Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Eddic, Skaldic, and BeyondPoetic Variety in Medieval Iceland and Norway$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin Chase

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257812

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257812.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Creating Tradition: The Use of Skaldic Verse in Old Norse Historiography

Creating Tradition: The Use of Skaldic Verse in Old Norse Historiography

(p.87) Creating Tradition: The Use of Skaldic Verse in Old Norse Historiography
Eddic, Skaldic, and Beyond

Rolf Stavnem

Fordham University Press

Rolf Stavnem’s contribution investigates the relationship of verse and prose in the prosimetrical saga form, the dynamic of “new-old” skaldic poetry, and the historiographical use of poetry to express ideals of kingship. He takes up examples from the sagas of King Óláfr Tryggvason, subjecting two poets’ (Skúli Þorsteinsson’s and Hallar-Steinn’s), accounts of the Battle of Svǫlðr to the same pattern of analysis and finds that the saga authors have used the verses in different ways. Skúli’s verses seem to be included to present an alternative view. The saga author accepts this inherited material, but feels no obligation to agree with what it says. Hallar-Steinn’s verses are excerpted from a long drápa, Rekstefja, that is an unabashedly Christian and hagiographical eulogy of Óláfr. The verses chosen by the saga author, however, do not reflect this, and Hallar-Steinn’s Christian perspective would not be apparent to a reader not familiar with the drápa. Rekstefja is contemporary with the saga prose, but this is not apparent from the prosimetrical context. It is not clear whether the late-medieval saga reader was expected to advert to (or even care about) the age and original context of the poetry.

Keywords:   Óláfr Tryggvason, Skúli Þorsteinsson, Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja, Battle of Svǫlðr, prosimetrical saga form, skaldic poetry, historiographical use of poetry, ideals of kingship, hagiography, Rolf Stavnem

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .