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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, 663-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Ólhv Hryn 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Lauren Goetting (ed.) 2009, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 6’ 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. 663-4.

Fláræði kom framm of síðir;
friðbann hóf þá ǫfund manna;
eigi má við ørlǫg bægjask
jǫfra sveit, þótt ráðug heiti.
Stórr vas harmr, þars stríddu harrar
stála hregg, þvít æ mun beggja
rausnarkapp ok ríki uppi,
ramri þjóð, meðan jǫrð heldr flóði.

Fláræði kom framm of síðir; ǫfund manna hóf þá friðbann; eigi má sveit jǫfra bægjask við ørlǫg, þótt heiti ráðug. Vas stórr harmr ramri þjóð, þars harrar stríddu {hregg stála}, þvít æ mun rausnarkapp ok ríki beggja uppi, meðan jǫrð heldr flóði.

Treachery emerged at last; the malice of men then led to a peace-ban; a host of princes cannot contend against fate, though it is called wise. It was a great sorrow to the mighty people when the lords fought {a storm of weapons} [BATTLE], because the eagerness for glory and the power of both will always be remembered, as long as the earth adheres to the sea.

texts: Flat 856, Hák 33

editions: Skj Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld: 2. Et hrynhent digt 6 (AII, 94-5; BII, 106); Skald II, 56; 104, E 1916, 578, F 1871, 495, Hák 1910-86, 508, Hák 1977-82, 104, Flat 1860-8, III, 125.

sources

AM 47 fol (E) 169r, 25 - 169r, 28 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 106vb, 25 - 106vb, 29 (Hák)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 42 folx (42x) 149v, 5 - 149v, 12 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
AM 81 a fol (81a) 101ra, 39 - 101rb, 5 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 8 fol (8) 47v, 22 - 47v, 25 (Hák)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 176ra, 61 - 176rb, 2 (Hák)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 259v, 13 - 259v, 20  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated