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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 12I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 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. 910.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
111213

Haf ‘sea’

haf (noun n.; °-s; *-): sea < hafglóð (noun f.)

kennings

hafglóð
‘sea-ember ’
   = GOLD

sea-ember → GOLD
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glóð ‘ember’

glóð (noun f.): ember < hafglóð (noun f.)

kennings

hafglóð
‘sea-ember ’
   = GOLD

sea-ember → GOLD
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sáði ‘sowed’

2. sá (verb): sow

notes

[1] sáði ‘sowed’: An allusion to the story of the legendary king Hrólfr kraki escaping from the Swedish King Aðils by tossing gold in front of his Swedish pursuers (cf. SnE 1998, I, 58-9 and Note to Þjóð Yt 16/2), an act often likened to sowing seed.

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hjaldr ‘The battle’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle < hjaldrríkr (adj.)

[2] hjaldr‑: hjald 53, Bb(91vb), Flat

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gaf ‘gave away’

gefa (verb): give

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skjǫldu ‘shields’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

[2] skjǫldu: ‘skialldir’ 61, skjaldar 53, 54, Bb(91vb)

notes

[2] skjǫldu ‘shields’: Forms an aðalhending with hjaldr- ‘battle’; see Introduction.

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stétt ‘of the path’

stétt (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): path < stétthringr (noun m.)

kennings

stofnum stétthrings
‘for the poles of the path-sword. ’
   = WARRIORS

the path-sword. → SHIELD
for the poles of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[3] stétthrings ‘of the path-sword [SHIELD]’: If the text is not corrupt, these kenning elements must, exceptionally, be construed in reverse order: the shield is the ground or path of the sword. See LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1 for hringr in the sense ‘sword’ and Meissner 169 for semantically similar shield-kennings. An alternative possibility suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 53LP (1860): stétt) is that hringr is ‘serpent’, whose stétt ‘path’ is gold; the elements are still in reverse order.

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stétt ‘of the path’

stétt (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): path < stétthringr (noun m.)

kennings

stofnum stétthrings
‘for the poles of the path-sword. ’
   = WARRIORS

the path-sword. → SHIELD
for the poles of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[3] stétthrings ‘of the path-sword [SHIELD]’: If the text is not corrupt, these kenning elements must, exceptionally, be construed in reverse order: the shield is the ground or path of the sword. See LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1 for hringr in the sense ‘sword’ and Meissner 169 for semantically similar shield-kennings. An alternative possibility suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 53LP (1860): stétt) is that hringr is ‘serpent’, whose stétt ‘path’ is gold; the elements are still in reverse order.

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hrings ‘sword’

1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < stétthringr (noun m.)

kennings

stofnum stétthrings
‘for the poles of the path-sword. ’
   = WARRIORS

the path-sword. → SHIELD
for the poles of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[3] stétthrings ‘of the path-sword [SHIELD]’: If the text is not corrupt, these kenning elements must, exceptionally, be construed in reverse order: the shield is the ground or path of the sword. See LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1 for hringr in the sense ‘sword’ and Meissner 169 for semantically similar shield-kennings. An alternative possibility suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 53LP (1860): stétt) is that hringr is ‘serpent’, whose stétt ‘path’ is gold; the elements are still in reverse order.

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hrings ‘sword’

1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword < stétthringr (noun m.)

kennings

stofnum stétthrings
‘for the poles of the path-sword. ’
   = WARRIORS

the path-sword. → SHIELD
for the poles of the SHIELD → WARRIORS

notes

[3] stétthrings ‘of the path-sword [SHIELD]’: If the text is not corrupt, these kenning elements must, exceptionally, be construed in reverse order: the shield is the ground or path of the sword. See LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1 for hringr in the sense ‘sword’ and Meissner 169 for semantically similar shield-kennings. An alternative possibility suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 53LP (1860): stétt) is that hringr is ‘serpent’, whose stétt ‘path’ is gold; the elements are still in reverse order.

