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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 9I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 9’ 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. 906.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
8910

firna ‘very’

notes

[2] firna ‘very’: Intensifying gen. of firnar f. pl. ‘something remote, exceptional’ used adverbially, cf. LP: firnar.

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hǫrga ‘temples’

hǫrgr (noun m.; °; -ar): cairn, shrine

[2] hǫrga: hǫggva 62

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heiðin ‘the heathen’

heiðinn (adj.): heathen

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meiða ‘to be harmed’

meiða (verb): maim, wound

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Siðvandr ‘The devout’

siðvandr (adj.): [devout]

[5] Siðvandr: so all others, sigrbands Bb(111vb)

notes

[5] siðvandr ‘devout’: (a) Lit. ‘faith-careful’. This, the reading of the ÓT mss, is the most straightforward and credible reading. (b) Sigrbands ‘of the victory-god’ in Bb is problematic. Band n. in the sense ‘god’ is normally in the pl. (bǫnd) and refers to heathen gods (LP: band 5). The use of sg. band to refer to the Christian God, which the context would appear to require, would therefore be without precedent. (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI 3) suggests sigrbrands ‘victorious sword’.

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sann ‘truly’

2. sannr (adj.; °-an; compar. -ari, superl. -astr): true < sannhróðigr (adj.)

kennings

sannhróðigr herlundr
‘truly famous war-tree ’
   = WARRIOR = Óláfr

truly famous war-tree → WARRIOR = Óláfr

notes

[6] sannhróðigr ‘truly famous’: Sannfróðum ‘truly knowing, wise’ in most ÓT mss is unsatisfactory since it would qualify dat. pl. kindum hǫlða ‘the offspring of men’, and would imply that they are not in need of Óláfr’s teaching. The reading sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ from Flat is preferred in Skj B and Skald, who also read disyllabic trúu ‘faith’ (cf. Anon Óldr 9/8 and Note, also 12/8).

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hróðigr ‘famous’

hróðigr (adj.): glorious < sannhróðigr (adj.)

[6] ‑hróðigr: ‑fróðum 61, 54, Bb(44vb), 62, ‑fróðr Flat

kennings

sannhróðigr herlundr
‘truly famous war-tree ’
   = WARRIOR = Óláfr

truly famous war-tree → WARRIOR = Óláfr

notes

[6] sannhróðigr ‘truly famous’: Sannfróðum ‘truly knowing, wise’ in most ÓT mss is unsatisfactory since it would qualify dat. pl. kindum hǫlða ‘the offspring of men’, and would imply that they are not in need of Óláfr’s teaching. The reading sannfróðr ‘truly wise’ from Flat is preferred in Skj B and Skald, who also read disyllabic trúu ‘faith’ (cf. Anon Óldr 9/8 and Note, also 12/8).

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góða ‘the good’

góðr (adj.): good

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her ‘war’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host < herlundr (noun m.)

[7] her‑: so all others, ýr‑ Bb(111vb)

kennings

sannhróðigr herlundr
‘truly famous war-tree ’
   = WARRIOR = Óláfr

truly famous war-tree → WARRIOR = Óláfr

notes

[7] herlundr ‘war-tree [WARRIOR = Óláfr]’: This, the ÓT reading, provides alliteration on hǫlða; the variant in Bb(111vb) is ýrlundr ‘bow-tree [WARRIOR]’, which does not.

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lundr ‘tree’

1. lundr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ar): grove, tree < herlundr (noun m.)

[7] ‑lundr: ‘lyndr’ 62

kennings

sannhróðigr herlundr
‘truly famous war-tree ’
   = WARRIOR = Óláfr

truly famous war-tree → WARRIOR = Óláfr

notes

[7] herlundr ‘war-tree [WARRIOR = Óláfr]’: This, the ÓT reading, provides alliteration on hǫlða; the variant in Bb(111vb) is ýrlundr ‘bow-tree [WARRIOR]’, which does not.

