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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjþ Lv 12VIII (HjǪ 34)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 34 (Hjálmþér Ingason, Lausavísur 12)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 525.

Hjálmþér IngasonLausavísur

Hörðr hann heitir,         hefir fátt prýði,
velr um vápn sjaldan,         vill ei skart þiggja,
öldungis einninn         ekki hræðiz,
maðr mjök snarligr;         met ek hann mikils.

Hann heitir Hörðr, hefir fátt prýði, velr sjaldan um vápn, vill ei þiggja skart, öldungis einninn hræðiz ekki, maðr mjök snarligr; ek met hann mikils.

He is called Hǫrðr, has little gallantry, seldom chooses weapons, will not accept finery, likewise absolutely shows no fear, a man most keen; I value him greatly.

Mss: 109a IIIˣ(273v-274r), papp6ˣ(53v), ÍBR5ˣ(95) (HjǪ)

Readings: [3] sjaldan: so papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, ‘sk sjaldan’ 109a IIIˣ    [5] öldungis: ‘old[…]’ 109a IIIˣ, öldunga papp6ˣ, aldregi ÍBR5ˣ    [6] ekki: ekki hann ÍBR5ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 339, Skj BII, 360-1, Skald II, 195, NN §2619; HjǪ 1720, 50, FSN 3, 494, FSGJ 4, 219, HjǪ 1970, 41, 95, 157.

Context: Hjálmþér introduces Hǫrðr to the court with this stanza.

Notes: [4] ei ‘not’: The reading of all mss. Skj B, Skald and FSGJ change to eigi ‘not’, but this makes the line unmetrical. — [5] öldungis ‘absolutely’: The reading of 109a IIIˣ is now unclear; Skj A records it as ‘olldvge’. Both Skj B and Skald change to the older form ǫllungis, but the later form is retained here and by FSN and FSGJ.  — [5] einninn ‘likewise’: A late form of einnig (< einn veg). Both Skj B and Skald restore the older form. — [7-8]: In order to avoid double alliteration here, Skj B changes the word order of l. 8 to mikils met ek hann, while Kock inverts the order of the two lines 7-8, treating met ek hann mikils ‘I value him greatly’ as an intercalary clause. Neither operation is necessary, as l. 7 is fornyrðislag with alliteration in metrical positions 1 and 2, while l. 8 is málaháttr, in which the two syllables of mikils carry secondary stress and no stress respectively.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. FSN = Rafn, Carl Christian, ed. 1829-30. Fornaldar sögur nordrlanda. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  8. 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.
  9. HjǪ 1970 = Harris, Richard L., ed. 1970. ‘Hjálmþérs saga: A Scientific Edition’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Iowa.

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