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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, 1148

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

39 — SnSt Ht 39III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 39’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1148.

Ok hjaldrreifan hófu
hoddstiklanda miklir
— morðflýtir kná mœta
málmskúrar dyn — hjálmar,
hjaldrs þás hilmir foldar
hugdýrum gaf stýri
(ógnsvellir fær allan)
jarldóm (gǫfugr sóma).

Ok miklir hjálmar hófu {hjaldrreifan hoddstiklanda} – {morðflýtir} kná mœta {dyn málmskúrar} –, þás {hilmir foldar} gaf {hugdýrum stýri hjaldrs} jarldóm; {gǫfugr ógnsvellir} fær allan sóma.

And great helmets promoted {the battle-happy hoard-dispenser} [GENEROUS MAN = Skúli] – {the urger of battles} [WARRIOR] meets {the din of the metal-shower} [BATTLE] –, when {the lord of the land} [KING = Ingi] gave {the noble-minded controller of battle} [WARRIOR = Skúli] an earldom; {the glorious terror-increaser} [WARRIOR] obtains all honour.

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

Readings: [1] hjaldr‑: so W, U, hjald‑ R, Tˣ    [4] hjálmar: hálmar Tˣ, U    [5] hilmir: corrected from ‘hilldmir’ U;    foldar: so all others, ‘folkar’(?) R    [6] ‑dýrum: ‘fo᷎rom’ Tˣ, ‘stærum’ W, ‘færvm’ U;    stýri: ‘sto᷎ri’ Tˣ, ‘færi’ W, ‘stæri’ U

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 39: AII, 63, BII, 71, Skald II, 40, NN §§1314; SnE 1848-87, I, 650-1, II, 389-90, III, 120-1, SnE 1879-81, I, 7, 78, II, 17, SnE 1931, 233, SnE 2007, 19; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 24-5.

Context: The dróttkvætt variant is called tiltekit ‘linked’ (see st. 15), and the term apparently refers to the fact that the two helmingar are linked syntactically, that is, the first clause in the second helmingr is dependent on the first clause of the first helmingr. The commentary is not quite clear, however, and it could be that ‘linked’ refers to the repetition of the word hjaldr- (l. 1) in l. 5 (hjaldrs).

Notes: [All]: In dróttkvætt stanzas it is not uncommon for the second helmingr to be syntactically dependent on the first helmingr, but syntactic dependency is never used systematically throughout a poem (see also SnE 2007, 79). — [All]: The heading in is 31. — [All]: Just before he died, King Ingi Bárðarson (d. 21 April 1217) gave his half-brother Skúli the title of jarl. — [4] hjálmar (m. nom. pl.) ‘helmets’: Altered to hálmar ‘straws’ in R (R*). It is unclear what exactly is meant by ‘helmets’. Most likely it refers to helmeted warriors, and, if so, it is paralleled in Arn Hryn 9/5, 8II Bað hjalma Peitu samnask til hverrar hǫmlu ‘He [Magnús] urged helmets from Poitou to rally at every rowing position’. See also Note to Arn Hryn 9/8II. This could refer to distinguished warriors participating in the ceremony when Skúli was given the title of jarl. The variant hálmar ‘straws’ (, U, R*) makes little sense, and Kock (NN §1314) suggests an original reading jálmar ‘noises, crashes’, which he takes as a heiti for ‘battle’. However, jálmr is only attested as a determinant or a base-word in battle-kennings, never as a heiti for ‘battle’ (LP: jalmr). — [5] foldar ‘of the land’: So all other mss. In R, the original <k> in ‘folkar’ (?) is difficult to establish with any certainty because the letter has been altered to <d> (R*).

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