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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 3I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 3’ 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. 201.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHáleygjatal

text and translation

Þás útrǫst
jarla bági
Belja dolgs
byggva vildi.

Þás {bági jarla} vildi byggva útrǫst {dolgs Belja}.
‘When the adversary of jarls [RULER] wished to settle the outlying tract of the enemy of Beli <giant> [= Freyr].

notes and context

The helmingr is cited to illustrate a Freyr-kenning (dolgr Belja ‘enemy of Beli’).

This stanza is accepted by scholars as belonging to Hál. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) suggested that the bági jarla ‘adversary of jarls’ who is the subject of the stanza might be Goðgestr (Godgestus in Thormod Torfaeus’s list; see Introduction), but there is no evident connection between his story as told in Hkr (ÍF 26, 57) and the present stanza. — [2-3]: As noted above, it is unknown who the bági ‘adversary’ is, and two possible syntactic construals are possible. (a) The interpretation adopted in this edn is that útrǫst Belja dolgs ‘the outlying tract of the enemy of Beli [= Freyr]’ belongs together, as the object of the sentence, leaving bági jarla ‘adversary of earls’ as the subject (cf. SnE 1998, I, 167). (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) points out the possibility of an alternative division into bági dolgs Belja ‘adversary of the enemy of Beli [= Freyr > = Surtr]’ (subject) and útrǫst jarla ‘outlying tract of the jarls’ (object), without reaching a definite decision, but this assumes a somewhat strained word order, and Surtr seems an altogether unlikely adversary for the jarls, given the focus in the rest of Hál on their enemies amongst human beings (mennskir menn).



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: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 2. Háleygjatal 5: AI, 68, BI, 60, Skald I, 37; SnE 1848-87, I, 262-3, II, 311, SnE 1931, 98, SnE 1998, I, 18; Krause 1990, 156-9.


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