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Hallar-Steinn (HSt)

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

1. Rekstefja (Rst) - 35

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 18 January 2022)

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 

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

SkP info: I, 904

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — HSt Rst 7I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 7’ 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. 904.

Frónb*ands fœriǫndrum
fríðr til Nóregs síðan
sker-Baldr Skǫglar elda
skjaldbúnum lét haldit.
Heiðinn heiman flýði
hildingr, þar vildi,
áðr, enn Óláfs bíða
jarl, af sínu hjarli.


Then {the handsome Baldr {of the skerry {of the fires of Skǫgul}}} [(lit. ‘skerry-Baldr of the fires of Skǫgul’) SWORDS > SHIELDS > WARRIOR = Óláfr] steered {the shield-adorned travelling skis {of the land-bond}} [SEA > SHIPS] to Norway. The heathen ruler had already fled away from his territory, and the jarl did not wish to wait any longer for Óláfr there.

notes: Óláfr’s return to Norway is also the subject of Anon Óldr 9.  — [1-4]: The placing of the verb phrase lét haldit ‘steered’ at the end of the helmingr would be abnormal in standard dróttkvætt poetry, where the finite verb appears second or first in independent clauses (Gade 1995a, 213), but it is not uncommon in skjálfhent poetry; see also sts 18/5-6, 22/1 and Notes. — [5-8]: The displaced heathen jarl would be Hákon jarl Sigurðarson, though the tradition is that he fled from a rebellion of his subjects, but never left Norway (see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume). This is compatible with the story here if hjarl (l. 8) means ‘territory’, but not if it refers to the whole land of Norway.

editions: Skj Hallar-Steinn: 1. Rekstefja 7 (AI, 545; BI, 526-7); Skald I, 256, NN §§1171, 1853A; SHI 3, 248-9, CPB II, 296, Wisén 1886-9, I, 47, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 205-7.


Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 111vb, 8 - 111vb, 11  transcr.  image  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated