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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 19I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 19’ 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. 427.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
181920

Sagðr vas mér — né meira
muni maðr stríð of bíða —
lýðum firrðr ok láði
landvǫrðr fyr sæ handan.
Væri oss, þótt ærir
elds þeim svikum belldi,
heilalíkn, ef, hauka
hôklifs, jǫfurr lifði.

{Landvǫrðr} vas sagðr mér firrðr lýðum ok láði fyr handan sæ; né muni maðr of bíða meira stríð. Oss væri heilalíkn, ef jǫfurr lifði, þótt {ærir {elds {hôklifs hauka}}} belldi þeim svikum.

{The land’s guardian} [RULER = Óláfr] was said to me to be deprived of people and realm across the sea; a man will not suffer greater grief. It would be healing mercy for us if the lord lived, although {envoys {of the fire {of the high cliff of hawks}}} [ARM > GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] committed that treachery.

Mss: Holm18(54r), 310(92), 4-7(1vb) (ÓTOdd); 61(69va), 53(65vb), 54(67rb), 325VIII 2 g(1rb), Bb(102vb), Flat(66ra) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Sagðr vas: sagðr 54, sagði 325VIII 2 g, Bb;    mér: so 310, 4‑7, 61, 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb, Flat, mær Holm18;    né: en 61, inn 53, ein 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb;    meira: ‘mana’ corrected from meira 61, meiri 53    [2] muni maðr: mank 310, ‘munum alldr’ corrected from munum a 4‑7, munuma 61, muna menn 53, mín muna 54, Bb, muna 325VIII 2 g;    of: af því 310    [3] lýðum: láði corrected from landi 325VIII 2 g, landi Bb;    ok: at 53;    láði: lýðum 325VIII 2 g, Bb    [4] land‑: ‘[...]’ 325VIII 2 g;    ‑vǫrðr: ‑norðr 325VIII 2 g, Bb;    fyr: frá Bb;    sæ: om. 61;    handan: norðan corrected from handan 61    [5] þótt: ‘þo(slt)’(?) 325VIII 2 g    [6] elds: ‘ællz’ corrected from ‘æll’ 4‑7, ‘ell[…]’ 325VIII 2 g, ‘ærumz’ Flat;    þeim: þjóð 53, ‘[…]’ 325VIII 2 g    [8] klifs jǫfurr (‘ha cklifs iofurr’): hauk klifs jǫfurr 310, hafklifs jǫfurr 4‑7, ‘hak[…]fur’ 325VIII 2 g

Editions: Skj AI, 164, Skj BI, 155, Skald I, 84, NN §§511, 2218B, 2451; ÓTOdd 1932, 233-4, 256, ÍF 25, 349; SHI 3, 6-7, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 291 (ch. 256), Flat 1860-8, 495.

Context: ÓTOdd: Facing defeat at Svǫlðr, King Óláfr leaps overboard, sheds his armour and swims underwater to the Wends’ ship, escaping the battle alive, as is said to be affirmed by Hallfreðr (and, according to 4-7, the otherwise unknown Sóti). ÓT cites this stanza after its description of the battle, as part of a discussion of various accounts of the battle’s final moments and the fate of Óláfr.

