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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Tindr Hallkelsson (Tindr)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;

Hákonardrápa (Hákdr) - 11

Skj info: Tindr Hallkelsson, Islandsk skjald, d. efter 1015. (AI, 144-7, BI, 136-9).

Skj poems:
1. Drape om Hakon jarl
2. Lausavísur

Tindr Hallkelsson (Tindr), an Icelander, was born around the middle of the tenth century and belonged to the illustrious family of Gilsbekkingar; he bore the nickname inn frœkni ‘the Brave’ (Finnur Jónsson 1886b, 309-10). His father occupied a property called Hallkelsstaðir, according to Harðar saga Grímkelssonar (ÍF 13, 96). Ldn (ÍF 1, 82-3) mentions him as a brother of the chieftain Illugi svarti ‘the Black’ at Gilsbakki, thus paternal uncle of the poet Gunnlaugr ormstunga ‘Serpent-tongue’ (GunnlIV), as noted in Gunnlaugs saga (ÍF 3, 58; cf. ÍF 13, 138). He was also a fifth-generation descendant of the skald Bragi Boddason (BragiIII; ÍF 1, 82) and great-grandfather of Gísl Illugason (GíslII; ÍF 1, 111; cf. ÍF 3, 331). His skills as a poet within this skaldic lineage are discussed by de Vries (1964-7, I, 178). His daughters Jóreiðr and Hallveig and son Þorvaldr are mentioned in Ldn (ÍF 1, 108, 137, 111 respectively); the name of a wife, if any, is not recorded.

Little is known about Tindr’s life and career, the fullest source being the incompletely preserved and historically unreliable Heiðarvíga saga (Heið). Ldn (ÍF 1, 83) notes his part in avenging the death of his brother, perhaps early in his adult life before his time in Norway. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256, 280) includes him among the poets affiliated to Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. Both Fsk (‘A’ redaction only, ÍF 29, 131) and the version of Jvs in ms. 510 (Jvs 1879, 82) show him fighting on Hákon’s side at the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen, c. 985) (cf. Finnur Jónsson 1886b, 309) and as having composed Hákonardrápa, his main surviving work, as a detailed narrative on that theme, probably shortly after the action (LH I, 536). There are no reliable reports of his serving other rulers. The statement in Harðar saga (ÍF 13, 36) that places him in Norway as early as the reign of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ (c. 961-c. 970) can be dismissed on chronological grounds (LH I, 536; ÍF 13, 96 n. 4). After his return to Iceland Tindr played a prominent role in the famous Heiðarvíg ‘Battle of the heath’ (c. 1015), as reported in Heið (ÍF 3, 298). The saga (ÍF 3, 307) includes two lausavísur spoken by him as he lies severely wounded in the battle (Tindr Lv 1-2V (Heið 14-15)); his death apparently followed shortly afterwards.

Hákonardrápa — Tindr HákdrI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa’ 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. 336.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11 

Skj: Tindr Hallkelsson: 1. Drape om Hakon jarl, o. 987 (AI, 144-7, BI, 136-8)

SkP info: I, 356

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Tindr Hákdr 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 11’ 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. 356.

Undr es þreytt, ef, Þundi,
þann kenndi val,’s sendir
golls samnaði, gumna
Goðmarr hræum fjarri.

Undr es þreytt, ef Goðmarr, fjarri hræum, kenndi þann val gumna, [e]s {sendir golls} samnaði Þundi.

A marvel is hard-won, if Gullmaren, remote from the corpses, saw the slain warriors [lit. slain of men] that {the dispatcher of gold} [GENEROUS MAN = Hákon] assembled for Þundr <= Óðinn>.

Mss: 510(62v) (Jvs)

Readings: [1] þreytt: ‘þrytt’ 510;    Þundi: ‘þrindi’ 510    [3] golls: golli 510;    samnaði: safnaðar 510    [4] Goðmarr: ‘godinnar’ 510

Editions: Skj: Tindr Hallkelsson, 1. Drape om Hakon jarl 11: AI, 147, BI, 138, Skald I, 76, NN §§303C, 438; Fms 11, 140, Fms 12, 240, SHI 11, 129-31, Jvs 1879, 85-6.

Context: In Jvs, as for st. 10. It is followed by the comment So heiter fio[r]ðurinn ‘So the fjord was named’, evidently referring to Goðmarr (garbled as ‘godinnar’) in the stanza.

