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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, 1186

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

75 — SnSt Ht 75III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 75’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1186.

Hrinda lætr hniggrund
hafbekks snekkjur,
þás falla, fleinþollr
frár, mál, stálum.
Hlummi lítr hergramr
hirðmenn spenna,
en rœði raungóð,
rógálfr, skjálfa.

{Frár fleinþollr} lætr snekkjur hrinda {hniggrund {hafbekks}} stálum, þás mál falla. {Hergramr rógálfr} lítr hirðmenn spenna hlummi, en raungóð rœði skjálfa.

{The swift spear-fir} [WARRIOR] makes warships thrust against {the bucking-ground {of the sea-bench}} [SHIP > SEA] with prows when times are opportune. {The battle-grim strife-elf} [WARRIOR] sees retainers grasp oar-handles, and very good oars tremble.

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

Readings: [4] frár: fjǫr W    [5] Hlummi: hlumi R, W;    lítr: lætr W;    ‑gramr: so W, fram R    [6] spenna: om. and kenna added in the right margin in a later hand W    [7] raun‑: so W, rauð R    [8] ‑álfr: álfs W

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 75: AII, 72, BII, 82, Skald II, 45, NN §§2185, 3147; SnE 1848-87, I, 690-3, III, 130, SnE 1879-81, I, 12, 83, II, 28, SnE 1931, 246, SnE 2007, 31-2; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 47-8.

Context: The metre is náhent ‘close-rhymed’. The even lines are structured similarly to the even lines in stúfhent ‘stump-rhymed’ (st. 74), and the odd lines are catalectic variants of málaháttr with internal rhyme (skothending, the second of which falls in line-final position) and two alliterating staves.

Notes: [All]: The rubric in R is lxviii. — [All]: For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 29-30. It is not attested elsewhere. As far as the odd lines are concerned, ll. 1 and 5 are structured as hálfhnept ‘half-curtailed’ even lines (see st. 77). For metrically similar (non-catalectic) lines in málaháttr, see, e.g. Þhorn Harkv 6/1I Úti vill jól drekka lit. ‘Out at sea wants Yuletide to toast’ (= ll. 1, 5) and Am 64/3 (NK 257) at árna ánauðgom lit. ‘to plea for the oppressed one’ (= ll. 3, 7). — [2] snekkjur (f. acc. pl.) ‘warships’: Altered in R (R*) to snekkjum f. dat. pl., apparently because the scribe mistook hniggrund hafbekks ‘the bucking-ground of the sea-bench [SHIP > SEA]’ (ll. 1-2) for the subject of lætr hrinda ‘makes thrust against’ (l. 1) (hrinda ‘thrust, push, shove’ takes the dat.). — [4]: This tripartite line is awkward. The vowel in frár ‘swift’ is difficult to read in R (Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) reads ‘fror’), and the W variant fjǫr ‘life’ cannot be construed to make any sense in the context. Kock (NN §2185) emends to fœr ‘passable’ which he takes with mál (n. nom. pl.) ‘times’. As Faulkes (SnE 2007, 69) points out, fœr as an adj. qualifying mál makes little sense. The other even lines contain a disyllabic cpd in positions 1-2, and a noun farmál ‘opportune time to travel’ would be possible, but is not warranted by the ms. witnesses. — [5] hlummi (m. acc. pl.) ‘oar-handles’: This noun has the side-form hlumi (nom. hlumr), and the long form has been chosen because a long first syllable is required by the metre (a short syllable would result in resolution in position 1 and a hypometrical line). See also NN §3147. — [7] raungóð ‘very good’: Raun- is taken as an intensifying prefix here (see Konráð Gíslason 1895-7 and Note to Þsvart Lv l. 6II).

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