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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, 1141

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

34 — SnSt Ht 34III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 34’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1141.

Flaust bjó fólka treystir
fagrskjǫlduðustum ǫldum;
leið skar bragnings bróðir
bjartveggjuðustu reggi.
Hest rak hilmir rasta
harðsveipaðastan reipum;
sær hlaut við þrǫm þjóta
þunghúfuðustu lungi.

{Treystir fólka} bjó flaust fagrskjǫlduðustum ǫldum; {bróðir bragnings} skar leið bjartveggjuðustu reggi. Hilmir rak {hest rasta} harðsveipaðastan reipum; sær hlaut þjóta við þrǫm þunghúfuðustu lungi.

{The encourager of troops} [WARRIOR] readied a ship with men with the fairest shields; {the ruler’s brother} [= Skúli] cut the sea with a vessel with the brightest sails. The lord urged on {the horse of currents} [SHIP], most strongly wrapped with rigging; the sea resounded against the side of the craft with the heaviest hull.

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

Readings: [1] treystir: ‘treyst[…]’ U(47r)    [2] ‑skjǫlduðustum: ‘skiolldvzvztvm’ U(47r), ‘skiolldvzvstvm’ U(52v);    ǫldum: eldum U(47r), U(52v)    [4] ‑veggjuðustu: ‘veggivzvstv’ U(52v);    reggi: hreggi W, U(52v)    [6] harð‑: ‘har‑’ Tˣ    [7] þjóta: þrjóta Tˣ    [8] þung‑: þingi Tˣ;    ‑húfuðustu: ‘‑hvfvztv’ U(52v)

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 34: AII, 61, BII, 70, Skald II, 40; SnE 1848-87, I, 644-7, II, 371, 388, III, 119, SnE 1879-81, I, 5, 78, II, 16, SnE 1931, 231, SnE 2007, 18; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 22.

Context: Snorri calls this variant of dróttkvætt flagðaháttr ‘ogresses’ form’. All even lines are heptasyllabic, and positions 1-5 are occupied by pentasyllabic adjectives in the superlative.

Notes: [All]: The headings are 27 () and flagða lag ‘ogresses’ metre’ (U(47r)). See RvHbreiðm Hl 63-4. Holtsmark (Hl 1941, 131 n. 1) proposes that the name of the metre could have come from the hissing sounds produced by the extra syllables with the consonant cluster [st]. Sievers (1893, 109-10) suggested resolution on the syllables in metrical positions 3-4, which is unlikely because the first syllable carries secondary and not primary stress. Other than in Hl and Ht, this variant is attested in VíglÞ Lv 7/2V (Vígl 10). — [All]: This stanza and the following three stanzas describe events that took place in 1214 during the so-called Vágsbrúarsumar ‘Vágsbrú summer’, when Ingi Bárðarson and Skúli gathered an army and sailed from Bergen to Trøndelag to force the farmers to pledge allegiance at a legal assembly (see Hák, E 1916, 480 and Bǫgl 1988, II, 127). — [1] treystir ‘the encourager’: An agent noun derived from the weak verb treysta ‘encourage, embolden, trust, venture’, and it is not clear which of these meanings is implied here. Faulkes (SnE 2007, 156) tentatively suggests ‘tester (truster? encourager?)’. — [2] fagrskjǫlduðustum ‘with the fairest shields’: Lit. ‘the most fair-shielded’. Hap. leg. A sup. adj., p. p. of the weak verb skjalda ‘equip with shields’ with the first element fagr- ‘fair’. — [3] leið ‘the sea’: Given as a heiti for ‘sea’ in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 93), but otherwise attested only once with that meaning (see Note to Anon (SnE) 12/1). — [3] bróðir bragnings ‘the ruler’s brother [= Skúli]’: See Note to st. 33/5 above. — [4] bjartveggjuðustu ‘with the brightest sails’: Lit. ‘the most bright-sailed’. Hap. leg. and p. p. of an unattested weak verb *veggja ‘equip with sails’ (from veggr ‘sail’), used as a sup. adj. with the first element bjart- ‘bright’. — [4] reggi ‘with a vessel’: For this term for ‘ship’, see Note to Þul Skipa 2/5. — [5] rasta ‘of maelstroms’: Altered in R to rastar ‘of the maelstrom’ (R*). — [6] harðsveipaðastan ‘most strongly wrapped’: Hap. leg. Altered in R to harðgreipaðastan ‘most strongly gripped, most strongly spanned’ (R*). This is the p. p. of the weak verb sveipa in the meaning ‘wrap, swaddle’, sup., with the first element harð- ‘strong, hard’. — [8] þunghúfuðustu ‘with the heaviest hull’: Lit. ‘the most heavy-hulled’. Hap. leg. and p. p. of an unattested weak verb *húfa ‘equip with a hull’ (derived from húfr ‘hull’), in the sup., with the first element þung- ‘heavy’. — [8] lungi ‘of the craft’: See Note to st. 21/1.

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