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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Tindr Hákdr 5I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 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. 347.

Tindr HallkelssonHákonardrápa

Fór*at jarl — en ára
*endr hermǫrum kenndi
Gǫndlar dóm* — at glaumi
geirs tírarfǫr meiri,
unz þás hrauð, en Hrauðnis,
hjaldrs, ræsik þat gjǫldum,
†nunnar fús á mæti†
meiðr víkinga skeiðar.

Jarl fór*at meiri tírarfǫr at {glaumi geirs} — en kenndi *endr {hermǫrum ára} {dóm* Gǫndlar} —, unz þás {meiðr hjaldrs} hrauð skeiðar víkinga †nunnar fús á mæti†, en ræsik þat {gjǫldum Hrauðnis}.

The jarl did not make a greater expedition of glory in {the revelry of the spear} [BATTLE] — and he again taught {the war-horses of oars} [SHIPS] {the judgement of Gǫndul <valkyrie>} [BATTLE] — until the time when {the tree of battle} [WARRIOR = Hákon] cleared the warships of the vikings … , and I declare that {in the recompenses of Hrauðnir <giant>} [POETRY].

Mss: 510(62r) (Jvs)

Readings: [1] Fór*at: ‘forrad’ 510    [2] *endr: hendr 510    [3] Gǫndlar: ‘gvndlar’ 510;    dóm*: dóms 510    [5] Hrauðnis: hauðri 510    [6] hjaldrs: hjaldr 510    [8] meiðr: ‘mordur’ 510

Editions: Skj AI, 146, Skj BI, 137, Skald I, 75, NN §§432, 2092, 2448A, 2987H; Fms 11, 138, Fms 12, 239, SHI 11, 119, 123-4, Jvs 1879, 83.

Context: As for st. 4.

Notes: [1-4]: No wholly satisfactory solution to the difficulties posed by the ms. text has been devised thus far. In this edn it is proposed that gen. sg. dóms ‘judgement’ in l. 3 be emended to acc. sg. dóm, construed as the object of kenndi (from kenna ‘to teach’), with hermǫrum ára ‘war-horses of oars [SHIPS]’ (presumably the enemy ships) as the dat. of those taught. The construction is paralleled in st. 6/5-8, though applied in an unusual way here since those taught are inanimate. The result is three kennings in the helmingr, as contrasted with the two identified in previous scholarship, but less complex syntax and more idiomatic skaldic usage. Previous suggestions can be summarised as follows. (a) Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 333) takes en in l. 1 as the def. art. enn/inn and ken(n)di as an adjectival p. p., hence the noun phrase enn Gǫndlar dóms kendi jarl, which he translates den i kampe prøvede jarl ‘the jarl proved in battle’. However, en(n) and ken(n)di are widely separated in the text and the gen. case Gǫndlar dóms ‘judgement of Gǫndul [BATTLE]’ modifying ken(n)di is not paralleled elsewhere. (b) Kock (NN §432; Skald) also takes ken(n)di as adjectival and reads the text as jarl enn ára | endr hermǫrum kendi and translates: den för sina örlogsfartyg förut välbekante jarlen ‘the jarl, well-known from beforehand for his battle-vessels’, but such a description would be hard to parallel. Further, the suggested combination of geirs and Gǫndlar dóms as ‘war-spear’ is not recognisable skaldic idiom. — [2] *endr ‘again’: This emendation of ms. hendr is necessary to alliteration and sense, and is also adopted in Skj B and Skald. — [5-8]: The text of this helmingr is beyond full restoration. — [5, 6] gjǫldum Hrauðnis ‘in the recompenses of Hrauðnir <giant> [POETRY]’: The reference is to the myth of the mead of poetry as told in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 3, and see Note to Eskál Vell 1 [All]); cf. another poetry-kenning containing gjǫld n. pl. in Eyv Hál 1/3-4. The heiti Hrauðnir occurs solely in þulur, once for a giant (Þul Jǫtna I 1/6III) and once for a sea-king (Þul Sækonunga 2/8III, and see Note). — [6] ræsik ‘I declare’: Lit. ‘set in motion’, cf. LP: ræsa 2 in the sense of udbrede ‘promulgate’, posited uniquely for the present instance. — [7]: No convincing solution has been proposed for this garbled line, which lacks both alliteration and hending. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12; SHI 11) emends ms. ‘nunnar’ to mýrar ‘swamp’ and ‘fus’ to fúrs ‘fire’ so as to generate a gold-kenning. Rejecting this on the grounds that mýrar would not be a valid determinant (as pertaining more to land, not water), Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 336) proposes mærðar, retaining fúss, thus ‘eager for renown’, and further emends ms. mæti to Mœri, here influenced by the localisation of the battle offshore from Møre (ON Mœrr) in Jvs (cf. Blake, Jvs 1962, 49).


  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. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  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. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. 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.
  9. Jvs 1879 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1879. Jómsvíkinga saga (efter Cod. AM. 510, 4:to) samt Jómsvíkinga drápa. Lund: Gleerup.
  10. Jvs 1962 = Blake, N. F., ed. and trans. 1962. The Saga of the Jomsvikings. London etc.: Nelson.
  11. Finnur Jónsson. 1886b. ‘Bidrag til en rigtigere forståelse af Tindr Hallkelssons vers’. ÅNOH, 309-68.
  12. Internal references
  13. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  14. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Sækonunga heiti 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 680.
  15. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Jǫtna heiti I 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 707.
  16. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 1’ 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. 283.
  17. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 1’ 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. 197.

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