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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;

III. Fragments (Frag) - 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.

notes
LP: ÞSjár(Sær)

Fragments — ÞSjár FragIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Fragments’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 476.

 1   2   3   4 

Skj: Þórðr Særeksson: 4. Lausavísur og ubestemmelige brudstykker (AI, 329-330, BI, 303-304)

SkP info: III, 477

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — ÞSjár Frag 2III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Fragments 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 477.

The couplet (ÞSjár Frag 2) is cited in W and in LaufE (mss 2368ˣ and 743ˣ), from which it was copied in RE 1665(Hh3). In W it is transmitted in Orms-Eddu-brot, three leaves which contain an expanded version of Skm peculiar to W. The poet’s name is given as ‘þorðr .s. son’ (W; similarly abbreviated in 2368ˣ and 743ˣ) and Finnur Jónsson identifies him as Þórðr Sjáreksson (see also SnE 1848-87, III, 558). That attribution remains tentative.

Hlakkar stofns at hefna
herðendr í því sverða.

{Herðendr sverða} at hefna {stofns Hlakkar} í því.

{The strengtheners of swords} [WARRIORS] to avenge {the tree-stump of Hlǫkk <valkyrie>} [WARRIOR] in that.

Mss: W(168) (SnE); 2368ˣ(110), 743ˣ(85r) (LaufE)

Editions: Skj: Þórðr Særeksson, 4. Lausavísur og ubestemmelige brudstykker 2: AI, 329, BI, 303, Skald I, 154, NN §§1124B, 2018; SnE 1848-87, II, 497, III, 175-6; LaufE 1979, 369.

Context: The couplet illustrates base-words of the category ‘tree’ in man-kennings.

Notes: [All]: The couplet is syntactically incomplete and too fragmentary to allow for a meaningful translation. — [1] stofns Hlakkar ‘the tree-stump of Hlǫkk <valkyrie> [WARRIOR]’: The base-word, stofns ‘the tree-stump’, is in the gen. and it is likely that the kenning is the object of the verb hefna ‘avenge’, which is construed with a gen. object. — [2] herðendr sverða ‘the strengtheners of swords [WARRIORS]’: The base-word (herðendr ‘strengtheners, hardeners’) is in the nom. (or acc.). Kock suggested that it could function either as a form of address (NN §1124B) or as the subject of hefna ‘avenge’. Following the latter interpretation, he regarded at (l. 1) as the conj. ‘that’ rather than as the inf. marker ‘to’ (NN §2018): at herðendr sverða hefna stofns Hlakkar ‘that the strengtheners of swords avenge the tree-stump of Hlǫkk’. The couplet must originally have been preceded by two lines, and Kock’s suggestions are conjectural. In the present edn, at is taken as the inf. marker ‘to’. — [2] í því ‘in that’: Again it is unclear what this prepositional phrase refers to, and it could also mean ‘thereby’ or ‘at that’.

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