Notes: [All]: The helmingr as interpreted here appears to imply that (the people of) Gullmaren will not see their warriors again, since they have fallen far from home (see Note to l. 4 below), but the text is highly problematic. Editors are agreed on the emendation of ms. ‘þrytt’ to þreytt ‘hard-won’ in l. 1 and of ms. gulli (dat. sg.) to golls (gen. sg.) in l. 3. In this edn ms. sendir in l. 2, emended to sendi (3rd sg. pret. indic.) ‘sent’ by previous eds, is retained as the base-word in a kenning sendir golls ‘despatcher of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ and ms. safnaðar in l. 3 is emended to samnaði ‘assembled’. Whether the verb is sendi or samnaði, it belongs in a rel. clause introduced by ms. er (normalised ’s), and this is metrically problematic since subordinate clauses do not normally begin after position 4 in a Type D4/E-line (see Gade 1995a, 88-9). To remove ’s by emendation, however, would produce a main clause that is difficult to accommodate in the helmingr. For the remaining problems, the solutions adopted by Finnur Jónsson in Skj are generally followed. A subject for kenndi ‘saw, recognised’, apparently lacking in the ms. text, is supplied from ‘goðinnar’ in l. 4, emended to Goðmarr ‘Gullmaren’ on the evidence of Jvs. This p. n. is qualified by the phrase fjarri hræum ‘far from the corpses’. The verb kenndi in turn has an object in val (m. acc. sg.) ‘slain’ and an indirect obj. of person benefiting in Þundi ‘Óðinn’ (emended from ms. ‘þrindi’), anticipated ahead of the rel. clause. For the reference to the sacrifice of the slain enemy to Óðinn, cf. Þhorn Harkv 12, Þjsk Hák 1/5, 8 and possibly st. 9/1-2 of this poem. A remaining difficulty is gumna ‘of men’, which seems redundant on any construal but is here tentatively grouped with val ‘slain’, thus lit. ‘slain of men’. Previous scholarship has attempted to solve the same problems in a variety of ways. (a) In his first treatment of this poem Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 354-5) emends ms. hræum (dat. pl.) ‘corpses’ to hræja, taken as the gen. pl. object of kenndi, and construes fjarri ‘far, afar’ as free-standing. These proposals he rescinds in Skj B, where he groups the words hræum gumna ‘with the corpses of men’ together. (b) Kock (NN §438, cf. §303C) proposes emending ms. ‘þrindi’ to Þrœndir ‘people of Trøndelag’, subject of kenndu ‘saw’ (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic., emended from kenndi), so as to avoid Finnur Jónsson’s tripartite division of l. 1. A reference to these people would accord with the statement in Jvs (1879, 64) that they were to be enlisted to resist the invaders. Kock also emends ‘godinnar’ in l. 4 to goðvarr ‘god-reverent’ (see further Note to l. 4). (c) Reichardt (1928, 204) noted that the difficulties of this helmingr had not been satisfactorily resolved, and it remains the case that no analysis is wholly convincing. The syntactic relation of the rel. clause to the rest of the helmingr assumed by all eds is difficult to parallel. — [3] samnaði ‘assembled’: Most eds accept the emendation samnandi ‘accumulator’, taking it with golls ‘of gold’, but the postulated agentive appears to lack parallels and the verb samna ‘collect, assemble’ is used elsewhere in relation to troops, but nowhere in relation to gold (LP: samna). — [4] Goðmarr ‘Gullmaren’: Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 355) identifies ms. ‘godinnar’ with the fjord Goðmarr á Ránríki (Gullmaren i Bohuslän; for Goðmar(r) = Gullmaren see Wahlberg 2003, 98). The general implication of the helmingr appears to be that Goðmarr was the home of many men who fought at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen) and did not survive to return home (cf. Sigv Nesv 11/1-4), being instead taken into the possession of Óðinn. It is possible that the Danish-Wendish force on their way north first gathered recruits in the densely settled Oslofjorden area, which at that time was in Danish hands, although some versions of the story of the Jómsvíkingar have them landing first at Jaðarr (Jæren), on the south-west coast of Norway (Jvs 1962, 49). Goðmarr is several hundred miles from Sunnmøre, which leads Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB I, 50, cf. II, 570) to posit a battle at Goðmarr itself, and Kock (NN §438) to ridicule the notion of corpses drifting so far southwards and then eastwards from Sunnmøre. This, however, may be the point: it was inconceivable that these corpses could find their way home from the distant location of the battle. The personification of the place Goðmarr as subject of kenndi ‘saw, knew, recognised’, posited by most eds, is unusual (though not quite unparalleled: cf. the laughing, then mourning hills imagined in Sigv Lv 24), and it might be that a pers. n. underlies the ms. reading here.

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