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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 4III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1012.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

… †arðar†
vatni blœtt
of vísa …

… †endi†
heiðar hvals
til hjarta …

… †arðar† blœtt vatni of vísa … †endi† til hjarta {hvals heiðar} …
‘… … bleeding with water above the leader … … to the heart of the whale of the heath [SERPENT] …

notes and context

As st. 3 above.

The stanza is incomplete and beyond reconstruction, yet different attempts have been made to restore it (see below). All these attempts are purely conjectural, but the reference to the serpent, apparently wounded by a sword, suggests that the hero mentioned in sts 3-4 was Sigurðr (see Note to st. 3 [All]). Sigurðr is the protagonist of the eddic Sigurðr cycle (see Gríp, Reg, Fáfn, Sigrdr, Brot, Sigsk, Guðr I-II, Helr, as well as Vǫlsunga saga and Þiðr) and the Old Norse counterpart of Sigfried of the Middle High German Nibelungenlied. For his slaying of the dragon Fáfnir, see SnE 1998, I, 45-7, Fáfn and Vǫls chs 18-20. — [1-4]: Hl 1941 suggests the following reading of ll. 1-4: [Dróttins man | dverga fj]arðar | vatni blœtt | yfir vísa [gein], i.e. man dróttins fjarðar dverga, blætt vatni, gein yfir vísa ‘the beloved of the lord of the dwarfs’ fjord [MEAD OF POETRY > = Óðinn > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)], bleeding water, yawned above the leader’. — [5-8]: Kock (NN §3113) reconstructs this helmingr as follows: [En grimt vápn | ór grams h]endi | heiðar hvals | til hjarta [stóð] ‘And the terrible weapon from the lord’s hand stood in the heart of the heath’s whale [SERPENT]’.



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 2b: AI, 513, BI, 488, Skald I, 239, NN §3113; Hl 1941, 34, 37-9.


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