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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, 1106

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — SnSt Ht 2III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1106.

Fellr of fúra stilli
fleinbraks, limu axla,
Hamðis fang, þars hringum
hylr ættstuðill skylja.
Holt felr hildigelti
heila bœs, ok deilir
gulls í gemlis stalli
gunnseið skǫrungr reiðir.

{Fang Hamðis} fellr of {stilli {fúra {fleinbraks}}}, þars {ættstuðill skylja} hylr {limu axla} hringum. Felr {holt {bœs heila}} {hildigelti}, ok {deilir gulls}, skǫrungr, reiðir {gunnseið} í {stalli gemlis}.

{Hamðir’s <legendary hero’s> tunic} [BYRNIE] falls around {the ruler {of the fires {of spear-crash}}} [BATTLE > SWORDS > WARRIOR] where {the family-pillar of princes} [RULER = Hákon] hides {the limbs of the shoulders} [ARMS] with rings. He covers {the forest {of the farmstead of the brain}} [HEAD > HAIR] {with the battle-boar} [HELMET], and {the distributor of gold} [GENEROUS MAN], the outstanding person, swings {the battle-pollack} [SWORD] in {his perch of the hawk} [HAND].

Mss: R(45r), Tˣ(47r), W(169) (ll. 5-8), U(47r) (l. 1), U(48r) (SnE)

Readings: [2] limu axla: ‘limvaka’ U    [3] fang: fǫng all    [6] bœs: so W, ‘bos’ R, ‘bys’ Tˣ, ljós U;    ok: so Tˣ, W, om. R, en U    [7] gemlis: so Tˣ, W, gelmis R, U

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 2: AII, 52, BII, 61, Skald II, 36, NN §§1295, 2247C, 2544; SnE 1848-87, I, 600-1, II, 369, 374, 499, III, 111, SnE 1879-81, I, 1, 74, II, 3, SnE 1931, 215, SnE 2007, 5; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 3.

Context: The stanza illustrates the formation of kennings. In W (Orms-Eddu-brot; additions to Skm), the second helmingr is given as an example of kennings for ‘head’.

Notes: [All]: The headings are ij. kenningar ‘two, kennings’ () and kendr háttr ‘verse-form that uses kennings’ (U(47r)). — [All]: In W, the second helmingr is attributed to Snorri Sturluson. — [3] fang (n. nom. sg.) ‘tunic’: Fǫng (n. nom. pl.) ‘tunics’ has been emended to the sg. because the verb fellr (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic.) ‘falls’ requires a sg. subject. — [3] hringum ‘with rings’: Here this refers to a ring byrnie, a coat of mail made of rings that were hammered or woven together (cf. Falk 1914b, 175-7). — [4] skylja ‘of princes’: This can be either gen. sg. or gen. pl. Skj B treats it as a pers. n. (Skyles ætling ‘Skyli’s descendant’; so also SnE 1848-87 and SnE 1879-81). Although the name Skyli occurs in the þulur as one of the names for a king (Þul Konunga 3/4), it is otherwise used in poetry as a heiti for king (LP: skyli). — [5] holt ‘the forest’: A rocky hillock, often covered with trees (Fritzner: holt). Kock (NN §1295) suggests ‘hazel-tree’, but the word is not attested in that meaning. — [5] hildigelti ‘with the battle-boar [HELMET]’: Hildigǫltr ‘battle-boar’ is a heiti for helmet (Þul Hjálms 2/1), referring to boar-images that were engraved on the crests of helmets (see Falk 1914b, 157-60). In Skm Hildigǫltr is the name of the helmet that King Aðils took as booty from the dead King Áli (SnE 1998, I, 58; see also Hyndl 7/7 and Note to Eyv Lv 5/5, 6, 7I). — [6] bœs ‘of the farmstead’: So W. In R, ‘bos’ has been altered to ‘bys’ (R*), i.e. býs ‘of the farmstead’ (cf. the reading of ). — [6] ok ‘and’: So , W. The word was originally omitted in R, but an abbreviated ok has been added above deilir ‘distributor’ (R*). En ‘and’ (U) is also a possible reading. — [8] gunnseið ‘the battle-pollack [SWORD]’: Seiðr ‘pollack’ is a salt-water fish of the cod family (Pollachius virens). In R it looks as though something has been erased before ‘eið’, perhaps <m> or <n> (R*). — [8] skǫrungr ‘the outstanding person’: Following Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SnE 1848-87, III), Möbius (SnE 1879-81, I, 74) and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7), Skj B takes this as the subject in the first clause in the second helmingr, which results in an awkward tripartite line (see NN §1295).

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