Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallar-Steinn (HSt)

12th century; volume 1; ed. Rolf Stavnem;

1. Rekstefja (Rst) - 35

Skj info: Hallar-Steinn, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 543-53, BI, 525-35).

Skj poems:
1. Rekstefja
2. a. Af et digt om en kvinde
2. b. Af et digt om Skáldhelgi(?)

Nothing is known about this skald (HSt) except what can be deduced from his nickname, which has been identified with the farm-name Höll, in Þverárhlíð, Mýrasýsla, western Iceland (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 185), and from the poetry attributed to him. His main extant work is the drápa Rekstefja (HSt Rst), whose ambitious praise of Óláfr Tryggvason might well point to Iceland at the end of the twelfth century or somewhat later (see Skj, and Introduction to the poem below). Hallar-Steinn has been identified (e.g. by Wisén 1886-9, I, 143) with the eleventh-century poet Steinn Herdísarson (SteinnII), but this is implausible. HSt Frag 1, of uncertain origin but probably attributable to this poet, may also commemorate Óláfr Tryggvason, while HSt Frag 2-5III represent a love-lorn poet. These fragments are preserved only in treatises on poetics and grammar, and are therefore edited in SkP III, as are two further fragments, HSt Frag 6-7III.

Rekstefja (‘Split-refrain’) — HSt RstI

Rolf Stavnem 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja’ 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. 893.

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Skj: Hallar-Steinn: 1. Rekstefja (AI, 543-52, BI, 525-34); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5

SkP info: I, 919

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

19 — HSt Rst 19I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 19’ 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. 919.

Stǫng reið, stôl en sungu,
sterklig jǫfurs merkis;
gramr skaut; gerðisk rimmu
gangr um Orm inn langa.
Nýtr herr Nóregs gætis
nær vasa trauðr at særa
orðprúðs Jóta ferðir.
Óláfr und veg sólar.

 

The powerful pole of the standard of the prince rode high and steel weapons sang; the ruler [Óláfr] shot; the course of the battle proceeded around Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’). The brave army {of the famous guardian of Norway} [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr] was far from reluctant to wound the troops of the Jótar. Óláfr under {the path of the sun} … [SKY]

context: There is fierce fighting as Óláfr and his men fend off Danish attacks on their ships.

notes: [1-2]: Most mss read strǫng varð stôlin sungu | sterklig jǫfurs merki, with the exceptions shown in the Readings above. Merki ‘standard’, as a n. noun, could be sg. or pl., but varð ‘became’ can only be sg. while the adj. strǫng ‘severe, strong’ can only be pl. Strǫng varð is therefore not viable grammatically, and it is necessary to adopt the minority readings stǫng reið and merkis, hence ‘the pole of the standard rode high’. This interpretation essentially agrees with that of Konráð Gíslason (1895-7), Skj B and Skald. — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see st. 9/8 and Note.

texts: Flat 333, ÓT 163

editions: Skj Hallar-Steinn: 1. Rekstefja 19 (AI, 548; BI, 529-30); Skald I, 258, NN §1180; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 266 (ch. 250), Flat 1860-8, I, 483; SHI 3, 256-7, CPB II, 298, Wisén 1886-9, I, 48, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 251-3.

sources

Holm perg 1 fol (Bb*) 112ra, 19 - 112ra, 22  transcr.  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 64rb, 2 - 64rb, 5 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 64ra, 12 - 64ra, 15 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb*) 99va, 27 - 99va, 31 (ÓT)  image  
AM 325 VIII 2 b 4° (325VIII 2 b) 1vb, 20 - 1vb, 26 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 64va, 5 - 64va, 8 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
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