skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Hfr Óldr 4I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 4’ 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. 395.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonÓláfsdrápa
345

Hilmir lét at Holmi
hræskóð roðin blóði
— hvat of dylði þess hǫlðar? —
hǫrð ok austr í Gǫrðum.
Rógs brá rekka lægir
ríkr Valkera líki;
herstefnir lét hrǫfnum
hold Flæmingja goldit.

Hilmir lét {hǫrð hræskóð} roðin blóði at Holmi ok austr í Gǫrðum; hvat of dylði þess hǫlðar? {Ríkr lægir {rógs rekka} brá líki Valkera; {herstefnir} lét hold Flæmingja goldit hrǫfnum.

The prince caused {hard corpse-harmers} [SWORDS] to be reddened in blood at Hólmr and east in Russia; why should men conceal that? {The powerful subduer of the strife of men} [JUST RULER] spoiled the bodies of the Valkerar; {the army-commander} [RULER] caused the flesh of the Flemings to be doled out to ravens.

Mss: (145v) (ll. 1-4), (150r) (ll. 5-8), 39(6ra) (ll. 5-8), F(24rb) (ll. 1-4), F(25ra) (ll. 5-8), J1ˣ(85v) (ll. 1-4), J1ˣ(88v) (ll. 5-8) (Hkr); 61(12ra) (ll. 1-4), 61(15vb) (ll. 5-8), 53(10rb) (ll. 1-4), 54(6ra-b) (ll. 1-4), 54(10vb) (ll. 5-8), Bb(16rb) (ll. 1-4), Bb(21ra) (ll. 5-8), 62(4vb) (ll. 1-4), 62(8rb) (ll. 5-8), Flat(12rb) (ll. 1-4), Flat(15rb-va) (ll. 5-8) (ÓT); FskBˣ(33r), FskAˣ(120-121) (Fsk); 310(98) (ÓTOdd)

Readings: [1] lét: vann FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 310;    at: á 54, Bb    [2] hræ‑: her‑ 53, 54, Bb, Flat, hjalm‑ FskBˣ, 310, halm‑ FskAˣ;    roðin: so 61, 53, 54, Bb, 62, Flat, roðinn Kˣ, F, J1ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 310;    blóði: ‘bloþu’ J1ˣ    [3] hvat: hvat or hvar 53, hvatt Flat, hvar FskBˣ;    of: om. 53;    dylði: dulði 62, Flat, dulðu 310;    þess: om. FskBˣ;    hǫlðar: hǫlða 61, 53, Flat, hauka 54, Bb, ‘[…]lða’ 62, om. FskBˣ    [4] hǫrð: harð J1ˣ, hǫrðr Bb    [5] rekka: ‘rekra’ J1ˣ    [6] ríkr: reik 39, ríkir J1ˣ;    ‑kera: so 39, F, J1ˣ, 61, 54, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, 310, ‘‑køra’ Kˣ, ‑skera 62, ‑skerjar Flat;    líki: ríki 62, Flat    [7] ‑stefnir: ‑stofnir Bb;    lét: om. 39;    hrǫfnum: jǫfnum FskBˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 157-8, Skj BI, 149, Skald I, 81; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 295, 306-7, IV, 79-80, 85, ÍF 26, 253, 264, Hkr 1991, 170, 177 (ÓTHkr ch. 22, 29), F 1871, 110, 114; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 111, 148 (chs 58, 73), Flat 1860-8, I, 91, 115; Fsk 1902-3, 110 (ch. 21), ÍF 29, 143 (ch. 23); ÓTOdd 1932, 248. 

Context: See Introduction.

