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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 11I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 11’ 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. 417.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Eigi látask ýtar
enn, þeirs víðast nenna,
fremra mann of finna
folkreifum Ôleifi.

Ýtar, þeirs nenna víðast, látask eigi of finna enn fremra mann folkreifum Ôleifi.
‘Men, those who travel most widely, say they cannot find an even more outstanding man than battle-joyful Óláfr.

notes and context

Óláfr stands all day on the raised after-deck of Ormr inn langi, shooting arrows and hurling spears. Both friends and enemies declare they have never known such valiant fighting.

Unusually, the variant readings in this helmingr, especially víðast nenna ‘travel most widely’ / víða renna ‘run widely’ (l. 2) and fremra ‘more outstanding’ / frægra ‘more famous’ (l. 3), are all plausible, and none affects the overall meaning. This may suggest oral transmission of different versions of the present stanza, as has been postulated for another isolated helmingr, st. 26a and its alternative version (Krijn 1931, 121).



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld, 3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa 10: AI, 161, BI, 152, Skald I, 83; SHI 2, 315, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 275-6 (ch. 252), Flat 1860-8, I, 487.


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