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hǫlða ‘of men’

hǫlðr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): man

[7] hǫlða: hauka 54, Bb(44vb)

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kindum ‘to the offspring’

kind (noun f.; °-ar; -r): offspring, race

[7] kindum: so all others, om. Bb(111vb)

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Hann ‘He’

hann (pron.; °gen. hans, dat. honum; f. hon, gen. hennar, acc. hana): he, she, it, they, them...

notes

[8] hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’: The line is identical to Anon Óldr 11/6, and is among echoes of Steinn ÓldrII in Rst; see Note to st. 12 [All] below. The stef ‘refrain’ of Rst begins in this stanza and is completed in the next two (sts 10/8, 11/8); the pattern is then repeated four times in sts 12-23. (a) The complete refrain in this edn reads: Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg sólar | hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu, i.e. Hann, Óláfr, vas ríkstr konungmanna und veg sólar, hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was the mightiest of royal men under the path of the sun [SKY], faithful and foremost in all things’. (b) The interpretation favoured in Skj B and Skald, based on the ÓT version, is: Hann vas / Hanns ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg- sólar | hǫll ok ‑fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was/is the mightiest and foremost in honour of royal men in all things under the hall of the sun [SKY]’. This solution is primarily based on the reading hǫll ‘hall’, which is preferable to hollr ‘faithful’ insofar as it forms an exact aðalhending with ǫll-. However, this argument is not strong in Rst, where the rhyme is somewhat irregular (see Introduction), while the postulated vegfremstr ‘foremost in honour’ involves an unusual tmesis across stanzas, and the prep. und ‘under’ is syntactically detached from veg, the noun that follows it (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 54) avoids these problems by taking vegsólar as a cpd equivalent to vegligrar sólar ‘of the magnificent sun’.

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vas ‘was’

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

[8] vas (‘var’): er all others

notes

[8] vas ‘was’: The ÓT version has er (normalised es) ‘is’. The pres. tense could refer to Óláfr’s enduring reputation, but seems out of place in so retrospective a poem. — [8] hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’: The line is identical to Anon Óldr 11/6, and is among echoes of Steinn ÓldrII in Rst; see Note to st. 12 [All] below. The stef ‘refrain’ of Rst begins in this stanza and is completed in the next two (sts 10/8, 11/8); the pattern is then repeated four times in sts 12-23. (a) The complete refrain in this edn reads: Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg sólar | hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu, i.e. Hann, Óláfr, vas ríkstr konungmanna und veg sólar, hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was the mightiest of royal men under the path of the sun [SKY], faithful and foremost in all things’. (b) The interpretation favoured in Skj B and Skald, based on the ÓT version, is: Hann vas / Hanns ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg- sólar | hǫll ok ‑fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was/is the mightiest and foremost in honour of royal men in all things under the hall of the sun [SKY]’. This solution is primarily based on the reading hǫll ‘hall’, which is preferable to hollr ‘faithful’ insofar as it forms an exact aðalhending with ǫll-. However, this argument is not strong in Rst, where the rhyme is somewhat irregular (see Introduction), while the postulated vegfremstr ‘foremost in honour’ involves an unusual tmesis across stanzas, and the prep. und ‘under’ is syntactically detached from veg, the noun that follows it (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 54) avoids these problems by taking vegsólar as a cpd equivalent to vegligrar sólar ‘of the magnificent sun’.

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vas ‘was’

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

[8] vas (‘var’): er all others

notes

[8] vas ‘was’: The ÓT version has er (normalised es) ‘is’. The pres. tense could refer to Óláfr’s enduring reputation, but seems out of place in so retrospective a poem. — [8] hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’: The line is identical to Anon Óldr 11/6, and is among echoes of Steinn ÓldrII in Rst; see Note to st. 12 [All] below. The stef ‘refrain’ of Rst begins in this stanza and is completed in the next two (sts 10/8, 11/8); the pattern is then repeated four times in sts 12-23. (a) The complete refrain in this edn reads: Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg sólar | hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu, i.e. Hann, Óláfr, vas ríkstr konungmanna und veg sólar, hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was the mightiest of royal men under the path of the sun [SKY], faithful and foremost in all things’. (b) The interpretation favoured in Skj B and Skald, based on the ÓT version, is: Hann vas / Hanns ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg- sólar | hǫll ok ‑fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was/is the mightiest and foremost in honour of royal men in all things under the hall of the sun [SKY]’. This solution is primarily based on the reading hǫll ‘hall’, which is preferable to hollr ‘faithful’ insofar as it forms an exact aðalhending with ǫll-. However, this argument is not strong in Rst, where the rhyme is somewhat irregular (see Introduction), while the postulated vegfremstr ‘foremost in honour’ involves an unusual tmesis across stanzas, and the prep. und ‘under’ is syntactically detached from veg, the noun that follows it (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 54) avoids these problems by taking vegsólar as a cpd equivalent to vegligrar sólar ‘of the magnificent sun’.

