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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 63III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 63’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1175.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Stála kendi støkkvilundum
styrjar valdi rauðu falda;
— rekkar stýrðu rétt til jarðar
roðnu barði — austan fjarðar.
Oddum rendi eljunstrandir
ýta ferðar hringa skerðir;
hilmir stœrði hvǫssu sverði
heila grundar meginundir.

{Valdi styrjar} kendi {støkkvilundum stála} falda rauðu austan fjarðar; rekkar stýrðu roðnu barði rétt til jarðar. {Skerðir hringa} rendi {eljunstrandir} ferðar ýta oddum; hilmir stœrði meginundir {grundar heila} hvǫssu sverði.
‘The ruler of battle [WARRIOR = Skúli] taught impelling trees of swords [WARRIORS] to hood themselves in red east of the fjord; warriors steered the reddened prow straight to the shore. The notcher of rings [GENEROUS MAN] ran the energy-shores [CHESTS] of the troop of men through with sword-points; the leader increased mighty wounds of the ground of the brain [HEAD] with the sharp sword.

notes and context

This hrynhent variant is called trollsháttr ‘troll’s verse-form’. In all lines, the first internal rhyme falls in position 3, which causes a trochaic rhythm (see draugsháttr ‘ghost’s verse-form’, st. 30 above). The stanza is cited in Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar (Hák) to document events that took place in 1221, when Skúli fought a battle against one of the Ribbung chieftains, Gunnarr Ásuson, in Bohuslän (now Sweden), east of Oslofjorden. Gunnarr and ninety of his men fell in that battle.

In Hák the stanza is attributed to Snorri Sturluson (81a has ‘Sverri Sturluson’), and in 81a, 8 and Flat it is assigned to Ht. — For this metre, see also RvHbreiðm Hl 73-4.



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 63: AII, 69, BII, 78, Skald II, 43, NN §1320; SnE 1848-87, I, 676-9, III, 127, SnE 1879-81, I, 11, 81, II, 24, SnE 1931, 242, SnE 2007, 27; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 39-40; E 1916, 509, F 1871, 427, Hák 1910-86, 364, Hák 1977-82, 45, Flat 1860-8, III, 46.


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