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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 5III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 5’ 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

heiptbráðr taka náði
snyrtibyggð, þás seggir
… vegin …

naut illa þess stillir;
gunnar geymirunnar
gáttar … aðrir.

Heiptbráðr náði taka snyrtibyggð, þás seggir … vegin … stillir naut þess illa; {aðrir geymirunnar {gáttar gunnar}} …
‘The wrath-quick one was able to seize the splendid settlement, when the men … slain … the ruler benefited badly from that; other tending-trees of the door of battle [SHIELD > WARRIORS] …

notes and context

The metre is not named (titulus deest ‘the heading is missing’), but it is dróttkvætt ‘court metre’ and the stanza is incomplete and beyond reconstruction. Dróttkvætt is the commonest skaldic metre (see Section 4 of the General Introduction in SkP I). — This and the next stanza commemorate the deeds and death of the legendary hero Hǫgni Gjúkason (Hagen of the Nibelungenlied; see SnE 1998, I, 47-9; NK 240-63; Vǫls chs 38-9; Norn; Akv; Am). According to Norse legend, Hǫgni was the brother of Gunnarr Gjúkason, the hero eulogised in sts 7-8 below. At the instigation of their sister, Guðrún, Atli Buðlason, their brother-in-law, invited them to his home and attempted to force them to reveal the location of the Niflung treasure, which they refused to do. The brothers were captured after fierce fighting, and when they yet again refused to disclose the location of the treasure, Atli had Hǫgni’s heart cut out of his living body, and Gunnarr was thrown into a snake-pit where he eventually died (see st. 8 below). — [6]: For this line, see also ÞjóðA Sex 7/8II and Stúfr Stúfdr 3/6II.



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 3a: AI, 513, BI, 488, Skald I, 239; Hl 1941, 34, 39-40.


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