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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 13I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 13’ 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. 419.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar

Hverr vas hræddr við ǫrvan
hugdyggvan son Tryggva
— óðusk malmþings meiðar —
maðr und sólar jaðri.

Hverr maðr und {jaðri sólar} vas hræddr við {ǫrvan, hugdyggvan son Tryggva}; {meiðar {malmþings}} óðusk.

Every man under {the borderland of the sun} [SKY] was afraid of {the swift, steadfast son of Tryggvi} [= Óláfr]; {poles {of the metal meeting}} [BATTLE > WARRIORS] felt dread.

Mss: 61(68ra), 54(65rb), Bb(100vb) (ÓT)

Editions: Skj AI, 161, Skj BI, 152-3, Skald I, 83; SHI 2, 316-17, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 276-7 (ch. 252).

Context: The battle continues; Óláfr is a prominent and terrifying presence.

Notes: [2]: The aðalhending on Óláfr’s patronym Tryggva is also found in sts 20/4, 23/8 and 28/4, and the line itself is taken up with slight variation in HSt Rst 34/2. — [4] jaðri sólar ‘the borderland of the sun [SKY]’: An unusual sky-kenning. Among the many involving a determinant meaning ‘sun’ combined with a base-word meaning ‘ground’, ‘road’, ‘hall’, or ‘seat’, there are no parallels for jaðarr ‘border, rim’ in the latter role. However, the existence of Jaðarr (Jæren) as the name of a coastal district in south-west Norway would encourage taking jaðarr here as equivalent to ‘land’ (as LP: jaðarr 1 and Meissner 106 do) and translating ‘borderland’ (more strictly ‘territory at the edge’). Ohlmarks (1958, 450) suggests the kenning refers to the time of day when the sun is just above the horizon.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  6. 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.
  7. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  8. Internal references
  9. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 34’ 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. 937.

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