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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, 1179

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

67 — SnSt Ht 67III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 67’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1179.

Ortak ǫld at minnum,
þás alframast vissak,
of siklinga snjalla
með sex tøgum hátta.
Sízt hafa veg né vellum,
es virðan mik létu,
á aldinn mar orpit
— þats oss frami — jǫfrar.

Ortak at minnum ǫld með sex tøgum hátta of snjalla siklinga, þás vissak alframast. Sízt hafa jǫfrar orpit veg né vellum á aldinn mar, es létu mik virðan; þats oss frami.

I have composed, as memorials for men, with sixty verse-forms about the wise rulers, whom I knew to be by far the most outstanding. Least of all have the princes thrown either esteem or gold into the ancient sea when they let me be honoured; that is for us [me] a glory.

Mss: R(51r), W(148) (SnE)

Readings: [5] Sízt: sitt W;    veg né: veig með W    [8] þats oss (‘þat er oss’): oss er þat W

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 67: AII, 70, BII, 80, Skald II, 44; SnE 1848-87, I, 680-3, III, 128, SnE 1879-81, I, 11, 82, II, 25, SnE 1931, 243, SnE 2007, 29; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 42.

Context: The variant, which is structurally similar to dróttkvætt, is called háttlausa ‘formless’, and it is characterised by an absence of internal rhymes in all lines and by anacrusis (Sievers’s Types B (l. 6) and C3 (l. 8)) in the even lines.

Notes: [All]: For this verse-form, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 51-2. It is attested in lausavísur (‘loose stanzas’) and more informal poetry. — [All]: This stanza concludes the second part of the poem, which honours Skúli. — [2] alframast ‘by far the most outstanding’: This is an adv. in the superlative, from framr ‘outstanding’ and the intensifying prefix al-. — [4] með sex tøgum hátta ‘with sixty verse-forms’: This is the sixty-seventh stanza of Ht, but Snorri clearly did not regard sts 1-8 as individual verse-forms since these are illustrating rhetorical and metrical features that are licensed in regular dróttkvætt (SnE 2007, 29): Nú eru saman settir í tveim kvæðum sex tigir hátta ok um fram þær átta greinir er fyrst er skipat <í> dróttkvæðum hætti með málsgreinum þeim er fylgja hættinum, ok eru þessir hættir allir vel fallnir til at yrkja kvæði eptir ef vill ‘Now sixty verse-forms have been composed in two poems, and, in addition, those eight variants into which the dróttkvætt metre was arranged at the beginning according to the distinction of language which characterises the verse-forms, and all these verse-forms are suitable for poetic composition if one wishes to do that’. See also SnE 2007, 67. — [5, 7, 8] sízt hafa jǫfrar orpit veg né vellum á aldinn mar ‘least of all have the princes thrown either esteem or gold into the ancient sea’: This is a saying, meaning that they have not done something in vain. Cf. Mberf Lv 5/1-2II. — [8] oss; jǫfrar ‘for us [me]; the princes’: In this line [j] in jǫfrar does not appear to participate in the vowel alliteration, and must have counted as a (consonantal) glide. See also st. 77/3 below and Þskakk Erldr 2/3II.

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