Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gizurr svarti (gullbrárskáld) (Gizsv)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Skj info: Gizurr gullbrárskáld, Islandsk skjald, d. 1030. (AI, 316, BI, 292-293).

Skj poems:
1. Af et fyrstedigt
2. Lausavísa

It is not certain whether Gizurr svarti ‘the Black’ (Gizsv) is the same man as Gizurr gullbrá(r) (‘Gold-eyelash’) or gullbrárskáld (‘Gold-eyelash’s poet’) or Gullbrárfóstri (‘Foster-kinsman of Gullbrá’, Flat 1860-8, II, 226). Skáldatal in the 761aˣ redaction (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 253) lists Gizurr svarti as poet to Óláfr sœnski ‘the Swede’ Eiríksson and Gizurr Gullbrá as poet to Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson (S. Óláfr), while the U redaction (ibid., 261 and n. 2) lists ‘Gizurr gullbr.’ under Óláfr Tryggvason, which has been taken as an error. A helmingr preserved in SnE and edited in SkP III (Gizsv FragIII) is attributed merely to ‘Gizurr’ and celebrates ‘Óláfr’, which does not help to disentangle the Óláfrs but may suggest that there is only one Gizurr, and this is supported by the fact that Gizurr svarti in ÓHLeg equates with Gizurr gullbrár elsewhere, and that the chronology is compatible. Gizurr gullbrá is introduced in ÓHHkr (ÍF 27, 358) as the foster-father of Hofgarða-Refr, which, as Finnur Jónsson mentions (LH I, 567), would make him a man of at least fifty when he followed King Óláfr Haraldsson to Garðaríki (Russia) in the late 1020s (Flat 1860-8, II, 315) and fought for him at Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad) in 1030. Gizurr’s death in the battle is mentioned along with that of his fellow skald Þorfinnr munnr (ÓHHkr, ÍF 27, 381), and his heroic defence is commemorated in Refr Giz 1III.

Lausavísa — Gizsv LvI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Gizurr svarti (gullbrárskáld), Lausavísa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Brepols, Turnhout, p. 817.

 1 

Skj: Gizurr gullbrárskáld: 2. Lausavísa, 1030 (AI, 316, BI, 293); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: Flat, Hkr, ÓH, ÓHHkr, ÓHLeg

SkP info: I, 817

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

This stanza (Gizsv Lv) is a classic expression of heroic anticipation of battle, the first of a cluster of three attributed to the skalds of Óláfr Haraldsson at the fateful battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad, 1030): see Context. The stanzas contribute to the special atmosphere which pervades the saga accounts of this famous battle. Gizsv Lv is preserved in Snorri Sturluson’s Óláfs saga helga in both the Separate version (ÓH; mss listed below) and Hkr version (ÓHHkr; ms. as main ms.); the versions are jointly designated ÓH-Hkr below. It is also in ÓHLeg (DG8), where it is credited to Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, and in Fóstbræðra saga (Fbr; 141ˣ

).

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