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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Hfl 20I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 20’ 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. 766.

Óttarr svartiHǫfuðlausn
1920

Gegn, (eru þér at þegnum)
þjóðskjǫldunga góðra
haldið hæft á veldi
(Hjaltlendingar kenndir).
Engi varð á jǫrðu
ógnbráðr, áðr þér nôðum,
austr, sás eyjum vestan,
ynglingr, und sik þryngvi.

Gegn, haldið hæft á veldi góðra þjóðskjǫldunga; Hjaltlendingar eru kenndir þér at þegnum. Engi ógnbráðr ynglingr, sás þryngvi und sik eyjum vestan, varð austr á jǫrðu, áðr nôðum þér.

Trustworthy one, you hold fittingly onto the power of good kings of the people; the Shetlanders are known to you as your thanes. No battle-bold king who subjugated under himself the islands in the west arose east in the land, before we got you.

Mss: (329v-330r), Bb(160va) (Hkr); Holm2(31v), 325V(33rb-va), 75a(24rb), 325VI(19va), 73aˣ(79r), Holm4(23vb), 75c(18v), 325VII(16v), Tóm(119r) (ÓH); DG8(86r) (ÓHLeg); FskBˣ(45r-v), FskAˣ(170-171) (Fsk); 332ˣ(16), Flat(102rb) (Orkn); R(40r), Tˣ(41v), U(37v), A(15v), B(6v), 744ˣ(43v), C(9v) (SnE, ll. 5-8)

Readings: [1] eru: er at Bb, erut 73aˣ, Flat, es Tóm;    at: frá FskAˣ    [2] ‑skjǫldunga: ‘[…]’ 75c, ‘skialldungra’ DG8, skjǫld ungra FskBˣ, Flat;    góðra: góða 325V, Flat, ‘[…]’ 75c, ‘daugua’ Tóm    [3] haldið: ‘[…]’ 75c;    hæft: hept Bb, 325VI, FskBˣ, hefr 73aˣ, ‘hopt’ 332ˣ, ‘hæift’ Flat    [4] Hjalt‑: ‘hiat’ FskBˣ, FskAˣ;    ‑lendingar: ‑lendingum Flat;    kenndir: kennir Flat    [5] Engi varð á jǫrðu: ‘E[…]’ B, engi varð á jǫrðu 744ˣ;    Engi: eigi Bb, Holm2, 325VI, 325VII, Tóm, Flat;    varð: verðr 75a, 73aˣ;    á: í Tˣ    [6] ógnbráðr áðr þér: ‘[…]’ B, ógnbráðr áðr þér 744ˣ;    ‑bráðr: ‑djarfr FskAˣ;    áðr: áðr en 75a, FskAˣ;    þér: om. FskBˣ, þess 332ˣ;    nôðum: nôðuð Bb, 325V, 75a, 73aˣ, DG8, Flat, náði 332ˣ, R, Tˣ, U, náðit C    [7] austr: ‘ǫztr’ 332ˣ;    vestan: flestum 75a, 73aˣ    [8] ynglingr: unglingr Bb, ǫðlingr 325V, ynglingi 73aˣ, ‘vnlingr’ corrected from ǫðlingr A;    und: ‘vnndi’ Bb, unn 325V, við R;    sik: þik R;    þryngvi: ‘þrygir’ 325V, ‘þrygþvi’ 325VII, ‘þrœgui’ DG8, ‘þrꝍgðe’ FskBˣ, ‘þry[…]’ B, þryngvi 744ˣ, ‘þryngndi’ C

Editions: Skj AI, 295-6, Skj BI, 272, Skald I, 139; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 213, IV, 138, ÍF 27, 172-3 (ÓHHkr ch. 102); ÓH 1941, I, 254 (ch. 88), Flat 1860-8, II, 181-2; ÓHLeg 1922, 43, ÓHLeg 1982, 106-7; Fsk 1902-3, 159 (ch. 27), ÍF 29, 181 (ch. 31); Orkn 1913-16, 41, ÍF 34, 41 (ch. 19); SnE 1848-87, I, 526-7, II, 344-5, 463, 542, 609, SnE 1931, 185, SnE 1998, I, 105.

Context: In the konungasǫgur, the context is an account of the relations between Óláfr and the Orcadian Rǫgnvaldr jarl Brúsason (in c. 1022), and Óláfr’s overlordship of Orkney and Shetland more generally. In SnE, ll. 5-8 are quoted in exemplification of the king-heiti ynglingr.

Notes: [All]: Ms. 744ˣ, has been used to supply B readings where necessary; see Note to st. 5 [All]. Ms. 75c is also badly rubbed and barely legible in places. — [All]: This stanza has the widest preservation of all the stanzas from the poem. The introductory words in ÓH, Hkr and Orkn attribute it to a drápa composed by Óttarr for King Óláfr. Ms. U attributes ll. 5-8 to Arnórr. — [2] þjóðskjǫldunga ‘of kings of the people’: The cpd is a hap. leg. in ON. Its OE cognate þēodscylding also occurs only once, in Beowulf l. 1019 (Þēod-Scyldingas, Beowulf 2008, 36), where it is an alternative term for the Danes. Here the word seems to be a variant on ON þjóðkonungr, a particular favourite of Sigvatr (see LP: þjóðkonungr), which could mean ‘king of a people’ or (if þjóð is simply an intensifier) ‘mighty king’. — [4] Hjaltlendingar ‘the Shetlanders’: The earliest extant reference to Shetland or its inhabitants in ON. — [5] á jǫrðu ‘in the land’: Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 224) suggests this should be taken as an adverbial phrase meaning ‘ever’, but in his glossary (SnE 1998, II, 331) he proposes rather that á jǫrðu austr should be taken to mean ‘in Norway’; the latter seems more likely. — [6] nôðum ‘we got’: A number of mss read 3rd pers. sg. náði, presumably either with jǫrð ‘land’ as the understood subject (‘before it [the land] got you’) or as an impersonal construction (‘until you were got, until you appeared’: see SnE 1998, II, 361). There is some sense to this reading, since, according to saga accounts, Óttarr was neither Norwegian nor (as ÍF 27 notes) in Óláfr’s retinue at the time of composition of Hfl, so the use of 1st pers. pl. ‘we’ might seem presumptuous. The variant nôðuð in several mss would give áðr þér nôðuð ‘before you attained [this; the lordship]’. — [7] austr ‘east’: See Note to l. 5 above. The sense of austr here is probably ‘Norway’, in opposition to the islands in the west (vestan, l. 7). Conceivably, though, it alludes specifically to the origin of Óláfr’s dynasty in Grenland in south-east Norway. — [7] eyjum ‘the islands’: Arguably, eyjar should be capitalised here and treated as a proper name for Orkney (or Orkney and Shetland). See also Óttarr’s use of Eybúar ‘Island-dwellers’ as a term for the inhabitants of Orkney in his Lv 2/4.

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. 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.
  6. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  7. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  8. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Beowulf 2008 = Fulk, Robert D., Robert E. Bjork and John D. Niles, eds. 2008. Klaeber’s Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg. 4th rev. edn of Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, ed. Fr. Klaeber. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.
  12. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  13. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  14. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  15. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  16. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  17. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  18. Internal references
  19. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  20. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  21. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  22. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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. clxxvi-clxxix.
  23. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  24. Not published: do not cite ()
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