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Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson (Hfr)

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

1. Óláfsdrápa (Óldr) - 14

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).

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

Óláfsdrápa (‘Drápa about Óláfr’) — Hfr ÓldrI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa’ 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. 387.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

for reference only:  1x   1y   2x   2y   4x   4y   8z   9z 

Skj: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld: 2. Óláfsdrápa, 996 (AI, 156-9, BI, 148-50); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 2, 7 | 3 | 3, 4/1-4 | 4/1-4 | 4/5-8, 5 | 4/5-8 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8/1-4, 9/5-8 | 8/5-8, 9/1-4

SkP info: I, 394

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Hfr Óldr 3I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

 Kx Tiðhǫɢvit lét tiɢi || tryɢva sonr fir styɢvan | leicnar hest a lęsti | líot-vaxin hræ saxa | vinhroðigr gaf víða | vísi margra frisa | blꜹcco brúnt at drecka | bloð qvelldriðo stoðe |   [KSH]  edit 
 39 Tid hoguit let tiggi | trygva s. fir styggvan læicn hest alesti liot | vaxin hræ saxa. vinroþigr gaf viða vi | si margra frisa bløcco brunt at dreca | bloð qveldriðu stoði.   [KSH]  edit 
 F Tið hꜹɢvit let tíɢi | tryɢva son fyrir styɢvan leiknar hest a lesti liot vaxiɴ hrǿ̨ | saxa · vín hroðigr gaf viða visi margra frisa blꜹckv | brvnt at drecka bloð kvelldriðo stoði·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J1x Tiþ hꜷguid | let tigi tryga son fyʀ dyguan leiknar hest a | lesti liot vaxinn hre saxa vin hroþigr gaf | viða visi margra frisa blꜹkum brunt at dre | ka bloð kueldri þu stoði ·   [KSH]  edit 
 61 Tið ho᷎gguít | let tiggi . tryggva sonr fyrir styggan . leiknar hest ꜳ lesti . liot vaxinn | hræ saxa . vín hroðigr gaf viða . visi margra frisa . blo᷎cku brvnt at | drecka bloð kuelldriðu stoði.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 53 Tíðhoɢvit | let tiɢí · tryɢva sonr v styɢvan · leiknar hest a lesti · liot vaxi⸌n⸍ | hrœ saxa · vínhróðigr gaf víða · vísi margra frisa · blaukku | brun at drekka · blód kuelldriðu stódi·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 54 Tidhoggit let tiggí. | tryggua sonr vid stygguan. leiknar hest alest | i liotvaxinn hræ saxa. vinhrodigr gaf uida · vísi | margra frisa · blaucku brunt at drecka · blod kue | lldridu stodí ·   [KSH]  edit 
 62 Tidhoggott liet tiggi tryg | gua sonr fir dyggían leiknar hest alesti liot vaxin gram | vaxa vinrodígr gaf vida visi margan frisa blocku bravt | at drecka blod kuelldrido stodi   [KSH]  edit 
 Flat Tid hoggott let tiggi tryggua s. fir skryggian leiknar | hest alesti liot uaxinn hram uaxa vín hrodigr gaf uída uise | margan frisa blo᷎kku bratt at drekka blod kuelldridu stodi   [KSH]  edit 
 FskBx Tið hoggvic vann tiggi | tryggva sonr firir styggvann | læiknar hest a leste | liot vaxenn ræ saxa | vinroðr gaf viða | visir margra frisa | blaccum brunt at drecca | bloð kvælldriðu stoðe   [KSH]  edit 
 FskAx Tið hoggvið vann tyggi | tryggva sun fyr styggvann | læicknar hest a lesti | liotvaxenn hræ saxa | vinroðigr gaf viða | visir margra frisa | blocku brunt at drecka | bloð kvæld riðu stoðe   [KSH]  edit 
 310 Tið hogguit vann tiggi tryggva sonar firir stygguan leiknar hest | a lesti liot vaxinn hræ saxa  vinhroðigr gaf viða visi margra fri | sa . blacka brunnt at drecka bloð kuelldriðu stoði. |   [VEÞ]  edit 

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Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated