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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 1I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 1’ 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. 403.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
12

Þar hykk víst til mjǫk misstu
— mǫrg kom drótt á flótta —
gram, þanns gunni framði,
gengis þrœnzkra drengja.
Nœfr vá einn við jǫfra
allvaldr tváa snjalla
— frægrs til slíks at segja
siðr — ok jarl inn þriðja.

Þar hykk víst gram, þanns framði gunni, misstu til mjǫk gengis þrœnzkra drengja; mǫrg drótt kom á flótta. Nœfr allvaldr vá einn við tváa snjalla jǫfra ok jarl inn þriðja; frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks.

There, I certainly believe, the prince who promoted battle missed too much the support of warriors from Trøndelag; many a band took to flight. The adept mighty ruler fought alone against two bold princes and a jarl as the third; it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing.

Mss: Holm18(51v), 310(84) (ÓTOdd); FskBˣ(37r), FskAˣ(134) (Fsk); Kˣ(211r), F(36ra), J1ˣ(130v-131r), J2ˣ(114r), 325VIII 1(5ra) (Hkr); 61(67rb), 54(63rb), Bb(98vb), Flat(64ra) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Þar: om. FskAˣ;    víst til mjǫk: mjǫk til FskBˣ, víst er mjǫk 325VIII 1, til víst mjǫk 54, Bb;    misstu: missti 61    [2] mǫrg kom drótt: ‘drot kom […]’ 325VIII 1;    á: so all others, í Holm18    [3] framði: so all others, samði Holm18    [4] þrœnzkra: ‘[…]ra’ 325VIII 1, ‘kænskra’ 54, Bb    [5] vá: corrected from þá FskBˣ    [6] allvaldr: allvallda F, ‘allv[…]’ 325VIII 1;    tváa snjalla: corrected from ‘íí skallda’ 325VIII 1;    snjalla: ‘sialla’ Flat    [7] frægrs (‘fregr er’): frægð er FskBˣ, frægt er FskAˣ, J2ˣ, frægr einn er 325VIII 1;    til slíks: slíkt J1ˣ, slíks corrected from ‘slikt’ J2ˣ, ‘[…]iks’ 325VIII 1    [8] siðr: ‘þiðr’ FskBˣ, suðr FskAˣ, sigr J1ˣ, J2ˣ, Bb;    ok: en Kˣ, om. 325VIII 1

Editions: Skj AI, 159-60, Skj BI, 150-1, Skald I, 82, NN §§2449, 2451 anm. 1; ÓTOdd 1932, 206, ÍF 25, 320-1; Fsk 1902-3, 123 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 152 (ch. 24); Hkr 1893-1901, I, 443, IV, 97, ÍF 26, 358-9, Hkr 1991, I, 243 (ÓTHkr ch. 105), F 1871, 162; SHI 2, 293, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 260-1 (ch. 249), Flat 1860-8, I, 480.

Context: Most sources cite this stanza in support of their accounts of the disparity in size between Óláfr’s fleet and that of his enemies, just before they describe the battle of Svǫlðr; Fsk and Hkr use it in a more general way. The disparity is blamed in ÓTOdd and ÓT on the premature departure of part of Óláfr’s own fleet, and in HN and Ágr (neither of which cites the stanza), on its late arrival.

