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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Prose works relevant to the database

Hulda-Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr) - 353

Hulda-Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)

Skaldic vol. 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade

verse introduction manuscripts contents

Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035 > 8. Volume Introduction > 3. Sources for skaldic poetry cited in the kings’ sagas: manuscripts, facsimiles and editions > 3.1. Sagas of the kings of Norway to c. 1035 > 7. Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)


H:        Hulda, AM 66 fol (Icelandic; c. 1350-75). The beginning is missing.

Hr:       Hrokkinskinna, GKS 1010 fol (c. 1400-50 to fol. 91va, c. 1500-1600 thereafter).

Facsimile and editions: H 1968; Fms 6-7.

The compilation covers the lives of kings of Norway c. 1035-1177.


H-Hr preserves only Sigv Lv 8 of the poetry edited in SkP I, but a large number of stanzas edited in SkP II.

Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 4. Sources for Skaldic Poetry Cited in the Kings' Sagas > 1. Sagas of the kings of Norway after 1035 > 8. Hulda and Hrokkinskinna (H-Hr)


H:            Hulda, AM 66 fol (Icelandic; c. 1350-75). The beginning is missing.

Hr:           Hrokkinskinna, GKS 1010 fol (c. 1400-50 to fol. 91va, c. 1500-1600 thereafter).

Facsimile and editions: H 1968; Fms 6-7, H-Hr (in spe).

H and Hr derive from a common exemplar (*H) tentatively dated to c. 1300 (Louis-Jensen 1977, 15). Whether *H represented the original manuscript of the compilation H-Hr cannot be ascertained (Louis-Jensen 1977, 13; for a discussion of the manuscripts, see Louis-Jensen 1977, 7-15). H-Hr chronicles the lives of the kings of Norway from Magnús inn góði to Magnús Erlingsson (c. 1035-1177), and the content thus covers the same events as the last part of Fsk, the extant portions of Mork and Hkr III. The compiler of H-Hr used a version of Mork (*m, a sister manuscript to Mork) and a version of the Hkr y-branch (see the stemma under Mork below). H-Hr contains independent additions from other sources, such as Þorgríms þáttr Hallasonar (see Kolgr Ól), Hrafns þáttr Guðrúnarsonar (no poetry) and Gísls þáttr Illugasonar (see Gísl Lv). The compiler also seems to have had access to a version of Orkn, a version of ÓH and a saga about Edward the Confessor, as well as possible now-lost sagas about Ásmundr Grankelsson and Stúfr inn blindi (Stúfr; see Louis-Jensen 1977, 109-135, 156-89).


Most of the poetry transmitted in H-Hr is also found in Mork and Hkr III, and it is often difficult to establish a stemma because the prose that surrounds a stanza in H-Hr may derive from Hkr and the poetic text may come from Mork or vice versa. Hence the order of the manuscripts in the critical apparatus of the editions in SkP II differs depending on the provenance of the poetic text (H-Hr is grouped either with Mork or with Hkr). Sometimes the variant readings do not allow for a definite attribution, and in such cases the stemma for the poetry reflects that of the surrounding prose. The poetry transmitted in H and Hr is often corrupt, and the compiler of *H appears to have made syntactic changes to restore the meaning of a stanza, and on occasion he introduced new internal rhymes (see Louis-Jensen 1977, 152-5). When a longer poem had been split up into separate stanzas and inserted into the prose texts for historical verification, the compiler often tried to harmonise the accounts of Mork and Hkr and shifted stanzas around (see, e.g., Steinn Óldr). He also frequently created new prose environments by paraphrasing the content of the stanzas.

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