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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, 365-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Steinn Nizv 7II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur 7’ 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. 365-6.

Eigi myndi undan
allvaldr Dana halda
— oss dugir satt of snotran
sælinga kon mæla —,
ef menn fyr sæ sunnan,
— sverð reiddusk at ferðir —
þeirs herskildi heldu,
hrafnfœði vel tœði.

{Allvaldr Dana} myndi eigi halda undan—dugir oss mæla satt of snotran kon sælinga—, ef menn fyr sunnan sæ, þeirs heldu herskildi, tœði {hrafnfœði} vel; ferðir reiddusk sverð at.

{The mighty ruler of the Danes} [= Sveinn] would not have fled—it is fitting for us [me] to speak the truth about the wise descendant of wealthy people—, if men south of the sea, who held the war-shield, had supported {the raven-feeder} [WARRIOR] well; troops swung swords at [each other].

Mss: (46), 20dˣ(19v), 873ˣ(18v-19r), 20b I(1r), 180b(33r) (ll. 6-8) (Knýtl)

Readings: [1] myndi: mundi all    [6] sverð reiddusk: ‘[…]’ 180b    [7] þeirs (‘þeir er’): þeir 20b I, 180b    [8] ‑fœði: fœðir 20b I;    tœði: ‘teði’ or ‘reði’ 20b I, tœðir 180b

Editions: Skj: Steinn Herdísarson, 1. Nizarvísur 7: AI, 409, BI, 378, Skald I, 188; 1741, 46-7, ÍF 35, 138-9 (ch. 25).

Context: As st. 6 above.

Notes: [All]: 20dˣ is in the hand of ÁM. — [1] myndi (3rd pers. sg. pret. subj.) ‘would’: The subj. form of the verb is required by the syntax. The indic. (mundi 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic., so all mss) is very rare in hypothetical main clauses (see NS §199 anm.). — [5] menn fyr sunnan sæ ‘men south of the sea’: This refers to the Danes who fought on Sveinn’s side during the battle of the Nissan. According to Saxo (2005, II, 11, 5, pp. 12-17), Sveinn lost the battle because the Dan. troops from Skåne (Scania) deserted him. Skj B takes the prepositional phrase fyr sunnan sæ ‘south of the sea’ with the rel. cl. (þeirs heldu herskildi ‘who held the war-shield’ (l. 7)), and ÍF 35 construes it with the last cl. (ferðir reiddusk sverð at ‘troops swung swords at [each other]’ (l. 6)). — [7] þeirs heldu herskildi ‘who held the war-shield’: For the possible insertion of this l. in st. 5/5 above, see Note to st. 5 [All]. For herskjǫldr ‘war-shield’, see Falk 1914, 131-2. See also Steinn Óldr 11/3 below.

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