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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 2III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1106.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Fellr of fúra stilli
fleinbraks, limu axla,
Hamðis fang, þars hringum
hylr ættstuðill skylja.
Holt felr hildigelti
heila bœs, ok deilir
gulls í gemlis stalli
gunnseið skǫrungr reiðir.

{Fang Hamðis} fellr of {stilli {fúra {fleinbraks}}}, þars {ættstuðill skylja} hylr {limu axla} hringum. Felr {holt {bœs heila}} {hildigelti}, ok {deilir gulls}, skǫrungr, reiðir {gunnseið} í {stalli gemlis}.
‘Hamðir’s <legendary hero’s> tunic [BYRNIE] falls around the ruler of the fires of spear-crash [BATTLE > SWORDS > WARRIOR] where the family-pillar of princes [RULER = Hákon] hides the limbs of the shoulders [ARMS] with rings. He covers the forest of the farmstead of the brain [HEAD > HAIR] with the battle-boar [HELMET], and the distributor of gold [GENEROUS MAN], the outstanding person, swings the battle-pollack [SWORD] in his perch of the hawk [HAND].

notes and context

The stanza illustrates the formation of kennings. In W (Orms-Eddu-brot; additions to Skm), the second helmingr is given as an example of kennings for ‘head’.

The headings are ij. kenningar ‘two, kennings’ () and kendr háttr ‘verse-form that uses kennings’ (U(47r)). — In W, the second helmingr is attributed to Snorri Sturluson.



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 2: AII, 52, BII, 61, Skald II, 36, NN §§1295, 2247C, 2544; SnE 1848-87, I, 600-1, II, 369, 374, 499, III, 111, SnE 1879-81, I, 1, 74, II, 3, SnE 1931, 215, SnE 2007, 5; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 3.


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