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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Hfl 17I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 17’ 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. 762.

Óttarr svartiHǫfuðlausn

text and translation

Lýtandi, hefr ljótu
lands rôðǫndum, branda,
umbstillingar allar,
ifla folds, of goldit.
Hafa lézt heiðska jǫfra,
herskorðandi, forðum,
mundangs laun, þás meinum,
mætr gramr, við þik sættu.

{Lýtandi {branda {folds ifla}}}, hefr of goldit ljótu rôðǫndum lands allar umbstillingar. {Herskorðandi}, mætr gramr, lézt heiðska jǫfra, þás forðum sættu meinum við þik, hafa laun mundangs.
‘Harmer of the flames of the land of the hawk [HAND > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Óláfr], you have paid with ill the rulers of the land for all their plottings. Army-supporter [RULER], excellent ruler, you let the Hedmark princes who previously planned injuries against you receive an appropriate payment.

notes and context

Five kings of Upplǫnd (Opplandene) plot to rise up against Óláfr, but their plan is uncovered and they and their followers are banished or mutilated, though peace is made with some. Stanzas 17-19 are cited in a block without prose interruption.

The Bb text for sts 17-20 belongs to the Hkr redaction, being copied from a ms. akin to K (ÓH 1941, II, 1116), while the greater part of Bb belongs to the ÓH redaction. — According to Hkr and ÓH, a great deal occurred between the events of st. 16 and those of st. 17: Óláfr was acknowledged as king of Norway, and defeated Sveinn jarl Hákonarson at the battle of Nesjar, fought on Palm Sunday 1016. There is no evidence that Óttarr’s poem ever treated of these subjects; rather, its narrative now moves forward to Óláfr’s defeat of five kings of Uppland, perhaps in c. 1018. On sts 17-19, see Introduction.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Óttarr svarti, 2. Hǫfuðlausn 16: AI, 294-5, BI, 271, Skald I, 139, NN §§721A, 730, 2780 anm.; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 130, IV, 128-9, ÍF 27, 106 (ÓHHkr ch. 75); ÓH 1941, I, 154 (ch. 58), Flat 1860-8, II, 67.


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