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Runic Dictionary

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Snorri Sturluson (SnSt)

13th century; volume 3; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Háttatal (Ht) - 102

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, 1149

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

40 — SnSt Ht 40III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 40’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1149.

Hverr fremr hildi barra?
Hverrs mælingum ferri?
Hverr gerir hǫpp at stœrri?
Hverr kann auð at þverra?
Veldr hertogi hjaldri;
hanns first blikurmanni;
hann á hǫpp at sýnni;
hann vélir blik spannar.

Hverr fremr barra hildi? Hverrs ferri mælingum? Hverr gerir at stœrri hǫpp? Hverr kann at þverra auð? Hertogi veldr hjaldri; hanns first blikurmanni; hann á hǫpp at sýnni; hann vélir {blik spannar}.

Who promotes violent battle? Who is far from [being] a niggard? Who gains the greater good luck? Who knows how to diminish wealth? The war-leader causes battle; he is farthest from [being] a miser; he clearly has good luck; he tricks {the gleam of the grip} [GOLD].

Mss: R(49r), Tˣ(51r), W(145), W(168) (ll. 7-8), U(53r) (SnE); W(106-107), A(6r) (TGT, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [2] mælingum: so all others, by correction R;    ferri: færri W(145), fyrri U, ‘fęrrí’ W(106)    [3] gerir: so Tˣ, W(145), U, gerir(?) R, á W(106), A    [4] kann: kom U    [6] first: firstr W(145);    blikur‑: so Tˣ, U, bliknir R, blikurs W(145)    [7] á: er of W(145);    hǫpp: happ U    [8] vélir: vellir W(168);    spannar: corrected from spakar W(168)

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 40: AII, 63, BII, 72, Skald II, 40; SnE 1848-87, I, 650-1, II, 390, 498, III, 121, SnE 1879-81, I, 7, 79, II, 17, SnE 1931, 233, SnE 2007, 20; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 25; SnE 1848-87, II, 146-7, 418, TGT 1884, 24, 95, 207, TGT 1927, 68, 103.

Context: This alternation of questions and answers is called greppaminni ‘poets’ reminder’. The metre is dróttkvætt. In TGT the first helmingr illustrates anaphora, that is, the repetition of the same word at the beginning of each line. In the additions to Skm (W(168)), ll. 7-8 are given (slightly incorrectly) as an example of a man-kenning whose determinant is ‘gold’.

Notes: [All]: Similar question-answer sequences occur in RvHbreiðm Hl 45-6 (see Hl 1941, 125-6). See also FoGT (SnE 1848-87, II, 248), Anon Lil 62VII, SvB Lv 4V (Gr 36) and Grett Lv 20V (Gr 37) (for further literature see Vésteinn Ólason 1969, Foote 1982, 114, SnE 2007, 61 and Lönnroth 2009). — [All]: The heading in is 32. — [1-4]: In ms. A the lines were originally given in the order 1-4-3. Line 2 was added in the left margin in the same hand, and the correct order of lines is indicated by superscript notations. — [1] hildi ‘battle’: Altered in R to hjaldr ‘battle, noise’ (R*); cf. hjaldri ‘battle’ (l. 5). — [2] mælingum ‘a niggard’: Lit. ‘niggards’. The first four letters in ‘męlingvm’ are blotched in R, and the word has been altered (R*). It is not possible to establish what the original reading would have been. Mælingr lit. ‘one who measures out goods (in small portions)’, a hap. leg., is derived from the weak verb mála ‘measure’ (see AEW: mælingr). — [3] gerir ‘gains’: Lit. ‘does’. In R the original word, which is difficult to discern, has been altered to ‘a’ (R*) in keeping with the reading of l. 7, which is also the reading of W(106) and A (TGT). — [5] hertogi ‘the war-leader’: Skúli received the title of hertogi ‘duke’ in 1237. This was the first time that honorific was used in Norway, and it is doubtful whether Snorri could have used the word in that meaning as early as 1223. See also Sturl Hákkv 23/8II. — [6] blikurmanni ‘a miser’: So , U (hap. leg.). R has ‘blicner’, but the superscript abbreviation ‑er has been altered (R*), and the new abbreviation appears to stand for ‑ar, although it could possibly be an abbreviated ‑ur. The metre requires a short first syllable (blik- rather than blikn-). Blikurmaðr is derived from the impersonal weak verb blikra ‘become scared’ (lit. ‘become pale with fear’; cf. LP: blikurmaðr and AEW: blikra). — [8] vélir blik spannar ‘tricks the gleam of the grip [GOLD]’: This means that the war-leader causes gold to get lost, i.e. is generous.

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