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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, 1114

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — SnSt Ht 9III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 9’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1114.

Vex iðn; vellir roðna;
verpr lind; þrimu snerpir;
fæsk gagn; fylkir eignask;
falr hitnar; sezk vitnir.
Skekr rǫnd; skildir bendask;
skelfr askr; griðum raskar;
brandr gellr; brynjur sundrask;
braka spjǫr; litask ǫrvar.

Iðn vex; vellir roðna; verpr lind; snerpir þrimu; gagn fæsk; fylkir eignask; falr hitnar; vitnir sezk. Skekr rǫnd; skildir bendask; askr skelfr; raskar griðum; brandr gellr; brynjur sundrask; spjǫr braka; ǫrvar litask.

Toil increases; fields are reddened; a linden-spear is thrown; battle becomes fierce; victory is gained; the ruler obtains [it]; a spear-socket grows hot; the wolf is sated. A shield-rim is shaken; shields are bent; an ash-spear trembles; truces are broken; a blade resounds; byrnies are sundered; spears crash; arrows are coloured.

Mss: R(46r), Tˣ(48v), W(140), U(47r) (l. 1), U(49v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Vex: Vóx U(47r);    roðna: ‘[…]na’ with ‘rod’ added in the margin in a later hand W, ‘roþnan’ U(47r)    [3] fæsk: felsk U    [4] vitnir: vitni U    [5] Skekr: so all others, skefr R    [8] spjǫr: spjót U

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 9: AII, 54-5, BII, 63, Skald II, 36; SnE 1848-87, I, 614-15, II, 370, 378, SnE 1879-81, I, 2, 75, II, 7, SnE 1931, 220, SnE 2007, 9; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 7.

Context: The stanza illustrates a variant of dróttkvætt produced by the regular repetition of a specific sentence pattern: each line consists of two syntactically independent clauses (sextánmælt ‘sixteen-times spoken’).

Notes: [All]: This is the first stanza in Ht to exemplify variants of dróttkvætt in which verse-forms are differentiated by various arrangements of words. — [All]: The headings are xvimæltr ‘sixteen-times spoken’ (R), ij. háttr ‘the second verse-form’ () and sextánmælt (U(47r)). See also RvHbreiðm Hl 41-2. The metre is unusual in that each odd line is Sievers’s Type A2l, with a heavy syllable in position 2 carrying internal rhyme (except l. 7; see Sievers 1893, 106). In that respect it resembles in forna skálfhenda ‘the ancient tremble-rhymed’ (st. 35). This dróttkvætt variant is attested elsewhere in the corpus of skaldic poetry, but it is never used systematically as in Ht and Hl (cf. also SnE 2007, 77-8). — [2, 6] verpr; raskar ‘is thrown; are broken’: Both of these verbs occur in impersonal constructions, with lind ‘linden-spear’ (l. 2) and griðum ‘truces’ (l. 6), respectively, as dat. objects. — [2] lind ‘a linden-spear’: Lindr could either mean ‘linden-spear’ or ‘linden-shield’ (see st. 10/3 below), but the context shows that it denotes a spear here. — [2] snerpir ‘becomes fierce’: Used impersonally with þrímu ‘battle’ as the acc. object. — [5] skekr ‘is shaken’: Used impersonally with rǫnd ‘shield-rim’ as the acc. object. The R variant skefr (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of skafa ‘shave’ (?)) has been altered to ‘skekr’ (R*). — [6] askr ‘an ash-spear’: Spear-shafts were usually made from ash (see Falk 1914b, 85). Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) suggests that this means ‘sword’ (ensis), but there is no evidence for that sense. See also st. 57/3.

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