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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 12I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 12’ 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. 910.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
111213

Hafglóð hilmir sáði
hjaldrríkr ok gaf skjǫldu
— stétthrings stofnum veitti
stikka — vôpn ok skikkjur.
Stórráðr steinda knǫrru
stillir fekk, en ekki
hildings hœfði mildi.
Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna.

Hjaldrríkr hilmir sáði {hafglóð} ok gaf skjǫldu, vôpn ok skikkjur; veitti {stofnum {stétthrings}} stikka. Stórráðr stillir fekk steinda knǫrru, en ekki hœfði mildi hildings. Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna …

The battle-mighty prince sowed {sea-ember} [GOLD] and gave away shields, weapons and cloaks; he provided cloak-pins (?) {for the poles {of the path-sword}} [SHIELD > WARRIORS]. The ambitious ruler gave painted merchant ships, and nothing could match the generosity of the war-leader. He was the mightiest of royal men …

Mss: Bb(111vb); 61(62rb), 53(60ra), 54(56ra-b), Bb(91vb), Flat(60vb) (ÓT)

Readings: [2] hjaldr‑: hjald 53, Bb(91vb), Flat;    skjǫldu: ‘skialldir’ 61, skjaldar 53, 54, Bb(91vb)    [3] stofnum: stǫfnum 53;    veitti: so all others, vétti Bb(111vb)    [6] en: so all others, ok Bb(111vb)    [7] hœfði: so 61, 53, 54, ‘hęfi’ Bb(111vb), hafði Bb(91vb), ‘hárre’ Flat    [8] vas (‘var’): er all others;    ríkstr: so all others, ‘r[...]’ Bb(111vb);    konung‑: so 61, Bb(91vb), Flat, konungs Bb(111vb), 53, kóng‑ 54

Editions: Skj AI, 546, Skj BI, 528, Skald I, 257, NN §§2095-6; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 213 (ch. 234), Flat 1860-8, I, 456; SHI 3, 252-3, CPB II, 297, Wisén 1886-9, I, 47, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 225-30.

Context: The stanza follows a passage in which the narrator praises Óláfr’s strength, prowess and generosity.

Notes: [All]: There are verbal echoes of the late C11th Steinn ÓldrII in this stanza and more widely in Rst. The phrase steinda knǫrru ‘painted merchant ships’ (l. 5) matches Óldr 13/2II, while the rhyme hilding- : mildi (l. 7) matches Steinn Óldr 16/4II and the stef line hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’ (l. 8) echoes Óldr 16/6II hanns fremstr konungmanna ‘he is the foremost of kings/royal men’; cf. also Note to st. 9/8 above. The use of a split refrain also recalls ÓldrII, as does the use of a rhetorical question to emphasise the hero’s unmatched generosity (Rst 32/1-4 cf. Óldr 13/6-7II). — [1] sáði ‘sowed’: An allusion to the story of the legendary king Hrólfr kraki escaping from the Swedish King Aðils by tossing gold in front of his Swedish pursuers (cf. SnE 1998, I, 58-9 and Note to Þjóð Yt 16/2), an act often likened to sowing seed. — [2] skjǫldu ‘shields’: Forms an aðalhending with hjaldr- ‘battle’; see Introduction. — [3] stétthrings ‘of the path-sword [SHIELD]’: If the text is not corrupt, these kenning elements must, exceptionally, be construed in reverse order: the shield is the ground or path of the sword. See LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1 for hringr in the sense ‘sword’ and Meissner 169 for semantically similar shield-kennings. An alternative possibility suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 53LP (1860): stétt) is that hringr is ‘serpent’, whose stétt ‘path’ is gold; the elements are still in reverse order. — [4] stikka ‘cloak-pins (?)’: The meaning is uncertain, but the context suggests some valuable gift. (a) The translation here follows Kock (NN §2095), who explains stikki as a needle or pin such as is used in cloaks (skikkjur, mentioned in the same line), and supports this with MLG sticke (cf. Kluge 1957: stecken). (b) Stikki is also a specific type of poem or metre (see Introduction to Anon HarstII; Anon (Knýtl) 1/1II and Note). However, as this meaning is hardly likely here some eds suggest reference to deeds worth praising in a poem, and thus poetic material (Fms 12, 53; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Skj B, indicating doubt). — [6] fekk ‘gave’: is common in the sense ‘give, provide with’ (LP: 2. fáa 2), but it normally has an indirect object in the dat. case denoting the beneficiary. — [7] hœfði ‘could match’: Meaning that nothing was suitable, or sufficient, for the ruler’s immense generosity: he was never satisfied with his giving (cf. Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Kock, NN §2096). As Kock points out, the translations in Skj B (intet var for stort for kongens gavmildhed ‘nothing was too much for the king’s generosity’) and in LP: hœfa (kongens gavmildhed overgik alt ‘the king’s generosity exceeded everything’) miss the mark. — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see Note to st. 9/8.

References

  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. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  7. 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.
  8. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  9. 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.
  10. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  11. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  12. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  14. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  15. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  16. 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.
  17. Kluge, Friedrich. 1957. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 17th edn. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  18. Internal references
  19. Matthew Townend 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Haraldsstikki’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 807-8.
  20. 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.
  21. Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Knýtlinga saga 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 826-7.
  22. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Steinn Herdísarson, Óláfsdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 367-81.
  23. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 32’ 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. 934.
  24. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Óláfsdrápa 16’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 380-1.
  25. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 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. 94.
  26. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 16’ 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. 36.
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