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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Snorri Sturluson (SnSt)

13th century; volume 3; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Háttatal (Ht) - 102

Skj info: Snorri Sturluson, Islandsk höfding og skjald, 1178-1241. (AII, 52-79, BII, 60-90).

Skj poems:
1. En drape om Skule jarl
2. Háttatal
3. Af et religiøst digt (?)
4. Lausavísur
4. Lausavísur

prose works

Háttatal — SnSt HtIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1094.

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Skj: Snorri Sturluson: 2. Háttatal, 1222-23 (AII, 52-77, BII, 61-88)

SkP info: III, 1119

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

15 — SnSt Ht 15III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 15’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1119.

þeim, es grundar grímu
gjaldseiðs ok vas faldinn,
— drótt man enn þann* — átti
áðr hans faðir ráða.
Gunnhættir kná grýttu
— gramr býr of þrek — stýra
— stórt ræðr hann, en hjarta
hvetr — buðlunga setri.

þeim, es faðir hans átti ráða áðr ok vas faldinn grímu {gjaldseiðs grundar}; drótt man þann* enn. {Gunnhættir} kná stýra {grýttu setri buðlunga}; gramr býr of þrek; hann ræðr stórt, en hjarta hvetr.

that one [kingdom] which his father ruled earlier, and was clad in the helmet {of the compensation-pollack of the field} [SERPENT = Fáfnir]; people remember that one still. {The battle-darer} [WARRIOR] governs {the rocky seat of sovereigns} [= Norway]; the lord is imbued with endurance; he rules mightily and his heart urges [him] on.

Mss: R(46v), Tˣ(48v), W(140-141), U(47r) (l. 1), U(50r) (SnE); W(106), A(6r) (TGT, ll. 7-8)

Readings: [1] grímu: grimmu U(47r), U(50r)    [2] ‑seiðs: ‑seiðr W    [3] drótt man: ‘dratt mvn’ U(50r);    þann*: ‘þannz’ R, ‘þaz’ Tˣ, ‘þats’ W, þess U(50r)    [5] Gunn‑: í gunn‑ Tˣ;    ‑hættir: so W, heitir R, ‘hettir’ Tˣ, U(50r);    kná: kann W    [6] of: við U(50r)    [7] en: ok A

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 15: AII, 56, BII, 65, Skald II, 37, NN §§1296, 2570, 3260B; SnE 1848-87, I, 620-1, II, 370, 380, III, 114, SnE 1879-81, I, 3, 75, II, 9, SnE 1931, 222, SnE 2007, 11; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 10-11; SnE 1848-87, II, 146-7, 418, TGT 1884, 24, 94, 206-7, TGT 1927, 68, 102-3.

Context: The stanza illustrates the syntactic variation tiltekit ‘linked’ (see st. 39) or afleiðingum ‘with antecedents’, in which the first helmingr is linked syntactically to the last helmingr of the preceding stanza (st. 14 above). The first word in st. 15, þeim ‘that one’, has as its antecedent the last word in st. 14 (konungdómi ‘kingdom’) (see SnE 2007, 52-3). In TGT the last two lines (ll. 7-8) are given in conjunction with st. 16/1 below to illustrate anadiplosis ‘reduplication’ or ‘linkage of the end of one stanza to the beginning of another’ (ON drǫgur ‘drawings’; see st. 16).

Notes: [All]: The couplet is attributed to Snorri in both mss of TGT. — [All]: The heading is afleiðingum ‘with antecedents’ (U(47r)), but tiltekit ‘linked’ has been added in R (R*). This syntactic variant is otherwise attested only in ESk Geisl 1-2VII (see SnE 2007, 79). — [1-2] grímu gjaldseiðs grundar ‘in the helmet of the compensation-pollack of the field [SERPENT = Fáfnir]’: The kenning refers to the dragon Fáfnir and his œgishjálmr ‘helmet of terror’ (see Note to ESk Frag 2/1), but the significance of the first element of the cpd gjaldseiðr ‘compensation-pollack’ is not transparent (see LP: gjaldrseiðr; NN §3260B; SnE 2007, 52, 114). ‘Pollack of the field’ is in itself a kenning for ‘snake’ and Faulkes (SnE 2007, 114) suggests ‘fish of money of ground or fish of the ground where money is buried; fish whose ground is gold’ as possible explanations for the puzzling first element of the cpd. It is more likely that gjald ‘compensation’ refers to the fact that the gold on which Fáfnir lay was the compensation (gjald) for his brother, Otr, which Fáfnir had obtained by killing his own father (see Reg; SnE 1998, I, 45-7; Note to st. 41/2 below; see also Marold 1998). — [2] -seiðs ‘-pollack’: See Note to st. 2/8 above. — [3]: The line is unmetrical because the syntactic break ought to fall after enn ‘still’ in position 3 and not after position 4. Þann ‘that one’ is unstressed, and it is curious that, in all mss, the word is rendered as a dem. with a cliticised rel. particle (and hence with the syntactic break after enn). It is impossible, however, to obtain a syntactically meaningful reading with a rel. in that position. Skj B emends to þat ‘that’ (‘people still remember that’). — [4] faðir hans ‘his father’: Hákon Sverrisson (d. 1 January 1204). — [5] -hættir ‘-darer’: So W(140-141) and, normalised, , U. Ms. R has -heitir ‘-threatener, -heater’ which has been altered to ‘-hęttir’ (R*). — [7] en ‘and’: Altered to þvít ‘because’ in R (R*).

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