Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Einarr Skúlason (ESk)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

9. Ingadrápa (Ingdr) - 4

Skj info: Einarr Skúlason, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 455-85, BI, 423-57).

Skj poems:
1. Sigurðardrápa
2. Haraldsdrápa I
3. Haraldsdrápa II
4. Haraldssonakvæði(?)
5. Sigurðardrápa
6. Geisli
7. Runhenda
8. Eysteinsdrápa
9. Ingadrápa
10. Elfarvísur
11. Lausavísur
11. Lausavísur
11. Øxarflokkr(?)
12. Ubestemmelige vers, tilhørende forskellige fyrstedigte eller lausavísur

We know very little about the life of Einarr Skúlason (ESk). He is called prestr ‘priest’ and is mentioned in a catalogue (c. 1220) of priests of noble birth who were alive in western Iceland in 1143 (Stu 1878, II, 502). It is likely that he came from Borg, belonged to the Mýrar family and was a direct descendant of Þorsteinn Egilsson and a brother of Snorri Sturluson’s maternal grandfather (LH 1894-1901, II, 62-3; ÍF 3, 51 n. 3). He was probably born c. 1090. In 1153, he recited the poem Geisli ‘Light-beam’ (ESk GeislVII) in Kristkirken in Trondheim. He was marshal (stallari) at King Eysteinn Magnússon’s court, and he composed poetry in praise of the Norw. kings Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ and Eysteinn Magnússon, Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’, Magnús inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Sigurðarson, Haraldr gilli’s sons, Ingi, Sigurðr munnr ‘Mouth’, and Eysteinn, and about the Norw. chieftain Grégóríus Dagsson (see SnE 1848-87, III, 254-5, 263-4, 269, 276-7, 286). According to Skáldatal, he also honoured the Norw. magnate Eindriði ungi ‘the Young’ Jónsson as well as Sørkvir Kolsson and Jón jarl Sørkvisson of Sweden and King Sveinn Eiríksson of Denmark (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 258, 260, 268-9, 272, 283, 286). About the latter he recited a poem for which he received no reward (see ESk Lv 3; ÍF 35, 275). The extant portion of his poetic oeuvre consists of the following poems (excluding lvv.): Sigurðardrápa I (Sigdr I, five extant sts about Sigurðr jórsalafari); Haraldsdrápa I (Hardr I, two extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldsdrápa II (Hardr II, five extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldssonakvæði (Harsonkv, two extant sts about the sons of Haraldr gilli); Sigurðardrápa II (Sigdr II, one extant st. about Sigurðr munnr Haraldsson); Runhenda (Run, ten extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Eysteinsdrápa (Eystdr, two extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Ingadrápa (Ingdr, four extant sts about Ingi Haraldsson); Elfarvísur (Elfv, two extant sts about Grégóríus Dagsson); Geisli (GeislVII, seventy-one sts about S. Óláfr); Øxarflokkr (ØxflIII, ten extant sts about the gift of an axe).

It must be emphasised that, although the poetry included in the royal panegyrics below clearly belongs to poems of that genre, with two exceptions (Hardr II and Elfv), all the names of the poems are modern constructs (notably by Jón Sigurðsson and Finnur Jónsson). That also holds true for the assignment of sts to the individual poems. In some cases, sts were assigned to a particular poem for metrical reasons (so Run), in other cases because of the content or the named recipients of the praise. For the sake of convenience, the names of the poems and the sts assigned to them as found in Skj have been retained in the present edn. In addition to the royal encomia, a number of fragments and lvv. attributed to Einarr are preserved in SnE, TGT and LaufE (see ESk Frag 1-18III; ESk Lv 7-15III). These have been edited separately in SkP III. Six lvv. are transmitted in the kings’ sagas and edited below.

Ingadrápa (‘Drápa about Ingi’) — ESk IngdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Ingadrápa’ 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. Brepols, Turnhout, pp. 561-5.

 1   2   3   4 

Skj: Einarr Skúlason: 9. Ingadrápa (AI, 476, BI, 448)

in texts: Fsk, Mork, Skm, SnE

SkP info: II, 561-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

Jón Sigurðsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 362-3) assigns four sts and one helmingr to a panegyric in praise of King Ingi Haraldsson, Drápa um Ínga konúng HaraldssonDrápa about King Ingi Haraldsson’ (ESk Ingdr), mistakenly including sts 4-5 of Kolli inn prúði’s Ingadrápa (Kolli Ingdr) and omitting the helmingr from SnE (Skm) below. Finnur Jónsson (LH 1894-1901, II, 70; Skj B, 476) corrects that error, but, as Fidjestøl (1982, 155) points out, the existence of such a poem by Einarr cannot be established with any certainty. The first st. is transmitted in mss R, , U, A, B, C of SnE. R is the main ms. and 744ˣ has been used selectively (see Introduction to Run above). Stanzas 2-4 are recorded in Mork and Fsk (FskAˣ only) at the end of the episode that describes the killing of Sigurðr munnr ‘Mouth’ Haraldsson. That event is also described in Hkr (ÍF 28, 338-41), but, although the prose follows Mork very closely, the sts have been omitted in the Hkr narrative. In Mork the sts are given as lvv. which Einarr composes as answers to questions from Eysteinn Haraldsson concerning Ingi’s involvement in the slaying of their half-brother, Sigurðr munnr. In Fsk the sts are also given as lvv., but here they are explicitly cited to absolve Ingi of any guilt in this incident (ÍF 29, 337-8): Þá var illa um þetta verk rœtt, ok kenndu menn ráðin Inga konungi, en þat hafa flestir menn fyrir satt, at þat hafi engi hans ráð verit, svá sem váttar Einarr Skúlasonr ‘Then this deed was spoken badly of, and people blamed these doings on King Ingi, but most people believe it to be the truth that this had not been his intention, as Einarr Skúlason testifies’. It is doubtful, however, whether the sts are lvv. that were recited on the spur of the moment, because the style and content are more compatible with an extended poem than with lvv., and the content runs on across the sts. The sts are interesting, because, if they belonged to a longer poem, they show how an extended poetic composition could be split up and rendered as a series of lvv. in the prose narrative (see Poole 1975).
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