This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 23 January 2022)

 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, 347

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Tindr Hákdr 5I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 5’ 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. 347.

Fór*at jarl — en ára
*endr hermǫrum
mǫrum kenndi
Gǫndlar dóm* — at glaumi
geirs tírarfǫr meiri,
unz þás hrauð, en
en Hrauðnis,
hjaldrs, ræsik þat gjǫldum,
†nunnar fús á
á mæti†
meiðr víkinga skeiðar.


The jarl did not make a greater expedition of glory in {the revelry of the spear} [BATTLE] — and he again taught {the war-horses of oars} [SHIPS] {the judgement of Gǫndul} [BATTLE] — until the time when {the tree of battle} [WARRIOR = Hákon] cleared the warships of the vikings , and I declare that {in the recompenses of Hrauðnir}. [POETRY]

context: As for st. 4.

notes: [1-4]: No wholly satisfactory solution to the difficulties posed by the ms. text has been devised thus far. In this edn it is proposed that gen. sg. dóms ‘judgement’ in l. 3 be emended to acc. sg. dóm, construed as the object of kenndi (from kenna ‘to teach’), with hermǫrum ára ‘war-horses of oars [SHIPS]’ (presumably the enemy ships) as the dat. of those taught. The construction is paralleled in st. 6/5-8, though applied in an unusual way here since those taught are inanimate. The result is three kennings in the helmingr, as contrasted with the two identified in previous scholarship, but less complex syntax and more idiomatic skaldic usage. Previous suggestions can be summarised as follows. (a) Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 333) takes en in l. 1 as the def. art. enn/inn and ken(n)di as an adjectival p. p., hence the noun phrase enn Gǫndlar dóms kendi jarl, which he translates den i kampe prøvede jarl ‘the jarl proved in battle’. However, en(n) and ken(n)di are widely separated in the text and the gen. case Gǫndlar dóms ‘judgement of Gǫndul [BATTLE]’ modifying ken(n)di is not paralleled elsewhere. (b) Kock (NN §432; Skald) also takes ken(n)di as adjectival and reads the text as jarl enn ára | endr hermǫrum kendi and translates: den för sina örlogsfartyg förut välbekante jarlen ‘the jarl, well-known from beforehand for his battle-vessels’, but such a description would be hard to parallel. Further, the suggested combination of geirs and Gǫndlar dóms as ‘war-spear’ is not recognisable skaldic idiom. — [7]: No convincing solution has been proposed for this garbled line, which lacks both alliteration and hending. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12; SHI 11) emends ms. ‘nunnar’ to mýrar ‘swamp’ and ‘fus’ to fúrs ‘fire’ so as to generate a gold-kenning. Rejecting this on the grounds that mýrar would not be a valid determinant (as pertaining more to land, not water), Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 336) proposes mærðar, retaining fúss, thus ‘eager for renown’, and further emends ms. mæti to Mœri, here influenced by the localisation of the battle offshore from Møre (ON Mœrr) in Jvs (cf. Blake, Jvs 1962, 49).

texts: Jvs 13

editions: Skj Tindr Hallkelsson: 1. Drape om Hakon jarl 5 (AI, 146; BI, 137); Skald I, 75, NN §§432, 2092, 2448A, 2987H; Fms 11, 138, Fms 12, 239, SHI 11, 119, 123-4, Jvs 1879, 83.


AM 510 4° (510) 62r, 19 - 62r, 22 (Jvs)  transcr.  image  
© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.