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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HervH Lv 1VIII (HjǪ 23)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 23 (Hervǫr Hundingjadóttir, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 516.

Hervǫr HundingjadóttirLausavísur

Hervör ek heiti         Hundingja dóttir;
minn föður ef röskvan         þú lítir ríku*liga,
líf þitt án dvöl         þú láta mundir,
ef þú værir         gegn döglingi.

Ek heiti Hervör, dóttir Hundingja; ef þú lítir röskvan föður minn ríku*liga, mundir þú láta líf þitt án dvöl, ef þú værir gegn döglingi.

I am called Hervǫr, daughter of Hundingi; if you look at my bold father arrogantly, you would lose your life without delay, if you were to be against the prince.

Mss: 109a IIIˣ(272v), papp6ˣ(52v), ÍBR5ˣ(94) (HjǪ)

Readings: [2] Hundingja: Hundings ÍBR5ˣ    [3] föður: so ÍBR5ˣ, faðir 109a IIIˣ, papp6ˣ    [3, 4] ef röskvan þú lítir: ef röskvan þú lítir with ef þú réðir líta written above þú lítir in another hand papp6ˣ, ef þú röskvan lítir ÍBR5ˣ    [4] ríku*liga: ‘rikugliga’ 109a IIIˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, ‘rykuglegann’ crossed out in another hand papp6ˣ    [5] líf þitt án dvöl: so with án dvöl written above the line in another hand papp6ˣ, om. 109a IIIˣ, ÍBR5ˣ    [7] værir: gengir corrected from værir in another hand papp6ˣ    [8] gegn: so papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, gengin 109a IIIˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 337, Skj BII, 358, Skald II, 193, NN §§123, 2618; HjǪ 1720, 46, FSN 3, 489, FSGJ 4, 214, HjǪ 1970, 38, 93, 194.

Context: In response to Hǫrðr’s inquiry, Hervǫr identifies herself and warns him initially about her father. 

Notes: [All]: As with the previous stanza, all mss present a corrupt text and one in which words approximating to l. 5 have been omitted, though papp6ˣ appears to have the first words of the line, líf þitt ‘your life’. Basically, all mss present the same text with minor variations, while text added to papp6ˣ has supplied previous eds with the material for emendation. — [1] Hervör ‘Hervǫr’: The name also given to the female protagonist of Heiðr. — [2] Hundingja ‘of Hundingi’: Both here and elsewhere (cf. HjǪ 28/1), ms. ÍBR5ˣ has the better-known pers. n. Hundingr, also the name of a legendary figure in the Helgi poems of the Poetic Edda, HHund I and II. Hundingr also appears as a sea-king heiti in Þul Sækonunga 3/3III. — [4]: All previous eds have replaced the line, with which all mss are in basic agreement, with that suggested by another hand in papp6ˣ, ef þú réðir líta, and have deleted the ef ‘if’ of l. 3, to give, as ll. 3-4, minn föður röskvan | ef þú réðir líta ‘if you have looked at my bold father’. This certainly produces more regular lines, but there is no assurance that they have any ms. authority. Skald (cf. NN §2618) reverses the order of words in l. 3 to rǫskvan fǫður minn, but this is unmetrical. — [4] ríku*liga ‘arrogantly’: All mss have a version of this adv., which has been deleted by most previous eds, both to accommodate papp6ˣ’s additional text and because the normal sense of the adv. ‘magnificently, forcefully’ may have seemed inappropriate. — [5]: Both 109a IIIˣ and ÍBR5ˣ have nothing corresponding to this line, while papp6ˣ has líf þitt þú láta mundir ‘you would lose your life’. This text is too short to fill two lines, so the suggested additional text of papp6ˣ án dvöl ‘without delay’ has been adopted here and treated as an emendation. — [7-8]: These lines do not alliterate. Most eds have adopted both 109a III’s genginn ‘gone’ and the gegn ‘against’ of papp6ˣ and ÍBR5ˣ to fill them out, even though the ms. paradosis suggests they are variants to the same lemma. Thus, Skj B and Skald have ef værir genginn | í gegn dǫglingi ‘if you had gone against the prince’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. FSN = Rafn, Carl Christian, ed. 1829-30. Fornaldar sögur nordrlanda. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  7. HjǪ 1720 = Peringskiöld, Johann, ed. 1720. Hialmters och Olvers saga, Handlande om trenne Konungar i Manahem eller Sverige, Inge, Hialmter, och Inge, samt Olver Jarl och om theras uthresor til Grekeland och Arabien. Stockholm: Horn.
  8. HjǪ 1970 = Harris, Richard L., ed. 1970. ‘Hjálmþérs saga: A Scientific Edition’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Iowa.
  9. Internal references
  10. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 367.
  11. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Sækonunga heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 681.
  12. Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 28 (Hjálmþér Ingason, Lausavísur 9)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 520.

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