar) and air-dried (see also Fritzner: skreið 4). — [7] rár riklinga ‘the stakes with dried flesh of halibut’: Riklingr (or reklingr) is flesh on the side of the halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), which has been cut into strips and air-dried (see Fritzner: reklingr and AEW: reklingr). The Rask87ˣ variant of this line, rikling allan ‘all the dried flesh of halibut’, is also possible. — [8] rafabelti ‘their fattest strips’: Lit. ‘belts of fat halibut flesh’. Rafr is the dried fat flesh around the fins of the halibut (see Fritzner: rafr).

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