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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, 1160

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

51 — SnSt Ht 51III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 51’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1160.

Herstefnir lætr hrafn
hungrs fullseðjask ungr;
ilspornat getr ǫrn
aldrlausastan haus,
vilja borg en vargr
vígsára klífr grár;
opt sólgit fær ylgr
— jǫfurr góðr vill svá — blóð.

Ungr herstefnir lætr hrafn fullseðjask hungrs; ǫrn getr ilspornat aldrlausastan haus, en grár vargr klífr {vígsára borg vilja}; ylgr fær opt sólgit blóð; góðr jǫfurr vill svá.

The young army-leader lets the raven fully sate its hunger; the eagle can tread the most lifeless skull underfoot, and the grey wolf climbs {the battle-wounded stronghold of the will} [BREAST]; the she-wolf can often swallow blood; the good prince wants that.

Mss: R(49v), Tˣ(52r), W(146), U(54v) (SnE)

Readings: [2] hungrs: hungr W, U    [3] ‑spornat: ‑spornar U;    getr: lætr Tˣ, W    [8] svá: so all others, ‘[…]a’ R;    blóð: góðr Tˣ

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 51: AII, 66, BII, 75, Skald II, 42; SnE 1848-87, I, 664-5, II, 393-4, III, 124, SnE 1879-81, I, 9, 80, II, 20, SnE 1931, 237, SnE 2007, 23; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 30-1.

Context: As sts 49-50 above, except that all lines are catalectic. This variant is called inn mesti stúfr ‘the greatest apocopated’.

Notes: [All]: The heading in is mesti stúfr. 43. For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 9-10. Other than in Hl and Ht, this variant is not attested in the corpus of extant skaldic poetry. — [1, 2] ungr herstefnir ‘the young army-leader’: A slight exaggeration. Skúli was born in 1189, and he was around thirty-three years old at the time when Ht was composed. — [2] fullseðjask hungrs ‘fully sate its hunger’: Lit. ‘be fully sated of hunger’. The verb fullseðjask ‘be fully sated’, which is not otherwise attested in Old Norse, takes the gen., and hungr (m. acc. sg.) ‘hunger’ (W, U) is ungrammatical. — [3] ilspornat ‘tread … under foot’: This cpd verb, which is not otherwise attested in Old Norse, is formed from il f. ‘foot sole’ and the weak verb sporna ‘kick, step on sth.’. — [6] -sára ‘-wounded’: Altered to ‘-skara’ in R (R*).

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