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ríkstr ‘the mightiest’

ríkr (adj.): mighty, powerful, rich

notes

[8] hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’: The line is identical to Anon Óldr 11/6, and is among echoes of Steinn ÓldrII in Rst; see Note to st. 12 [All] below. The stef ‘refrain’ of Rst begins in this stanza and is completed in the next two (sts 10/8, 11/8); the pattern is then repeated four times in sts 12-23. (a) The complete refrain in this edn reads: Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg sólar | hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu, i.e. Hann, Óláfr, vas ríkstr konungmanna und veg sólar, hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was the mightiest of royal men under the path of the sun [SKY], faithful and foremost in all things’. (b) The interpretation favoured in Skj B and Skald, based on the ÓT version, is: Hann vas / Hanns ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg- sólar | hǫll ok ‑fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was/is the mightiest and foremost in honour of royal men in all things under the hall of the sun [SKY]’. This solution is primarily based on the reading hǫll ‘hall’, which is preferable to hollr ‘faithful’ insofar as it forms an exact aðalhending with ǫll-. However, this argument is not strong in Rst, where the rhyme is somewhat irregular (see Introduction), while the postulated vegfremstr ‘foremost in honour’ involves an unusual tmesis across stanzas, and the prep. und ‘under’ is syntactically detached from veg, the noun that follows it (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 54) avoids these problems by taking vegsólar as a cpd equivalent to vegligrar sólar ‘of the magnificent sun’.

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konung ‘of royal’

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

[8] konung‑: konungr 61, Bb(44vb), kóngr 54

notes

[8] hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’: The line is identical to Anon Óldr 11/6, and is among echoes of Steinn ÓldrII in Rst; see Note to st. 12 [All] below. The stef ‘refrain’ of Rst begins in this stanza and is completed in the next two (sts 10/8, 11/8); the pattern is then repeated four times in sts 12-23. (a) The complete refrain in this edn reads: Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg sólar | hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu, i.e. Hann, Óláfr, vas ríkstr konungmanna und veg sólar, hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was the mightiest of royal men under the path of the sun [SKY], faithful and foremost in all things’. (b) The interpretation favoured in Skj B and Skald, based on the ÓT version, is: Hann vas / Hanns ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg- sólar | hǫll ok ‑fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was/is the mightiest and foremost in honour of royal men in all things under the hall of the sun [SKY]’. This solution is primarily based on the reading hǫll ‘hall’, which is preferable to hollr ‘faithful’ insofar as it forms an exact aðalhending with ǫll-. However, this argument is not strong in Rst, where the rhyme is somewhat irregular (see Introduction), while the postulated vegfremstr ‘foremost in honour’ involves an unusual tmesis across stanzas, and the prep. und ‘under’ is syntactically detached from veg, the noun that follows it (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 54) avoids these problems by taking vegsólar as a cpd equivalent to vegligrar sólar ‘of the magnificent sun’.

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manna ‘men’

maðr (noun m.): man, person < konungmaðr (noun m.): king

notes

[8] hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’: The line is identical to Anon Óldr 11/6, and is among echoes of Steinn ÓldrII in Rst; see Note to st. 12 [All] below. The stef ‘refrain’ of Rst begins in this stanza and is completed in the next two (sts 10/8, 11/8); the pattern is then repeated four times in sts 12-23. (a) The complete refrain in this edn reads: Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg sólar | hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu, i.e. Hann, Óláfr, vas ríkstr konungmanna und veg sólar, hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was the mightiest of royal men under the path of the sun [SKY], faithful and foremost in all things’. (b) The interpretation favoured in Skj B and Skald, based on the ÓT version, is: Hann vas / Hanns ríkstr konungmanna | Óláfr und veg- sólar | hǫll ok ‑fremstr at ǫllu ‘He, Óláfr, was/is the mightiest and foremost in honour of royal men in all things under the hall of the sun [SKY]’. This solution is primarily based on the reading hǫll ‘hall’, which is preferable to hollr ‘faithful’ insofar as it forms an exact aðalhending with ǫll-. However, this argument is not strong in Rst, where the rhyme is somewhat irregular (see Introduction), while the postulated vegfremstr ‘foremost in honour’ involves an unusual tmesis across stanzas, and the prep. und ‘under’ is syntactically detached from veg, the noun that follows it (cf. Kuhn 1983, 120-2 on proclitic prepositions). (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 54) avoids these problems by taking vegsólar as a cpd equivalent to vegligrar sólar ‘of the magnificent sun’.

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Óláfr Christianizes the people of Norway with a firm hand, burning down heathen temples, destroying sacrificial sites and replacing them with churches and priests.

Óláfr’s promulgation of Christianity in Norway is also the subject of Anon Óldr 9-10. — [1-4]: For Óláfr as an enemy of heathen shrines, see also Hfr Óldr 1.

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