Notes: [All]: For the sea-battle at Svǫlðr c. 1000, see also Skúli SvǫlðrIII, Stefnir Lv 1, OSnorr Lv, Eþsk Couplet, Hókr Eirfl, ÞKolb Eirdr 8, and the later treatment in HSt Rst 15-23 and Anon Óldr 17-24. — [1-4]: The helmingr refers to a lack of gengis þrœnzkra drengja ‘the support of warriors from Trøndelag’ (ll. 1, 4), and to the flight of mǫrg drótt ‘many a band’ (l. 2), and it might be expected that these are the same thing, but this is unclear, as is the identity of these groups. Drótt could mean either the ruler’s personal retinue or just a troop in a battle; the epithet mǫrg ‘many’ would favour the latter, and with it the interpretation, ‘despite lacking a Trøndelag retinue, Óláfr [nevertheless] put many of the [enemy] drótt to flight’ (Ohlmarks 1958, 442). The troops from Trøndelag may be Eiríkr’s men, faithful to him as the jarl of Trøndelag rather than to the king (Ohlmarks loc. cit.; von See 1977a). Alternatively, Hallfreðr may be referring to the part of Óláfr’s own force which made itself unavailable just before the battle (see Context above), as according to HN (MHN 117-19) the missing men were from Trøndelag, but this tradition may itself be based on the present stanza rather than independent information. — [1] þar hykk ‘there, I believe’: Elision makes this the equivalent of a single syllable. — [1] víst ‘certainly’: The adv. could alternatively qualify misstu ‘missed’.  — [1] misstu ‘missed’: A past inf. forming part of an acc. with inf. construction, missa being one of a few verbs to have a past inf. (ANG §529). — [2]: Cf. Glúmr Gráf 2/2 and Hókr Eirfl 7/8 drótt kom mǫrg á flótta (325VIII 1’s defective text of l. 2 may also have had this ordering). Von See (1977a) suggests this is one of a series of polemical citations of Hókr Eirfl (composed for Óláfr’s adversary Eiríkr jarl), though this involves reversing the commonly-accepted dating of the two works. — [3]: Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) suggested that the aðalhending in this line is gram þann : framði, which involves the crossing of a word boundary (see Kristján Árnason 1991, 102-3), though only one consonant (in this case, the m) need agree to form a correct aðalhending. — [7-8] frægr siðr [e]s at segja til slíks ‘it is a famous custom to tell of such a thing’: Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B have frægts at segja til slíks siðar ‘it is glorious to tell of such conduct’ (presumably referring to Óláfr’s fighting). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I) claims ms. support for siðar, gen. sg. of siðr, in Holm18, and Wisén (1886-9, I, 137) gives it as the reading of Fsk (cf. Fsk 1847, 62), but neither is correct. The frægr siðr ‘famous custom’ of telling about warlike deeds could refer specifically to the tradition of skaldic praise poetry (as suggested in NN §2449; cf. Nj 1875-8, II, 351 n. 10).

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. Nj 1875-89 = Konráð Gíslason and Eiríkur Jónsson. 1875-89. Njála: Udgivet efter gamle håndskrifter. Íslendingasögur udgivne efter gamle haandskrifter af Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskrift-selskab 4. Copenhagen: Thiele.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  7. Kristján Árnason. 1991. The Rhythms of Dróttkvætt and Other Old Icelandic Metres. Reykjavík: Institute of Linguistics, University of Iceland.
  8. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  9. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  10. 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.
  11. ÓTOdd 1932 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1932. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar af Oddr Snorrason munk. Copenhagen: Gad.
  12. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  13. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  14. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  15. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  16. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  17. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  18. Fsk 1847 = Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1847. Fagrskinna. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  19. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  20. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  21. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  22. 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.
  23. See, Klaus von. 1977a. ‘Polemische Zitate in der Skaldendichtung. Hallfrøðr vandræðaskáld und Haldórr ókristni’. skandinavistik 7, 115-19. Rpt. in von See 1981a, 384-8.
  24. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  25. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  26. Internal references
  27. 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].
  28. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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. clix-clxi.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa 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. 1049.
  32. Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr’ 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. 469.
  33. Kate Heslop 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Skúli Þorsteinsson, Poem about Svǫlðr’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 360.
  34. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 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. 249.
  35. Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr þambarskelfir Eindriðason, Couplet’ 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. 452.
  36. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Oddr Snorrason, Lausavísa’ 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. 891.
  37. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 15’ 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. 913.
  38. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 7’ 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. 482.
  39. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 448.
  40. Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 8’ 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. 500.
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