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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, 1143

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

36 — SnSt Ht 36III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 36’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1143.

Hristi hvatt, þás reistisk,
herfǫng, mjǫk lǫng véstǫng;
samði fólk, en frǫmðusk,
fullsterk, hringserk, grams verk.
Hǫnd lék (herjum reyndisk)
hjǫrr kaldr (allvaldr mannbaldr);
egg frák breiða bjoggu
bragning fylking; stóð þing.

Hristi hvatt {herfǫng}, þás mjǫk lǫng véstǫng reistisk; fólk samði {hringserk}, en fullsterk verk grams frǫmðusk. Kaldr hjǫrr lék hǫnd; allvaldr reyndisk herjum mannbaldr; frák bragning bjoggu breiða fylking egg; þing stóð.

{Army-tunics} [BYRNIES] were shaken violently when the very long standard-pole was raised; people fastened {the ring-shirt} [BYRNIE], and the mightily strong deeds of the lord were furthered. The cold sword played with the hand; the mighty ruler proved to the men to be a true hero; I heard that the prince equipped the broad battle-array with the blade; the assembly commenced.

Mss: R(48v), Tˣ(51r), W(144), U(47r) (l. 1), U(53r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Hristi: Hristiz U(47r), U(53r)    [2] her‑: ‘[…]’ W    [3] frǫmðusk: framðiz W, framði U(53r)    [4] grams verk: corrected from ‘grꜳn serk’ W    [5] herjum: so Tˣ, U(53r), hverjum R, W    [6] kaldr: kald W    [7] bjoggu: so all others, ‘bioggiv’ R    [8] fylking: so all others, ‘fylkink’ R

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 36: AII, 62, BII, 71, Skald II, 40, NN §1310; SnE 1848-87, I, 648-9, II, 371, 389, III, 120, SnE 1879-81, I, 6, 78, II, 16, SnE 1931, 232, SnE 2007, 18-19; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 23.

Context: This dróttkvætt variant is called þríhent ‘triple-rhymed’ because each even line contains three aðalhendingar rather than two. The hendingar all occur in syllables with secondary stress in positions 2, 4, and 6, which means that the last hending falls on the ultimate rather than on the penultimate syllable.

Notes: [All]: The headings are 29 () and þríhent (U(47r)). This is the last heading (and first line) recorded in the index in U (U(47r)). The metre is similar to that of RvHbreiðm Hl 11-12, but it is not attested elsewhere in the extant corpus of skaldic poetry. — [All]: For this event, see Note to st. 34 [All]. — [1] hristi (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘were shaken’: Lit. ‘was shaken’. The verb is used impersonally with herfǫng ‘troop-tunics’ as the acc. object. — [2] vé- ‘standard-’: Originally written ‘ve-’ in R, but later altered to ‘vé-’ (R*). — [4] fullsterk (n. acc. pl.) ‘mightily strong’: Skj B takes this with herfǫng (n. acc. pl.) ‘army-tunics’ (l. 2). From the point of view of word order, it is preferable to connect it with verk (n. acc. pl.) ‘deeds’ (l. 4) (so NN §1310; SnE 2007, 111). — [5] herjum ‘to the men’: So , U. Hverjum ‘everyone’ has been altered in R to herjum (R*). — [6] mannbaldr ‘a true hero’: Lit. ‘human hero’. Baldr is taken here in the meaning ‘hero, chieftain’ (cf. OE bealdor ‘hero’; AEW: baldr 2). See also Note to Þloft Tøgdr 7/8I. — [7] egg (f. dat. sg.) ‘with the blade’: For the dat. without an ending, see ANG §383 Anm. 2. — [8] þing stóð ‘the assembly commenced’: The legal assembly must be the assembly mentioned in Bǫglunga saga and Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (see Note to st. 34 [All]). Faulkes (SnE 2007, 163) suggests that the word þing here and in st. 33/3 means ‘battle’. That half-kenning is extremely rare, however (see LP: þing 3). It is more likely that the stanzas describe actual incidents that occurred during the legal assemblies in 1213 and 1214 when Ingi Bárðarson forced the unruly farmers of Trøndelag to swear allegiance to him, and both Bǫglunga saga (Bǫgl 1988, II, 125, 127) and Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (E 1916, 480) specifically mention two separate legal assemblies. During the first assembly (the Raumaþing in 1213) described in st. 33 above, fighting ensued, but on the second occasion (at Vágsbrú in 1214) the farmers appear to have submitted peacefully.

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