Notes: [All]: The pairing of helmingar follows Fsk and 310 (see Introduction); in Hkr and ÓT, the two helmingar stand alone and widely separated in the narrative. — [1-4]: Hkr and ÓT, citing this helmingr, attribute it explicitly to a drápa composed by Hallfreðr about King Óláfr; cf. Note to st. 2/5-8. The lines are problematic from a historical and geographical point of view, since if at Holmi in l. 1 refers to Bornholm (see Note), Óláfr seems to proceed from there eastwards to north-west Russia (ok austr í Gǫrðum, l. 4). The helmingr is placed in Hkr at the beginning of Óláfr’s career, when he is setting out westwards from Russia (see Introduction for Contexts), but this is counter to its internal ordering (and Finnur Jónsson inserts för ‘before’ into his translation in Skj B, to signal an earlier episode; cf. also Hkr 1893-1901, IV). The positioning of the stanza in the continuous poetic sequence in Fsk and 310, meanwhile, with the raids on Bornholm and Russia following those on the Saxar and Frísar, seems to imply a very large diversion to the east, as well, seemingly, as a return by Óláfr to harry the Russian territory he was raised in. However, the general direction in Fsk and 310 is consistent, and winds, tides and opportunity may well have been stronger imperatives to these highly mobile raiders than the logic of distance. — [1] lét ‘caused ... to be’: Here, as in st. 3/1, the reading of Fsk and 310, vann ‘made’, is more or less synonymous, and it is equally satisfactory together with p. p. roðinn ‘reddened’. — [1] Holmi ‘Hólmr’: A p. n. seems likely, rather than the appellative holmr ‘island’, and Bornholm, ON Borgundarhólmr, is the main candidate, as assumed in Hkr and ÓT. — [2] hræskóð ‘corpse-harmers [SWORDS]’: Again, the traditions branch, with hjalm- ‘helmet’ in Fsk and 310 and hræ- ‘corpse’ (apparently corrupted to her- ‘army’ in some copies) in Hkr and ÓT. Hjalmskóð ‘helmet-harm(er)’ at first sight appears the better reading, and is adopted in Skj and Skald, but hræskóð is retained here as the lectio difficilior and the reading of the chosen main ms. It seems a rather curious expression for ‘sword’, which in reality turns warriors into corpses rather than harming corpses, but the image is not unlike lét hræ tíðhǫggvit ‘had corpses cut down often’ in st. 3/1, 4. Moreover, sword- or spear-kennings in hræ- ‘corpse’ exist (e.g. Tindr Hákdr 6/6 hræbirtingr ‘corpse-trout [SWORD]’), and it may be that hræskóð is modelled on those in a rather formulaic way. There are also comparable kennings based on skóð (Meissner 155) and cf. Hfr ErfÓl 12/5, 8 láta skóð roðin blóði ‘caused harmers to become reddened with blood’. — [5] brá ‘spoiled’: The translation is based on the frequent use of bregða with dat. to mean ‘to change or alter sth.’ (especially appearance, Fritzner: bregða 5) or ‘to move sth. quickly, snatch’ (Fritzner: bregða 1). It is not clear whether injury to bodies before or after death is meant, or plundering of corpses. — [5] lægir rógs rekka ‘subduer of the strife of men [JUST RULER]’: Although the thought could be of Óláfr as a military leader, the kenning seems rather to belong with others depicting rulers as subduers of strife and crime (cf. Meissner 362). — [6] Valkera ‘of the Valkerar’: This appears to be a gen. pl. referring to the owners of the líki ‘body/bodies’ spoiled by the victorious Óláfr, and the most promising suggestion is that of Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 53-4), generally accepted by eds, that it is an otherwise unattested ON term for the people of Walcheren, the Netherlands, which would fit well with the Flemings in l. 8. Alternatively, val- might be interpreted as ‘battle, slaughter, the slain’ and ‑kera as gen. pl. of ker ‘(drinking) vessel, chest’, which seems to appear in an unusual sword-kenning in Hfr Lv 5/6V (Hallfr 8); but there is no clear way for this to fit the sense or syntax of the couplet. Valkeri ‘the prober of the slain [SWORD]’, is suggested in LP (1860): valkeri 2.

References

  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  6. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  7. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  8. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  11. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  12. Jón Þorkelsson [J. Thorkelsson]. 1884. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i versene i Heimskringla’. Aftryk af oversigt over det kgl. danske videnskabs selskabs forhandlinger 1884. Copenhagen: Luno.
  13. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  14. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  15. Internal references
  16. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  17. 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.
  18. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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. clxiii-clxvi.
  19. 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.
  20. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 12’ 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. 418.
  21. Not published: do not cite (Hfr Lv 5V (Hallfr 8))
  22. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 6’ 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. 348.
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.