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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halldórr ókristni (Hókr)

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

Eiríksflokkr (Eirfl) - 8

Skj info: Haldórr ókristni, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 202-204, BI, 193-195).

Skj poems:

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 21 September 2021)

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

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

SkP info: I, 482

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Hókr Eirfl 7I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 7’ 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. 482.

Drógusk vítt at vígi
Vinða skeiðr, ok ginðu
Þriðja hauðrs á þjóðir
þunn gǫlkn éarnmunnum.
Gnýr varð á sæ sverða;
sleit ǫrn Gera beitu;
dýrr vá drengja stjóri;
drótt kom mǫrg á flótta.

Skeiðr Vinða drógusk vítt at vígi, ok {þunn gǫlkn {hauðrs Þriðja}} ginðu éarnmunnum á þjóðir. {Gnýr sverða} varð á sæ; ǫrn sleit {beitu Gera}; {dýrr stjóri drengja} vá; mǫrg drótt kom á flótta.

The warships of Wends came from afar to the fight, and {slender monsters {of the land of Þriði <= Óðinn>}} [SHIELD > AXES] yawned with iron-mouths at people. There was {a din of swords} [BATTLE] at sea; an eagle tore {the food of Geri <wolf>} [CORPSES]; {the worthy leader of warriors} [RULER = Eiríkr] fought; many a company took to flight.

Mss: (216r), F(36vb), J1ˣ(134r), J2ˣ(116v-117r) (Hkr); 61(69rb), 53(65vb), 54(67ra), 325VIII 2 g(1ra), Bb(102va), Flat(65vb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Drógusk: drógu 61;    vítt: vitr 325VIII 2 g, Bb;    vígi: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb, Flat, vági Kˣ, F    [3] hauðrs: auðs Flat;    þjóðir: þjóði F    [4] þunn: ‘þun‑’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, Flat;    ‑gǫlkn: gálkn ok F, ‘galkv’ 325VIII 2 g, ‘galk’ Bb;    éarn‑: ‘aiarn‑’ Kˣ, ok jarn‑ F, í jarn‑ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, vafit 61, varit 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb, varin Flat;    ‑munnum: ‑mǫnnum Bb, Flat    [5] varð: var 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb    [6] Gera: geira 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb;    beitu: ‘beitꜹ’ Bb    [7] stjóri: ‘stiorri’ Bb

Editions: Skj: Haldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 7: AI, 204, BI, 194, Skald I, 102; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 454, IV, 101, ÍF 26, 367 (ÓTHkr ch. 112), F 1871, 166; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 289 (ch. 256), Flat 1860-8, I, 494.

Context: During the battle, the ships with Sigvaldi jarl and his Wendish troops wait at a distance and do not engage in the fighting. When Óláfr Tryggvason jumps overboard from Ormr inn langi, there is a shout of victory from the enemy army, and at that Sigvaldi and his men row towards the battle.

Notes: [All]: Ms. 61 attributes this stanza to Hallfreðr, and 54, 325VIII 2 g and Bb give Hallar-Steinn as the poet. — [1] vítt ‘from afar’: This adv. usually means ‘far and wide, widely’ (see LP: víðr), but the prose implies that Sigvaldi and his troops waited together for the battle to end. Vítt in the sense ‘from afar’ could have been used ironically here. — [1] at vígi ‘to the fight’: The , F variant at vági ‘to the bay’ is also possible, but it is the minority reading and could have been prompted by the fact that, according to some traditions, Svǫlðr was a bay and not an island (see Note to st. 3/7 above). — [2] ginðu ‘yawned’: This is the 3rd pers. pret. pl. indic. of a weak verb *gina ‘yawn’ (cf. OHG ginēn ‘yawn’; see ANG §482 Anm. 2). Cf. Arn Þorfdr 13/7II. — [3, 4] gǫlkn hauðrs Þriðja ‘monsters of the land of Þriði <= Óðinn> [SHIELD > AXES]’: Þriði is a name for Óðinn (see Note to Þul Óðins 5/3III). The kenning for ‘axe’ (‘monster of the shield’) is modelled on the pattern ‘troll-woman of the shield’, but it is untraditional (see Meissner 148). — [4] éarnmunnum ‘with iron-mouths’: This refers to axe-blades. The metre requires the older, disyllabic form of the word jarn ‘iron’ (see ANG §133b2; cf. also FGT 1972b, 20-1, Ótt Hfl 8/8 and Note). The cpd occurs in Hfr ErfÓl 6/6 as well. The scribes of the Hkr mss used the later form (jarn-) and added an extra syllable (á ‘on’ , ok ‘and’ F, í ‘in’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ) for metrical reasons, but the resulting phrases cannot be accommodated syntactically. That is also the case with the ÓT variants vafit/varit munnum ‘wrapped with mouths’ (61, 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g). — [5-8]: This helmingr is composed in the dróttkvætt variant áttmælt ‘eight-times spoken’ (SnSt Ht 10III), in which each line forms an independent clause. — [5] gnýr sverða ‘a din of swords [BATTLE]’: Given the emphasis on the sound of weapons in the poem, this phrase could also be taken literally here. — [6]: The identical line is found in ESk Frag 8/2III. Geri was one of Óðinn’s wolves (see Note to ÞKolb Eirdr 17/2, 3). The variant geira ‘of spears’ (54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb) is unmetrical since the metre requires a short first syllable. — [7]: This line recalls Hfr ErfÓl 23/3 dýrr hné dróttar stjóri. — [8]: Cf. Hfr ErfÓl 1/2 mǫrg kom drótt á flótta.

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