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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 24I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 24’ 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. 434.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Harðgǫrvan lét hjǫrvi
holms verða Týr sverða
vind á víðu sundi
vígþey Heðins meyjar,
áðr an Ormi næði
Eirekr eða hlut meira;
mǫrg óð bitr í blóði
benkneif fyr Ôleifi.

{Týr sverða} lét {vind {meyjar Heðins}}, {vígþey}, verða harðgǫrvan hjǫrvi á víðu sundi holms, áðr an Eirekr næði Ormi eða meira hlut; {mǫrg bitr benkneif} óð í blóði fyr Ôleifi.
‘The Týr <god> of swords [WARRIOR] made the wind of the maiden of Heðinn <legendary hero> [= Hildr > BATTLE], war-breeze [BATTLE], become hard-fought with the sword on the wide sound of the islet, before Eiríkr got Ormr (‘Serpent’) and the better lot; many a biting wound-hook [SWORD] waded in blood before Óláfr.

notes and context

The battle of Svǫlðr is famous both for the defence of Óláfr and his men and for Eiríkr’s mighty attack.

[1-4]: There seems to be an excess of kenning elements, and the solution adopted here, as in other eds, is to assume that vígþey ‘war-breeze’ or ‘thawing wind of war’ stands in apposition to a battle-kenning, either as in the Text above (and NN §479), or as in Skj B: Týr meyjar Heðins lét sverða vind, vígþey, verða ... ‘the Týr of the maiden of Heðinn [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’) > WARRIOR] made the wind of swords, war-breeze, become ...’. Skj B’s interpretation is more distant from the word order of the stanza than is Kock’s in NN.



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 17: AI, 163, BI, 154, Skald I, 83-4, NN §§479, 1855, 3057; SHI 3, 11-12, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 294-5 (ch. 256).


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