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Runic Dictionary

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Hallar-Steinn (HSt)

12th century; volume 1; ed. Rolf Stavnem;

1. Rekstefja (Rst) - 35

Nothing is known about this skald (HSt) except what can be deduced from his nickname, which has been identified with the farm-name Höll, in Þverárhlíð, Mýrasýsla, western Iceland (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 185), and from the poetry attributed to him. His main extant work is the drápa Rekstefja (HSt Rst), whose ambitious praise of Óláfr Tryggvason might well point to Iceland at the end of the twelfth century or somewhat later (see Skj, and Introduction to the poem below). Hallar-Steinn has been identified (e.g. by Wisén 1886-9, I, 143) with the eleventh-century poet Steinn Herdísarson (SteinnII), but this is implausible. HSt Frag 1, of uncertain origin but probably attributable to this poet, may also commemorate Óláfr Tryggvason, while HSt Frag 2-5III represent a love-lorn poet. These fragments are preserved only in treatises on poetics and grammar, and are therefore edited in SkP III, as are two further fragments, HSt Frag 6-7III.

Rekstefja (‘Split-refrain’) — HSt RstI

Rolf Stavnem 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja’ 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. 893.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35 

Skj: Hallar-Steinn: 1. Rekstefja (AI, 543-52, BI, 525-34); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5

SkP info: I, 937

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

34 — HSt Rst 34I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 34’ 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. 937.

Hermart hví kveðum ortu
hugdyggs of son Tryggva
handbáls hnykkilunda
hreins ok flokka eina?
Hallfreðr Hǫrða stilli
hríðǫflgum vann smíðat
hjǫrgráps hugða drôpu
hróðrargjarn ok Bjarni.


Why do we say that {moving trees {of the pure hand-fire}} [GOLD > MEN] composed a great deal about {the son of the mind-brave Tryggvi} [= Óláfr] and only flokkar? Praise-eager Hallfreðr forged an agreeable drápa {for the ruler of the Hǫrðar}, [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr] powerful in the onslaught {of the sword-hail}, [BATTLE] and [so did] Bjarni.

notes: [5-8]: We are informed here and in st. 35/2 that Rst is the third drápa about Óláfr Tryggvason, and the skald claims his predecessors to be Hallfreðr and Bjarni. The former is Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ‘Troublesome-poet’ Óttarsson (Hfr), Óláfr’s own skald, who is believed to have produced two drápur about Óláfr (Hfr Óldr and Hfr ErfÓl; see Introductions to these). Bjarni’s identity is unknown, though a ‘Bjarni skáld’ is listed as a poet of Óláfr Tryggvason in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261; the U text specifies ‘biarni gvllbra S’, i.e. Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson (BjHall), presumably in error).

editions: Skj Hallar-Steinn: 1. Rekstefja 34 (AI, 552; BI, 533-4); Skald I, 259; SHI 3, 266-7, CPB II, 300, Wisén 1886-9, I, 50, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 285-7.


Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 112va, 6 - 112va, 10  transcr.  image  image  
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