Notes: [All]: In ms. 4-7, sts 18/1-4 and 19/1-4 form a single stanza while st. 19/5-8 is written as a separate helmingr. — [2] muni maðr ‘a man will’: Ms. 61’s munuma ‘we will not’ gives much the same sense in the context (where 61 has en ‘and/but’ for ‘not’) and is adopted in Skj B, and it is likely that 4-7’s exemplar contained a similar reading to 61’s, which the scribe of 4-7 subsequently corrected to read munum a(ldrstríð). These readings probably reflect attempts to make sense of a sequence of minims in the exemplar. Ms. 310’s mank stríð af því bíða ‘I will suffer no grief from that’ is unlikely in light of the rest of the stanza. — [4] landvǫrðr ‘the land’s guardian [RULER = Óláfr]’: Here, King Óláfr. This cpd occurs elsewhere in the skaldic corpus (see LP: landvǫrðr), always in reference to the king of Norway. — [5-6, 7-8] ærir elds hôklifs hauka ‘envoys of the fire of the high cliff of hawks [ARM > GOLD > GENEROUS MEN]’: This interpretation (that of Skj B, followed by Reichardt 1928, 213 and Ólafur Halldórsson in ÍF 25) means that l. 7 contains elements from three different clauses, a syntactic arrangement which is unique in the skaldic corpus (Gade 1995a, 13, 215-16). Two redistributions of the kenning components to avoid this situation have been suggested. (a) Kock (NN §511) has ærir elds ‘envoys of fire/the sword [WARRIORS]’ and jǫfurr hôklifs hauka ‘lord of the high cliff of hawks [NORWAY > = Óláfr]’. It is conceivable that eldr could mean ‘sword’ (cf. Note to st. 6/4), but Kock’s case for hôklif hauka as a synecdoche for Norway, based on the (inexact) parallels fjǫrðjǫrð ‘fjord-land’ Hókr Eirfl 5/3 and vegr jǫtna ‘way of giants’ ESkál Vell 14/5, is not convincing. (b) Kuhn (1929b, 201) suggests jǫfurr hauka ‘lord of hawks [soldiers]’, i.e. Óláfr (cf. skyldir hauka, st. 2/3 and Note) and ærir elds háklifs ‘envoys of the fire of the shark-cliff [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MEN]’ (or perhaps the same, but with ‘rowlock-cliff’, from hár m. ‘thole-pin, rowlock’). Von See (1980, 28-32; 1999b, 267-8), in surveys of scholarship on this helmingr, rejects Kuhn’s interpretation on the grounds that hár ‘shark’ is only otherwise found in þulur, whereas klif hauka ‘hawks’ cliff [ARM]’ is a habitual collocation, and Kock (NN §2451) had also noted problems with it. Hofmann (1981, 14-15) points out in response that háklif ‘shark/rowlock-cliff’ would in fact be distinct from hôklif ‘high cliff’ in oral delivery due to its different vowel quality, and that parallels for the sea-kenning Kuhn proposes do exist, incorporating both terms for sea-creatures (humra fjǫll ‘lobsters’ mountain’ ÞGísl Búdr 2/4) and nautical terms (stafnklif ‘stem-cliff’ Þloft Tøgdr 4/6). Hofmann’s arguments are convincing, and Kuhn’s interpretation is a viable alternative. — [7] heilalíkn ‘healing mercy’: A hap. leg., which all mss write as two words. The identity of the first element is uncertain. (a) It may be related to the verb heila ‘to heal’, although medial <i> rather than <a> would be expected, cf. heilivágr ‘healing balm’ (Sturl Hákkv 28/7II, and frequently in prose). (b) It may merely be intensifying (Ólafur Halldórsson, ÍF 25), cf. adj. heill ‘whole, complete’, heilmikill ‘very great’. (c) Kock (NN §511) reads heillalíkn ‘fortunate mercy’, with heill f. ‘good luck, whole-making mercy’, as the first element; this produces a regular cpd of gen. pl. noun + noun. Whatever the interpretation, play on ideas of wholeness and health seems fitting given the first helmingr’s portrayal of Óláfr as physically separated (firrðr) from kingdom and subjects.

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. 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.
  6. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1995a. The Structure of Old Norse dróttkvætt Poetry. Islandica 49. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  7. Hofmann, Dietrich. 1981. ‘Die Skaldendichtung aus heutiger Sicht. Zu Klaus von Sees Einführung’. skandinavistik 11, 9-22.
  8. 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.
  9. ÓTOdd 1932 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1932. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar af Oddr Snorrason munk. Copenhagen: Gad.
  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. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1929b. Review of Konstantin Reichardt. 1928. Studien zu den Skalden des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Leipzig: Mayer & Müller. GGA, 193-202. Rpt. in Kuhn (1899) 1969-78, I, 421-9
  13. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1928. Studien zu den Skalden des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Palaestra 159. Leipzig: Mayer & Müller.
  14. See, Klaus von. 1980. Skaldendichtung: Eine Einführung. Munich and Zürich: Artemis.
  15. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  16. Internal references
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  18. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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, pp. clxxiv-clxxv.
  19. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 14’ 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. 301.
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 5’ 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. 479.
  21. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 28’ 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, p. 720.
  22. Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 2’ 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. 944.
  23. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa 4’ 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. 857.
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