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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;

3. Óláfsdrápa (Óldr) - 16

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.

Óláfsdrápa (‘Drápa about Óláfr’) — Steinn ÓldrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Steinn Herdísarson, Óláfsdrápa’ 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. 367-81. <> (accessed 28 November 2021)

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16 

Skj: Steinn Herdísarson: 3. Óláfsdrápa, o. 1070 (AI, 409-13, BI, 379-83); stanzas (if different): 1 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

SkP info: II, 368-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Steinn Óldr 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Óláfsdrápa 1’ 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. 368-9.

Þjóð fórsk mǫrg í móðu;
menn drukknuðu sukknir;
drengr lá ár of ungan
ófár Mǫrukára.
Fila dróttinn rak flótta
framr; tók herr á ramri
rôs fyr rǫskum vísa.
Ríklundaðr veit undir.

Mǫrg þjóð fórsk í móðu; sukknir menn drukknuðu; ófár drengr lá ár of ungan Mǫrukára. {Framr dróttinn Fila} rak flótta; herr tók á ramri rôs fyr rǫskum vísa. Ríklundaðr veit undir….

Many people died in the river; submerged men drowned; not a few warriors soon lay [dead] around young Morcere. {The outstanding lord of the Filir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr] pursued those who fled; the army broke into a frantic run before the bold ruler. Proud-minded knows beneath [the sun]….

Mss: Mork(18v) (Mork); Flat(203va) (Flat); H(74r), Hr(53ra) (H-Hr); Kˣ(577v-578r), 39(31ra), F(52rb), E(26r), J2ˣ(294v) (Hkr); FskAˣ(296) (Fsk)

Readings: [2] sukknir: sokknir Mork, Flat, H, Hr, Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘sæknir’ E    [5] Fila: fira H, Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ    [6] framr: fram H, Hr, F;    ramri: ‘ramer’ Flat    [8] ‑lundaðr: ‑lundar Flat;    veit undir: veik undan Flat, E, vítt undan H, Hr, vatt undir Kˣ, 39, J2ˣ, vátt undir F, helt undan FskAˣ

Editions: Skj: Steinn Herdísarson, 3. Óláfsdrápa 4: AI, 410, BI, 379, Skald I, 189; Mork 1867, 113, Mork 1928-32, 268, Andersson and Gade 2000, 265, 480-1 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 390 (MH); Fms 6, 408 (HSig ch. 115); ÍF 28, 180-1 (HSig ch. 85), F 1871, 244, E 1916, 93; ÍF 29, 279 (ch. 63).

Context: Sts 1-3 describe the battle of Fulford near the River Ouse in Northumbria (20 September 1066) between the Norw. army under the leadership of Óláfr’s father, Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, and the Engl. troops of Earls Morcere (Mǫrukári) and Waltheof (Valþjófr) recte Edwin.

Notes: [All]: The battle of Fulford is also commemorated in Arn Hardr 7-9 and Anon Harst. Fulford is located two miles downstream from York, on the River Ouse. — [1] mǫrg þjóð fórsk í móðu ‘many people died in the river’: Both Engl. sources and Anon Harst mention that people died in a river or marsh. See also Jones 2007, 173-95. The brook that now runs through the battlefield, the Germany Beck, certainly does not fit the description of a river in which people could have drowned (even allowing for topographical change since 1066), and Jones (2007, 193) suggests that high tide could have brought surges of muddy water from the Ouse up to the ford after the battle, thus creating a spectacle of fallen bodies pressed into the mud appearing to have drowned. — [4] Mǫrukára ‘Morcere’: Earl of Northumbria and the son of Earl Ælfgar of Mercia. He and his brother, Edwin, Earl of Mercia, opposed the Norw. troops at the battle of Fulford. All prose versions (incorrectly) infer from this st. that Morcar (still alive 1087) was killed in that battle. — [5]: The l. echoes Grani Har 1/5. — [5] dróttinn Fila ‘lord of the Filir [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr]’: Dróttinn fira ‘lord of men’ (so H, , 39, F, E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ) is possible, but less likely in view of the fact that, throughout the poem (sts 5/4, 6/3, 8/1, 12/1), Steinn identifies Óláfr as ‘lord of’ plus an ethnic name, and dróttinn Fila ‘lord of the Filir’ is also attested in st. 8/6. For the ethnic name, see Note to Grani Har 1/5. — [8] ríklundaðr veit undir ... ‘proud-minded knows beneath [the sun] ...’: This l. is part of a klofastef (‘split refrain’), which is completed or repeated in the final ll. of sts 4-6, 8, 12-14. The entire refrain reads as follows: ríklundaðr veit undir | sik beztan gram miklu | Óláfr borinn sólu, i.e. ríklundaðr Óláfr veit sik borinn miklu beztan gram undir sólu ‘proud-minded Óláfr knows himself to be the very best ruler born beneath the sun’. The scribes of the mss of Hkr, H-Hr and Fsk evidently did not understand the l. and tried to make syntactic sense of it in different ways.

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