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Runic Dictionary

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Halldórr skvaldri (Hskv)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Fragment (Frag) - 1

Halldórr skvaldri (Hskv) is otherwise unknown. True to his nickname, skvaldri ‘Prattler’, Halldórr is said to have composed about numerous rulers and noblemen, but little of that poetry has been preserved. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 254-5, 258, 260, 262-3, 267, 272, 276-7, 283), he commemorated the following persons: Sóni Ívarsson, jarl of Götaland (c. 1100), King Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson of Norway (d. 1103) and his sons, King Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ (d. 1130) and King Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’ (d. 1136), King Eiríkr eymuni ‘the Long-remembered’ of Denmark (d. 1137), the Swed. jarl Karl Sónason (c. 1140), King Sørkvir Kolsson of Sweden (c. 1150), King Ingi Haraldsson of Norway (d. 1161) and the Swed. jarl Jón Sørkvisson. See SnE 1848-87, III, 367-70. What survives of Halldórr’s poetic oeuvre are two poems about Sigurðr jórsalafari (Hskv Útkv, 1 st.; Hskv Útdr, 12 sts) one poem about Haraldr gilli (Hskv Hardr, 5 sts), and a fragment of an encomium (Hskv FragIII), which has been edited in SkP III.

Fragment — Hskv FragIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Halldórr skvaldri, Fragment’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 210. <> (accessed 27 May 2022)

stanzas:  1 

in texts: Skm, SnE

SkP info: III, 210

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This helmingr (Hskv Frag) is usually assigned to Halldórr skvaldri’s Útfarardrápa (Hskv ÚtdrII; so SnE 1848-87, III, 368-9, Skj A and Skald), an encomium composed in honour of the Norwegian king Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ Magnússon (r. 1103-30). Although it was certainly part of a panegyric, the content is too general to warrant such an attribution (see Fidjestøl 1982, 157), and Halldórr composed about numerous other rulers and magnates (see his Biography in SkP II). The present tense used in the helmingr indicates that the recipient of the poem was still alive at the time of composition, and Halldórr also uses the present tense in his encomia to Sigurðr jórsalafari (c. 1120) and Sigurðr’s half-brother, Haraldr gillikristr ‘Servant of Christ’ (c. 1137). The stanza is transmitted in mss , U, A B, C of Skm (SnE). Ms. B is now almost illegible and 744ˣ has been used in its place. The name of the poet is given as Halldórr skvaldri (A, 744ˣ, C), Halldórr (U) or Halldórr Skúlason (). The leaf containing the stanza is damaged in R (the top of fol. 39r has been removed), and is the main ms.
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