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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, 1138

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

32 — SnSt Ht 32III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 32’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1138.

Él þreifsk skarpt of Skúla
skýs snarvinda lindar;
egg varð hvǫss í hǫggum
hræs dynbrunnum runnin.
Seimþreytir bjó sveita
snjallr ilstafna hrafni;
Páll varð und fet falla
framm þrábarni arnar.

{Él {skýs {snarvinda lindar}}} þreifsk skarpt of Skúla; hvǫss egg varð runnin {dynbrunnum hræs} í hǫggum. {Snjallr seimþreytir} bjó {ilstafna} hrafni sveita; Páll varð falla framm und fet {þrábarni arnar}.

{The storm {of the cloud {of the biting winds of the linden-spear}}} [BATTLE > SHIELD > BATTLE] grew vigorously around Skúli; the sharp blade became drenched {with rushing fountains of carrion} [BLOOD] during the blows. {The brave gold-destroyer} [GENEROUS MAN] adorned {the foot-sole prows} [CLAWS] of the raven with blood; Páll had to fall forwards beneath the footsteps {of the beloved child of the eagle} [EAGLE].

Mss: R(48r), Tˣ(50v), W(144), U(47r) (ll. 1-2), U(52v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] skarpt: so all others, ‘skarft’ R    [2] skýs: om. Tˣ    [3] egg: ‘[…]gg’ W    [4] hræs: so all others, hræss R;    dyn‑: dun‑ Tˣ;    ‑brunnum: so all others, ‘‑bronnvm’ R;    runnin: unninn W    [5] Seim‑: so all others, sveim‑ R;    bjó: hjó Tˣ    [6] ‑stafna: ‑stafni W    [7] Páll: þollr W, valr U;    fet: fit Tˣ, W, fót U

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 32: AII, 61, BII, 69, Skald II, 39; SnE 1848-87, I, 642-5, II, 371, 387, III, 118, SnE 1879-81, I, 5, 78, II, 15, SnE 1931, 230, SnE 2007, 17; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 20-1.

Context: The dróttkvætt variant is riðhent ‘rocking-rhymed’, which is similar to bragarbót ‘poem’s improvement’ (see st. 31 above) except that the trisyllabic compounds are found in the even rather than in the odd lines.

Notes: [All]: The headings are 25 () and liðhendum ‘with helping rhymes’ (U(47R)). For this variant, see SnE 2007, 57-8 and Gade (1995a, 116, 259 nn. 6, 7). For liðhent, see sts 41 and 53 below. The name of the verse-form, riðhent ‘rocking-rhymed’, refers to the proximity of the internal rhymes (with only an unstressed, enclitic syllable between them). — [1] skarpt ‘vigorously’: This could also be an adj. qualifying él ‘storm’ (skarpt él ‘vigourous storm’). — [2] lindar ‘of the linden-spear’: Lit. ‘of the linden’. See Note to st. 9/2 above. — [5] seimþreytir ‘gold-destroyer [GENEROUS MAN]’: If the R variant is retained, sveimþreytir could be construed as ‘turmoil-labourer’ i.e. ‘warrior’ (preferred by Konráð Gíslason 1895-7 and SnE 2007), but that is unlikely in view of the reading of the majority of the mss. Þreytir is an agent noun from the weak verb þreyta ‘complete, exhaust, contend, compete, try’. — [5] bjó ‘adorned’: The variant hjó ‘struck, hew’ is difficult to accommodate syntactically. In R, bjó has been altered to hjó (R*). — [7] Páll: Páll dróttseti ‘Steward’ was a retainer of King Ingi Bárðarson (r. 1204-17), Skúli’s half-brother. Páll was killed by Skúli and Jón Austrátt ‘from Austrått’ in Trondheim in 1213, but no battle is mentioned in connection with his death (see Bǫgl 1988, II, 126). — [7] fet ‘the footsteps’: The , W variant fit ‘foot, limb’ is equally possible, but fót ‘foot’ (U) is unmetrical (the metre requires a short syllable in position 4). — [8] þrábarni (n. dat. sg.) ‘of the beloved child’: Possessive dat. The first element in this cpd is either derived from the f. noun þrá ‘longing, yearning’ or from the n. noun þrá ‘obstinacy’. If the latter meaning is chosen, the cpd could be understood as ‘the obstinate child’ (see þrátt ‘obstinately’, st. 33/3 below).

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