Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

RvHbreiðm Hl 21III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 21’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1029.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Hvítserkr gekk at hildi
ha† …
jafnt vas hann maðr †h† …
… flug stildi.
Fylkir †hyg† …

… sem skildi.

Hvítserkr gekk at hildi †ha† … jafnt vas hann maðr †h† … stildi flug. Fylkir †hyg† … sem skildi.
‘Hvítserkr went to battle … … always he was a man … … halted the flight. The leader … … as with the shield.

notes and context

The metre is not named (Titulus deest ‘The heading is missing’), but it can be reconstructed as hexasyllabic runhent ‘end-rhymed’, and the same end-rhyme extends throughout the stanza (cf. SnSt Ht 88).

The stanza is damaged and beyond repair. The hero commemorated appears to be Hvítserkr hvati ‘the Keen’, another of Ragnarr loðbrók’s sons (see sts 11-20). Hvítserkr could, however, also be one of the warriors of the legendary king Hrólfr kraki ‘Pole-ladder’ (see st. 23 and Hrólf) although that is less likely in view of the enumeration of Ragnarr’s sons in the preceding stanzas. On Hvítserkr, see also KrákÁsl Lv 9VIII (Ragn 30). — [2]: In papp25ˣ the line reads ‘sa …’ (the reading in R683ˣ cannot be established with any certainty because of a later correction), but the metre requires alliteration on h-. Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) conjectures hann bjó ulfum gildi ‘he prepared a banquet for the wolves’. — [3]: Metrically the line is anomalous. Rugman indicates that the rhyme-word in the cadence began with h- (alliterating with hann ‘he’), in which case hildi ‘battle’ would be the only possible candidate. That reading makes no sense, however, and Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) suggests mildi ‘generous’ (alliterating with maðr ‘man’ in position 4), but that still leaves an unmetrical line, unless the pron. hann ‘he’ is extrametrical (see st. 22/7) and a syllable is missing between maðr and mildi.



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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 11a: AI, 516, BI, 492, Skald I, 241; Hl 1941, 35, 56-7.


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.


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.