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stofnum ‘{for the poles’

stofn (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): pole, tree-stump

[3] stofnum: stǫfnum 53

kennings

stofnum stétthrings
‘for the poles of the path-sword. ’
   = WARRIORS

the path-sword. → SHIELD
for the poles of the SHIELD → WARRIORS
Close

veitti ‘he provided’

2. veita (verb): grant, give

[3] veitti: so all others, vétti Bb(111vb)

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stikka ‘cloak-pins (?)’

stikk (noun n.): cloak-pin (?), poem

notes

[4] stikka ‘cloak-pins (?)’: The meaning is uncertain, but the context suggests some valuable gift. (a) The translation here follows Kock (NN §2095), who explains stikki as a needle or pin such as is used in cloaks (skikkjur, mentioned in the same line), and supports this with MLG sticke (cf. Kluge 1957: stecken). (b) Stikki is also a specific type of poem or metre (see Introduction to Anon HarstII; Anon (Knýtl) 1/1II and Note). However, as this meaning is hardly likely here some eds suggest reference to deeds worth praising in a poem, and thus poetic material (Fms 12, 53; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Skj B, indicating doubt).

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skikkjur ‘cloaks’

1. skikkja (noun f.; °-u; -ur): cloak

notes

[4] stikka ‘cloak-pins (?)’: The meaning is uncertain, but the context suggests some valuable gift. (a) The translation here follows Kock (NN §2095), who explains stikki as a needle or pin such as is used in cloaks (skikkjur, mentioned in the same line), and supports this with MLG sticke (cf. Kluge 1957: stecken). (b) Stikki is also a specific type of poem or metre (see Introduction to Anon HarstII; Anon (Knýtl) 1/1II and Note). However, as this meaning is hardly likely here some eds suggest reference to deeds worth praising in a poem, and thus poetic material (Fms 12, 53; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Skj B, indicating doubt).

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Stórráðr ‘The ambitious’

stórráðr (adj.): ambitious

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fekk ‘gave’

2. fá (verb; °fǽr; fekk, fengu; fenginn): get, receive

notes

[6] fekk ‘gave’: is common in the sense ‘give, provide with’ (LP: 2. fáa 2), but it normally has an indirect object in the dat. case denoting the beneficiary.

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en ‘and’

2. en (conj.): but, and

[6] en: so all others, ok Bb(111vb)

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ekki ‘nothing’

2. ekki (adv.): not

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hildings ‘of the war-leader’

hildingr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, ruler

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hœfði ‘could match’

2. hœfa (verb): hit, suit, befit

[7] hœfði: so 61, 53, 54, ‘hęfi’ Bb(111vb), hafði Bb(91vb), ‘hárre’ Flat

notes

[7] hœfði ‘could match’: Meaning that nothing was suitable, or sufficient, for the ruler’s immense generosity: he was never satisfied with his giving (cf. Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Kock, NN §2096). As Kock points out, the translations in Skj B (intet var for stort for kongens gavmildhed ‘nothing was too much for the king’s generosity’) and in LP: hœfa (kongens gavmildhed overgik alt ‘the king’s generosity exceeded everything’) miss the mark.

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mildi ‘the generosity’

mildi (noun f.): generosity, mercy

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vas ‘was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[8] vas (‘var’): er all others

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ríkstr ‘the mightiest’

ríkr (adj.): mighty, powerful, rich

[8] ríkstr: so all others, ‘r[...]’ Bb(111vb)

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konung ‘of royal’

konungr (noun m.; °dat. -i, -s; -ar): king < konungmaðr (noun m.): king

[8] konung‑: so 61, Bb(91vb), Flat, konungs Bb(111vb), 53, kóng‑ 54

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The stanza follows a passage in which the narrator praises Óláfr’s strength, prowess and generosity.

There are verbal echoes of the late C11th Steinn ÓldrII in this stanza and more widely in Rst. The phrase steinda knǫrru ‘painted merchant ships’ (l. 5) matches Óldr 13/2II, while the rhyme hilding- : mildi (l. 7) matches Steinn Óldr 16/4II and the stef line hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’ (l. 8) echoes Óldr 16/6II hanns fremstr konungmanna ‘he is the foremost of kings/royal men’; cf. also Note to st. 9/8 above. The use of a split refrain also recalls ÓldrII, as does the use of a rhetorical question to emphasise the hero’s unmatched generosity (Rst 32/1-4 cf. Óldr 13/6-7II). — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see Note to st. 9/8.

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