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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 4 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80   81   82   83   84   85   86   87   88   89   90   91   92   93   94   95   96   97   98   99   100   101   102 

Skj: Snorri Sturluson: 2. Háttatal, 1222-23 (AII, 52-77, BII, 61-88)

SkP info: III, 1169

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

60 — SnSt Ht 60III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 60’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1169.

Álmdrósar skylr ísa
ár flest meginbára sára;
kœnn lætr hræs á hrǫnnum
hjálmsvell jǫfurr gella fella.
Styrjǫkla kná stiklir
stinnmens legi venja benja;
lætr stillir frør fylla
fólksund hjarar lunda unda.

Flest ár skylr {meginbára sára} {ísa {álmdrósar}}; kœnn jǫfurr lætr {hjálmsvell} gella á {hrǫnnum {fella hræs}}. {Stiklir stinnmens} kná venja {styrjǫkla} {legi benja}; stillir lætr {frør unda} fylla {fólksund} {lunda hjarar}.

Most years {a mighty wave of wounds} [BLOOD] rinses {icicles {of the elm-bow-woman}} [VALKYRIE > SWORDS]; the wise prince makes {the helmet’s ice-sheet} [SWORD] scream in {waves {of the fellers of carrion}} [SWORDS > BLOOD]. {The dispenser of the stiff necklace} [GENEROUS MAN] accustoms {battle-glaciers} [SWORDS] {to the ocean of wounds} [BLOOD]; the leader makes {the frost of wounds} [SWORD] replenish {the battle-sea} [BLOOD] {of the trees of the sword} [WARRIORS].

Mss: R(50v), Tˣ(52v), W(147) (SnE)

Readings: [1] skylr: skylir Tˣ    [3] hræs: so W, ‘hre[…]’ R, hress Tˣ    [5] stiklir: stillir Tˣ    [6] legi: leggja W    [7] frør (‘frꜹr’): ‘fro᷎r’ Tˣ, fǫr W

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 60: AII, 68, BII, 77, Skald II, 43, NN §2184; SnE 1848-87, I, 674-5, III, 126, SnE 1879-81, I, 10, 81, II, 23, SnE 1931, 240, SnE 2007, 26; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 36-7.

Context: As st. 59 above, but kimblaband ‘bundle-bond’ occurs in all even lines (it meira kimblaband ‘the greater bundle-bond’).

Notes: [All]: The heading in is 52. — [3] hræs ‘of carrion’: So W. In R something has been erased after the first three letters (‘hre[…]’) and the word has been altered (R*), but the alteration is difficult to make out (Skj A reads hraustr). Hress ‘healthy, strong, eager’ () makes no sense in the context. In both Skj B and SnE 1931, Finnur Jónsson emended what he considered to be R*’s correction of R’s reading to hvatt ‘quickly’, but that cannot now be corroborated. — [4] fella (m. gen. pl.) ‘of the fellers’: Following Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SnE 1848-87, III), Möbius (SnE 1879-81) and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) construe this as an unattested adv. (= ferliga ‘terribly’), and Kock (NN §2184) takes it as a verb, as part of an asyndetic construction gella, fella translated as skrälla, fälla ‘crash, fell’, but the transitive verb fella makes little sense here (we would expect the intransitive falla ‘fall’; see SnE 2007, 64). Fellir m. ‘feller’ is an agent noun from the weak verb fella ‘fell, kill’ and the word is not uncommon as a base-word in kennings (LP: fellir). — [5-8]: The interpretation of the second helmingr is difficult. Throughout the entire stanza Snorri employs an imagery of swords, in which the base-word is something cold (ice, ice-sheet, glacier), and blood, which is depicted as waves or a sea of wounds. The present edn attempts to preserve that imagery and also to avoid emendation. — [6] stinnmens (m. gen. sg.) ‘of the stiff necklace’: Most earlier eds emend to stinnr (m. nom. sg.) ‘stiff’ and take it as an adj. qualifying stiklir mens ‘dispenser of the necklace’, hence stinnr stiklir mens ‘the unbending/unyielding dispenser of the necklace’. However, stinnr is never used as an adj. to qualify a person, but it can be used in connection with objects of metal (see NN §2184; LP: stinnr). Faulkes (SnE 2007) retains the ms. form stinn, which he construes with fólk (n. acc. pl.) taken in the meaning ‘warriors’, although he does not dismiss the possibility that the adj. could qualify stiklir mens (SnE 2007, 151). — [7] frør (n. acc. sg.) ‘the frost’: Ms. R reads ‘frꜹr’ (with dots above and below the last part of the ligature (R*)), and has ‘fro᷎r’. Both of these readings can be normalised as frør ‘frost’ (‘frǫr’ is not an Old Norse word), and a short-stemmed word is required by the metre. For the spelling <ꜹ> for [ø] in R, see SnE 1848-87, III, xvii. All previous eds adopt the R* alteration frár (m. nom. sg.) ‘swift, keen’ as an adj. qualifying stillir ‘leader’ (l. 7). Frár is unmetrical, however, because in a nominal phrase (here: stillir frár) the alliteration cannot fall on the second word if the first does not also alliterate (lætr frár stillir fylla would be the acceptable order). (a) In keeping with the imagery of the previous six lines, the original ms. reading in R (supported by the reading of ) has been retained here, and frør ‘frost’ is taken as the base-word in a kenning for ‘sword’ (frør unda ‘the frost of wounds’, ll. 7, 8). This is the only attestation of frør used as a base-word in a sword-kenning (though see comparable kennings in st. 61 below), but Snorri must have exhausted most of the conventional base-words denoting ‘sth. cold, shiny’ in the previous lines (íss ‘ice’ (l. 1); svell ‘ice-sheet’ (l. 4); jǫkull ‘glacier’ (l. 5); see Meissner 151-2). The emended form frár ‘swift, keen’ has caused problems for the interpretation of the last couplet (see the discussion in SnE 2007, 65). (b) Skj B reads frár stillir lætr unda sund hjarar lunda fylla folk translated as den raske fyrste lader krigernes blod fylde sværdene ‘the swift lord makes the warriors’ blood fill the swords’ (a similar word order is provided by Sveinbjörn Egilsson in SnE 1847-87, III, and by Konráð Gíslason 1895-7). The meaning fólk ‘sword’ is highly dubious, however, and there is only one possible attestation in Old Norse poetry (Þul Sverða 10/8, see Note there). (c) Kock (NN §2184) suggests folksund ‘mighty ocean’ where the first element acts as an intensifier: frár stillir lætr fylla folksund unda hjarar lunda translated as käcke fursten låter fylla krigarsårens stora hav ‘the swift lord makes the mighty ocean of the warriors’ wounds be filled’. (d) While listing the interpretations of Skj B and Skald, Faulkes (SnE 2007, 65) tentatively suggests (frár stillir) lætr stinn fólk fylla sund unda ‘(the swift ruler) lets unyielding warriors fill a sea of wounds’. According to that interpretation, lunda hjarar ‘of trees of the sword [WARRIORS]’ can go with sund ‘ocean’ or with unda ‘wounds’ or with fólk ‘people, warriors’ (SnE 2007, 131: lundr).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated