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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson (RvHbreiðm)

12th century;

III. Háttalykill (Hl) - 84

Skj info: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson (AI, 512-528, BI, 487-508).

Skj poems:

No biography, so editor and volume are not set in this entry.

Háttalykill (‘The old key to verse-forms’) — RvHbreiðm HlIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1001.

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for reference only:  10x 

Skj: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson: Háttalykill, o. 1145 (AI, 512-28, BI, 487-508); stanzas (if different): 1b | 2a | 2b | 3a | 3b | 4a | 4b | 5a | 5b | 6a | 6b | 7a | 7b | 8a | 8b | 9a | 9b | 10a | 10b | 11a | 11b | 12a | 12b | 13a | 13b | 14a | 14b | 15a | 15b | 16a | 16b | 17a | 17b | 18a | 18b | 19a | 19b | 20a | 20b | 21a | 21b | 22a | 22b | 23a | 23b | 24a | 24b | 25a | 25b | 26a | 26b | 27a | 27b | 28a | 28b | 29a | 29b | 30a | 30b | 31a | 31b | 32a | 32b | 33a | 33b | 34a | 34b | 35a | 35b | 36a | 36b | 37a | 37b | 38a | 38b | 39a | 39b | 40a | 40b | 41a | 41b

SkP info: III, 1060

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

53 — RvHbreiðm Hl 53III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 53’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1060.

Ák frá Óláfi
eiðar þrár meiðum
sløngði *á* svanvengi
Selju mens — telja.
Fréttu fleystéttar
— fengu gjǫf drengir —
harðir hyr-Nirðir
hildings fémildi.

Ák telja frá Óláfi; þrár eiðar sløngði {meiðum {mens Selju}} *á* {svanvengi}. {Harðir {{fleystéttar} hyr-}Nirðir} fréttu fémildi hildings; drengir fengu gjǫf.

I must tell about Óláfr; the one firm of oath flung {trees {of Selja’s <island’s> necklace}} [SEA > SHIPS] onto {the swan-meadow} [SEA]. {Harsh Nirðir <gods> {of the fire {of the ship-path}}} [(lit. ‘ship-path’s fire-Nirðir’) SEA > GOLD > MEN] heard about the leader’s generosity; the warriors received a gift.

Mss: papp25ˣ(36v), R683ˣ(131r)

Readings: [2] eiðar: auðar papp25ˣ, R683ˣ;    þrár meiðum: þrámeiðum papp25ˣ, þrá meiðum R683ˣ    [3] *á* svanvengi: ‘hansvanvenge’ papp25ˣ, ‘hans vanvæingi’ R683ˣ    [5] ‑stéttar: so R683ˣ, ‘‑stetar’ papp25ˣ    [7] hyr‑: her‑ papp25ˣ, R683ˣ

Editions: Skj: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 27a: AI, 522-3, BI, 500, Skald I, 245; Hl 1941, 27-8, 75-7.

Context: The heading is Haddarlag (‘Haddar lag’), a metrical variant that corresponds to SnSt Ht 79 (Haðarlag ‘Hǫðr’s metre’). The metre is pentasyllabic málaháttr with internal rhyme, and the second hending in each line falls in penultimate position as in dróttkvætt.

Notes: [All]: For a discussion of the metre, see Section 4, General Introduction in SkP I. — [All]: The stanza is quite garbled in Rugman’s transcriptions, and in papp25ˣ a curly bracket enclosing ll. 1-4 has been added in the right margin along with the abbreviation ‘NB.’. — [All]: The identity of ‘Óláfr’ is unclear. Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) suggests Óláfr Bjarnarson, the brother of Eiríkr (see sts 51-2 and Note to st. 51 [All]; ÍF 26, 130), Óláfr sœnski ‘the Swede’, Eiríkr’s son (ÍF 26, passim), or a sea-king named Óláfr (Gautr ch. 11). — [1-4]: Skj B and Skald construe the first helmingr as follows: Ák frá Óláfi | auðar þrámeiðum | sløngði snákvengi | selju mens telja, i.e. ák telja selju mens frá Óláfi; sløngði snákvengi þrámeiðum auðar ‘I must tell the willow of the necklace [WOMAN] about Óláfr; he flung the snake-land [GOLD] to the longing-trees of wealth [MEN]’. However, as Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) points out, this would be the only stanza in Hl in which the poets mention a woman, and st. 54 shows that the intended audience is male. The eds of Hl 1941 admit that Finnur Jónsson’s interpretation is unsatisfactory, but they have no better version to offer. — [2] eiðar ‘of oath’: In the present edn, auðar (m. gen. sg.) ‘of wealth’ has been emended to eiðar (m. gen. sg.) ‘of oath’ to restore the missing aðalhending, and þrá ‘obstinate, firm’ (adj.) or ‘longing’ (noun) has been emended to þrár (m. nom. sg.; assuming the loss of final -r) ‘obstinate, firm’ (Fritzner: þrárvedholdende, bestemt paa at holde fast ved noget’ ‘persistent, determined to hold on to sth.’). ‘Firm of oath’ then means ‘steadfast’. For the gen. eiðar ‘of oath’, see ANG §358.2. The line has the same structure as ll. 4 and 6. — [3]: As it stands in the mss, the line is hypermetrical, and most earlier eds delete hann (‘han’) ‘he’. Finnur Jónsson and Kock emend ‘svanvenge’ (so papp25ˣ; ‘-s vanvæingi’ R683ˣ) to snákvengi ‘snake-land’, a kenning for ‘gold’ (see Note to ll. 1-4 above). However, it appears that Rugman misread the line much in the same way as he misread the first line of st. 54 (see the Note to st. 54/1), and svanvengi ‘swan-meadow’ also occurs in st. 54/5. — [4] mens Selju ‘of Selja’s <island’s> necklace [SEA]’: Selja is an island off the western coast of Norway (see ESk Lv 14/3, Þul Eyja 2/1 and Þul Islands l. 3). It is taken here as a determinant in a kenning for ‘sea’, which again functions as a determinant in the ship-kenning meiðum mens Selju ‘the trees of the necklace of Selja’ (ll. 2-3) (for meiðr ‘tree’ as base-word in kennings for ‘ship’, see Meissner 221). ‘Fling ships onto the sea’ means ‘launch ships’ (see the similar meaning of the verb skjóta lit. ‘shoot’; LP: skjóta 2). — [7] hyr-Nirðir ‘fire-Nirðir <gods>’: Following most earlier eds, her-Nirðir ‘army-Nirðir <gods> [WARRIORS]’ has been emended to hyr-Nirðir as a part of the kenning fleystéttar hyr-Nirðir ‘the Nirðir <gods> of the fire of the ship-path [(lit. ‘ship-path’s fire-Nirðir’) SEA > GOLD > MEN]’. Although her-Nirðir ‘army-Nirðir’ (so SnE 1848, 244) could be taken as a kenning for ‘warriors’, such a kenning would leave a dangling determinant (fleystéttar ‘of the ship-path’, l. 5). For Nirðir ‘gods’ see Note to st. 6/3.

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