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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ólhv Frag 6III

Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Fragments 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 306.

Óláfr hvítaskáld ÞórðarsonFragments

text and translation

Harða, hvatfœra,        hrausta, vígtama,
snarpa, snarráða        sá gat hirð ræsir.

Sá ræsir gat harða, hvatfœra, hrausta, vígtama, snarpa, snarráða hirð.
‘That prince got a tough, fast-acting, brave, war-experienced, keen, resolute retinue.

notes and context

Cited as an example of homoeoptoton (‘omocopton’) which is explained as follows (TGT 1927, 70): Omocopton heldr saman alla klausu með hinu sama falliHomoeoptoton holds together the whole clause with the same case’. Donatus is somewhat clearer (Keil 1855-80, IV, 398): Homoeoptoton est, cum in similes casus exeunt verba diversaHomoeoptoton occurs when different words end in similar cases’, here, in the long list of adjectives qualifying the accusative hirð ‘retinue’.

The metre is málaháttr. — Donatus’s example is (Keil 1855-80, IV, 398) merentes flentes lacrimantes commiserantes ‘mourning, lamenting, weeping, commiserating’, but the commentary by Sedulius Scottus has a supplementary example of homoeoptoton from Sallust (CCCM 40B, 367): maximis fortibus ducibus strenuisque ministris ‘for the most strong leaders and vigorous officials’, which is likely to be a model for the Norse example. See Micillo (1999) for Óláfr’s use of Hiberno-Latin commentaries.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], C. Vers om ubestemmelige personer og begivenheder 8: AI, 598, BI, 598, Skald I, 291; SnE 1818, 325, SnE 1848, 192, SnE 1848-87, II, 150-1, 420, TGT 1884, 25, 97, 209, TGT 1927, 70, 103.


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