Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Illugason (Gísl)

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

2. Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Skj info: Gísl Illugason, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 440-4, BI, 409-13).

Skj poems:
1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt
2. Lausavísa

Gísl belonged to the Icel. family of the Gilsbekkingar, who were said to be descendants of the C9th poet Bragi inn gamli ‘the Old’ Boddason (BragiIII). Gísl was the great-grandson of the skald Tindr Hallkelsson (TindrI), the uncle of poet Gunnlaugr ormstunga ‘Serpent-tongue’ Illugason (GunnlIV). See ÍF 3, 331, Genealogies II a-b in ÍF 3 and SnE 1848-97, III, 625-6. Details about Gísl’s life are given in Gísls þáttr Illugasonar (GíslIll) in H-Hr (Fms 7, 29-40; ÍF 3, 329-42) and in Jóns saga helga (JBp; JBp 2003, 10, 63-72). Gísl was born in 1079, and when he was six years old, his father was killed by a certain Gjafvaldr, a slaying Gísl later avenged. King Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson sentenced Gísl to death for the killing of Gjafvaldr, who was one of his retainers, but Gísl escaped execution (see Gísl Lv below). He then travelled with Magnús to Ireland in charge of hostages and became Magnús’s court poet (Skáldatal, SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 276). He also seems to have participated in Magnús’s expedition to the west in 1098 and in his campaign in Sweden (c. 1100-2; see Magnkv 11 and 19). Gísl later lived in Iceland until old age and had one son, Einarr (JBp 2003, 72). In addition to the memorial poem below composed about Magnús berfœttr, Gísl is said to have composed another encomium to Magnús on the occasion described in the lv. below, but no sts from that poem survive (see SnE 1848-87, III, 626-7; ÍF 3, 340-1).

Lausavísa — Gísl LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Gísl Illugason, Lausavísa’ 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. 430-1.

 1 

Skj: Gísl Illugason: 2. Lausavísa, 1096 (AI, 444, BI, 413); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: GíslIll, H-Hr, JBp

SkP info: II, 430-1

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

This lv. (Gísl Lv) is recorded in Gísls þáttr Illugason (GíslIll) in MberfH-Hr (H, Hr) and in a tale about Gísl inserted into the B version of Jóns saga helga (JBp) preserved in mss Holm perg 5 fol (5), AM 219 fol (219), Holm papp 4 4°ˣ (papp4ˣ) and AM 392 4°ˣ (392ˣ). For a detailed discussion of the two versions, see Louis-Jensen 1977, 111-22 and ÍF 3, cxlvii-cliii. Because the H-Hr version offers the best text, H is the main ms.
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