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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallar-Steinn (HSt)

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

2. Fragment (Frag) - 1

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.

Fragment — HSt FragI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘ Hallar-Steinn, Fragment’ 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. 939. <> (accessed 22 May 2022)


SkP info: I, 940

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — HSt Frag 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Fragment 1’ 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. 940.

Tolf vas elds at aldri
ýsetrs hati vetra,
hraustr þás herskip glæsti
Hǫrða vinr ór Gǫrðum.
Hlóðu Hamðis klæðum
hjǫrva gnýs ok skýjum
hilmis menn sem hjǫlmum
hlýrvigg, en mól stýri.

{Hati {elds {ýsetrs}}} vas tolf vetra at aldri, þás {hraustr vinr Hǫrða} glæsti herskip ór Gǫrðum. Menn hilmis hlóðu {hlýrvigg} {klæðum Hamðis} ok {skýjum {gnýs hjǫrva}} sem hjǫlmum, en stýri mól.

{The hater {of the fire {of the yew-bow’s rest}}} [ARM/HAND > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Óláfr] was twelve winters in age when {the bold friend of the Hǫrðar} [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr] made his warships splendid on leaving Russia. The ruler’s men loaded {the bows-steed} [SHIP] {with the garments of Hamðir <legendary hero>} [ARMOUR] and {clouds {of the din of swords}} [BATTLE > SHIELDS] and likewise helmets, and the rudder pounded.

texts: Fris 1

editions: Skj Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld: 2. Óláfsdrápa 1 (AI, 156; BI, 148); Skald I, 81; F 1871, 109; CPB II, 94.


AM 45 fol (F) 23vb, 37 - 24ra, 3 (Fris)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 152r - 152r (Rst)  image  
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