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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 57III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 57’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1066.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Styrbjǫrn réð til styrjar
styrfimr meginsnimma;
hildingr gekk at hjaldri
hildarfúss und skildi.
Eggþinga skar eggjum
eggjandi fjǫr seggja;
vargfœðir rauð vargi
varghollr granar mǫrgum.

Styrfimr Styrbjǫrn réð meginsnimma til styrjar; hildingr gekk hildarfúss und skildi at hjaldri. {Eggjandi {eggþinga}} skar fjǫr seggja eggjum; {varghollr vargfœðir} rauð granar mǫrgum vargi.
‘Battle-swift Styrbjǫrn engaged in battle extremely early; the warrior went war-eager beneath the shield to war. The egger-on of edge-assemblies [BATTLES > WARRIOR] severed men’s lives with edges; the wolf-devoted wolf-feeder [WARRIOR] reddened the whiskers of many a wolf.

notes and context

The heading is iðurmælt (‘idur mælt’) ‘repeatedly spoken’ (cf. SnSt Ht 47). It is a dróttkvætt variant in which the internal rhymes from the odd lines are repeated in the even lines.

Holtsmark (Hl 1941, 131) suggests that the name of this variant could be modelled on Lat. repetitio. — Styrbjǫrn is Styrbjǫrn inn sterki ‘the Strong’ Óláfsson, the nephew of Eiríkr inn sigrsæli (see sts 51-2 above). He fell at the battle of Fýrisvellir against his uncle (see ÍF 26, 130, 215; ÍF 35, 94-5; Flat 1860-8, II, 70-3; Saxo 2005, I, 10, 2-3, pp. 626-9; Anon (Styrb) 1-3I; ÞHjalt Lv 1-2I). Originally named Bjǫrn, he gained the nickname Styr- ‘battle, uproar’, while the name Bjǫrn etymologically means ‘bear’ (cf. the rhyme-word styr- ‘battle-’ in ll. 1-2).



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 29a: AI, 522, BI, 501, Skald I, 246; Hl 1941, 28, 81.


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