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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 51III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 51’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1058.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Ák frá Eireks mildi
elds brjótǫndum hranna,
þess’s hét inn sigrsæli,
segja einkar gegnum,
þvít gollskati gagni
— gram þann lofa ýtar —
réð, sás ríkstr vas heitinn,
í randa gný hverjum.

Ák segja {einkar gegnum brjótǫndum {elds hranna}} frá mildi Eireks, þess’s hét inn sigrsæli, þvít gollskati, sás vas heitinn ríkstr, réð gagni í {hverjum gný randa}; ýtar lofa þann gram.
‘I must tell very reliable breakers of the fire of the waves [GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] about the generosity of Eiríkr, who was named the Victorious, because the munificent man, who was called the mightiest, had victory in every clamour of shield-rims [BATTLE]; people praise that prince.

notes and context

The heading is háttlaus (‘Hattlavs’) ‘formless’ (cf. SnSt Ht 67, háttlausa). The metre is a variant of dróttkvætt without internal rhyme and with licensed anacrusis in even lines (here Type B in l. 8).

This metre is quite common in more informal skaldic verse. — Eiríkr is the Swedish king Eiríkr inn sigrsæli ‘the Victorious’ Bjarnarson (d. c. 995). He was the uncle of Styrbjǫrn inn sterki ‘the Strong’ Óláfsson (sts 57-8), his adversary at the battle of Fýrisvellir (see Introduction to Anon (Styrb) 1-3I; ÍF 26, 130, 215, 229, 287; ÍF 35, 95, 97, 328; Saxo 2005, I, 10, 2, 1-3, pp. 626-9, 10, 10, 1-2, pp. 644-5, 10, 11, 1, pp. 644-7). — [4]: The words segja ‘say’ and gegnum ‘reliable’ do not appear to have rhymed (see NN §2077 and the discussion in Hl 1941), which means that the -g- in segja must have been palatised (see also ANG §263).



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 26a: AI, 522, BI, 499-500, Skald I, 245, NN §2077; Hl 1941, 27, 75.


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