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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 17I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 17’ 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. 917.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
161718

Grár reif (gerðu drífu)
— gall brandr við slǫg — (randa)
trǫllmarr trýni sollin
(tveir nafnar) hræ jafnan.
Sœnskr herr sigri þorrinn;
sverð beit, en fló peita;
hríð óx; hǫlðar flýðu.
Hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu.

{Grár trǫllmarr} reif jafnan sollin hræ trýni; tveir nafnar gerðu {drífu randa}; brandr gall við slǫg. Sœnskr herr þorrinn sigri; sverð beit, en peita fló; hríð óx; hǫlðar flýðu. Hollr ok fremstr at ǫllu …

{The grey troll-woman’s steed} [WOLF] tore swollen corpses steadily with its snout; the two namesakes engaged in {a snow-storm of shields} [BATTLE]; the sword resounded against weapons. The Swedish army [was] deprived of victory; sword bit and spear flew; the onslaught grew; men fled. Faithful and foremost in all things …

Mss: Bb(112ra); 53(64va), 54(64rb-va), Bb(100ra), Flat(64va) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Grár: so 53, Flat, gjá Bb(112ra), 54, Bb(100ra);    gerðu: so 54, Bb(100ra), gjǫrði Bb(112ra), 53, gerðisk Flat;    drífu: drífa Flat    [2] við: ‘vít’ Flat    [3] trǫllmarr: so 53, ‘trollz matr’ Bb(112ra), ‘traullan’ 54, Bb(100ra), ‘tro᷎ll maarr’ Flat;    trýni: ‘trut var’ 54, trúr var Bb(100ra)    [4] hræ: so 53, Flat, þar Bb(112ra), 54, Bb(100ra)    [5] Sœnskr: sœnski 54;    sigri: var sigri 54, Bb(100ra)    [6] fló: blá 54, Bb(100ra)    [7] flýðu: so 53, Bb(100ra), ‘flvdę’ Bb(112ra), flýði 54, Flat    [8] Hollr: ‘holl’ all

Editions: Skj AI, 547, Skj BI, 529, Skald I, 257, NN §§1178-9; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 270 (ch. 250), Flat 1860-8, I, 484; SHI 3, 254-7, CPB II, 297-8, Wisén 1886-9, I, 48, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 244-8.

Context: The stanza is quoted to verify the fierceness of the battle between Óláfr Tryggvason and Óláfr sœnski.

Notes: [3] trǫllmarr ‘troll-woman’s steed [WOLF]’: Trǫll can refer to both male and female trolls (LP: troll, trǫll), but a troll-woman or giantess is indicated here. The wolf-kenning follows a common pattern whose mythological prototype is the mount of the giantess Hyrrokkin in the myth of Baldr’s funeral (see Meissner 124-5; SnE 2005, 46). — [4] tveir nafnar ‘the two namesakes’: Óláfr Tryggvason and Óláfr sœnski ‘the Swede’ Eiríksson (r. c. 995-c. 1021). — [4] hræ ‘corpses’: This, the reading of 53 and Flat, provides the necessary object for reif ‘tore’. The alternative reading, þar ‘there’, would necessitate the implausible assumption that sollin ‘swollen’ is substantival, ‘swollen ones’ hence ‘corpses’. — [4] jafnan ‘steadily’: Here taken with reif ‘tore’, following Kock (NN §1178), whereas Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) and Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) read it with gall ‘resounded’. — [5] sœnskr herr þorrinn sigri ‘the Swedish army [was] deprived of victory’: The clause lacks a verb, and ‘was’ seems to be implied. Mss 54 and Bb(100ra) have vas ‘was’, but this results in too many syllables. See also Note to l. 7, flýðu. — [7] hríð ‘the onslaught’: See Note to Edáð Banddr 6/2, where the predicate is also óx ‘grew’. — [7] flýðu ‘fled’: The reading is taken from 53 and Bb(100ra), whereas Bb(112ra), 54 and Flat all have readings that should probably be normalised as sg. flýði ‘fled’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (NN §1179) read flýði and link it to sœnskr herr, hence Sœnskr herr flýði, þorrinn sigri ‘the Swedish army fled, deprived of victory’. However, this relies on an emendation of hǫlðar (nom. pl.) ‘men’ to hǫlða (acc. pl.), which becomes the object to beit ‘bit’, and furthermore, it disturbs the patterning of ll. 6-7, which approximate to the so-called sextánmælt ‘sixteen-times spoken’ characterized by two clauses per line (cf. SnSt Ht 9III, and Context and Note; SnE 2007, 9). — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see Note to st. 9/8. Hollr ‘faithful’ is an emendation here, but it is the reading of Bb(111vb) in st. 11/8.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  8. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  9. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  10. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  12. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  13. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  14. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  15. SnE 2007 = Snorri Sturluson. 2007. Edda: Háttatal. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  16. Internal references
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  18. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 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. 464.
  19. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 9’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1114.
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