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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 99III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 99’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1207.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Þeir ’ró jǫfrar         alvitrastir,
hringum hæztir,         hugrakkastir,
vellum verstir,         vígdjarfastir,
hirð hollastir,         happi næstir.

Þeir jǫfrar ’ró alvitrastir, hæztir hringum, hugrakkastir, verstir vellum, vígdjarfastir, hollastir hirð, næstir happi.
‘Those princes are the very wisest, the most dangerous to rings, the most courageous of heart, the worst to gold, the most battle-brave, the most loyal to the retinue, the closest to good fortune.

notes and context

The stanza is given directly after st. 98 above without intervening prose and there is no heading. The metre is fornyrðislag (see Ht 96) with approximate end-rhymes extending through ll. 2-8. The odd lines (with the exception of l. 1, which is Type A3) have two alliterating staves (Type A1), and the even lines have alliteration in position 1 (Types D1 (ll. 2, 4, 6) and A2 (l. 8)).

In terms of the placement of alliterating staves, this stanza corresponds to the sample stanza (StarkSt Frag) given in TGT (TGT 1884, 68) as an example of bálkarlag.


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 99: AII, 76-7, BII, 87, Skald II, 48, NN §2574; SnE 1848-87, I, 714-15, III, 134, SnE 1879-81, I, 16, 85, II, 34, SnE 1931, 251, SnE 2007, 38-9; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 66-7.


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