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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 15III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 15’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1119.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

þeim, es grundar grímu
gjaldseiðs ok vas faldinn,
— drótt man enn þann* — átti
áðr hans faðir ráða.
Gunnhættir kná grýttu
— gramr býr of þrek — stýra
— stórt ræðr hann, en hjarta
hvetr — buðlunga setri.

þeim, es faðir hans átti ráða áðr ok vas faldinn grímu {gjaldseiðs grundar}; drótt man þann* enn. {Gunnhættir} kná stýra {grýttu setri buðlunga}; gramr býr of þrek; hann ræðr stórt, en hjarta hvetr.
‘that one [kingdom] which his father ruled earlier, and was clad in the helmet of the compensation-pollack of the field [SERPENT = Fáfnir]; people remember that one still. The battle-darer [WARRIOR] governs the rocky seat of sovereigns [= Norway]; the lord is imbued with endurance; he rules mightily and his heart urges [him] on.

notes and context

The stanza illustrates the syntactic variation tiltekit ‘linked’ (see st. 39) or afleiðingum ‘with antecedents’, in which the first helmingr is linked syntactically to the last helmingr of the preceding stanza (st. 14 above). The first word in st. 15, þeim ‘that one’, has as its antecedent the last word in st. 14 (konungdómi ‘kingdom’) (see SnE 2007, 52-3). In TGT the last two lines (ll. 7-8) are given in conjunction with st. 16/1 below to illustrate anadiplosis ‘reduplication’ or ‘linkage of the end of one stanza to the beginning of another’ (ON drǫgur ‘drawings’; see st. 16).

The couplet is attributed to Snorri in both mss of TGT. — The heading is afleiðingum ‘with antecedents’ (U(47r)), but tiltekit ‘linked’ has been added in R (R*). This syntactic variant is otherwise attested only in ESk Geisl 1-2VII (see SnE 2007, 79). — [3]: The line is unmetrical because the syntactic break ought to fall after enn ‘still’ in position 3 and not after position 4. Þann ‘that one’ is unstressed, and it is curious that, in all mss, the word is rendered as a dem. with a cliticised rel. particle (and hence with the syntactic break after enn). It is impossible, however, to obtain a syntactically meaningful reading with a rel. in that position. Skj B emends to þat ‘that’ (‘people still remember that’).



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: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 15: AII, 56, BII, 65, Skald II, 37, NN §§1296, 2570, 3260B; SnE 1848-87, I, 620-1, II, 370, 380, III, 114, SnE 1879-81, I, 3, 75, II, 9, SnE 1931, 222, SnE 2007, 11; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 10-11; SnE 1848-87, II, 146-7, 418, TGT 1884, 24, 94, 206-7, TGT 1927, 68, 102-3.


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