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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, 479

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Hókr Eirfl 5I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 5’ 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. 479.

Hykkat vægð at vígi,
— vann drótt jǫfur sóttan;
fjǫrð komsk jarl at jǫrðu —
ógnharðan sik spǫrðu,
þás fjarðmývils fœrðuð,
folkharðr, á trǫð Barða
— lítt vas Sifjar Sóti
svangr — við Orm inn langa.


I do not believe there was mercy during the onslaught [or that] the battle-hard one [Eiríkr] spared himselfthe retinue attacked the prince; last year, the jarl obtained the landwhen, war-hard one, you brought Barði (‘Prow’) onto {the path {of the fjord-lump}} [SKERRY > SEA] against Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’); {the Sóti of Sif} [WOLF] was hardly hungry.

context: In Fsk and ÓTOdd the stanza follows immediately after st. 4. In ÓT, it illustrates a second attack on Ormr inn langi. The army of Swedes and Danes shoots weapons at the ship, and then Eiríkr brings Barði alongside Ormr again and there is fierce fighting. Neither the jarl nor his men hold back during this battle.

notes: The rhyme scheme in this stanza is unusual (fjǫrð- : jǫrð-, ‑harð- : ‑spǫrð- (ll. 3-4) and fjarð- : fœrð-, ‑harð- : Barð ‑ (ll. 5-6)). It is hardly accidental and resembles SnSt Ht 41III, 53III (liðhent ‘helping-rhymed’). — This stanza is not recorded in Hkr, and FskAˣ is the main ms. — [1]: This line recalls Þmáhl Máv 1/5V (Eb 3) Barkak vægð at vígi.

texts: Flat 351, Fsk 118, ÓT 184, ÓTOdd 13 (12)

editions: Skj Haldórr ókristni: Eiríksflokkr 5 (AI, 203-4; BI, 194); Skald I, 102, NN §§557, 558, 1953A, 2921; Fsk 1902-3, 128 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 156 (ch. 24); ÓTOdd 1932, 223, ÍF 25, 338-9; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 282 (ch. 255), Flat 1860-8, I, 490.


AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 139, 15 - 139, 22 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 18 4° (Holm18) 53r, 18 - 53r, 20 (ÓTOdd)  image  
AM 310 4° (310) 89, 19 - 89, 21 (ÓTOdd)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 68va, 27 - 68va, 29 (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 66ra, 13 - 66ra, 17 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 101va, 26 - 101va, 30 (ÓT)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 65rb, 59 - 65va, 3 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 51v, 1 - 51v, 5 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated