Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Óldr 20I

[2] hættastr* ‘most hazardous’: The ms. reading ‘hattr’ would be difficult to make sense of, whether it represented hattr m. ‘hat’ or háttr m. ‘mode, custom’; l. 2 in the ms. lacks aðalhending; and the presence of stóð ‘stood’ in both ll. 1 and 2 is most likely a case of dittography. (a) This emendation, suggested by Gullberg (1875), makes good sense of the ms. reading and yields a kenning-like adjectival phrase hættastr hoddum ‘most hazardous to hoards’, for which there is a close parallel (SnSt Ht 99/3III hringum hæztir ‘most hazardous to rings’). (b) Skj B reads hættr ‘hazardous’, leaves stóð ‘stood’ in l. 2 and emends ‘stod’ in l. 1 to skaut ‘shot’. This provides a verb for hrafngreddir ‘raven-feeder [WARRIOR]’ which in the interpretation above is an apposition to the ‘generous man’ kenning, but it gives a less convincing explanation of Bb’s text and assumes that skaut ‘shot’ is intransitive. (c) NN §3127 reads hættr stoðjafnt, where the second (unattested) word is said to mean ‘straight as a pillar’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Gullberg, H., ed. 1875. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar: fragment ur “Bergsboken”. Lund: Berling.
  5. Internal references
  6. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 99’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1207.


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