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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 6I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 6’ 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. 903.


Ugglaust Íra byggðir
ókvíðinn lét síðan
él-Freyr Ullar kjóla
endr fíkula brenndar.
Skotland skǫrpum brandi
skjald†fryðr† of nam ryðja;
oddr beit — ulfar sǫddusk —
ódeigr Skota feiga.

Síðan lét {ókvíðinn {{Ullar kjóla} él-}Freyr} endr ugglaust byggðir Íra fíkula brenndar. {Skjald†fryðr†} of nam ryðja Skotland skǫrpum brandi; ódeigr oddr beit feiga Skota; ulfar sǫddusk.

Then {the unworried Freyr <god> {of the storm {of the ships of Ullr <god>}}} [(lit. ‘storm-Freyr of the ships of Ullr’) SHIELDS > BATTLE > WARRIOR] once fearlessly caused the settlements of the Irish to be powerfully burned down. {The shield-...} [WARRIOR?] proceeded to clear Scotland with a sharp sword; the unblunt point bit fated Scots; the wolves had their fill.

Mss: Bb(111vb); 61(16vb), 53(15rb) (ll. 5-8), 54(12ra-b), Bb(22va), 62(9va), Flat(16ra) (ll. 5-8) (ÓT, ll. 5-8, 1-4)

Readings: [2] ókvíðinn: ‘okíndinn’ 54;    lét síðan: réð víða 61, 53, 54, Bb(22va), Flat, reið víða 62    [3] Freyr: ‑þeyr 62, ‘‑þreyrr’ Flat;    Ullar: so 61, 54, Bb(22va), Flat, ulfar Bb(111vb), ‘vllra’ 62    [4] fíkula: ‘fikur la’ 54, ‘fikíu la’ Bb(22va), ríkula Flat;    brenndar: brenndan 61, brenndir Flat    [5] ‑land: so 61, 62, Flat, ‑lands Bb(111vb), 53, 54, Bb(22va);    skǫrpum: skǫfnum 61, 53, 54, Bb(22va), skǫmmum 62, Flat;    brandi: om. 53    [6] skjald†fryðr†: ‘skiallprydr’ 62, skjótfróðr Flat;    of: af or of Bb(111vb), ok 61, 53, 54, Bb(22va), 62, om. Flat;    ryðja: rjóða Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 545, Skj BI, 526, Skald I, 256; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 159-60 (ch. 77), Flat 1860-8, I, 120; SHI 3, 246-7, CPB II, 296, Wisén 1886-9, I, 47, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 202-5.

Context: After citing st. 4/5-8, ÓT relates that Óláfr proceeds via Northumbria to Scotland and raids there (illustrated by st. 6/5-8), then harries the Hebrides, Man and finally Ireland (illustrated by st. 6/1-4).

Notes: [All]: As noted in the Context, the helmingar of the stanza are in reverse order in ÓT, and consequently printed thus in some eds. For Óláfr’s campaigns in Scotland and Ireland, see also Hfr Óldr 6 and the later Anon Óldr 6. — [2] síðan lét ‘then … caused’: The ÓT reading réð víða is equally possible, with réð as ‘decided’ or a pleonastic auxiliary and víða adv. ‘widely’. — [3] Ullar kjóla ‘of the ships of Ullr <god> [SHIELDS]’: This is a recognized type of shield-kenning (SnE 1998, I, 67; Meissner 166), but the myth that must underlie it is now lost; see further Note to Gamlkan Has 64/1VII. — [6] skjaldfryðr† ‘the shield-... [WARRIOR?]’: A warrior-kenning is indicated by the context. The meaning of the element ‑fryðr is obscure, but it is the reading of most mss; ‘pryðr’ in 61 may result from a misreading of <f> as <p>. Flat has skjótfróðr ‘shooting-wise/swift-wise’ rhyming with rjóða ‘redden’, which may be a scribal emendation, but Skj B and Skald take the lead from Flat in reading skotfróðr, again ‘shooting-wise’, and rjóða. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) suggests the emendation skjaldbjóðr ‘shield-offerer’. — [6] of: Emendation to the expletive particle is necessary here, and is adopted in previous eds. The ms. readings af ‘from’ and ok ‘and’ do not fit the sense and syntax of the helmingr but both could be corruptions of of by scribes more familiar with the later expletive form um. Further, the vowel graph in Bb(111vb) is unclear and could be taken as <o>.


  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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. 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.
  6. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  7. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  8. 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.
  9. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  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. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 6’ 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. 1038.
  16. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 64’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 130-1.
  17. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 6’ 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. 398.

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