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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 7I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 7’ 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. 411.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
678

Varð of Vinða myrði
vígský*s, en þat lýsik,
ramr und randar himni
rymr; knôttu spjǫr glymja.
Hirðir stózk við harðan
hnitvegg með fjǫl seggja
víðis veltireiðar
varghollr þrimu marga.

{Rymr {vígský*s}} varð ramr of {myrði Vinða} und {himni randar}, en lýsik þat; spjǫr knôttu glymja. {Varghollr hirðir {veltireiðar víðis}} stóðsk marga þrimu við {harðan hnitvegg} með fjǫl seggja.

{Roaring {of the war-cloud}} [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty around {the murderer of Wends} [?= Óláfr] under {the heaven of the rim} [SHIELD], and I proclaim that; spears resounded. {The wolf-gracious guardian {of the rolling wagon of the ocean}} [SHIP > SEAFARER] withstood many an onslaught by {the hard clash-wall} [SHIELD], with a multitude of men.

Mss: 54(64rb), Bb(99vb), 53(64rb), Flat(64va) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Varð of (‘Varð um’): verðum Flat    [2] víg‑: vigg 53;    ‑ský*s: ‑styrs 54, ‑styrr Bb, skýrs 53, Flat;    lýsik: ‘lusek’ Bb    [3] randar: randa 54, Bb    [4] spjǫr: spjǫrr Flat    [5] Hirðir: hirðar all;    við: vit Flat    [6] hnit‑: so 53, Flat, hinn 54, Bb;    með: so 53, Flat, en 54, Bb    [7] velti‑: so 53, Flat, ‘vællte’ 54, ‘vallte’ Bb;    ‑reiðar: ‘reydar’ 54, Bb, meiðar 53, Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 160-1, Skj BI, 151-2, Skald I, 82; SHI 2, 304, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 268-9 (ch. 250), Flat 1860-8, I, 484.

Context: Óláfr and his men have repelled the Danish attack, and now it is the turn of the Swedes.

Notes: [All]: Mss 54 and Bb attribute this stanza to Hallar-Steinn (cf. Note to st. 2 [All]), but it cannot be from the stefjabálkr ‘refain section’ of his Rekstefja ‘Poem with split refrains’ (HSt Rst), since it lacks the stef ‘refrain’ that gives that poem its name, and the subject-matter precludes it from belonging to the upphaf ‘beginning’ or slœmr ‘conclusion’ of Rst. — [1] myrði Vinða ‘the murderer of Wends [?= Óláfr]’: This kenning is ambiguous in its reference (compare Ohlmarks 1958, 446 with von See 1977a, 116). (a) ÓT’s prose suggests the referent here is Óláfr, and we do see him harrying the Wends in Hfr Óldr 1/5-8. According to ÓTOdd (ÍF 25, 312, 367) and, to a lesser degree, Fsk (ÍF 29, 147), the Wends supported Óláfr at Svǫlðr, which does not confirm a view of Óláfr as ‘the murderer of the Wends’, but the other early prose sources, Ágr and HN, speak only of Óláfr making unsuccessful attempts to raise Wendish or Slavic troops. Possibly this and similar skaldic allusions to hostility to the Wends are rather generic, referring to raiding of Slav territories on the Baltic, perhaps around the mouth of the Oder (see Morawiec 2006). (b) The kenning may denote Eiríkr jarl, since the same kenning is used of his father Hákon jarl in Eskál Vell 23/1. It also occurs in relation to Svǫlðr in Hókr Eirfl 6/7, where the referent is probably Óláfr but could be Eiríkr, and it is applied to the Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ in Anon (ÓTHkr) 1/3. However, it is unusual for Óláfr’s enemies to be the focus of the stanza; e.g. in st. 17 Eiríkr is referred to, but only in tandem with Óláfr. — [1, 3, 4] rymr vígský*s varð ramr ‘roaring of the war-cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE] became mighty’: Alternatively, the adj. ramr could be attributive, hence ‘a mighty battle came about’ (so Skj B). — [2] vígský*s ‘of the war-cloud [SHIELD]’: (a) This minor emendation provides aðalhending and a conventional kenning, and is accepted by most previous eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson retained vígstyrs in SHI 2 but preferred vígskýs in LP (1860): vígský). (b) Vígstyrs (so 54) does not give aðalhending and produces an implausibly tautologous kenning, rymr vígstyrs ‘roaring of war-battle’. — [3] randar ‘of the rim’: The variant randa ‘of the rims’ (so 54, Bb) is also possible; see Meissner 39-40. — [4] knôttu glymja ‘resounded’: The verb knôttu (inf. kná) can have the full sense ‘were able’, but here appears to be merely an auxiliary. — [5] hirðir ‘guardian’: Corruption in all mss of an original hirðir (m. nom. sg.) to hirðar (nom. pl. of hirðir m., or gen. sg. of hirð f. ‘household troop’) is puzzling, but as the helmingr stands in the mss the sg. verb stózk við ‘withstood’ lacks a sg. subject and the adj. varghollr (m. nom. sg.) ‘wolf-gracious’ a noun. The emendation seems to have been first proposed by Guðbrandur Vigfússon and Möbius (1860, 208), and it is adopted by all subsequent eds (Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s attempt to retain hirðar in SHI 2 is unconvincing and he retreats from it in LP (1860): hirðir). A nom. subject must otherwise be sought (unconventionally) in the previous helmingr, or varghollr taken as a substantive. But further syntactical problems follow in the train of both these solutions (cf. SHI), and the emendation seems unavoidable. — [6] fjǫl ‘a multitude’: This n. form (LP: 2. fjǫl), rather than the synonymous long-stemmed fjǫlð f. (‘fiold’) which appears in the mss, is required to avoid breach of Craigie’s Law (on which, see Gade 1995a, 29-30). Its adoption constitutes a normalisation on metrical grounds rather than an emendation; for a further instance see Eskál Vell 19/2. — [7] veltireiðar ‘of the rolling wagon’: Reiðar ‘of the wagon’ seems to underlie the ms. readings ‘reydar’ and meiðar. Veltimeiðar ‘of the rolling tree’ in 53 and Flat is possible, as words meaning ‘tree’ are common as base-words of ship-kennings, but the verbal epithet velti- ‘rolling’ makes more sense with reið ‘wagon’ than with meið- ‘tree’. This is especially so in light of the tendency for such epithets to reinforce the literal sense of the base-word, rather than correcting it as the determinant does (see the examples in Meissner 56-8).

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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  8. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1995a. The Structure of Old Norse dróttkvætt Poetry. Islandica 49. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  9. 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.
  10. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  11. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  12. Morawiec, Jakub. 2006. ‘Vinða myrðir, Vinðum háttr: Viking Raids on the Territory of the Slavs in the Light of Skaldic Poetry’. In McKinnell et al. 2006, II, 707-17.
  13. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  14. 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.
  15. Möbius, Theodor. 1860. Edda Sæmundar hins fróða. Mit einem Anhang bisher ungedruckter Gedichte. Leipzig: Hinrichs.
  16. See, Klaus von. 1977a. ‘Polemische Zitate in der Skaldendichtung. Hallfrøðr vandræðaskáld und Haldórr ókristni’. skandinavistik 7, 115-19. Rpt. in von See 1981a, 384-8.
  17. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  18. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  19. Internal references
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  21. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  22. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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, pp. clxxiv-clxxv.
  23. 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.
  24. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in Heimskringla 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. 1073.
  25. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 19’ 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. 306.
  26. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 23’ 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. 311.
  27. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 6’ 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. 481.
  28. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 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. 392.
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