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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, 1178

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

66 — SnSt Ht 66III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 66’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1178.

Eyddi úthlaupsmǫnnum
ítr hertogi spjótum;
sungu stál of stillis
— stóð ylgr í val — dólgum.
Hal margan lét hǫfði
hoddgrimmr jǫfurr skemra;
svá kann rán at refsa
reiðr oddviti þjóðum.

Ítr hertogi eyddi úthlaupsmǫnnum spjótum; stál sungu of dólgum stillis; ylgr stóð í val. Hoddgrimmr jǫfurr lét margan hal hǫfði skemra; svá kann reiðr oddviti at refsa þjóðum rán.

The splendid army-leader destroyed robbers with spears; swords sang above the ruler’s enemies; the she-wolf stood among the fallen. The hoard-grim prince made many a man shorter by a head; thus the angry war-leader punishes people for plundering.

Mss: R(51r), W(148) (SnE); E(150r), F(92va), 42ˣ(105v-106r), 81a(78rb-va), 304ˣ(275v), Flat(168va) (Hák)

Readings: [2] ítr: út E, 42ˣ, 81a;    spjótum: svǫrtum E, 42ˣ, ‘suertum’ 81a, sveitum Flat    [3] stillis: stilli W    [4] dólgum: dyggjum E, dylgjum F, 42ˣ, 81a, Flat    [5] Hal: all‑ 81a;    lét hǫfði: sló hjǫrvi 304ˣ    [6] jǫfurr: jǫfur 304ˣ;    skemra: skemma W, Flat    [7] kann: kannt F, knátt 42ˣ;    rán: rann 81a    [8] reiðr: reið 42ˣ;    þjóðum: skeiðum 81a

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 66: AII, 69-70, BII, 79, Skald II, 44; SnE 1848-87, I, 680-1, III, 128, SnE 1879-81, I, 11, 82, II, 25, SnE 1931, 243, SnE 2007, 28; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 41-2; E 1916, 509, F 1871, 427, Hák 1910-86, 365, Hák 1977-82, 45-6, Flat 1860-8, III, 46.

Context: This variant is called munnvǫrp ‘mouth-throwings’ (i.e. ‘improvisations’), and it is characterised by a lack of internal rhyme in the odd lines and by skothending in the even lines. In Hák, the stanza commemorates Skúli’s battles against the Ribbungar during the winter of 1221-2 (see sts 63-4 above).

Notes: [All]: This variant is quite common in more informal poetry, and it is the metre used in Bjbp JómsI. See also RvHbreiðm Hl 15-16. — [All]: In Hák the stanza is attributed to Snorri Sturluson in all mss (ms. 42ˣ has ‘St.’), but the title of the poem is not given. This is the last stanza documenting historical events that took place in 1221-2, and it is therefore valuable for establishing a date of composition for the poem. — [2] hertogi ‘army-leader’: For the translation of this word, see Note to st. 40/5 above. — [4] dólgum ‘enemies’: The variant in F, 42ˣ, 81 a and Flat, dylgjum, can be construed as f. dat. pl. of dylgja ‘enmity, fight, struggle’, but it clearly represents individual scribal attempts at restoring what was perceived to be a lack of aðalhending in this line. — [6] skemra ‘shorter’: Skemma ‘shorten’ (so W, Flat and F, the latter by correction) is not possible syntactically (that verb takes the acc. and hǫfði ‘by a head’ (l. 5) is in the dat.).

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