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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, 1200

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

90 — SnSt Ht 90III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 90’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1200.

Mǫrg þjóð ferr til siklings sala;
sœmð es þar til allra dvala;
tiggi veitir seima svala;
satt es bezt of hann at tala.
Bresta spyrjum bauga flata
— bragna vinr kann gulli hat*a —
— œðri, veitk, at gjǫflund gata
grundar vǫrðr — fyr hringa skata.

Mǫrg þjóð ferr til sala siklings; sœmð es þar til allra dvala; tiggi veitir svala seima; es bezt at tala satt of hann. Spyrjum flata bauga bresta fyr {skata hringa}; {vinr bragna} kann hat*a gulli; veitk, at {vǫrðr grundar} gata œðri gjǫflund.

Many people travel to the halls of the sovereign; honour accrues to all who stay there; the ruler gives out cool gold; it is best to tell the truth about him. We [I] learn that flat circlets burst before {the chieftain of rings} [GENEROUS MAN]; {the friend of men} [= Skúli] knows how to hate gold; I know that no {guardian of the ground} [RULER] got a nobler generous disposition.

Mss: R(52v) (SnE)

Readings: [3] seima: seim R    [6] hat*a: ‘hatta’ R

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 90: AII, 75, BII, 85, Skald II, 47; SnE 1848-87, I, 706-9, III, 133, SnE 1879-81, I, 14, 84, II, 32, SnE 1931, 250, SnE 2007, 36; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 60.

Context: This variant is based on octosyllabic hrynhent ‘flowing-rhymed’ (see sts 62-4), except that the cadence consists of two short syllables rather than the expected sequence of a long plus a short syllable. The identical end-rhymes are restricted to the helmingr (in minni runhenda ‘the lesser end-rhyme’; see sts 81, 87).

Notes: [All]: For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 33-4 and Anon Mhkv. — [2] es þar til allra dvala ‘accrues to all who stay there’: Lit. ‘is there for all sojourns’. — [3] svala seima ‘cool gold’: Lit. in the pl. ‘cool gold-threads’. Seim (m. acc. sg.) has been altered in R to seima (R*). — [6] kann hat*a gulli ‘knows how to hate gold’: This means ‘give away gold’ i.e. ‘be generous’. Kann ‘knows’ is not used purely as a pleonastic auxiliary here. Ms. R reads ‘hatta’, which must be a scribal error. — [7-8] veitk, at vǫrðr grundar gata œðri gjǫflund ‘I know that no guardian of the ground [RULER] got a nobler generous disposition’: Lit. ‘I know that a guardian of the ground did not get a nobler generous disposition’. Gata ‘did not get’ is 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. of geta ‘get’ plus the suffixed negation ‑a.

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