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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Fragment (Frag) - 1

Skj info: Steinn Herdísarson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 407-13, BI, 376-83).

Skj poems:
1. Nizarvísur
2. Ulfsflokkr
3. Óláfsdrápa

Steinn was the great-grandson of the Icel. poet Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ Helgason (EskálI) and a kinsman of Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson (Stúfr; see the genealogy in SnE 1848-87, III, 607 and Genealogy IV in ÍF 5). At the battle of the river Nissan in 1062 he was on board the ship of his kinsman, Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr). Steinn was a court poet of Haraldr harðráði ‘Hardrule’ Sigurðarson and his son Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’ Haraldsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275). Two poems, NizarvísurVísur about the Nissan’ (Steinn Nizv), and ÓláfsdrápaDrápa about Óláfr’ (Steinn Óldr) survive of his poetic oeuvre, and another st., ÚlfsflokkrFlokkr about Úlfr’ (Steinn Úlffl), is usually assigned to a poem about Úlfr Óspaksson.

Fragment — Steinn FragIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Steinn Herdísarson, 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. 388. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=3263> (accessed 23 October 2021)

 1 

in texts: Skm, SnE

SkP info: III, 388

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

The helmingr (Steinn Frag) is transmitted in mss R (main ms.), , W, U and B of Skm (SnE), and earlier editors assign it to Steinn’s Óláfsdrápa (Steinn ÓldrII; so SnE 1848-87, III, 613, Skj A and Skald), which was composed in honour of King Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’ Haraldsson (r. 1067-93). The half-stanza is attributed to Steinn Herdísarson in all mss but, whereas it appears to form the opening of an encomium, the four lines cannot be assigned to that poem with any certainty because Steinn also composed panegyrics about Óláfr’s father, Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson (Steinn NizvII), and about his own kinsman, Úlfr stallari ‘Marshall’ Óspaksson (Steinn ÚlfflII) (see Fidjestøl 1982, 147). Because the half-stanza calls on God to listen to the poem, it is also possible that it is a fragment of a religious poem.
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