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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, 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 sverða;
sleit ǫrn Gera beitu;
dýrr drengja stjóri;
drótt kom mǫrg á flótta.


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

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: Ms. 61 attributes this stanza to Hallfreðr, and 54, 325VIII 2 g and Bb give Hallar-Steinn as the poet. — [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. — [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.

texts: Flat 356, ÓT 190, ÓTC 63 (I 165), Hkr 194 (I 165)

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.


AM 35 folx (Kx) 216r, 7 - 216r, 14 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 36vb, 8 - 36vb, 11 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 134r, 18 - 134r, 22 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 116v, 27 - 117r, 2 (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 69rb, 19 - 69rb, 21 (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 65vb, 5 - 65vb, 8 (ÓT)  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 67ra, 8 - 67ra, 12 (ÓT)  image  
AM 325 VIII 2 g 4° (325VIII 2 g) 1ra, 8 - 1ra, 12 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 102va, 21 - 102va, 25 (ÓT)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 65vb, 51 - 65vb, 53 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
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