Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorvaldr Hjaltason (ÞHjalt)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

Skj info: Þórvaldr Hjaltason, Islænder, deltog i Fyrisvoldslaget. (AI, 117, BI, 111).

Skj poems:
Lausavísur

Little is known of this poet (ÞHjalt) beyond what is reported in the prose surrounding his two lausavísur (see Contexts below). Indeed, it is uncertain whether Þorvaldr was regarded as a poet, since Flat (1860-8, II, 73) adds after Lv 2 that he never composed before or since, so far as is known (a statement treated with scepticism by Finnur Jónsson, LH I, 543). A man of this name is recorded in Ldn (ÍF 1, 238, cf. also 282), where Þorvaldr and his brother Þórðr are the sons of Hjalti, the eponymous settler of Hjaltadalur (Skagafjörður, northern Iceland). They are depicted as impressive men and they feature in a number of sagas of Icelanders (Íslendingasögur), but it is not certain whether this Þorvaldr is the same as the poet (ÍF 1, 238 n. 2). The Þorvaldr in Ldn is not described as a skald, though the neighbourhood bred the poets Glúmr Geirason (Glúmr) and Oddr breiðfirðingr (ObreiðV), and Þorvaldr and Þórðr are the subject of Anon (Ldn) 4aIV.

Lausavísur — ÞHjalt LvI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorvaldr Hjaltason, Lausavísur’ 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. 271.

 1   2 

Skj: Þórvaldr Hjaltason: Lausavísur, o. 985 (AI, 117, BI, 111)

in texts: Flat, Styrb

SkP info: I, 271

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

The stanzas below (ÞHjalt Lv 1-2) are the last of five quoted in Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa (Styrb). Finnur Jónsson (LH I, 543) considered them certainly authentic and dated them c. 985 (Skj). Þorvaldr addresses his stanzas to the Swedish king Eiríkr inn sigrsæli ‘the Victorious’ Bjarnarson (d. c. 995), after his victory (according to Styrb with Odinic assistance) over his ambitious nephew Styrbjǫrn at Fýrisvellir (c. 980-c. 985). The other three stanzas in Styrb are Anon (Styrb) 1-3: see Introduction to those. The stanzas are preserved only in Flat (ms. Flat). The texts in 761bˣ were seemingly copied from Flat and so are not independent witnesses to the poetic text, though they have occasional value as interpretations of the Flat text. 
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