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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 6I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 6’ 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. 481.

Halldórr ókristniEiríksflokkr

text and translation

Hét á heiptarnýta
hugreifr — með Ôleifi
aptr stǫkk þjóð of þoptur —
þengill sína drengi,
þás hafvita hǫfðu
hallands of gram snjallan
— varð fyr Vinða myrði
vápneiðr — lokit skeiðum.

Hugreifr þengill hét á heiptarnýta drengi sína — þjóð stǫkk aptr of þoptur með Ôleifi —, þás hǫfðu lokit skeiðum {hallands {hafvita}} of snjallan gram; {vápneiðr} varð fyr {myrði Vinða}.
‘The glad-hearted ruler [Eiríkr] called on his battle-worthy warriors — men sprang aft across the rowing-benches with Óláfr —, when they had enclosed the warships of the diminisher of the ocean-beacon [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr] around the valiant lord [Óláfr]; a weapon-oath [BATTLE] took place before the murderer of Wends [= Eiríkr].

notes and context

According to Hkr and ÓT, so many men have fallen on board Ormr inn langi that the ship is almost empty, and Eiríkr jarl’s men begin to board it. The remaining defenders retreat towards the stern of the ship where Óláfr is standing. The stanza is cited for its description of Eiríkr urging his men on. The narrative is briefer in Fsk and ÓTOdd: Óláfr’s men have retreated to the raised after-deck (lypting) of the ship, and Eiríkr’s men board and attack Óláfr from all sides.

[2]: The line recalls Hfr ErfÓl 27/2 hugreifum Ôleifi. — [7]: This line recalls both Eskál Vell 23/1 Varð fyr Vinða myrði and Hfr ErfÓl 7/1 varð of Vinða myrði. As in the latter poem, it is not quite clear whether myrði Vinða ‘the murderer of Wends’ refers to Óláfr or Eiríkr (see Note to Hfr ErfÓl 7/1). Von See (1977a, 116) argues that Halldórr could well have used the kenning consciously to eulogise Eiríkr by comparing him to his father Hákon (see Introduction above), and that interpretation has been adopted in the present edn.



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: Haldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 6: AI, 204, BI, 194, Skald I, 102, NN §§687 anm., 1975, 1976; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 451-2, IV, 100, ÍF 26, 365 (ÓTHkr ch. 110), F 1871, 165; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 283-4 (ch. 255); Fsk 1902-3, 129-30 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 158 (ch. 24); ÓTOdd 1932, 228-9, ÍF 25, 344.


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