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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 19I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 19’ 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. 919.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
181920

Stǫng reið, stôl en sungu,
sterklig jǫfurs merkis;
gramr skaut; gerðisk rimmu
gangr um Orm inn langa.
Nýtr herr Nóregs gætis
nær vasa trauðr at særa
orðprúðs Jóta ferðir.
Óláfr und veg sólar.

Sterklig stǫng merkis jǫfurs reið, en stôl sungu; gramr skaut; gangr rimmu gerðisk um Orm inn langa. Nýtr herr {orðprúðs gætis Nóregs} vasa nær trauðr at særa ferðir Jóta. Óláfr und {veg sólar} …

The powerful pole of the standard of the prince rode high and steel weapons sang; the ruler [Óláfr] shot; the course of the battle proceeded around Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’). The brave army {of the famous guardian of Norway} [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr] was far from reluctant to wound the troops of the Jótar. Óláfr under {the path of the sun} [SKY] …

Mss: Bb(112ra); 53(64rb), 54(64ra), Bb(99va), 325VIII 2 b(1vb), Flat(64va) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Stǫng: so 53, Flat, strǫng Bb(112ra), 54, 325VIII 2 b, ‘(Im)song’(?) Bb(99va);    reið: so 53, Flat, varð Bb(112ra), 54, Bb(99va), 325VIII 2 b    [2] sterklig: ‘[…]erklig’ 325VIII 2 b;    merkis: so Flat, merki Bb(112ra), 53, 54, Bb(99va), 325VIII 2 b    [3] gramr skaut gerðisk rimmu: ‘gram ok g[…] indinn gerdizt’ 325VIII 2 b;    gramr: grami Flat;    gerðisk: gjǫrði 53;    rimmu: snemma Flat    [4] um: á all others;    Orm inn: ‘orm(imn)’(?) 54;    langa: ‘[…]ga’ 325VIII 2 b    [5] gætis: ‘sæt(iss)’(?) 325VIII 2 b    [6] særa: ‘sæ[…]’ 325VIII 2 b    [7] orð‑: orðs Flat;    ‑prúðs: so 53, Flat, ‑prúðr Bb(112ra), ‑prúð 54, Bb(99va), 325VIII 2 b;    Jóta: sóta 325VIII 2 b    [8] Óláfr: so 54, Bb(99va), Óláf Bb(112ra), 325VIII 2 b, Flat, ‘Ol’ 53;    veg: vegs 325VIII 2 b

Editions: Skj AI, 548, Skj BI, 529-30, Skald I, 258, NN §1180; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 266 (ch. 250), Flat 1860-8, I, 483; SHI 3, 256-7, CPB II, 298, Wisén 1886-9, I, 48, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 251-3.

Context: There is fierce fighting as Óláfr and his men fend off Danish attacks on their ships.

Notes: [1-2]: Most mss read strǫng varð stôlin sungu | sterklig jǫfurs merki, with the exceptions shown in the Readings above. Merki ‘standard’, as a n. noun, could be sg. or pl., but varð ‘became’ can only be sg. while the adj. strǫng ‘severe, strong’ can only be pl. Strǫng varð is therefore not viable grammatically, and it is necessary to adopt the minority readings stǫng reið and merkis, hence ‘the pole of the standard rode high’. This interpretation essentially agrees with that of Konráð Gíslason (1895-7), Skj B and Skald. — [1] en ‘and’: Kock (Skald and NN §1180) reads adv. enn ‘further’, but the word order favours conj. en ‘and, but’. — [4] um ‘around’: The ÓT mss have á ‘on’, which puts the focus on the battle taking place on, rather than around, Ormr inn langi. — [4] Orm inn langa ‘Ormr inn langi (“the Long Serpent”)’: Óláfr’s famous longship; see Note to st. 18/2. Line 4 is identical with Hókr Eirfl 4/4, and st. 22/4, also containing the phrase Orm inn langa, is a further variant on the pattern seen in Hókr Eirfl 3/4, 5/8 and 8/4. — [5] nýtr ‘brave’: The adj. is related to njóta ‘use, enjoy’ (AEW: nýtr), and hence has the basic sense ‘useful’, with a variety of contextual applications. Applied here to the Norwegians in their spirited defence, ‘brave’ is appropriate (cf. brav, tapper, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, whereas Skj B suggests dygtige ‘capable, skilled’). — [5] gætis Nóregs ‘of the guardian of Norway [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr]’: In kennings referring to Norwegian kings the determinant is normally gen. pl. of a regional ethnic name such as Hǫrðar ‘people of Hǫrðaland’ or Sygnir ‘people of Sogn’, but reference to territorial units rather than people is attested (Þjóð Har 2/7 gramr Upplanda ‘ruler of Opplandene’), as is reference to the whole of Norway rather than regions (e.g. Þhorn Harkv 5/3 dróttinn Norðmanna ‘lord of Norwegians’, Sturl Hákfl 7/2II valdr norrænar aldar ‘ruler of the Norwegian people’). — [6] vasa nær trauðr ‘was far from reluctant’: Lit. ‘was not nearly reluctant’. — [7] orðprúðs ‘famous’: Lit. ‘word-splendid’, hence either ‘famous’ (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7) or possibly ‘eloquent’ (so Skj B). — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see st. 9/8 and Note.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  6. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  7. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  8. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  9. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  11. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  12. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  13. Internal references
  14. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 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. 475.
  16. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 4’ 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. 477.
  17. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarflokkr 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 751-2.
  18. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 5’ 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. 98.
  19. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Poem about Haraldr hárfagri 2’ 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. 61.
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