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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Nizarvísur (Nizv) - 7

Skj info: Steinn Herdísarson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 407-13, BI, 376-83).

Skj poems:
1. Nizarvísur
2. Ulfsflokkr
3. Óláfsdrápa

Steinn was the great-grandson of the Icel. poet Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ Helgason (EskálI) and a kinsman of Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson (Stúfr; see the genealogy in SnE 1848-87, III, 607 and Genealogy IV in ÍF 5). At the battle of the river Nissan in 1062 he was on board the ship of his kinsman, Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr). Steinn was a court poet of Haraldr harðráði ‘Hardrule’ Sigurðarson and his son Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’ Haraldsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275). Two poems, NizarvísurVísur about the Nissan’ (Steinn Nizv), and ÓláfsdrápaDrápa about Óláfr’ (Steinn Óldr) survive of his poetic oeuvre, and another st., ÚlfsflokkrFlokkr about Úlfr’ (Steinn Úlffl), is usually assigned to a poem about Úlfr Óspaksson.

Nizarvísur (‘Vísur about the Nissan’) — Steinn NizvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur’ 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. 359-66.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

Skj: Steinn Herdísarson: 1. Nizarvísur, 1062 (AI, 407-9, BI, 376-8)

SkP info: II, 363-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Steinn Nizv 5II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur 5’ 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. 363-4.

Undrs, ef eigi reyndu
ǫrmóts viðir gǫrva
— bǫrðumk vér ok vǫrðum
víða grund — of síðir,
hvárt hugfylldir halda
— hrafn fekk gnótt í óttu
nás fyr Nizar ósi —
Norðmenn Harald þorðu.

Undrs, ef {viðir {ǫrmóts}} reyndu eigi gǫrva of síðir—vér bǫrðumk ok vǫrðum víða grund—, hvárt hugfylldir Norðmenn þorðu halda Harald; hrafn fekk gnótt nás í óttu fyr Nizar ósi.

It is a marvel if {the trees {of the arrow-meeting}} [BATTLE > WARRIORS] finally did not experience fully—we fought and defended the wide land—, whether the courage-filled Norwegians dared to protect Haraldr; the raven got plenty of carrion at dawn before the mouth of the Nissan.

Mss: FskBˣ(75r-v), FskAˣ(279) (Fsk); Mork(13r) (Mork); Flat(200va) (Flat); H(56v), Hr(41rb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] Undrs ef (‘Vndr er ef’): Undr var er Flat;    reyndu: fundu Mork, Flat, kenndu H, Hr    [2] ‑móts: ‑njóts Hr;    viðir: vinir Hr    [3] bǫrðumk: bǫrðusk Flat;    ok vǫrðum: so FskAˣ, ok vǫrðumk FskBˣ, þeir er vǫrðu Mork, H, þá er vǫrðum Flat, þeir vǫrðu Hr    [4] síðir: ‘siði’ H    [5] hvárt: hvar Mork, Flat, þá er H, Hr;    hugfylldir halda: herskildi seldu Mork, herskildi heldu Flat, H, Hr    [6] hrafn: hrafns Mork;    fekk: om. Hr;    gnótt: ‘nog’ Flat    [7] Nizar: Niðar Flat    [8] þorðu: forðum Mork, Flat, H, fóru Hr

Editions: Skj: Steinn Herdísarson, 1. Nizarvísur 5: AI, 408, BI, 377-8, Skald I, 188, NN §§887, 1145; ÍF 29, 267 (ch. 57); Mork 1867, 79, Mork 1928-32, 211, Andersson and Gade 2000, 229-30, 478 (MH); Flat III, 1860-8, 363 (MH); Fms 6, 317 (HSig ch. 78).

Context: The Norwegians stood densely around Haraldr and fought bravely.

Notes: [All]: Kock (NN §1145) argues that the Mork version is secondary, because hvar herskildi heldu lit. ‘where with the war-shield protected’ (l. 5) echoes st. 7/7 below (þeirs herskildi heldu ‘those who held the war-shield’). However, because that st. is only transmitted in Knýtl, it is difficult to see how it could have found its way into Mork (see Fidjestøl 1982, 59-60). — [All]: Mork, Flat, H and Hr offer a different version of the st., which can be rendered as follows (with Mork as the main ms.):

Undrs, ef eigi fundu
ǫrmóts viðir gǫrva,
— bǫrðumk vér — þeirs vǫrðu
víða grund, of síðir,

hvar herskildi heldu
— hrafn fekk gnótt í óttu
nás fyr Nizar ósi —
Norðmenn Haraldr forðum.

Prose order: Undrs, ef viðir ǫrmóts, þeirs vǫrðu víða grund, fundu eigi gǫrva of síðir—vér bǫrðumk—, hvar Norðmenn heldu Harald herskildi forðum; hrafn fekk gnótt nás í óttu fyr Nizar ósi. Translation: It is a marvel if the trees of the arrow-meeting [WARRIORS], who defended the wide land, finally did not learn fully—we fought—, where the Norwegians protected Haraldr with the war-shield in olden times; the raven got plenty of carrion at dawn before the mouth of the Nissan. — [5] halda ‘protect’: For this meaning of halda (with the acc.), see Fritzner: halda 19. For a discussion of the st., see Fidjestøl 1982, 59-60.

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