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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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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 11. Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)

11. Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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, pp. clxxiv-clxxv.

Manuscripts

Holm18: Holm perg 18 4° (c. 1300).

310:     AM 310 4° (Norwegian, c. 1250-75).

4-7:      DG 4-7 (c. 1270). Fragment.

Facsimile and editions: AM 310 1974; Fms 10, ÓTOdd 1932, ÍF 25 (Fær and ÓTOdd).

ÓTOdd is a medieval Icelandic translation of a Latin vita which was composed c. 1180-1200, or conceivably 1177-1206 (Andersson 2003, 4) and is now lost. The vita is attributed in medieval sources to Oddr Snorrason, a monk at the Benedictine house of Þingeyrar in northern Iceland. Oddr’s original Latin text was based both on the reports of oral informants (a list of whom is appended to the ÓTOdd text in 310) and the now-lost written works of Sæmundr Sigfússon and Ari Þorgilsson. His narrative often closely parallels the Historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensum of Theodoricus, but whether this is due to direct influence or common sources is debated (see discussion in Andersson 2003, 1-20). Oddr’s saga focuses on Óláfr as missionary, the apostle of the north, and as forerunner to Óláfr helgi, a John the Baptist to Óláfr helgi’s Christ, and it includes many hagiographic motifs.

The three medieval mss represent three redactions of an anonymous translation into the Old Norse vernacular, and the internal relations between the three, and their relationship to the lost Latin original, have been much debated. The version of the saga in Holm18 has a shorter text, although even it is interpolated, e.g. from Ágr (Fidjestøl 1982, 14). Earlier researchers thought 310 was closer to the original than Holm18 (ÓTOdd 1932, viii-xix; Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson 1936, 57-68; Holtsmark in AM 310 1974, 9). However, the basis for this is challenged by Ólafur Halldórsson (ÍF 25, clxvi-clxx), who finds nothing against the view that the Holm18 scribe retained the text of his original unshortened and for the most part unchanged (ibid., clxix). Holm18 accordingly supplies the main text in ÍF 25. The versions in 310 and 4-7 are further recastings of the Old Norse translation mixed with material from a wide variety of other sources (including two sections from Jvs in 310).

Poetry

Oddr’s original Latin text most likely only contained one stanza: the Latin skaldic stanza which may well be his own translation of Stefnir Lv 1, and is edited as OSnorr Lv in this volume. In the mss of the Old Norse translation of the saga there are twenty-nine stanzas, all in the later part, and drawn mainly from Hallfreðr’s two great panegyrics for Óláfr Tryggvason (Hfr Óldr, Hfr ErfÓl) and from Hókr Eirfl. Stefnir Lv 2 is unique to ÓTOdd and may have been known to the translator from oral tradition. There are fairly strong circumstantial reasons to believe the remaining stanzas were taken from written sources, either by the translator or by one of the three redactors (Fidjestøl 1982, 24-6). Fsk appears to be the main source, and there is persuasive evidence of this in the case of the six stanzas from Hfr Óldr preserved in 310 but not the other ÓTOdd mss (ÍF 25, clxxxii-clxxxiii). For poetry in ÓTOdd relating to events after c. 1035, see SkP II, lxxii.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  4. Andersson, Theodore M., trans. 2003. The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason: Oddr Snorrason. Islandica 52. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  5. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  6. ÓTOdd 1932 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1932. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar af Oddr Snorrason munk. Copenhagen: Gad.
  7. Theodoricus = Theodrici monachi historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium. In MHN 1-68.
  8. AM 310 1974 = Holtsmark, Anne, ed. 1974. Olav Tryggvasons saga etter AM 310 qv. CCN quarto 5. Oslo: Selskapet til utgivelse av gamle norske håndskrifter.
  9. SkP II = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Ed. Kari Ellen Gade. 2009.
  10. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  11. Internal references
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  13. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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, pp. clxxiv-clxxv.
  14. Not published: do not cite (FærII)
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  16. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Oddr Snorrason’ 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. 890.
  17. Kate Heslop 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar’ 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. 400.
  18. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa’ 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. 387.
  19. Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr’ 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. 469.
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Oddr Snorrason, Lausavísa’ 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. 891.
  21. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 448.
  22. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 450.
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