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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 7I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 7’ 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. 205.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHáleygjatal

text and translation

Varð Hôkun
Hǫgna meyjar
viðr vápnberr,
es vega skyldi,
ok sinn aldr
í odda gný
Freys ôttungr
á Fjǫlum lagði.

Hôkun, {viðr {meyjar Hǫgna}}, varð vápnberr, es skyldi vega, ok {ôttungr Freys} lagði aldr sinn í {gný odda} á Fjǫlum.
‘Hákon, tree of the maiden of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’) > WARRIOR], became weapon-bare when he had to fight, and the kinsman of Freyr <god> [= Hákon] laid down his life in the din of points [BATTLE] at Fjaler.

notes and context

Stanzas 7 and 8 are cited in uninterrupted succession. Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ places the district of Firðir (Fjordane) under the control of Hákon jarl Grjótgarðsson but when Hákon orders Atli jarl to release his control of Sogn Atli disputes this. He and Hákon join battle at Fjalir in Stafanessvágr (Fjaler, Stongfjorden), where Hákon is defeated and killed and Atli subsequently dies of his wounds.

[1-4]: Normally the warrior-kenning in ll. 2-3 is construed as in apposition to Hôkun, as in this edn. Apposition occurs sporadically elsewhere in Hál (see st. 13/1, 3). An alternative, with Hkr 1893-1901, IV, would be to take the kenning as subject of the rel. clause: Hôkon varð vápnberr, es viðr meyjar Hǫgna skyldi vega ‘Hákon became weapon-bare when the tree of Hǫgni’s maiden [Hákon, he] had to fight’. — [2] meyjar Hǫgna ‘of the maiden of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr “battle”)]’: An allusion to Hildr, who instigates the Hjaðningavíg ‘fight of the people of Heðinn’, conventionally referred to in scholarship as the ‘Everlasting Fight’; for the Hildr story see especially Bragi Rdr 8-12III. Hildr also occurs as a generalised name for valkyrie and, as here by ofljóst, a heiti for ‘battle’.



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 9: AI, 69, BI, 61, Skald I, 38; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 115, IV, 31-2, ÍF 26, 108, Hkr 1991, I, 66 (HHárf ch. 12), F 1871, 45; Fsk 1902-3, 14 (ch. 2), ÍF 29, 66 (ch. 3); Krause 1990, 170-4.


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