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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 10I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 10’ 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. 908.


text and translation

Þjóðlǫnd þremja skyndir
þrenn kristnaði ok tvenni;
hildings hǫppum valda
hans ríki frák slíkum.
Mærings mǫnnum skýrisk
merki fremðarverka
eggmóts eigi lítil.
Óláfr und veg sólar.

{Skyndir þremja} kristnaði þrenn ok tvenni þjóðlǫnd; frák ríki hans valda slíkum hǫppum hildings. Eigi lítil merki fremðarverka {eggmóts} skýrisk mǫnnum mærings. Óláfr und {veg sólar} …
‘The hastener of swords [WARRIOR] Christianized three and two countries; I have heard that it was his power that caused such ruler’s luck. Let the not small signs of the remarkable achievements of the edge-meeting [BATTLE] be declared to the men of the glorious one. Óláfr under the path of the sun [SKY] …

notes and context

Óláfr’s Christianization of the Nordic lands is also the subject of Anon Óldr 11-14, and see Note to Anon Óldr 12 [All]. — [1-2]: The present edn follows Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, also followed in Skj B and Skald), in emending tvenna to tvenni ‘two’, n. acc. pl. qualifying þjóðlǫnd ‘countries, nation’s lands’. On tvenni as a variant on tvenn, the n. acc. pl. form of tvennir ‘two’, see ANG §445 Anm. 4. The five lands Christianized by Óláfr are specified in the following stanza. — [5-7]: This appears to be a self-reflexive comment on the poet’s activity of recounting Óláfr’s achievements, akin to those in st. 23/5-7 or in st. 24/1-3 where the audience are referred to by a kenning for ‘warriors’. More than one construal is possible, however, and the identity of mǫnnum ‘men, people’ is uncertain. (a) This edn follows Kock (NN §1173) in taking mǫnnum ‘men, people’ with mærings ‘of the glorious one, hero’, and eggmóts ‘of the edge-meeting [BATTLE]’ with fremðarverka ‘remarkable achievements’. Eggmóts could have a quasi-adverbial function, ‘in battle’. This gives good sense and straightforward word order. The reference of mǫnnum mærings ‘men/people of the glorious one’ is unclear, though it could be the devotees of Óláfr Tryggvason or conceivably of God, cf. Gamlkan Has 37/6VII firar dróttins ‘men of the Lord [CHRISTIAN PEOPLE]’. (b) This problem is avoided if mǫnnum ‘to men, people’ stands alone and mærings ‘of the glorious one, hero’ is added to the phrase merki fremðarverka mærings eggmóts, hence ‘signs of the hero’s remarkable achievements in battle’; but the phrase is unwieldy and mǫnnum mærings would seem to form a more natural unit. (c) Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) reads mǫnnum eggmóts ‘men of the edge-meeting [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, but since this does not accord with normal kenning conventions, he suggests that mǫnnum is a corruption of meiðum ‘trees’, which would yield a standard man- or warrior-kenning; this is followed in Skj B and consequentially mærings is combined with fremðar verka, but the emendation is unnecessary. — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see Note to st. 9/8.



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: Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja 10: AI, 545-6, BI, 527, Skald I, 256, NN §§1172-4, 2316C, 2543B; SHI 3, 250-1, CPB II, 297, Wisén 1886-9, I, 47, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 218-21.


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