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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga (Hbreiðm)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Judith Jesch;

Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Skj info: Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 528, BI, 508-9).

Skj poems:

Hallr (Hbreiðm), son of a certain Þórarinn breiðmagi ‘Broad-belly’, is said in Orkn to have arrived in Orkney on an Icel. ship (ÍF 34, 182). Neither father nor son is mentioned elsewhere, though it has been speculated that they were related to Ari Þorgilsson’s foster-father Hallr Þórarinsson of Haukadalur, or that they belonged to the Síðumenn, one of whom was called breiðmagi, and who were related to the jarls of Orkney (Hl 1941, 5, 143). Soon after this episode, Orkn says that Hallr and Rǫgnvaldr composed Háttalykill (RvHbreiðm HlIII) together (ÍF 34, 185).

Lausavísa — Hbreiðm LvII

Judith Jesch 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga, Lausavísa’ 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, pp. 610-11.


Skj: Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga: Lausavísa, 1145 (AI, 528, BI, 508-9); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: II, 610-11

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Hbreiðm Lv 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga, Lausavísa 1’ 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, pp. 610-11.

Sendak son þinn, Ragna,
— sǫnn koma môl fyr bragna —
— hans vas hôlig iðja —
hirðvistar mér biðja.
Hafa kvezk hodda rýrir,
hinns mestum veg stýrir,
— neitti grúpans granna —
gnótt vígligri manna.

Sendak son þinn, Ragna, biðja mér hirðvistar; sǫnn môl koma fyr bragna; iðja hans vas hôlig. {Rýrir hodda}, hinns stýrir mestum veg, kvezk hafa gnótt vígligri manna; neitti granna grúpans.

I sent your son, Ragna, to request residence at court for me; true tales come before men; his attempt was noble. {The diminisher of hoards} [GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr], who possesses very great honour, said that he had plenty of men more warlike; he refused the neighbour of the sausage [= Icelander].

Mss: Flat(138vb), R702ˣ(42r) (Orkn)

Readings: [2] môl: om. R702ˣ;    fyr: apparently corrected from ‘þvi’ R702ˣ    [3] hôlig: haglig R702ˣ    [4] hirðvistar: so R702ˣ, ‘hiruistar’ Flat    [6] mestum: so R702ˣ, hæstum Flat    [7] neitti: neitti hann Flat, nítti hann R702ˣ;    grúpans: gildum R702ˣ;    granna: so R702ˣ, ‘grana’ Flat

Editions: Skj: Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga, Lausavísa: AI, 528, BI, 508-9, Skald I, 249; Flat 1860-8, II, 468, Orkn 1887, 139-40, Orkn 1913-16, 204, ÍF 34, 183-4 (ch. 81), Bibire 1988, 228.

Context: Arrived in Orkney, Hallr stayed on North Ronaldsay at first, but not enjoying himself there he asked his host Þorsteinn Rǫgnuson to help get him a place at Rǫgnvaldr’s court. The st. is spoken by Hallr on their return to North Ronaldsay in response to a question from Þorsteinn’s mother Ragna about their journey.

Notes: [All]: Ragna subsequently persuaded Rǫgnvaldr to accept Hallr by wearing an extraordinary headdress (see Rv Lv 6), and later Rǫgnvaldr and Hallr composed Háttalykill (RvHbreiðm HlIII) together. — [All]: Like the otherwise unrelated Árm Lv 3, this st. is in the hexasyllabic variant of in minzta runhenda (SnSt Ht 88III, SnE 1999, 35-6). RvHbreiðm Hl 21III appears to be in the same metre; there are several other examples of runhent metre in that poem, though not all composed in hexasyllabic ll. — [6] mestum ‘very great’: Most eds (all except Orkn 1887, 139-40) adopt the variant mestum. Although hæstum ‘very high, higher’ (so Flat) means virtually the same thing, it results in two alliterating staves in an even l. — [7] neitti ‘he refused’: The pron. hann, which results in an unmetrical heptasyllabic l., has been removed as a part of the process of normalisation. — [7] granna grúpans ‘the neighbour of the sausage [= Icelander]’: The interpretation of this as a term for ‘Icelander’ was first published in ÍF 34, 183-4, on the basis of a suggestion by Stefán Karlsson. ModIcel. grjúpan does not appear to be recorded in any other medieval texts, but the derogatory association of Icelanders with sausages (ON mǫrbjúga ‘suet sausage’, cf. mǫrlandi ‘suet-lander’, mǫrbyskup ‘suet-bishop’) is well attested in, for instance, an anecdote from the miracles of S. Þorlákr, which takes place in King’s Lynn in Norfolk (ÍF 16, 227).

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