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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 4I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 4’ 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. 901.

Hallar-SteinnRekstefja
345

Fullsnart frœknu hjarta
fríðr þengill lét síðan
— hjǫrr gall; hǫlðar fellu —
hefnd síns fǫður efnda.
Blóðugr bragnings þjóðar
brandr gall á Englandi;
oddrjóð enskra lýða
aldrspelli frák valda.

Fríðr þengill lét síðan fullsnart efnda hefnd fǫður síns frœknu hjarta; hjǫrr gall; hǫlðar fellu. Blóðugr brandr {bragnings þjóðar} gall á Englandi; frák {oddrjóð} valda aldrspelli enskra lýða.

The handsome ruler then most swiftly achieved revenge for his father with a bold heart; the sword shrieked; men fell. The blood-stained sword {of the prince of men} [RULER = Óláfr] shrieked in England; I have heard that {the point-reddener} [WARRIOR] caused life-destruction of English people.

Mss: Bb(111va); 61(16vb), 54(12ra), Bb(22va), 62(9va), Flat(16ra) (ÓT, ll. 5-8)

Readings: [4] hefnd: hefnt Bb(111va);    efnda: efndi Bb(111va)    [6] gall: gallt 62;    Eng‑: so all others, Ír‑ Bb(111va)    [7] oddrjóð: so 61, ótrautt Bb(111va), oddrjóðr 54, Bb(22va), oddjǫrð 62, ‘od medal’ Flat;    enskra lýða: so all others, ‘eínskrar drottar’ Bb(111va)

Editions: Skj AI, 544, Skj BI, 526, Skald I, 256, NN §1170; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 159 (ch. 77), Flat 1860-8, I, 120; SHI 3, 246-7, CPB II, 296, Wisén 1886-9, I, 46, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 199-202.

Context: Lines 5-8 follow st. 3 in ÓT, separated by a statement that Óláfr makes first for England and harries all over the country.

Notes: [All]: Only Bb(111va) preserves the complete stanza, while the ÓT mss have only ll. 5-8. It is printed as st. 5 in previous eds following the order in ÓT; see Introduction. For Óláfr’s campaigns in England, see also Hfr Óldr 5; on Anon Óldr 5 see below. — [2, 4] lét ... efnda hefnd ‘achieved revenge’: Lit. ‘caused revenge [to be] achieved’. Slight emendation of efndi and hefnt in the sole ms. for ll. 1-4 is required to produce f. acc. sg. p. p. efnda agreeing with hefnd, hence lét ... efnda hefnd. The ms. reading efndi would be a finite verb, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. ‘achieved’, but neither it, nor ms. hefnt, p. p. ‘avenged’, produces satisfactory syntax. Anon Óldr 5/8 uses almost identical phrasing to praise Óláfr’s revenge, and as here the stanza also refers to a raid on England. As to the revenge, the slaying of Óláfr’s father Tryggvi Óláfsson is traditionally placed in Norway, and attributed to the treachery of his cousins the Eiríkssynir or Gunnhildarsynir (e.g. HN, MHN 110; Fsk, ÍF 29, 102; Hkr, ÍF 26, 214). Why the attacks on England (ll. 5-8) constituted revenge for Tryggvi is unclear, and this problem may be the reason that ll. 1-4 are omitted in ÓT. Conceivably the Gunnhildarsynir’s connections with England lie behind the allusion here. Alternatively, it may be that the two helmingar in this stanza refer to different campaigns. — [6] Englandi ‘England’: The Bb (111va) version specifies Ireland, in a line identical with Anon Óldr 6/6. However, the reference to England in ÓT chimes with enskra ‘English’ in l. 7, which seems to be more consistent with the style of the poem, as st. 6/5-8, e.g., mentions Scotland and Scots in the same manner. Furthermore, the Irish are dealt with in st. 6/1-4. — [7] oddrjóð … enskra lýða ‘the point-reddener [WARRIOR] … of English people’: This line in Bb(111va), ótrautt enskrar dróttar ‘not unwilling(ly) ... of the English troop’, does not provide a subject to valda ‘cause(d)’, and has been replaced here with the line found in the ÓT mss. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) points out that a minor emendation, of gen. sg. þjóðar to acc. pl. þjóðir ‘men, peoples’ in l. 5, can enable the rest of the helmingr in Bb(111va) to be retained, hence frák þjóðir bragnings ótrautt valda aldrspelli enskrar dróttar ‘I have heard that the prince’s men not unwillingly caused the death of English people’. — [8] aldrspelli ‘life-destruction’: This cpd (n. nom. sg. aldrspell) could be regarded as a kenning for ‘death’ (so Meissner 437).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  7. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  8. 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.
  9. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  12. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  13. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  14. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  15. 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.
  16. Internal references
  17. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  18. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  19. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  20. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 5’ 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. 1037.
  21. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar 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. 1038.
  22. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 5’ 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. 397.
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