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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Nizarvísur (Nizv) - 7

Skj info: Steinn Herdísarson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 407-13, BI, 376-83).

Skj poems:
1. Nizarvísur
2. Ulfsflokkr
3. Óláfsdrápa

Steinn was the great-grandson of the Icel. poet Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ Helgason (EskálI) and a kinsman of Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson (Stúfr; see the genealogy in SnE 1848-87, III, 607 and Genealogy IV in ÍF 5). At the battle of the river Nissan in 1062 he was on board the ship of his kinsman, Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr). Steinn was a court poet of Haraldr harðráði ‘Hardrule’ Sigurðarson and his son Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’ Haraldsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275). Two poems, NizarvísurVísur about the Nissan’ (Steinn Nizv), and ÓláfsdrápaDrápa about Óláfr’ (Steinn Óldr) survive of his poetic oeuvre, and another st., ÚlfsflokkrFlokkr about Úlfr’ (Steinn Úlffl), is usually assigned to a poem about Úlfr Óspaksson.

Nizarvísur (‘Vísur about the Nissan’) — Steinn NizvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 359-66.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

Skj: Steinn Herdísarson: 1. Nizarvísur, 1062 (AI, 407-9, BI, 376-8)

SkP info: II, 364-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Steinn Nizv 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 364-5.

Oss dugir hrafns ins hvassa
hungrdeyfi svá leyfa,
linns at lastim annan
látrs sveigjanda eigi.
Aldri kvǫddusk oddum
— annat hverjum manni
táls of tyggja at mæla —
tveir fullhugar meiri.

Oss dugir leyfa {{hungrdeyfi} ins hvassa hrafns} svá, at lastim eigi {annan sveigjanda {látrs linns}}. Aldri kvǫddusk tveir meiri fullhugar oddum; táls hverjum manni at mæla annat of tyggja.

It is fitting for us [me] to praise {{the hunger-appeaser} [FEEDER] of the fierce raven} [WARRIOR = Haraldr] in such a way that we [I] do not belittle {the other bender {of the snake’s lair}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Sveinn]. Never did two more valiant ones greet each other with spear-points; it is treachery for any man to say something else about the lords.

Mss: (44-46), 20dˣ(19r-v), 873ˣ(18v), 20b I(1r), 180b(33r) (ll. 1-4) (Knýtl)

Readings: [2] ‑deyfi: ‘‑deyinn’ 180b    [3] lastim: lastinn 20dˣ, 180b;    annan: annat 180b    [4] látrs: látr 180b;    sveigjanda: so 873ˣ, ‘svegianda’ JÓ, sveiganda 20dˣ, ‘sueigian’ 20b I, sveigandi 180b    [5] Aldri: so 20b I, ‘alldreigi’ JÓ, 873ˣ, ‘aldreyi’ 20dˣ

Editions: Skj: Steinn Herdísarson, 1. Nizarvísur 6: AI, 408-9, BI, 378, Skald I, 188; 1741, 44-7, ÍF 35, 138 (ch. 25).

Context: Sts 6-7 are incorporated into Knýtl after the death of Sveinn Úlfsson of Denmark to illustrate his personal qualities.

Notes: [All]: Skj dates Nizv to 1062, i.e. right after the battle of the Nissan. However, because of the favourable sentiments towards Sveinn Úlfsson that are expressed in this and the next st., it seems more likely that Steinn composed the poem in 1064 after the peace-treaty had been concluded between Haraldr and Sveinn (see also Halli XI Fl). — [1-2] hungrdeyfi ins hvassa hrafns ‘the hunger-appeaser [FEEDER] of the fierce raven [WARRIOR = Haraldr]’: For kennings of this type, see Note to Arn Hryn 7/1, 2. — [5] kvǫddusk oddum ‘greet each other with spear-points’: I.e. they fought. Cf. Þhorn Gldr 4/8I. — [7] of tyggja ‘about the lords’: Could also be taken as the sg. (so 1741, 47: de Rege ‘about the king’). — [8]: The last l. in 20dˣ is in the hand of ÁM.

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