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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 28I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 28’ 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. 440.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
2728

Norðr ‘in the north’

2. norðr (adv.): north

[1] Norðr: nú M, auð Flat

notes

[1, 2] lǫnd norðr ‘lands in the north’: Finnur Jónsson hyphenates norðr- and lǫnd to produce ‘Nordic lands’ by tmesis, but this is not necessary, as Kock points out in NN §480.

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ǫll ‘All’

allr (adj.): all

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of ‘’

4. of (particle): (before verb)

[1] of: lǫnd 177ˣ, lǫnd deleted by same hand 100ˣ

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auð ‘desolated’

3. auðr (adj.): empty, barren

[2] auð lǫnd at: ‘ętlo᷎nðum’ Flat

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lǫnd ‘lands’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

[2] auð lǫnd at: ‘ętlo᷎nðum’ Flat;    lǫnd: strǫnd 177ˣ

notes

[1, 2] lǫnd norðr ‘lands in the north’: Finnur Jónsson hyphenates norðr- and lǫnd to produce ‘Nordic lands’ by tmesis, but this is not necessary, as Kock points out in NN §480.

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at ‘by’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[2] auð lǫnd at: ‘ętlo᷎nðum’ Flat;    at: of Holm18

notes

[2] at dauðan gram ‘by the king’s death’: Lit. ‘by/at the dead king’, or ‘by the king [being] dead’. 

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gram ‘the king’s’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

notes

[2] at dauðan gram ‘by the king’s death’: Lit. ‘by/at the dead king’, or ‘by the king [being] dead’. 

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dauðan ‘death’

2. dauðr (adj.): dead

[2] dauðan: dauðum 177ˣ, 100ˣ

notes

[2] at dauðan gram ‘by the king’s death’: Lit. ‘by/at the dead king’, or ‘by the king [being] dead’. 

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allr ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

[3] allr: so all others, allt 178ˣ

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glepsk ‘is confounded’

glepja (verb): [is confounded]

[3] glepsk: so 177ˣ, 100ˣ, Holm18, Flat, gleðsk 178ˣ, lemsk M

notes

[3] glepsk ‘is confounded’: This reading is supported by glepsk (ms. ‘glæps’) in the corresponding line of the stef in st. 23/7. The main ms. reading gleðsk ‘rejoices’ is unlikely purely by virtue of its semantics and could have originated in a misreading of glepz as gleþz. M’s lemsk ‘is ruined, crushed’ is close in meaning to glepsk (see Fritzner: lemja 3) and an acceptable alternative reading,

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af ‘by’

af (prep.): from

[3] af: so all others, at 178ˣ

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flyg ‘’

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flug ‘of the flight’

2. flug (noun n.): flight, ?precipice < flugstyggr (adj.): flight-shunning

[4] flug‑: so M, folk‑ 178ˣ, 177ˣ, 100ˣ, flyg‑ Holm18, fjǫl‑ Flat

kennings

flugstyggs sonar Tryggva.
‘of the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi.’
   = Óláfr

the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi. → Óláfr

notes

[4] flugstyggs ‘flight-shunning’: Comparison with st. 23/8 once again decides among strongly divergent readings here.

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styggs ‘shunning’

styggr (adj.): shy < flugstyggr (adj.): flight-shunningstyggr (adj.): shy < fjǫlstyggr (adj.): very shunningstyggr (adj.): shystyggr (adj.): shy < folkstyggr (adj.)

kennings

flugstyggs sonar Tryggva.
‘of the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi.’
   = Óláfr

the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi. → Óláfr

notes

[4] flugstyggs ‘flight-shunning’: Comparison with st. 23/8 once again decides among strongly divergent readings here.

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sonar ‘son’

sonr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. syni; synir, acc. sonu, syni): son

[4] sonar: ‘Son[…]’ 177ˣ

kennings

flugstyggs sonar Tryggva.
‘of the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi.’
   = Óláfr

the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi. → Óláfr
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Tryggva ‘of Tryggvi’

Tryggvi (noun m.): Tryggvi

kennings

flugstyggs sonar Tryggva.
‘of the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi.’
   = Óláfr

the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi. → Óláfr
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Hallfr recounts that Hallfreðr sails via Orkney to Norway where, learning the details of Óláfr Tryggvason’s death, he composes a memorial poem, Óláfsdrápa, for him, from which this is a refrain (stef). The ÓT redaction of Hallfr reports that Hallfreðr composed a drápa straight away (þegar), but only Flat quotes the stef. In ÓTOdd, this follows sts 18 and 19; after the stanza it is explained that auð ‘desolate’ has the sense that norðrlǫnd ‘the Nordic lands’ are bereft of a leader who will never be matched. The prologue to Þiðreks saga cites this stanza as an example of hyperbole in praise poetry.

The helmingr is a stef ‘refrain’, according to Hallfr (see Context). The grandiose content makes all four lines suitable for a stef, but only ll. 3-4 appear elsewhere in the extant poem (st. 23/7-8).

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