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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, ‘ 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 1 July 2022)

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

SkP info: III, 1184

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

73 — SnSt Ht 73III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 73’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1184.

Ræsir glæsir
Rǫkkva stǫkkva
hvítum rítum
hreina reina.
Skreytir hreytir
skafna stafna
hringa stinga
hjǫrtum svǫrtum.

Ræsir glæsir {stǫkkva hreina {reina Rǫkkva}} hvítum rítum. {Hreytir hringa} skreytir skafna stafna {svǫrtum hjǫrtum stinga}.

The ruler adorns {the swift reindeer {of Rǫkkvi’s <sea-king’s> land-strips}} [SEA > SHIPS] with white shields. {The scatterer of rings} [GENEROUS MAN] decorates the smoothed bows {of the black deer of rods} [SHIPS].

Mss: R(51v), W(149) (SnE); A(6v) (ll. 1-4), W(107) (ll. 1-2) (TGT)

Readings: [2] stǫkkva: døkkva all others    [6] skafna: hrafna W

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 73: AII, 71, BII, 81, Skald II, 45; SnE 1848-87, I, 688-91, III, 129-30, SnE 1879-81, I, 12, 82, II, 28, SnE 1931, 245, SnE 2007, 31; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 46; SnE 1848-87, II, 152-3, TGT 1884, 25, 98, 209-10, TGT 1927, 71, 103.

Context: The metre is called inn nýi háttr ‘the new verse-form’. Each line consists of two disyllabic long-stemmed syllables, and the internal rhymes in odd and even lines are structured as those in the even lines of st. 71 above (extended to include identity of the enclitic endings). The odd lines have one alliterating stave in metrical position 1, and in the even lines the main stave also falls in position 1. In TGT the first helmingr illustrates homoeoteleuton (‘omolemiton’), that is, syllables ending in the same sound, and the rhymes are compared to the rhymes in the even lines of riðhent ‘rocking-rhymed’ (st. 32 above).

Notes: [All]: The rubric in R is lxvi. — [All]: In TGT the helmingr is attributed to Snorri in both mss. The metre is also attested in two anonymous stanzas in FoGT (Anon (FoGT) 24, Anon (FoGT) 27), which could have been modelled on Snorri’s stanza. — [2] Rǫkkva; stǫkkva ‘of Rǫkkvi’s <sea-king’s>; the swift’: The R reading ‘stavkqa’ (altered in R to ‘davkqa’ (R*)), m. acc. pl. of the adj. stǫkkr ‘swift’ (from Proto-Nordic *stankva-; AEW: stǫkkr), has been retained in the present edn (so also LP: støkkr 2, where the vowel is rendered incorrectly).  Other eds adopt the adj. døkkva ‘dark’ (so R*, W(149), W(107), A). However, the internal rhyme ‑ǫkk- : ‑økk- is technically not an aðalhending, and both Skj B and Skald give dǫkkva rather than the regular døkkva. The form dǫkk- is unattested (døkkr < Gmc *dankwia (?), AEW: døkkr). It is possible that the two sounds ǫ and ø were sufficiently similar at this point (c. 1220) to allow for such a rhyme (see SnE 2007, 69; ANG §115.2), but it is equally plausible that the R variant represents the original reading (lectio difficilior), and that the W, A (and R*) readings are later attempts to make sense of an unfamiliar adj. For the noun stǫkkr ‘flight’, see st. 35/5 above. — [7] stinga (m. gen. pl.) ‘of rods’: The meaning of this word is unclear, but it must refer to a part of a ship (see Note to Ólhv Hryn 8/6II). Finnur Jónsson (LP: stingr = brandr) offers a possible ofljóst construction stingr ‘stinger’ = brandr ‘sword’ = brandr ‘prow’. Following Falk (1912, 37), Faulkes (SnE 2007, 151) suggests that the word may refer to spikes fitted onto the prow of a ship to prevent the enemy from boarding, and that interpretation has been adopted in the present edn.

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