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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 16III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 16’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1023.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Harðr vann ráð ok ríki;
réð hans enginn líki;
… hann gagn af gunni
gnóg dag …
… vellbrota vissu
víst skjǫldungar flestir
… Agnars bróður
án gǫrvallra beina.

Harðr vann ráð ok ríki; enginn líki hans réð … hann gagn af gunni … gnóg dag … … flestir skjǫldungar vissu víst {vellbrota} án gǫrvallra beina … {bróður Agnars}.
‘The harsh one gained control and power; none to match him ruled … he victory from the battle … abundant day … … most lords certainly knew the gold-breaker [GENEROUS MAN] without complete bones [as] … Agnarr’s brother [= Ívarr].

notes and context

As st. 15 above.

[1]: The line is one syllable too short, but Rugman does not indicate that anything is missing. Kock (NN §3115) inserts the verb vann ‘gained’ in position 2, which is plausible from a metrical and syntactic point of view, and has been adopted in the present edn. It remains conjectural. Jón Helgason suggests that an initial syllable was omitted, and he conjectures a cpd sóknharðr or ógnharðr ‘battle-hard’ (Hl 1941). That suggestion must be rejected for metrical reasons (a disyllabic cpd cannot occur before the first alliterating stave). — [1-4]: The first helmingr is distorted beyond reconstruction in Rugman’s transcriptions. — [3]: The clause is missing a verb, and Skj B and Skald supply fekk ‘got’ in position 1. Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) maintains that fá gagn af gunni ‘get victory from the battle’ is rather awkward, but that construction occurs elsewhere in poetry (see Glúmr Gráf 2/3I hann fekk gagn af gunni). — [4]: The line contains only two words, gnóg (f. nom. sg. or n. nom./acc. pl.) ‘abundant’ and dag (m. acc. sg.) ‘day’ and it cannot be reconstructed. It is possible that gnóg could have been connected with gagn (l. 3): gnóg gagn ‘abundant victories’. Kock’s suggestions (NN §§3115, 3237) are conjectural and must be dismissed. — [5]: Earlier eds (Kock, Jón Helgason) supply the pron. þann (m. acc. sg.) ‘that’ in position 1 as a qualifier to vellbrota ‘gold-breaker’. However, Type C-lines with an adjectival pron. in anacrusis are extremely rare (see Gade 1995a, 123-8), and it would also violate the word order in an independent clause. It is more likely that the word missing in anacrusis was a connective (ok, en ‘and, but’). — [7]: The missing word in position 1 (or positions 1-2 if disyllabic) must carry alliteration and have a vocalic onset. Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) suggests an adj. qualifying bróður Agnars ‘Agnarr’s brother’ (æra ‘younger’ or ítran ‘splendid’). While it is likely that the word could have been an adj., the word itself cannot be reconstructed.



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 8b: AI, 515, BI, 491, Skald I, 241, NN §§2796, 3115, 3237; Hl 1941, 35, 52-3.


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