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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 4 July 2022)

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

SkP info: III, 1195

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

84 — SnSt Ht 84III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 84’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1195.

Orð fekk gótt gramr;
hann es gunntamr;
mjǫk es fullframr
fylkir rausnsamr,
hinn es mál metr;
milding sízt getr
þann, es svá setr
seggi hvern vetr.

Gramr fekk gótt orð; hann es gunntamr; fullframr fylkir, hinn es metr mál, es mjǫk rausnsamr; sízt getr þann milding, es setr seggi svá hvern vetr.

The ruler got a good reputation; he is battle-accustomed; the truly outstanding leader, the one who judges lawsuits, is very glorious; there will never be a lord who treats his men in such a manner each winter.

Mss: R(52r-v), W(150) (SnE)

Readings: [7] þann: so W, ‘[…]ann’ R

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 84: AII, 73-4, BII, 84, Skald II, 46, NN §2188; SnE 1848-87, I, 702-3, III, 132, SnE 1879-81, I, 13, 83, II, 31, SnE 1931, 248, SnE 2007, 34; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 55.

Context: This variant is not named in R (W has með minni runhendu ‘with lesser end-rhyme’, i.e. the end-rhyme does not extend past the helmingr), and the commentary explains that it is a catalectic (hneptr) version of st. 83 above, that is, truncated málaháttr with end-rhyme. The metre is not attested elsewhere.

Notes: [5-8]: The syntax of the last helmingr is difficult, because hinn es metr mál ‘the one who judges lawsuits’ (l. 5) is a dependent clause. Following SnE 1848-87, Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) and Skj B (and SnE 2007) take hinn with milding ‘lord’ (l. 6) and read sízt getr milding, hinn’s môl metr, þann es setr … translated as ikke gives der en fyrste, som vurderer sager, der således behandler … ‘there does not exist a lord, who judges cases, who thus treats …’. However, it is unprecedented for a rel. clause to precede the antecedent at the beginning of a helmingr. Kock (NN §2188) treats the clause hinn es mál metr as an independent clause ‘the one who appraises the cases’ i.e. ‘if one looks at the matter right’ (ser man rätt på saken), but his examples from Middle English, Middle High German and Middle Low German are unconvincing. Because the stanza consists of a series of run-on clauses, it seems preferable to regard l. 5 as an extension of the previous helmingr, i.e. fylkir leader’ (l. 4) is the antecedent of hinn es ‘the one who’ (for comparable constructions in kviðuháttr, see Gade 2005). — [6] sízt ‘never’: Lit. ‘least of all, latest’, a sup. adv.

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