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Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson (Hfr)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

2. Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar (ErfÓl) - 29

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ‘Troublesome-poet’ Óttarsson (Hfr) was brought up in Vatnsdalur, northern Iceland, probably in the 960s. He is the subject of Hallfreðar saga (Hallfr), which survives both as a continuous text (ÍF 8, 133-200) and interpolated into ÓT. The main strands of the saga are Hallfreðr’s unhappy relationship with Kolfinna Ávaldadóttir, his travels as trader, fighter and poet, his conversion to Christianity and his devotion to Óláfr Tryggvason, and all these aspects of his life occasioned poetry which partially survives.

Fragments of an early drápa for Hákon jarl Sigurðarson (r. c. 970-c. 995) are extant (Hfr HákdrIII; ÍF 8, 151), but the greater part of Hallfreðr’s court poetry, and the poetry edited in this volume, concerns King Óláfr Tryggvason (c. 995-c. 1000): Óláfsdrápa (Hfr Óldr) and Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar (Hfr ErfÓl). Like other Icelanders, Hallfreðr accepted Christian baptism under the influence of Óláfr. The difficulty, for a poet and pagan, of this switch of religious allegiance is the theme of Hfr Lv 6-10V, and is, according to the sagas, alluded to in his nickname vandræðaskáld, lit. ‘Poet of difficulties’. The sagas agree that the name was bestowed by the king, though they differ about the precise reason (ÓTOdd 1932, 125-6; Hkr, ÍF 26, 331-2; Hallfr, ÍF 8, 155; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 387). Hallfreðr is attributed with a lost Uppreistardrápa ‘Restoration drápa’ (?), supposedly composed to atone for his journey into pagan Gautland (Västergötland, ÍF 8, 178). He is also credited in Hallfr (ÍF 8, 194-5) with an encounter with Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (r. c. 1000-c. 1014) and in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 257, 266, 280) with poetry for him; this is vestigially preserved in Eiríksdrápa (Hfr EirdrV). The saga also shows Hallfreðr presenting a flokkr to the Danish jarl Sigvaldi (ÍF 8, 168) and a poem to the Swedish king Óláfr Eiríksson (ÍF 8, 177-8), but no traces of these survive.

The marriage of Kolfinna, the love of Hallfreðr’s youth, to Gríss Sæmingsson provoked Hallfreðr both early and later in life to compose strikingly inventive stanzas which intertwine themes of yearning love and rivalry (Hfr Lv 1-3, 15-24V), and his níð against Gríss led to legal proceedings and indirectly to the killing of Hallfreðr’s brother Galti (Ldn, ÍF 1, 224; ÍF 8, 189-90). In the course of an adventure in Västergötland (Hfr Lv 12-14V), Hallfreðr met and married Ingibjǫrg Þórisdóttir, who died young, but not before bearing two sons, Auðgísl and Hallfreðr. According to Hallfr (ÍF 8, 196-9), Hallfreðr himself died at the age of nearly forty, from a combination of illness and injury as he sailed through the Hebrides; he was buried on Iona (cf. Hfr Lv 26-7V).

files
file 2002-03-21 - York Hfr paper notes
file 2002-03-27 - York Hfr paper draft

Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar (‘Memorial drápa for Óláfr Tryggvason’) — Hfr ErfÓlI

Kate Heslop 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar’ 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. 400.

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   26a   26b   27   28 

Skj: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld: 3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa, 1001 (AI, 159-66, BI, 150-7); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 3 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 27 | 28 | 29

SkP info: I, 436

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

25 — Hfr ErfÓl 25I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 25’ 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. 436.

Illt vas, þats ulfa sultar
optþverri stóðk ferri,
mest þars malmar brustu,
mein, þótt smátt sé und einum.
Skiliðr em ek við skylja;
skalmǫld hefr því valdit;
vættik virða dróttins;
vils mest ok dul flestum.

Illt mein vas, þats stóðk ferri {optþverri sultar ulfa}, þars malmar brustu mest, þótt smátt sé und einum. Skiliðr em ek við skylja; {skalmǫld} hefr valdit því; vættik {dróttins virða}; flestum [e]s mest vil ok dul.

It was an evil, harmful thing that I stood far from {the frequent diminisher of the famine of wolves} [WARRIOR], where metal weapons clashed most, though little may depend on one man. I am separated from the ruler; {a sword-age} [BATTLE] has caused that; I hope for {the lord of men} [RULER]; to most it [that hope] is the greatest wilfulness and delusion.

texts: ÓT 196, Skm 401, SnE 403 [5-8]

editions: Skj Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld: 3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa 27 (AI, 165-6; BI, 156);

Skald I, 85, NN §§514, 1779D, 1835, 2213; SHI 3, 10, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 294 (ch. 256); SnE 1848-87, I, 520-1, II, 343, 461, 540, 607, SnE 1931, 182, SnE 1998, I, 102, 221.

sources

AM 61 fol (61) 69vb, 6 - 69vb, 8 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 66rb, 2 - 66rb, 6 (ÓT)  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 67va, 17 - 67va, 21 (ÓT)  image  
AM 325 VIII 2 g 4° (325VIII 2 g) 1va, 17 - 1va, 21 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 103ra, 32 - 103ra, 36 (ÓT)  image  
GKS 2367 4° (R) 39v, 14 - 39v, 15 [5-8] (SnE)  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 41r, 33 - 41v, 1 [5-8] (SnE)  image  
DG 11 (U) 37r, 21 - 37r, 22 [5-8] (SnE)  image  
AM 748 I b 4° (A) 15r, 10 - 15r, 11 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 757 a 4° (B) 6v, 5 - 6v, 6 (SnE)  image  image  image  image  
AM 744 4°x (744x) 41r - 41r (SnE)  image  
AM 748 II 4° (C) 9r, 9 - 9r, 10 (SnE)  image  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated