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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, 1194

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

83 — SnSt Ht 83III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 83’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1194.

Naðrs gnapa ógn alla,
eyðir baugvalla,
hlunns of hástalla
hestar svanfjalla.
Orms es glatt galla
með gumna spjalla;
jarl fremr sveit snjalla;
slíkt má skǫrung kalla.

{Eyðir {baugvalla}}, {hestar {svanfjalla}} gnapa of hástalla hlunns {alla ógn naðrs}. Es glatt með {spjalla gumna} {galla orms}; jarl fremr snjalla sveit; slíkt má kalla skǫrung.

{Destroyer {of shieldboss-meadows}} [SHIELDS > WARRIOR = Skúli], {horses {of swan-mountains}} [WAVES > SHIPS] tower in the tall foundations of the roller {throughout the entire terror of the adder} [WINTER]. It is cheerful with {the confidant of men} [RULER] {during the destruction of the snake} [WINTER]; the jarl advances the clever company; such [a one] one must call an outstanding person.

Mss: R(52r), W(150) (SnE); W(98), B(1v) (TGT, ll. 5-6)

Readings: [4] ‑fjalla: so W, fjallar R    [5] galla: so all others, ‘galla’ or ‘gialla’ R    [6] með: við B;    gumna: so all others, by correction R    [7] fremr: so W, ‘freimr’ R

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 83: AII, 73, BII, 84, Skald II, 46; SnE 1848-87, I, 700-1, III, 131-2, SnE 1879-81, I, 13, 83, II, 30, SnE 1931, 248, SnE 2007, 34; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 54; SnE 1848-87, II, 84-5, 505, TGT 1884, 9, 52, 173, TGT 1927, 33, 90.

Context: This variant, which is not named in the prose commentary, is based on málaháttr and it contains identical end-rhymes throughout the stanza (for málaháttr with end-rhyme, see st. 92 below and Anon GnóðÁsm). In TGT ll. 5-6 are given as examples of end-ryme (runhenda).

Notes: [All]: Both mss of TGT attribute the stanza to Snorri. — [2] eyðir baugvalla ‘destroyer of shieldboss-meadows [SHIELDS > WARRIOR = Skúli]’: Eyðir (m. nom. sg.) ‘destroyer’ can only be construed as a form of address (so also SnE 1848-87). As Faulkes (SnE 2007, 71) points out, forms of address are usually accompanied by the imp. in the other stanzas of Ht, and most earlier eds therefore emend to eyðis (m. gen. sg.) ‘of the destroyer’ (an emendation first suggested by Rask in SnE 1818, 264 n. 1), as an attributive to hestar svanfjalla ‘horses of the swan-mountains’ (l. 4): hestar svanfjalla eyðis baugvalla ‘the horses of the swan-mountains [WAVES > SHIPS] of the destroyer of shieldboss-meadows [SHIELDS > WARRIOR]’. Both mss do have the nom. form eyðir, however, and an emendation does not appear to be warranted. — [3] of hástalla hlunns ‘in the tall foundations of the roller’: This phrase clearly refers to structures in or on which a beached ship rested during the winter. Hlunnr was one of the launching rollers on which a ship was pulled up from the water or launched (cf. Falk 1912, 29-30), but the meaning of hástallar is not immediately clear. The first element is the adj. hár ‘high, tall’ and the second is stallr m. which can have several meanings (Fritzner: stallr 1, 4, 5): ‘stand, structure, foundation, altar’; ‘crib, manger’; ‘stable’. Finnur Jónsson (LP: hôstallr) suggests that hástallr hlunns refers to det af rullestokkene dannede höje underlag (hvorpå skibet står om vinteren) ‘the tall foundation made of launching rollers (on which the ship rests during the winter)’. In a similar vein, Faulkes (SnE 2007, 114) proposes ‘high stand … high slipway-stand, or high supporting structure (for a beached ship)’. The latter interpretation would also fit if stallr here meant ‘crib, manger’. Alternatively, if stallr is taken in the sense ‘stable’, hástalla hlunns ‘the tall stables of the roller’ could be an unconventional kenning for ‘boathouse’ (ON naust; see LP: naust and Falk 1912, 27). According to Hák, king Hákon celebrated his coronation in 1247 in a boathouse he had built by the harbour in Bergen, because that was the largest house in his possession (90 ells long and 60 ells broad; see E 1916, 620). — [4] -fjalla ‘-mountains’: So W. Fjallar ‘dresses’ (2nd or 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of fjalla), which makes no sense in the context, has been altered in R to fjalla (R*).

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