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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 66III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 66’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1178.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Eyddi úthlaupsmǫnnum
ítr hertogi spjótum;
sungu stál of stillis
— stóð ylgr í val — dólgum.
Hal margan lét hǫfði
hoddgrimmr jǫfurr skemra;
svá kann rán at refsa
reiðr oddviti þjóðum.

Ítr hertogi eyddi úthlaupsmǫnnum spjótum; stál sungu of dólgum stillis; ylgr stóð í val. Hoddgrimmr jǫfurr lét margan hal hǫfði skemra; svá kann reiðr oddviti at refsa þjóðum rán.
‘The splendid army-leader destroyed robbers with spears; swords sang above the ruler’s enemies; the she-wolf stood among the fallen. The hoard-grim prince made many a man shorter by a head; thus the angry war-leader punishes people for plundering.

notes and context

This variant is called munnvǫrp ‘mouth-throwings’ (i.e. ‘improvisations’), and it is characterised by a lack of internal rhyme in the odd lines and by skothending in the even lines. In Hák, the stanza commemorates Skúli’s battles against the Ribbungar during the winter of 1221-2 (see sts 63-4 above).

This variant is quite common in more informal poetry, and it is the metre used in Bjbp JómsI. See also RvHbreiðm Hl 15-16. — In Hák the stanza is attributed to Snorri Sturluson in all mss (ms. 42ˣ has ‘St.’), but the title of the poem is not given. This is the last stanza documenting historical events that took place in 1221-2, and it is therefore valuable for establishing a date of composition for the poem.



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 66: AII, 69-70, BII, 79, Skald II, 44; SnE 1848-87, I, 680-1, III, 128, SnE 1879-81, I, 11, 82, II, 25, SnE 1931, 243, SnE 2007, 28; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 41-2; E 1916, 509, F 1871, 427, Hák 1910-86, 365, Hák 1977-82, 45-6, Flat 1860-8, III, 46.


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