Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Arn Hardr 16II/6 — ætt ‘of men’

Haraldr vissi sik hverjum
harðgeðr und Miðgarði
— dǫglingr réð til dauða
dýrð slíkri — gram ríkra.
Hefr afreka in* øfra
(ættstýrǫndum dýrri
hnígrat hilmir frægri)
heilǫg fold (til moldar).

Harðgeðr Haraldr vissi sik ríkra hverjum gram und Miðgarði; dǫglingr réð slíkri dýrð til dauða. Heilǫg fold in* øfra hefr afreka; frægri hilmir, dýrri ættstýrǫndum hnígrat til moldar.

Harsh-minded Haraldr knew himself mightier than any lord under Miðgarðr; the monarch commanded such glory till death. The holy land on high [lit. the holy, higher land] has the hero; no prince more renowned, more precious than that ruler of men, will sink to the soil.


[6] ætt‑: átt‑ H, Hr


[6] ættstýrǫndum ‘ruler of men’: Lit. ‘rulers of generations’ or ‘rulers among their kin’. This dat. pl. form is difficult to place in the syntax of the helmingr, but since it could make no sense with the first cl. it must belong with the second, dýrri, frægri hilmir hnígrat til moldar ‘(no) prince more precious, more renowned, will sink to the soil’. (a) It is taken here to be a grammatical pl. used for sg., cf. Arn Hryn 19/1 and Note. In the present context the pl. form affords no metrical advantage, so the motivation may be Arnórr’s desire to flatter. Ættstýrǫndum, interpreted thus, fits very well as a dat. of comparison referring to Haraldr in the sentence ‘no prince more precious, more renowned than that ruler of men’. (b) Ættstýrǫndum could alternatively be construed, as by Kock, as a loosely used dat. meaning ‘among rulers of men’ (NN §842). There is no trace of such a usage among Nygaard’s entries for the dat. case (NS §§100-20), but since the use of the dat. is more flexible in skaldic verse than in prose, this interpretation may be considered possible.



Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Word in text

This view shows information about an instance of a word in a text.