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Runic Dictionary

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Halldórr ókristni (Hókr)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Eiríksflokkr (Eirfl) - 8

Nothing is known about Halldórr ókristni ‘the Un-Christian’ (Hókr) aside from the fact that, according to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 257, 266, 280), he was one of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson’s poets. His nickname indicates that he must have been reluctant to convert to Christianity, and it is not surprising that he is connected with the court of the jarls of Hlaðir (Lade), given that Eiríkr’s father, Hákon jarl Sigurðarson, was the last heathen ruler of Norway. The eight stanzas below are what remain of Halldórr’s poetic oeuvre, and they show that he was well versed in myth and heroic legend and, in particular, that he was familiar with the poetry of earlier and contemporary skalds. In Skj, Finnur Jónsson gives his ethnicity as Icelandic, but that cannot be ascertained.

Eiríksflokkr (‘Flokkr about Eiríkr’) — Hókr EirflI

Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr’ 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. 469.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

Skj: Haldórr ókristni: Eiríksflokkr, o. 1010 (AI, 202-4, BI, 193-5)

SkP info: I, 477

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Hókr Eirfl 4I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 4’ 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. 477.

Gerðisk snarpra sverða
— slitu drengir frið lengi,
þars gollin spjǫr gullu —
gangr of Orm inn langa.
Dolgs kvôðu framm fylgja
fráns leggbita hônum
sœnska menn at sennu
sunnr ok danska runna.


A tumult of sharp swords took place on Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’); warriors demolished the peace for a long time where golden spears resounded. They said that Swedish men and {Danish bushes of battle} [WARRIORS] followed him [Eiríkr] forward in the south at {the flyting {of the glittering leg-biter}}. [SWORD > BATTLE]

context: In Fsk and ÓTOdd this stanza follows immediately after st. 3, whereas in Hkr and ÓT it describes the preamble to the final battle on Ormr inn langi and precedes st. 3 (see Introduction above). According to that version, the Swedish and Danish troops attack Óláfr’s ships, while Eiríkr is always fighting alongside the ships, engaging in hand to hand battle. When men fall on his ship, they are immediately replaced by Swedish and Danish warriors.

notes: [1]: With this line, compare Bjbp Jóms 28/5 grimmr var snarpra sverða and Hfr ErfÓl 17/3 snǫrp varð at þat sverða. — [2]: The rhyme words dreng- and leng- also occur in Hfr ErfÓl 10/8. — [7]: The rhyme words menn and sennu are also used in Hfr ErfÓl 10/8. — [8]: The line is reminiscent of Eskál Vell 25/4 sunnr Danmarkar runnu; see Introduction on the relationship of Eirfl to Vell.

texts: Flat 342, Fsk 117, ÓT 174, ÓTC 56 (I 159), ÓTOdd 12 (11), Hkr 187 (I 159)

editions: Skj Haldórr ókristni: Eiríksflokkr 4 (AI, 203; BI, 193-4); Skald I, 102, NN §2988A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 445, IV, 97-8, ÍF 26, 360 (ÓTHkr ch. 106), F 1871, 163; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 272 (ch. 251), Flat 1860-8, I, 485 ; Fsk 1902-3, 127-8 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 156 (ch. 24); ÓTOdd 1932, 222-3, ÍF 25, 338.


AM 35 folx (Kx) 212r, 6 - 212r, 13 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 36ra, 27 - 36ra, 30 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 131v, 3 - 131v, 7 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 114v, 18 - 114v, 25 (Hkr)  image  
AM 325 VIII 1 4° (325VIII 1) 5rb, 20 - 5rb, 23 (Hkr)  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 64va, 27 - 64va, 31 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 100rb, 6 - 100rb, 10 (ÓT)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 64vb, 8 - 64vb, 11 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 139, 7 - 139, 14 (Fsk)  image  
Holm perg 18 4° (Holm18) 53r, 16 - 53r, 18 (ÓTOdd)  image  
AM 310 4° (310) 89, 16 - 89, 18 (ÓTOdd)  image  
DG 4-7 (4-7) 1rb, 43 - 1rb, 46 (ÓTOdd)  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 51r, 21 - 51v, 1 (Fsk)  
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