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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson (Hfr)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

1. Óláfsdrápa (Óldr) - 14

Skj info: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld, Islandsk skjald, død ved 1007. (AI, 155-73, BI, 147-63).

Skj poems:
1. Hákonardrápa
2. Óláfsdrápa
3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa
4. Eiríksdrápa
5. Lausavísur

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ‘Troublesome-poet’ Óttarsson (Hfr) was brought up in Vatnsdalur, northern Iceland, probably in the 960s. He is the subject of Hallfreðar saga (Hallfr), which survives both as a continuous text (ÍF 8, 133-200) and interpolated into ÓT. The main strands of the saga are Hallfreðr’s unhappy relationship with Kolfinna Ávaldadóttir, his travels as trader, fighter and poet, his conversion to Christianity and his devotion to Óláfr Tryggvason, and all these aspects of his life occasioned poetry which partially survives.

Fragments of an early drápa for Hákon jarl Sigurðarson (r. c. 970-c. 995) are extant (Hfr HákdrIII; ÍF 8, 151), but the greater part of Hallfreðr’s court poetry, and the poetry edited in this volume, concerns King Óláfr Tryggvason (c. 995-c. 1000): Óláfsdrápa (Hfr Óldr) and Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar (Hfr ErfÓl). Like other Icelanders, Hallfreðr accepted Christian baptism under the influence of Óláfr. The difficulty, for a poet and pagan, of this switch of religious allegiance is the theme of Hfr Lv 6-10V, and is, according to the sagas, alluded to in his nickname vandræðaskáld, lit. ‘Poet of difficulties’. The sagas agree that the name was bestowed by the king, though they differ about the precise reason (ÓTOdd 1932, 125-6; Hkr, ÍF 26, 331-2; Hallfr, ÍF 8, 155; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 387). Hallfreðr is attributed with a lost Uppreistardrápa ‘Restoration drápa’ (?), supposedly composed to atone for his journey into pagan Gautland (Västergötland, ÍF 8, 178). He is also credited in Hallfr (ÍF 8, 194-5) with an encounter with Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (r. c. 1000-c. 1014) and in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 257, 266, 280) with poetry for him; this is vestigially preserved in Eiríksdrápa (Hfr EirdrV). The saga also shows Hallfreðr presenting a flokkr to the Danish jarl Sigvaldi (ÍF 8, 168) and a poem to the Swedish king Óláfr Eiríksson (ÍF 8, 177-8), but no traces of these survive.

The marriage of Kolfinna, the love of Hallfreðr’s youth, to Gríss Sæmingsson provoked Hallfreðr both early and later in life to compose strikingly inventive stanzas which intertwine themes of yearning love and rivalry (Hfr Lv 1-3, 15-24V), and his níð against Gríss led to legal proceedings and indirectly to the killing of Hallfreðr’s brother Galti (Ldn, ÍF 1, 224; ÍF 8, 189-90). In the course of an adventure in Västergötland (Hfr Lv 12-14V), Hallfreðr met and married Ingibjǫrg Þórisdóttir, who died young, but not before bearing two sons, Auðgísl and Hallfreðr. According to Hallfr (ÍF 8, 196-9), Hallfreðr himself died at the age of nearly forty, from a combination of illness and injury as he sailed through the Hebrides; he was buried on Iona (cf. Hfr Lv 26-7V).

files
file 2002-03-21 - York Hfr paper notes
file 2002-03-27 - York Hfr paper draft

Óláfsdrápa (‘Drápa about Óláfr’) — Hfr ÓldrI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa’ 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. 387.

 1   2   3   4   5   6 

for reference only:  1x   1y   2x   2y   4x   4y   8z   9z 

Skj: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld: 2. Óláfsdrápa, 996 (AI, 156-9, BI, 148-50); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 2, 7 | 3 | 3, 4/1-4 | 4/1-4 | 4/5-8, 5 | 4/5-8 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8/1-4, 9/5-8 | 8/5-8, 9/1-4

SkP info: I, 398

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Hfr Óldr 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 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. 398.

Gerði seims (með sverði)
sverðleik í Mǫn skerðir
(eyddi ulfa greddir
ógnblíðr Skotum víða).
Ýdrógar lét œgir
eyverskan her deyja
— Týr vas tjǫrva dýrra
tírargjarn — ok Íra.

 

{The diminisher of gold} [GENEROUS MAN] made {sword-sport} [BATTLE] in Man; {the battle-glad feeder of wolves} [WARRIOR] destroyed the Scots widely with the sword. {The terrifier of the bow-string} [WARRIOR] caused the army from the Isles and the Irish to die; {the Týr of precious spears} [WARRIOR] was eager for glory.

context: see Introduction.

notes: The pairing of helmingar here follows Fsk and 310. In Hkr and ÓT, st. 5/1-4 (beginning Gerðisk) + st. 6/7-8 (Eyddi), 5-6 (Gerði) form a stanza, and st. 6/1-4 (Ýdrógar) + st. 5/5-8 (Barði) form a stanza. Thus the two couplets of ll. 1-4 (Gerði; Eyddi) are in reverse order in Hkr and ÓT. Although it remains uncertain which arrangement of the poem is the more original, the evidence tends to favour Fsk and 310 (see Introduction).

editions: Skj Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld: 2. Óláfsdrápa 8/5-8, 9/1-4 (AI, 158-9; BI, 150); Skald I, 81-2; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 308 (ÓT ch. 30), IV, 85-6, ÍF 26, 265, Hkr 1991, 177-8 (ÓTHkr ch. 30), F 1871, 114; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 160-1 (ch. 77); ÓTOdd 1932, 248; Fsk 1902-3, 111 (ch. 21), ÍF 29, 144 (ch. 23).

sources

AM 35 folx (Kx) 150v, 3 - 150v, 10 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
Holm papp 18 folx (papp18x) 39v, 4 - 39v, 5 (Hkr)  image  
AM 39 fol (39) 6ra, 36 - 6rb, 1 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 25ra, 20 - 25ra, 24 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 89r, 12 - 89r, 15 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 17ra, 1 - 17ra, 4 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 15rb, 11 - 15rb, 14 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 12rb, 6 - 12rb, 9 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 22va, 20 - 22va, 24 (ÓT)  image  
AM 62 fol (62) 9va, 30 - 9va, 31 [1-4] (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 16ra, 54 - 16ra, 55 [1-4] (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 33v, 3 - 33v, 10 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 121, 10 - 121, 17 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 310 4° (310) 98, 18 - 98, 20 (ÓTOdd)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 44v, 7 - 44v, 11 (Fsk)  
AM 51 folx (51x) 30r, 3 - 30r, 10 (Fsk)  image  
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