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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorkell hamarskáld (Þham)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Magnússdrápa (Magndr) - 5

Skj info: Þórkell hamarskáld, Islandsk skjald, omkr. 1100. (AI, 438-9, BI, 407-9).

Skj poems:
1. Magnúsdrápa
2. Lausavísur

Þorkell hamarskáld (Þham) is unknown. His nickname implies that he came from a farm called Hamarr (meaning ‘Crag’; Finnur Jónsson 1907, 246) or that he might have composed about a person with the nickname hamarr ‘Hammer’ (Lind 1920-1, 134). Þorkell must have stayed in Norway prior to 1066, because he composed a poem about Eysteinn orri ‘Black Grouse’ Þorbergsson (d. 1066) whom he seems to have known personally (Skáldatal, SnE 1848-87, III, 269, 286; Mork 1928-32, 279-80). Skáldatal also lists him among the poets of Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’ Haraldsson and his son, Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275-6). We do not know whether Þorkell came from Norway or Iceland, but in a helmingr attributed to him in SnE (Skm), he speaks of a gift that a ruler had sent to him of svalan ægi ‘across the cool sea’ (Þham Frag 1/3III), which suggests that he was an Icelander. See also SnE 1848-87, III, 616-18; LH 1894-1901, II, 54-5. In addition to his drápa about Magnús berfœttr and the helmingr in SnE (edited in SkP III), one lv. by Þorkell survives (see Þham Lv below).

Magnússdrápa — Þham MagndrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell hamarskáld, Magnússdrápa’ 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. 409-14.

 1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Þórkell hamarskáld: 1. Magnúsdrápa, o. 1104 (AI, 438-9, BI, 407-8)

SkP info: II, 411-12

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Þham Magndr 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorkell hamarskáld, Magnússdrápa 3’ 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. 411-12.

Dunði broddr á brynju;
bragningr skaut af magni;
sveigði allvaldr Egða
alm; stǫkk blóð á hjalma.
Strengs fló hagl í hringa;
hné ferð, en lét verða
Hǫrða gramr í harðri
hjarlsókn banat jarli.

Broddr dunði á brynju; bragningr skaut af magni; {allvaldr Egða} sveigði alm; blóð stǫkk á hjalma. {Hagl strengs} fló í hringa; ferð hné, en {gramr Hǫrða} lét verða banat jarli í harðri hjarlsókn.

The arrow-point resounded against the byrnie; the sovereign shot with strength; {the mighty ruler of the Egðir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] bent the elm-bow; blood spurted onto helmets. {The hail of the bow-string} [ARROWS] flew into chain-mail; the company fell, and {the lord of the Hǫrðar} [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] caused the earl to be killed in the hard battle for land.

Mss: Mork(23r) (Mork); H(89r), Hr(61va-b) (H-Hr); F(58va); Kˣ(598v), 39(34vb), E(34r), J2ˣ(311r), 42ˣ(11v) (Hkr); FskBˣ(85v-86r), FskAˣ(338) (Fsk); 325III α(2r), R702ˣ(40v) (Orkn)

Readings: [1] brynju: brynjur H, Hr, J2ˣ, 325III α, R702ˣ    [3] sveigði: ‘suegðe’ E, ‘svegði’ J2ˣ, ‘svæghde’ FskAˣ;    ‑valdr: ‑vald H    [5] Strengs: so all others, ‘stengs’ Mork;    fló: flaug FskBˣ;    í: so F, Kˣ, 39, E, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 325III α, R702ˣ, á Mork, H, Hr, í corrected from á J2ˣ, 42ˣ    [6] hné: ‘hve’ 42ˣ    [7] Hǫrða: hǫrð þá er 42ˣ    [8] hjarl‑: hjarls H, hjǫrs FskBˣ;    ‑sókn: ‘skaull’ Hr

Editions: Skj: Þórkell hamarskáld, 1. Magnúsdrápa 3: AI, 438, BI, 408, Skald I, 201, NN §2908; Mork 1867, 145, Mork 1928-32, 319, Andersson and Gade 2000, 300, 485 (Mberf); Fms 7, 46 (Mberf ch. 22); F 1871, 271 (Mberf); ÍF 28, 223 (Mberf ch. 10), E 1916, 119; ÍF 29, 308 (ch. 81); Orkn 1913-16, 102, ÍF 34, 96-7 (ch. 39).

Context: Magnús killed Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury (Hugi inn prúði ‘the Proud’) at the battle of the Menai Strait, between northern Wales and Anglesey, in 1098.

Notes: [All]: For this battle, see Bkrepp Magndr 11 and Gísl Magnkv 10-13. See also Power 1986, 109-11 and the literature cited there. — [8] hjarlsókn ‘battle for land’: Lit. ‘land-battle’ (hap. leg.). All sources agree that Magnús shot from his ship, hence the word is taken here to mean that Magnús fought to expand his dominions in the west. Alternatively, it could also be construed as ‘attack on the land’. Skj B separates the two elements of the cpd and takes hjarl ‘land’ with hringa ‘chain-mail’ (lit. ‘rings’) (l. 5): í hjarl hringa ‘into the land of rings’, i.e. ‘into the chain-mail’. That reading creates a very convoluted w. o. (see NN § 2908) and it is unnecessary because hringar ‘rings’ can denote ‘chain-mail, ring-byrnie’. See Note to SnH Lv 1/3 and LP: hringr 2.

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