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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, 1206

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

98 — SnSt Ht 98III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 98’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1206.

Veitk verðari,         þás vell gefa,
brǫndum beita         ok búa snekkjur,
hæra hróðrar,         en heimdrega,
unga jǫfra,         en auðspǫruð.

Veitk unga jǫfra, þás gefa vell, beita brǫndum ok búa snekkjur, verðari hæra hróðrar en heimdrega, en auðspǫruð.

I know that young princes, who give gold, brandish swords and occupy warships, are worthier of higher praise than a stay-at-home, than a wealth-withholder.

Mss: R(53r) (SnE)

Editions: Skj: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 98: AII, 76, BII, 87, Skald II, 48, NN §2189; SnE 1848-87, I, 712-15, III, 134, SnE 1879-81, I, 16, 85, II, 34,  SnE 1931, 251, SnE 2007, 38; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 66.

Context: The metre is called Starkaðar lag ‘Starkaðr’s metre’ (heading in the left margin of R and also added by R* in the right margin). The metre is fornyrðislag (see st. 96) with two alliterative staves in the odd lines (Types A1 (ll. 3, 5, 7) and D2 (l. 1)) and anacrusis (Types C2 (ll. 2, 6, 8) and C3 (l. 4)) in the even lines.

Notes: [All]: There is a discrepancy here between the heading (Starkaðar lag) and the prose commentary, which does not mention that metre; rather, the features that characterise the present stanza appear to match the description of stikkalag ‘needle-metre’ given in the commentary (for that term, see also Anon HarstII, Anon (Knýtl)II and Anon SǫrlVIII (Sǫrla 1) although none of those stanzas is in the same metre as the present stanza). It is not clear which of the two terms (Starkaðar lag or stikkalag) is erroneous. It is interesting that the stanza exemplifying bálkarlag in TGT (TGT 1884, 68) is attributed to Starkaðr (see Note to st. 97 [All] above). — [All]: Starkaðr was a legendary Danish hero (see Stark VíkVIII (Gautr 9-41), Saxo 2005, II, 675: Starcatherus and Note to Anon Mhkv 7/2). Most of the poetry attributed to Starkaðr (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr 9-41); StarkSt Frag) is in fornyrðislag, but none of those stanzas displays consistently the metrical features of the present stanza. — [All]: The prose word order of the present edn basically follows SnE 1879-81, Konráð Gíslason (1895-7), Skald (NN §2189) and SnE 2007. The word order in Skj B is extremely convoluted and will not be discussed here. — [4] búa ‘occupy’: This verb could also be translated as ‘outfit, ready’. — [6] heimdrega ‘a stay-at-home’: Altered in R to heimdraga ‘stay-at-home’ (R*). Both variants of this word are possible. — [7] unga jǫfra ‘young princes’: See Note to st. 51/1, 2.

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