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Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson (Ólhv)

13th century; volume 2; ed. Lauren Goetting;

2. Hrynhenda (Hryn) - 12

prose works

Óláfr hvítaskáld ‘White Skald’ Þórðarson (Ólhv) was an accomplished Icel. scholar and a prolific poet. Details of his life are documented in Sturlunga saga (Stu), Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (Hák), and Knýtlinga saga (Knýtl). He was born c. 1210-12 at Staður on Snæfellsness, Iceland, as the eldest son of Þórðr Sturluson and his concubine Þóra. He was the nephew of Snorri Sturluson (SnSt; d. 1241), with whom he spent long periods of time as a young man, and the older brother of Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl; d. 1284). In 1237 he left Iceland with Snorri to embark upon a career as a professional poet at the courts of Scandinavia. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256-8, 260, 378-84) Óláfr composed poetry in honour of a large number of kings and noblemen, including the following: (in Norway) Jarl Skúli Bárðarson (d. 1240), King Hákon Hákonarson (d. 1263) and his son Hákon ungi ‘the Young’ Hákonarson (d. 1257), Jarl Knútr Hákonarson (d. 1261); (in Sweden) King Eiríkr Eiríkson (d. 1250); (in Denmark) King Valdimarr Valdimarsson (d. 1241). Because of Óláfr’s close association with Valdimarr, from whom he hafði ... margar ágætligar frásagnir ‘got ... many excellent narratives’ (ÍF 35, 315), he is thought by some to have written Knýtl, which recounts the history of Dan. rulers (see LH 1894-1901, II, 275, 784-5). Around 1242 Óláfr returned to Iceland and founded a school at Stafaholt in Borgarfjörður, where he wrote the Third Grammatical Treatise (TGT) and devoted himself to teaching and writing until his death in 1259. In addition to these pursuits, he was ordained subdeacon at some point after his return to Iceland and also served as lawspeaker 1248-50.

Most of Óláfr’s extant poetry consists of encomia to King Hákon Hákonarson and is inserted throughout the prose in Hák. This includes part of Hrynhenda (Ólhv Hryn), one st. from a Poem about Hákon (Ólhv Hák), and two lvv. (Ólhv Lv). One lv. traditionally assigned to him, has been reassigned in the present edn to Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson (Ólsv Love 3III). Aside from the aforementioned, the remainder of Óláfr’s known poetic works includes two sts from ÁrónsdrápaDrápa about Árón’ (Ólhv ÁrdrIV), composed about his friend Árón Hjǫrleifsson, and two sts from ThómasdrápaDrápa about Thomas (ꜳ Becket)’ (Ólhv ThómdrIII), recorded in the Fourth Grammatical Treatise (FoGT). Finally, nine fragments of sts from TGT (Ólhv FragIII), treated as anonymous in previous eds, are attributed to Óláfr in this edn.

Hrynhenda (‘Falling, flowing metre’) — Ólhv HrynII

Lauren Goetting 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 658-70.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12 

Skj: Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld: 2. Et hrynhent digt, 1240 (AII, 93-7, BII, 105-8)

SkP info: II, 667

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Ólhv Hryn 10II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Lauren Goetting (ed.) 2009, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 667.

Hallgeislat rauð hvatt í Ósló
hildar tungl með skata mildum
(ræstir þrungu jǫfrar œstum)
járnfaldit lið (saman hjaldri).
Brǫndum skýfðusk blóðgar randir;
bleikir fellu menn at velli;
hlífarlauss vá gramr með gæfu;
gyltar sungu hjalta tungur.

Járnfaldit lið rauð hvatt {hallgeislat tungl hildar} í Ósló með mildum skata; ræstir jǫfrar þrungu saman œstum hjaldri. Blóðgar randir skýfðusk brǫndum; bleikir menn fellu at velli; gramr vá hlífarlauss með gæfu; {gyltar tungur hjalta} sungu.

The iron-helmed retinue bravely reddened {brilliant-coloured moons of battle} [SHIELDS] in Oslo with the generous lord; the princes, incited, caused a fierce battle. Bloody shields were cut in two with swords; pale men fell to the field; the king fought successfully without a shield; {gilded tongues of hilts} [SWORDS] sang.

Mss: E(177r), F(110vb), 42ˣ(162v), 81a(109ra), 8(56v), Flat(178vb) (Hák)

Readings: [1] Hall‑: ‘Hatt‑’ 81a;    ‑geislat: ‑gíslat F, ‘‑gilsar’ 42ˣ, ‘‑geírstad’ 81a, ‑geisat 8;    rauð: fló Flat;    hvatt: so F, 81a, Flat, ‘buat’ E, hvatr 42ˣ, hart 8    [2] skata: skatna 81a    [3] ræstir: ‘rꜹstír’ F;    þrungu: ‘þrungðo’ F;    jǫfrar œstum: so F, 42ˣ, 8, Flat, jǫfra hæstum E, ‘lafrar æstum’ 81a    [4] járn‑: jafn‑ Flat;    ‑faldit: faldinn 81a;    saman: ‘samam’ 81a;    hjaldri: haldit Flat    [5] skýfðusk: so 81a, 8, Flat, ‘skipduz’ E, ‘skifðoz’ F, ‘sciptuz’ 42ˣ;    blóðgar: ‘sblogdgar’ 81a    [6] at: á F, 42ˣ, 8, Flat    [7] vá: var F, 42ˣ;    með: við 42ˣ    [8] gyltar: gyldar Flat

Editions: Skj: Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld, 2. Et hrynhent digt 10: AII, 96, BII, 107, Skald II, 57, NN §2280; E 1916, 603, F 1871, 515, Hák 1910-86, 560, Hák 1977-82, 126, Flat 1860-8, III, 151.

Context: The battle of Oslo, fought between the forces of Hákon and Skúli, took place at the churchyard of Hallvardskirken on 21 April 1240. Hákon, at the head of his army, urged his men to advance.

Notes: [All]: For this event in the battle of Oslo, see also Sturl Hákkv 14. — [1, 2] hallgeislat tungl hildar ‘brilliant-coloured moons of battle [SHIELDS]’: The cpd hallgeislat is a hap. leg. consisting of hallr ‘stone, jewel, colour’ and geislat (adj., n. acc. sg., p. p. of geisla ‘beam, illuminate’) ‘illuminated’ (see LP: hallgeislaðr). Hallgeislat modifies tungl (n. acc. sg.), which is used here with a pl. meaning. For the custom of painting and ornamenting shields, see Falk 1914, 143-8. — [3, 4] þrungu saman ‘caused’: Lit. ‘forced together’. — [7] hlífarlauss ‘without a shield’: Hap. leg. Hlíf can mean ‘protection’ in general, or more specifically, as in this case, ‘shield’. — [7] með gæfu ‘successfully’: Lit. ‘with good fortune’ (see NN §2280). — [8] gyltar tungur hjalta ‘gilded tongues of hilts [SWORDS]’: Cf. Kári Lv 3/5-6V hátungur hjalta ‘long tongues of hilts’ i.e. ‘swords’. The present kenning for ‘sword’, which contains the base-word ‘tongue’, is an artful reversal of the more common practice of referring to the tongue with the base-word ‘sword’ (see Guðrún Nordal 2001, 252). The latter is described in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 108): tunga er opt kǫlluð sverð máls eða munns ‘the tongue is often called sword of speech or mouth’.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated