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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 67III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 67’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1076.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Sveinn framði gný grimman
— guðr heitir svá — peitu;
hagl brast skóðs á Skǫglar
— skjǫld nefnik svá — tjaldi.
Sóknbjartar skar snyrtir
— sverð nefnik svá — ferðir;
hringr brá horskra drengja
— hjǫr nefnik svá — fjǫrvi.

Sveinn framði {grimman gný peitu}; guðr heitir svá; {hagl skóðs} brast á {tjaldi Skǫglar}; svá nefnik skjǫld. Snyrtir – svá nefnik sverð – skar sóknbjartar ferðir; hringr – svá nefnik hjǫr – brá fjǫrvi horskra drengja.
‘Sveinn performed a grim clamour of the spear [BATTLE]; battle is called thus; hail of the weapon [ARROWS] crashed against the tent of Skǫgul <valkyrie> [SHIELD]; thus I name the shield. The polished one – thus I name the sword – cut battle-cheerful companies; the ringed one – thus I name the sword – ended the life of wise warriors.

notes and context

The heading is tilsegjandi (‘Til sægiande’) ‘annotating’ (cf. SnSt Ht 25 tilsagt ‘annotated’). It is a dróttkvætt variant characterised by parenthetic clauses in positions 1-4 in the even lines (st. 68/8 is an exception).

Although parenthetic clauses are a staple of dróttkvætt poetry, the particular systematised use of such annotations is found only here and in Ht. The annotations are interesting with their explicit self-reflective comments on the use of skaldic diction. — Sveinn is Sveinn tjúguskegg ‘Fork-beard’ Haraldsson, king of Denmark and England (d. 1014). See ÍF 35, 96-8. It is interesting that Sveinn is considered king of Norway after the death of Haraldr gráfeldr (d. c. 970). The effective ruler of Norway was Hákon, jarl of Lade (d. 995; see Anon Nkt 17-18II and his Biography in SkP I).



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 34a: AI, 525, BI, 504, Skald I, 247; Hl 1941, 30, 87-8.


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