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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, 1203

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

94 — SnSt Ht 94III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 94’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1203.

… gramr
gulli søri Kraki framr;
efla frágum Haka hjaldr;
†hl† … aldr.
Ormi veitti Sigurðr sár;
slíkt vas alt fyr liðit ár;
Ragnarr þótti skatna skýrstr;
Skúli jarl es miklu dýrstr.

… gramr; framr Kraki søri gulli; frágum Haka efla hjaldr; †hl† … aldr. Sigurðr veitti ormi sár; alt slíkt vas fyr liðit ár; Ragnarr þótti skýrstr skatna; Skúli jarl es miklu dýrstr.

… the lord; the outstanding Kraki sowed gold; we [I] heard that Haki waged war; … … age. Sigurðr inflicted a wound on the serpent; all that was before the year gone by; Ragnarr seemed the wisest of rulers; Skúli jarl is by far the most glorious.

Mss: R(53r) (SnE)

Readings: [2] gulli: gull R;    framr: fram R    [7] þótti: ‘þ[…]’ R

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 94: AII, 75-6, BII, 86, Skald II, 47; SnE 1848-87, I, 710-11, III, 134, SnE 1879-81, I, 15, 85, II, 33, SnE 1931, 251, SnE 2007, 37; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 63-4.

Context: There is no commentary accompanying this stanza, but the metre is a catalectic heptasyllabic variant of hrynhent ‘flowing-rhymed’ (sts 62-4) and thus similar to st. 91 (and also used in Anon Mhkv). Because the identical rhymes involve couplets only, it is ‘the least end-rhyme’ (in minnsta runhenda).

Notes: [All]: The top right corner of fol. 53r has been torn off, and the readings of ll. 1 and 4 cannot be reconstructed. — [All]: Snorri uses allusions to the exploits of legendary kings and heroes to extol Skúli’s prowess. All of these persons are also commemorated in RvHbreiðm Hl. This stanza is very similar to Anon Mhkv 7-8, which commemorate ancient heroes and are characterised by the same abrupt syntax: each line contains one independent clause. It is not unlikely that Snorri would have been familiar with that poem and used it as a model for the present stanza. — [1] gramr (m. nom. sg.) ‘the lord’: This can be the noun ‘lord’, the adj. ‘angry’ or the name of a sword. The context is lacking. — [2] gulli (n. dat. sg.) ‘gold’: The emendation (from gull, n. acc. sg.) is necessary because søri ‘sowed’ (inf. ‘sow’) takes the dat. case. — [2] søri ‘sowed’: This is a short-stemmed disyllabic verb that receives full stress, and we must assume resolution, which makes the line hypometrical (it is difficult to imagine suspended resolution in two consecutive metrical positions søri Kraki). Sievers’s rendition of this line, gulli séri Kraki framr (Sievers 1879, 272), is obscure. If Snorri had used the weak pret. form of the verb ‘sow’ (sáði, see ANG §506 Anm. 1), the metre would be restored. — [2] framr Kraki ‘the outstanding Kraki’: The reading in R, fram ‘forward’ (?), has been altered to framr (R*). For Hrólfr kraki ‘Pole-ladder’ and his sowing of gold, see Note to RvHbreiðm Hl 47 [All]. — [3] Haka ‘Haki’: He was a legendary sea-king and the brother of Hagbarðr (see ÍF 26, 43; Saxo 2005, I, 7, 8, 1-6, pp. 476-81). See also Notes to RvHbreiðm Hl 27 [All], Anon Kálfv 1/4, Anon (SnE) 15/1, Anon (FoGT) 24/1 and Þul Sea-kings l. 8. — [4] aldr ‘age’: Aldr (m. nom. or acc. sg.) can mean ‘life, age, time’, but the lack of context does not allow for an interpretation. — [5] Sigurðr: Sigurðr Fáfnisbani ‘Slayer of Fáfnir’ is the legendary hero of the Sigurðr cycle (see NK 164-239; SnE 1998, I, 46-8; Vǫlsunga saga). See also RvHbreiðm Hl 3-4. — [6] fyr liðit ár ‘before the year gone by’: Cf. Sannligar sǫgurfyr lǫngu liðnar ‘True tales … long ago passed’, RvHbreiðm Hl 2/4, 6. — [7-8]: See the verbal echoes of these lines in st. 82/5-8. — [7] Ragnarr: This is Ragnarr loðbrók ‘Shaggy-breeches’ (RloðVIII; see st. 54 above and RvHbreiðm Hl 11-12).

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