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.

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

SkP info: I, 343

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Tindr Hákdr 3I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 3’ 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. 343.

Dreif at Viðris veðri
— vargr gleypti ná margan —
— varð auðfundit virð*i
valgagls — þinurs hagli,
þars í sundr á sandi
Sǫrla blés fyr jarli
(þess hefr seggja sessi)
serk hringofinn (merki).

Dreif {hagli þinurs} at {veðri Viðris} — vargr gleypti margan ná; {virð*i {valgagls}} varð auðfundit —, þars {hringofinn serk Sǫrla} blés í sundr á sandi fyr jarli; {sessi seggja} hefr merki þess.

{The hail of the bow} [ARROWS] pelted in {the storm of Viðrir <= Óðinn>} [BATTLE] — the wolf swallowed many a corpse; {the meal {of the slaughter-goose}} [RAVEN/EAGLE > CORPSES] was easily found —, where {the ring-woven shirt of Sǫrli <legendary hero>} [MAIL-SHIRT] was blasted apart on the sand before the jarl; {the benchmate of men} [RULER = Hákon] bears the marks of this.

texts: Jvs 11, ÓT 84 [5-8], ÓTC 37 (I 140), Hkr 168 (I 140) [5-8]

editions: Skj Tindr Hallkelsson: 1. Drape om Hakon jarl 3 (AI, 145; BI, 136);

Skald I, 75, NN §§165, 303B, 430, 1068; Fms 11, 138, Fms 12, 239, SHI 11, 118-19, 122-3, Jvs 1879, 82; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 331, IV, 90, ÍF 26, 282 (ch. 40), F 1871, 122; Fms 1, 173, Fms 12, 43, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 190 (ch. 90).


AM 510 4° (510) 62r, 12 - 62r, 14 (Jvs)  transcr.  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx) 159v, 24 - 159v, 27 [5-8] (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 39 fol (39) 7va, 19 - 7va, 20 [5-8] (Hkr)  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 26vb, 37 - 26vb, 38 [5-8] (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 96r, 11 - 96r, 13 [5-8] (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 89r, 30 - 89v, 2 [5-8] (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 19vb, 28 - 19vb, 30 [5-8] (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 16ra, 40 - 16rb, 1 [5-8] (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 26va, 12 - 26va, 13 [5-8] (ÓT)  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 393r, 10 - 393r, 13 [5-8]  image  
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