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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, 1181

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

70 — SnSt Ht 70III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 70’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1181.

Mitts of mœti
mart lag bragar
áðr ókveðit
oddbraks spakan.
Hlýtr grams geta
greppr óhneppra
skýrr skrautfara.
Skjǫldunga ungr.

Mart bragarlag mitt of {spakan mœti {oddbraks}} [e]s áðr ókveðit. Skýrr greppr hlýtr geta óhneppra skrautfara grams. … Ungr skjǫldunga …

Many a poetic metre of mine about {the wise encounterer {of the point-crash}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Skúli] has never been used before. The intelligent poet [I] must report on the not meagre splendour-expeditions of the ruler. … Young of lords …

Mss: W(149), R(51v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Mitts (‘Mitt er’): ‘[…]’ R    [2] bragar: ‘[…]gar’ R    [3] áðr ókveðit: ‘aðr o[…]þit’ R    [5] grams: ‘[…]’ R    [6] óhneppra: ‘ohnepp[…]’ R    [7] skýrr: ‘[…]rr’ R

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 70: AII, 70, BII, 80, Skald II, 44; SnE 1848-87, I, 684-7, III, 129, SnE 1879-81, I, 12, 82, II, 27, SnE 1931, 244, SnE 2007, 30; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 44.

Context: This is the third variant of tøglag and it is called hagmælt ‘skilfully spoken’. The odd lines contain two alliterating staves and skothending, and the even lines have aðalhending.

Notes: [All]: The top of fol. 51v is partly damaged in R, and W is the main ms. for this stanza. — [All]: For other poems composed in hagmælt ‘skilfully spoken’, see ESk Hardr IIII. — [1-4]: Skj B connects the prepositional phrase of spakan mœti oddbraks ‘about the wise encounterer of the point-crash’ (ll. 1, 4) with ókveðit lit. ‘non-composed, non-recited’ (l. 3) and takes it to mean that Snorri has not used some of these metrical variants in his earlier poetry about Skúli. It is more likely, however, that Snorri boasts of having created new metres for these poems (see SnE 2007, 68). — [2] bragarlag ‘poetic metre’: For a similar cpd, see drôpulagdrápa metre’, GunnlI Sigdr 2/4V (Gunnl 8). In the present stanza, the reverse order of the elements was necessitated by the metre (to avoid resolution on bragar-). — [7] skýrr ‘intelligent’: Lit. ‘clear’. See Note to Ólhv Hryn 3/7II. — [8]: This line concludes the split refrain in st. 68/1 (see Note to that line above). According to Snorri’s commentary, a correct refrain in tøgdrápulag ‘journey-poem metre’ should commence in the first line of the first stanza and be completed in the last line of the last stanza, i.e. the last stanza of the section of the poem comprising a stefjamél ‘refrain passage’ or ‘stef-interval’. An entire poem could contain several stefjamél with various split refrains, but, according to Snorri, all refrain passages ought to be of equal length.

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