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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 44III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 44’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1052.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

Hl*ǫðr réð hann at kveðja
hauðrs benloga rauðum,
þvít margkostigr mesta
mildingr of vann hildi,
ef hann vildi, en ek veit, at hann vildi.
Trauðr vas lundr af lǫndum
linns fyr þeim at sinna
— svipr varð at þat sverða —
sára polls ok golli,
ef þat olli, sem ek veit, at þat olli.

Hl*ǫðr réð at kveðja hann hauðrs {rauðum benloga}, þvít margkostigr mildingr of vann mesta hildi, ef hann vildi, en ek veit, at hann vildi. {Lundr {linns {polls sára}}} vas trauðr at sinna af lǫndum ok golli fyr þeim – {svipr sverða} varð at þat –, ef þat olli, sem ek veit, at þat olli.

Hlǫðr went to claim the land from him [Angatýr] {with the red wound-flame} [SWORD], because the very splendid generous one waged the greatest war if he wanted, and I know that he wanted. {The tree {of the serpent {of the pool of wounds}}} [BLOOD > SWORD > WARRIOR = Angantýr] was reluctant to leave his lands and gold because of that one [Hlǫðr] – there was {a motion of swords} [BATTLE] because of that –, if that was the reason, as I know that was the reason.

Mss: papp25ˣ(35r), R683ˣ(129v-130r)

Readings: [1] Hl*ǫðr: ‘Liodur’ papp25ˣ, R683ˣ    [2] hauðrs: hauðr R683ˣ    [3] marg‑: ‘mar‑’ papp25ˣ, R683ˣ    [4] of: ok papp25ˣ, R683ˣ    [6] af: at R683ˣ    [7] fyr: ‘ferir’ papp25ˣ, R683ˣ    [8] þat: þar R683ˣ    [9] polls: ‘vollz’ papp25ˣ, R683ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 520, Skj BI, 498, Skald I, 244, NN §§2075B, C, 2541, 3396U; Hl 1941, 26, 71-2.

Context: As st. 43 above.

Notes: [All]: Hlǫðr was Angantýr’s half-brother (see st. 43). — [1-2]: The alliteration requires an initial h- on the word spelt ‘Liodur’ in the mss, and Skj B and Skald render that word as hljóðr (m. nom. sg.) ‘silent’. Because both eds follow R683ˣ, they adopt the reading hauðr (m. acc. sg.) ‘land’ (l. 2) and take it as the object of the verb kveðja (l. 1) which they translate as ‘say farewell to’ (Skj B: sagde … farvel til) or ‘address’ (LP: 2. kveðja 2: tiltale; so also NN §2075B). However, kveðja with acc. and gen. means ‘claim sth. (gen.) from sby (acc.)’ (see Hl 1941). Moreover, the construction has a direct correspondence in Hlǫðskviða 2/1, 6 (Anon (Heiðr) 8/1, 6VIII (Heiðr 89)), as well as in the accompanying prose (NK 302): Hlǫðr reið austanarfs at qveðia ‘Hlǫðr rode from the east … to claim the inheritance’; Nú vilia þeir Humli konungr oc Hlǫðr, at hann fari at krefia arfs Angantý bróður sinn ‘Now King Humli and Hlǫðr wanted him to go to claim the inheritance from his brother Angantýr’. — [3] margkostigr ‘the very splendid’: The ms. spelling of the first element of this cpd (‘mar-’) is probably dialectal rather than scribal (loss of g before k; see Hl 1941, 113). — [4] of vann ‘waged’: Of is the expletive particle (so most earlier eds). Ok ‘and’ (so both mss) is apparently a misreading of a word Rugman did not understand. Holtsmark (Hl 1941, 72) attempts to retain the ms. reading: því at margkostigr var mesti | mildingr ok vann hildi ‘because the very splendid one was the greatest generous man and waged war’. That rendering is syntactically implausible (see Jón Helgason, ibid.) and metrically incorrect (var ‘was’ cannot occur in this position in a Type C-line). — [7] fyr ‘because of’: The mss’ ‘ferir’ (for firir (?) ‘because of, for’) has been emended to fyr ‘because of’ in keeping with earlier eds. — [9] polls ‘of the pool’: Rugman again confused <p> with insular <v> (hence ‘vollz’). See sts 18/6 and 56/1.


  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. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. Hl 1941 = Jón Helgason and Anne Holtsmark, eds. 1941. Háttalykill enn forni. BA 1. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (HumliVIII)
  10. Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 89 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 8)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 459.

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