skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Hfr ErfÓl 17I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 17’ 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. 424.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
161718

Ítrfermðum réð Ormi
orðsæll jǫfurr norðan
— snǫrp varð at þat sverða
snót — Eireki á móti.
En hýjǫfnum hefnir
hlýrs þeim Gota stýrði
— áðr óx of gram góðan
gunnr — Hôkonar sunnan.

Orðsæll jǫfurr réð ítrfermðum Ormi norðan á móti Eireki; {snót sverða} varð snǫrp at þat. En {hefnir Hôkonar} stýrði {þeim hýjǫfnum Gota hlýrs} sunnan; gunnr óx áðr of góðan gram.

The acclaimed prince [Óláfr] guided splendidly-laden Ormr (‘Serpent’) from the north against Eiríkr; {the lady of swords} [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)] became keen at that. But {Hákon’s avenger} [= Eiríkr] steered {that very straight Goti <legendary horse> of the bow} [SHIP] from the south; battle had swelled earlier around the good ruler.

Mss: 61(70ra), 53(66va), 54(68ra), 325VIII 2 g(2ra), Bb(103va), Flat(69va) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] ‑fermðum: ‘‑ferndum’ Bb, ‑fremðum Flat    [2] ‑sæll: ‘‑sell’ Bb;    jǫfurr: jǫfur Bb    [3] snǫrp: so 53, ‘snorp’ all others;    þat: þar Flat    [5] hý‑: hver 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, hverr Bb    [6] hlýrs: hyrs Flat;    stýrði: corrected from stýrir 53, stýrir Flat    [8] gunnr: ‘[…]nnr’ 325VIII 2 g

Editions: Skj AI, 163, Skj BI, 154, Skald I, 84, NN §1958; SHI 3, 15-16, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 298 (ch. 258), Flat 1860-8, I, 520.

Context: Eiríkr claims Ormr inn langi after the battle, and commands it himself.

Notes: [All]: The helmingar are neatly balanced semantically and syntactically. In the first Óláfr, guiding Ormr south before the battle, is the subject; in the second a ship is steered north by Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson. The stanza could be seen as describing the adversaries sailing towards one another before the battle, as, e.g., in ÞjóðA Lv 9II and Þfagr Sveinn 3II, and may play on this tradition, but the prose context is clearly correct in taking the second helmingr as an account of the victor Eiríkr steering the same ship back north after the battle. This is indicated by þeim ‘that’ in l. 6, and by the fact that the strong stress on áðr in l. 7 (indicated by the skothending with góðan) and the word order suggest it is the adv. ‘earlier’ not the conj. ‘before’. On the placing of the stanza, see Introduction. — [1] ítrfermðum ‘splendidly-laden’: Perhaps a reference to Ormr inn langi’s fine crew. — [1] Ormi ‘Ormr (“Serpent”)’: See Note to st. 10/1.  — [3, 4] snót sverða ‘the lady of swords [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)]’: A valkyrie, specifically Hildr, whose name is to be understood here, by ofljóst, as the common noun meaning ‘battle’. See further Note to st. 24/3, 4. — [5] hýjǫfnum ‘very straight’: This otherwise unattested epithet has not been satisfactorily explained, nor is it certain whether it describes the legendary horse Goti or the ship to which the whole kenning refers; the translation offered above is tentative. The problem is the hý- component, which must be different from the hý- that is attested in eddic poetry and is connected with hjú, hjón n. ‘household, married people’ (AEW: hýnótt). (a) SHI 3 suggests ‘perfectly made’, i.e. to hair’s-breadth accuracy, cf. ModIcel. hárjafn ‘not differing by a hair’; laukjafn ‘straight as a leek’ Sigv Berv 6/8II. The fine craftsmanship of Ormr inn langi was legendary (ÍF 26, 335-6), so an explanation along these lines seems most credible. AEW: 3 suggests hý- is an intensifying prefix like hund-: the cpd would thus mean ‘very even/straight’. (b) ÍO: hýjafn proposes n. ‘fine, sparse hair; down on a plant or bird’. No gloss is offered for the cpd, but perhaps the thought is the same as in (a). (c) Skj B emends to húfjǫfnum (nom. sg. húfjafn) ‘plank-equal, with even planking’ (first proposed LP (1860): hýjafn). (d) Kock (NN §1958) argues that the reading hverjafn in the minor mss is equivalent to hvarjafn ‘equal, even, everywhere’, cf. hvardyggr ‘all-doughty’, Sigv Berv 6/6II. His suggestion that ms. ‘hy’ arose from misreading of the sequence hv + er-abbreviation is plausible, but hý- is clearly the lectio difficilior. — [5, 8] hefnir Hôkonar ‘Hákon’s avenger [= Eiríkr]’: Hákon jarl Sigurðarson, Eiríkr’s father, ruled most of Norway before being driven out by a rebellion of farmers which coincided with the advent of Óláfr Tryggvason. According to Hkr (ÍF 26, 296-8) he was killed by a servant while hiding in a pigsty. His son’s defeat of Óláfr is therefore not direct revenge but some recompense for Hákon’s loss of power and honour. — [6] stýrði ‘steered’: The pres. tense variant stýrir ‘steers’ intensifies the contrast between the two helmingar (see Note to [All] above), but is not strictly necessary.

References

  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. 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.
  8. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  11. 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.
  12. Internal references
  13. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  14. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Bersǫglisvísur 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 17-18.
  16. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 315-16.
  17. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 9’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 173-4.
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.