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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, 1163

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

54 — SnSt Ht 54III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 54’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1163.

Skýtr at Skǫglar veðri,
en skjaldagi haldask,
Hildar hlemmidrífu
of hvítum þrǫm rítar.
Enn í sœfis sveita
at sverðtogi ferðar
rýðr aldar vinr odda
— þats jarlmegin — snarla.

Skýtr {hlemmidrífu Hildar} of hvítum þrǫm rítar at {veðri Skǫglar}, en skjaldagi haldask. Enn {vinr aldar} rýðr odda snarla í {sveita sœfis} at {sverðtogi} ferðar; þats jarlmegin.

{The rumbling blizzard of Hildr <valkyrie>} [ARROWS] is shot over the white rim of the shield at {the storm of Skǫgul <valkyrie>} [BATTLE], and the shields do not endure. And {the friend of the people} [RULER] reddens spear-points quickly in {the sweat of the sword} [BLOOD] at {the sword-drawing} [BATTLE] of the company; that is the power of the jarl.

Mss: R(50r), Tˣ(52r), W(146), U(54v) (SnE)

Readings: [2] en skjaldagi haldask: ‘en skiolldv\n/gi halldiz’ U    [3] hlemmi‑: ‘hlemi’ or ‘hleini’ Tˣ, ‘hleimi’ U    [4] hvítum: hvítan Tˣ, W;    þrǫm: þrym W    [7] aldar: alda W;    vinr: so all others, vin R    [8] jarl‑: jarls Tˣ, W, U

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 54: AII, 66-7, BII, 76, Skald II, 42, NN §2276; SnE 1848-87, I, 666-9, II, 395, III, 125, SnE 1879-81, I, 9, 80, II, 21, SnE 1931, 238, SnE 2007, 24; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 32-3.

Context: The dróttkvætt variant is called Ragnars háttr ‘Ragnarr’s verse-form’, and this and the following four stanzas (sts 55-8) illustrate metrical peculiarities that occur in the poetry of ancient skalds (fornskáld). Ragnarr is the legendary king Ragnarr loðbrók ‘Hairy-breeches’ (RloðVIII); see Ragnars saga loðbrókar (Ragn). The stanza is characterised by a lack of internal rhymes in the odd lines and by alliteration in position 2 rather than in position 1 in the even lines (anacrusis: Sievers’s Types B (l. 4) and C3 (ll. 2, 6, 8)).

Notes: [All]: The heading in is Ragnars háttr. 46. The metrical features that characterise Ragnars háttr are fairly common in the earliest dróttkvætt poetry (including a stanza attributed to Ragnarr (Rloð Lv 7/7-8VIII (Ragn 23)), but they are never carried through as systematically as in the present stanza. — [1] skýtr ‘is shot’: The verb is used impersonally with hlemmidrífu Hildar ‘the rumbling blizzard of Hildr <valkyrie> [ARROWS]’ as the dat./instr. object. This kenning could also be taken as a kenning for ‘battle’, but the context shows that ‘arrows’ are meant here. — [2] skjaldagi ‘the shields do not’: This word is obscure, but scholars agree that the ending ‑gi represents the suffixed negation. Following Möbius (SnE 1879-81, I, 113) and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7), Finnur Jónsson (LP: gi (ki); skjǫldr) suggests an unattested m. nom. pl. form (skjaldar instead of skildir) with the suffixed negation ‑gi (skjaldar-gi > skjaldagi; see also ANG §396 Anm. 1). Kock (NN §2276) adopts the U variant skjǫldungi, which he takes as a dat. pl. (skjǫldum) with the negation ‑gi (skjǫldum-gi > skjǫldungi): skjǫldungi haldask ‘(they) are unable to protect themselves with the shields’. — [3] hlemmidrífu ‘the rumbling blizzard’: This cpd is otherwise not attested in Old Norse, and it is formed from the weak verb hlemma ‘rumble, resound, scream’ and the weak f. noun drífa ‘snowdrift, blizzard’. — [5] sœfis ‘of the sword’: In R ‘sofis’ has been altered to ‘sǫ́fis’ (R*). — [7] aldar ‘of the people’: An attempt has been made in R to erase <r> (or <ar>).

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