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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, 481

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Hókr Eirfl 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 6’ 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. 481.

Hét á heiptarnýta
hugreifr — með Ôleifi
aptr stǫkk þjóð of þoptur —
þengill sína drengi,
þás hafvita hǫfðu
hallands of gram snjallan
— varð fyr Vinða myrði
vápneiðr — lokit skeiðum.


The glad-hearted ruler [Eiríkr] called on his battle-worthy warriorsmen sprang aft across the rowing-benches with Óláfr —, when they had enclosed the warships {of the diminisher {of the ocean-beacon}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr] around the valiant lord [Óláfr]; {a weapon-oath} [BATTLE] took place before {the murderer of Wends}. [= Eiríkr]

context: According to Hkr and ÓT, so many men have fallen on board Ormr inn langi that the ship is almost empty, and Eiríkr jarl’s men begin to board it. The remaining defenders retreat towards the stern of the ship where Óláfr is standing. The stanza is cited for its description of Eiríkr urging his men on. The narrative is briefer in Fsk and ÓTOdd: Óláfr’s men have retreated to the raised after-deck (lypting) of the ship, and Eiríkr’s men board and attack Óláfr from all sides.

notes: [2]: The line recalls Hfr ErfÓl 27/2 hugreifum Ôleifi. — [7]: This line recalls both Eskál Vell 23/1 Varð fyr Vinða myrði and Hfr ErfÓl 7/1 varð of Vinða myrði. As in the latter poem, it is not quite clear whether myrði Vinða ‘the murderer of Wends’ refers to Óláfr or Eiríkr (see Note to Hfr ErfÓl 7/1). Von See (1977a, 116) argues that Halldórr could well have used the kenning consciously to eulogise Eiríkr by comparing him to his father Hákon (see Introduction above), and that interpretation has been adopted in the present edn.

texts: Fsk 120, ÓT 186, ÓTC 61 (I 163), ÓTOdd 15 (14), Hkr 192 (I 163)

editions: Skj Haldórr ókristni: Eiríksflokkr 6 (AI, 204; BI, 194); Skald I, 102, NN §§687 anm., 1975, 1976; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 451-2, IV, 100, ÍF 26, 365 (ÓTHkr ch. 110), F 1871, 165; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 283-4 (ch. 255); Fsk 1902-3, 129-30 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 158 (ch. 24); ÓTOdd 1932, 228-9, ÍF 25, 344.


AM 35 folx (Kx) 214v, 15 - 214v, 22 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 36va, 19 - 36va, 22 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 133r, 21 - 133v, 4 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 116r, 11 - 116r, 18 (Hkr)  image  
AM 325 VIII 1 4° (325VIII 1) 5vb, 22 - 5vb, 25 (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 68vb, 10 - 68vb, 13 (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 65ra, 10 - 65ra, 14 (ÓT)  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 66rb, 4 - 66rb, 8 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 101vb, 16 - 101vb, 20 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 18 4° (Holm18) 53v, 17 - 53v, 19 (ÓTOdd)  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 141, 12 - 141, 19 (Fsk)  image  
AM 310 4° (310) 91, 2 - 91, 5 (ÓTOdd)  image  
DG 4-7 (4-7) 1va, 37 - 1va, 40 (ÓTOdd)  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 52r, 6 - 52r, 10 (Fsk)  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated