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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 24III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 24’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1032.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Hildi vakði … ;
hildar vas sá gramr mildr,
þvít hildi …
hildfrœkn vildi.
Hjalmar kenndu hjalms vǫnd;
hjalm beit snarpr malmr,
en hjalmr hjalms …
hjalmr framði.

… vakði hildi; sá gramr vas mildr hildar, þvít … hildfrœkn vildi hildi. Hjalmar kenndu {vǫnd hjalms}; snarpr malmr beit hjalm, en hjalmr hjalms … hjalmr framði.
‘… stirred up battle; that hero was generous with battle, because … the battle-brave wanted battle. Helmets felt the rod of the helmet [SWORD]; the sharp sword bit the helmet, and the helmet helmet’s … the helmet advanced.

notes and context

As st. 23 above. In this stanza, l. 2 is structured as hálfhnept, l. 4 is hnugghent ‘deprived-rhymed’ (SnSt Ht 76) with aðalhending rather than skothending, and l. 6 is alhnept ‘completely curtailed’ (Ht 78) with the first hending in position 1 rather than in position 2. Line 5 is irregular (hálfhnept) because the second internal rhyme falls on the penultimate rather than on the ultimate syllable.

[1]: The missing word(s) in this line must have contained the subject of the verb vakði ‘stirred up’. Skj B supplies hildingr ‘lord’, whereas Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) conjectures her-Baldr ‘battle-Baldr’ to have the rhyme fall on the ultimate rather than on the penultimate syllable. — [3]: The line cannot be reconstructed. Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) suggests þvít hildar hyrgaldr ‘because the incantation of battle’s fire [(lit. ‘fire-incantation of battle’) SWORD > BATTLE]’ as the object of vildi ‘wanted’ (l. 4). — [6]: There is no lacuna in this line, but Skj B and Skald emend hjalm (m. acc. sg.) ‘helmet’ to hjalma (m. acc. pl.) ‘helmets’, which is unnecessary. — [7-8]: These lines are too fragmentary to be restored. There is no indication in Rugman’s transcriptions that anything is missing before or after framði ‘advanced’ in l. 8, but the line is too short, and hjalmr ‘helmet’ carries the alliteration and must stand in line-initial position.



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 12b: AI, 516-17, BI, 493, Skald I, 242, NN §2540A; Hl 1941, 34, 59-60.


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