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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar (Þórdr) - 4

Skj info: Þórðr Særeksson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 327-30, BI, 302-4).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om Klœingr Brúsason
2. Þórolfs drápa Skolmssonar
3. Róðudrápa
4. Lausavísur og ubestemmelige brudstykker

Very little is known about Þórðr Særeksson (or, in a later form, Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 257, 274, 281) lists him among the poets of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (r. c. 1000-c. 1014) and King Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr, d. 1030). According to ÓT (1958-2000, II, 322-3) Þórðr went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the reign of Óláfr Haraldsson, and, arriving in Syria, met Óláfr Tryggvason, who is said to have escaped from the battle of Svǫlðr (c. 1000). Óláfr greeted Þórðr warmly and sent his regards to Þórðr’s kinsman-in-law (mágr), the famous Icelander Hjalti Skeggjason. In some mss Þórðr is referred to as Svartsson or svartaskáld, probably from a misreading of his patronymic (see LH I, 603-5 and Introduction to ðudrápa (Róðdr) below). In addition to the poems edited here (Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar (Þórdr), Flokkr about Klœingr Brúsason (Klœingr) and Róðdr), three fragments of Þórðr’s poetry are preserved in SnE and one in LaufE (ÞSjár Frag 1-4III); these fragments are edited in SkP III. Þórðr’s oeuvre presents difficulties in that the people and events commemorated there span some sixty-five years, from c. 961 (Þórdr) to c. 1026 (Róðdr), so that it must be assumed either that he was exceptionally long-lived or that Þórdr was composed after a lapse of several years or decades; see further Introduction to that poem.

LP: ÞSjár(Sær)

Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar — ÞSjár ÞórdrI

Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘ Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 236. <> (accessed 20 May 2022)

 1   2   3   4 

Skj: Þórðr Særeksson: 2. Þórolfs drápa Skolmssonar (AI, 328-9, BI, 302-3); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4

SkP info: I, 240

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — ÞSjár Þórdr 4I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar 4’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 240.

Afreks veit, þars jǫfri
allríkr í styr slíkum
gǫndlar Njǫrðr, sás gerði,
gekk næst, Hugins drekku.

Veit afreks, þars {allríkr Njǫrðr gǫndlar}, sás gerði {drekku Hugins}, gekk næst jǫfri í slíkum styr.

It signals an exceptional deed when {the all-powerful Njǫrðr <god> of battle} [WARRIOR = Þórálfr], who prepared {Huginn’s <raven’s> banquet} [CORPSES], advanced next to the prince in such a battle.

Mss: (104v), F(18rb), J1ˣ(63r), J2ˣ(59v) (Hkr); 61(6rb), 325IX 1 a(2vb), Bb(8rb) (ÓT); FskBˣ(12r), FskAˣ(55) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Afreks: afrek FskAˣ;    þars (‘þar er’): þat er F, 61, 325IX 1 a, Bb, FskAˣ, þá J1ˣ, þá er J2ˣ    [3] gǫndlar: gumnar FskBˣ, gunnar FskAˣ;    Njǫrðr: morðr FskBˣ, móðr FskAˣ;    sás (‘sa er’): þeim er FskBˣ, FskAˣ    [4] Hugins: hugar 325IX 1 a, Bb;    drekku: drekkju 325IX 1 a, Bb

Editions: Skj: Þórðr Særeksson, 2. Þórolfs drápa Skolmssonar 2: AI, 328, BI, 302, Skald I, 154; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 217, ÍF 26, 192 (HákGóð ch. 31), F 1871, 83; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 45 (ch. 28); Fsk 1902-3, 46 (ch. 12), ÍF 29, 93 (ch. 13).

Context: As sts 2-3 above.

Notes: [All]: In Hkr and ÓT, sts 3/1-4 and 4 form a single stanza. — [1] afreks (n. gen. sg.) ‘an exceptional deed’: The verb vita (veit 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic.) in the meaning ‘signal, point to, forebode’ can take either gen. or acc. The clause is impersonal. — [1] þars ‘when’: More usually ‘where’, but the reference is to the whole situation. Other eds prefer the variant þats ‘that’, which is equally possible. — [3] Njǫrðr gǫndlar ‘Njǫrðr <god> of battle [WARRIOR = Þórálfr]’: For a similar kenning, see Arn Rǫgndr 1/3II and Note. Gǫndul is the name of a valkyrie but could also be used as a common noun gǫndul ‘battle’ (see LP: Gǫndul). — [3] sás ‘who’: The m. nom. sg. demonstrative refers back to Njǫrðr gǫndlar ‘the Njǫrðr of battle’ i.e. Þórálfr Skólmsson. The Fsk variant þeims (m. dat. sg.) agrees with jǫfri ‘prince’ (l. 1), i.e. Hákon, who would then be the subject of the rel. clause. — [4] drekku Hugins ‘Huginn’s <raven’s> banquet [CORPSES]’: The word drekka can mean both ‘banquet, drinking feast’ and ‘drink’. If taken in the latter meaning, the kenning would denote ‘blood’. Huginn, like Muninn (st. 3/6), was Óðinn’s raven, and the occurrence of the two names in kennings in two consecutive stanzas may have been deliberate.

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