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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, 668-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Ólhv Hryn 11II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Lauren Goetting (ed.) 2009, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 11’ 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. 668-9.

Snǫrp bitu járn, sem ísmǫl yrpi
óðastraumr; með heitu blóði
herstefnir rauð hamri ofna
hildar serki framar merkjum.
Grimmum stóð á Gǫndlar himni
grár regnbogi Hnikars þegna;
harða lustu fylking fyrða
fáreldingar meginsára.

Snǫrp járn bitu, sem óðastraumr yrpi ísmǫl; {herstefnir} rauð {hamri ofna serki hildar} með heitu blóði framar merkjum. {Grár regnbogi Hnikars} stóð á {grimmum himni Gǫndlar} þegna; {fáreldingar meginsára} lustu harða fylking fyrða.

Sharp weapons bit, as if a raging stream were casting up pieces of ice; {the army-leader} [WARRIOR = Hákon] reddened {the hammer-woven shirts of battle} [BYRNIES] with hot blood ahead of the standards. {The grey rainbow of Hnikarr <= Óðinn>} [SPEAR] stood in the men’s {fierce sky of Gǫndul <valkyrie>} [SHIELD]; {the destructive lightning bolts of great wounds} [SPEARS] powerfully struck the company of men.

texts: Flat 874, Hák 51

editions: Skj Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld: 2. Et hrynhent digt 11 (AII, 96; BII, 108); Skald II, 57, NN §§2281, 2577; E 1916, 605, F 1871, 516, Hák 1910-86, 560, Hák 1977-82, 128, Flat 1860-8, III, 153.

sources

AM 47 fol (E) 177r, 30 - 177v, 1 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 111ra, 35 - 111ra, 39 (Hák)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 42 folx (42x) 164r, 21 - 164r, 28 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
AM 81 a fol (81a) 109rb, 41 - 109va, 5 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 8 fol (8) 57r, 8 - 57r, 10 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 178vb, 45 - 178vb, 48 (Hák)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 381v, 7 - 381v, 14  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated