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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 34I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 34’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 937.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
333435

Hermart hví kveðum ortu
hugdyggs of son Tryggva
handbáls hnykkilunda
hreins ok flokka eina?
Hallfreðr Hǫrða stilli
hríðǫflgum vann smíðat
hjǫrgráps hugða drôpu
hróðrargjarn ok Bjarni.

Hví kveðum {hnykkilunda {hreins handbáls}} ortu hermart of {son hugdyggs Tryggva} ok eina flokka? Hróðrargjarn Hallfreðr vann smíðat hríðǫflgum {hjǫrgráps} {stilli Hǫrða} hugða drôpu, ok Bjarni.

Why do we say that {moving trees {of the pure hand-fire}} [GOLD > MEN] composed a great deal about {the son of the mind-brave Tryggvi} [= Óláfr] and only flokkar? Praise-eager Hallfreðr forged an agreeable drápa {for the ruler of the Hǫrðar} [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr], powerful in the onslaught {of the sword-hail} [BATTLE], and [so did] Bjarni.

Mss: Bb(112va)

Readings: [2] hugdyggs: ‘hygdvgs’ Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 552, Skj BI, 533-4, Skald I, 259; SHI 3, 266-7, CPB II, 300, Wisén 1886-9, I, 50, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 285-7.

Notes: [1] hví kveðum ‘why do we say’: A rhetorical question, rare in skaldic poetry, which made Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) emend this passage, but that is unnecessary. — [5-8]: We are informed here and in st. 35/2 that Rst is the third drápa about Óláfr Tryggvason, and the skald claims his predecessors to be Hallfreðr and Bjarni. The former is Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ‘Troublesome-poet’ Óttarsson (Hfr), Óláfr’s own skald, who is believed to have produced two drápur about Óláfr (Hfr Óldr and Hfr ErfÓl; see Introductions to these). Bjarni’s identity is unknown, though a ‘Bjarni skáld’ is listed as a poet of Óláfr Tryggvason in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261; the U text specifies ‘biarni gvllbra S’, i.e. Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson (BjHall), presumably in error). — [6, 7] hríðǫflgum hjǫrgráps ‘powerful in the onslaught of the sword-hail [BATTLE]’: Lit. ‘onslaught-powerful of the sword-hail’. Hríð ‘storm, onslaught’ apparently contributes to the description of Óláfr’s fierceness in battle, yet although it is very often used in battle-kennings, it is not an element in the kenning hjǫrgráps ‘sword-hail [BATTLE]’, as gráp ‘hail, hail-shower’ is already a sufficient base-word. Since hríð can refer to a particular phase or onslaught in a battle it may have that sense here; see Note to st. 17/7 and LP: hríð 2.  — [7] hugða ‘agreeable’: This appears to be the adj. hugaðr ‘dear, agreeable, pleasant’ (LP: hugaðr 2). It is difficult to separate this word from hugaðr as p. p. of hyggja ‘to think’, which could give ‘(well) conceived, thoughtful’ here, but since the verb normally refers to belief and opinion rather than thinking as a creative act, the adj. seems more likely; cf. a similar context in Bjbp Jóms 1/3. — [8] hróðrargjarn ‘praise-eager’: The cpd can either mean that Hallfreðr is eager to be praised or that he is eager to praise, since hróðr can refer both to praise or renown and to praise poetry; cf. LP: hróðr. Syntactically, it may also be taken with Bjarni, and it can be construed either as a cpd or as a two-word phrase.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  6. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  7. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  8. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  9. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  10. Internal references
  11. Alison Finlay 2012, ‘(Biography of) Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 876.
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 383.
  13. Rolf Stavnem 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 893.
  14. Kate Heslop 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 400.
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 387.
  16. Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 959.
  17. Not published: do not cite ()
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