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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 2I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 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. 898.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
123

Vegmildr víðrar foldar
vǫrðr þá fóstr í Gǫrðum;
vellbjóðr vísar dáðir
vann, sás hæst gekk manna.
Blikrunnr brigða miklum
brátt réð * þeim, es átti,
allprútt éla Þróttar
Óláfr skipa stóli.

{Vegmildr vǫrðr víðrar foldar} þá fóstr í Gǫrðum; {vellbjóðr}, sás gekk hæst manna, vann vísar dáðir. {{{Þróttar éla} blik}runnr}, Óláfr, réð * brátt, allprútt, þeim brigða miklum stóli skipa, es átti.

{The honour-generous guardian of vast territory} [RULER = Óláfr] was fostered in Russia; {the gold-offerer} [GENEROUS MAN], who was the greatest of men, performed renowned deeds. {The tree {of the gleam {of the storms of Þróttr <= Óðinn>}}} [(lit. ‘gleam-tree of the storms of Þróttr’) BATTLES > SWORD > WARRIOR], Óláfr, soon commanded most excellently the extremely large fleet of ships which he owned.

Mss: Bb(111va); 61(12ra), 53(10rb), 54(6ra), Bb(16ra), 62(4vb), Flat(12rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] víðrar: vígrar Bb(16ra), vígðrar Flat    [2] vǫrðr: so all others, vǫrð Bb(111va)    [3] vísar: vísa 61, 62, víða 53, 54, Bb(16ra)    [4] hæst: ‘hærst’ 61, hæstr 53, 54, Bb(16ra)    [5] ‑runnr: ‑rauðr all others    [6] * þeim es átti: ‘hann þeíms þęt atti’ Bb(111va), hann þeims átti 61, 53, hann þeim sem hann átti 54, hann því sem hann átti Bb(16ra), hann þeims átta 62, fjǫgur ok átta Flat    [7] allprútt éla Þróttar: om. 62;    ‑prútt: so 61, 53, 54, Bb(16ra), ‘‑pruttr’ Bb(111va), ‑ríkt Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 544, Skj BI, 525, Skald I, 255, NN §§1168-9; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 110 (ch. 58), Flat 1860-8, I, 91; SHI 3, 244-5, CPB II, 295-6, Wisén 1886-9, I, 46, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 191-3. 

Context: In ÓT, Óláfr decides to leave Garðar (Russia) and go back to Norway. The stanza is cited for its account of Óláfr’s upbringing in Garðar. 

Notes: [2] þá fóstr ‘was fostered’: Lit. ‘received fostering’. According to tradition (e.g. De antiquitate regum norwagiensium, MHN 13; HN, MHN 113; Ágr, ÍF 29, 20-1; ÓTOdd, ÍF 25, 162-6; Fsk, ÍF 29, 141; Hkr, ÍF 26, 232), Óláfr was fostered as a youth by King Valdamarr in Garðar; cf. also HSt Frag 1 and Anon Óldr 3. Valdamarr is identified with the Russian prince Vladimir (r. c. 970-1015; Pritsak 1993, 556; Franklin and Shephard 1996, 151-80). Doubts about the tradition have been expressed: see Introduction to HSt Frag 1. — [3] vísar ‘renowned’: The sense ‘renowned, well-known, certain’ is assumed here (cf. LP: víss 2; Fritzner: víss 3); ‘wise’ is also possible. The variant vísa is also possible. It could be read as the gen. sg. of vísi ‘prince, leader’, hence ‘princely’, qualifying dáðir ‘deeds’ (so Kock, NN §1168). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) also reads vísa, taking it with þá fóstr, hence ‘received fostering from the king, was fostered by the king’, but this is unnecessarily awkward, producing a tripartite l. 3. — [4] gekk hæst ‘was greatest’: Lit. ‘went highest’: The ÓT reading adj. hæstr (adopted in Skj B, LP: 2. ganga 13 and Skald) is less convincing than adv. hæst in conjunction with gekk, lit. ‘went’. — [5]: This odd line, like several more in Rst, has aðalhending instead of skothending; see Introduction. — [5] -runnr ‘tree’: The ÓT mss have -rauðr ‘red’, which is nonsensical in the context, but may be a corruption of ruðr, an alternative form of runnr ‘tree’. However, the -nn- form is established in st. 1/5 by the skothending runn- : linn-. — [5] brigða ‘extremely’: Gen. pl. of brigð f. ‘change, breaking, breach’, used as an intensifying adv. — [6] * þeim ..., es átti ‘the ... which he owned’: The range of variants reflects scribal uncertainty, and the role of ms. hann ‘he/him’ (deleted in the Text above) is unclear. Hann is assumed here to be a scribal addition to the verb réð ‘commanded’. Additional, extrametrical pronouns are frequent in the mss and often removed as a routine part of normalisation. For the remainder of the line various possibilities emerge. (a) Þeim, es átti ‘the (fleet) which he owned’ is adopted here (cf. Fms 12, 35, which retains hann), giving a statement that Óláfr commanded the ships he owned. (b) Kock (NN §1169) instead reads þeim es átti ‘for the one who owned [it]’, where the understood ‘it’ refers to brigða miklum ... stóli skipa ‘extremely large fleet of ships’ (ll. 5, 8), and the owner is Valdamarr (Vladimir; see Note to l. 2 above). Although this gives good sense, it produces an unmetrical line, since if þeim belonged to the rel. clause, forming þeim es átti ‘for the one who owned [it]’, es would cliticize onto the fully stressed demonstrative þeim which precedes it, giving þeims, and the line would have only five rather than the necessary six metrical positions. (c) See Note to l. 8, interpretation (b), for a different approach. — [8] stóli skipa ‘fleet of ships’: (a) The same phrase occurs in Bjbp Jóms 16/4. Stóll ‘fleet’ is assumed to be an adoption from Gk (LP: 2. stóll; AEW: stóll 3). (b) Skipa is taken by Finnur Jónsson (1893b and Skj B) as the verb ‘to man’, hence réð ... stóli, þeims hann, Óláfr, átti skipa allprútt ‘(the warrior) commanded a fleet which he, Óláfr, had to man most excellently’. This obviates the problem with hann (see Note to l. 6), but it breaks up the phrase skipa stóli and assumes a complex word order, with elements of the subordinate þeims-clause in ll. 6, 7 and 8.

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. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  9. 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.
  10. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  11. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  12. 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.
  13. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  14. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  15. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  16. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  17. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  18. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  19. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  20. 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.
  21. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  22. Pritsak, Omeljan. 1993. ‘Rus’’. In MedS, 555-6.
  23. Franklin, Simon and Jonathan Shepherd. 1996. The Emergence of Rus 750-1200. London: Longman.
  24. Internal references
  25. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  26. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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. clix-clxi.
  27. 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.
  28. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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. clxxiv-clxxv.
  29. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 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. 1035.
  30. Rolf Stavnem 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja’ 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. 893.
  31. Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 16’ 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. 973.
  32. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Fragment 1’ 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. 940.
  33. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Skipa heiti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 861.
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