Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Einarr þambarskelfir Eindriðason (Eþsk)

volume 1; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

not in Skj

Einarr þambarskelfir ‘Paunch-shaker’ (?) Eindriðason (Eþsk; c. 987-1051/52) was one of the most powerful Norwegian district chieftains of his time. At the age of thirteen, he participated in the naval battle of Svǫlðr (c. 1000), fighting alongside King Óláfr Tryggvason on Óláfr’s ship, the famous Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’). Subsequently, he served as the adviser and regent to Óláfr Haraldsson’s young son, Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’ (r. 1035-47). After Magnús’s death, Einarr became a district chieftain of King Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson, but their relationship turned sour (see Hharð Lv 6-7II). Eventually Einarr and his son Eindriði were ambushed and killed by King Haraldr and his men in Trondheim, c. 1051/52. The meaning of Einarr’s nickname þambarskelfir is possibly ‘Paunch-shaker’, but has been much debated: see Gade (1995b), Gade (1995c), Sayers (1995) and Liberman (1996). Other than the couplet below, no poetry is attributed to Einarr.

notes
Kock, Skald. I 79

 Couplet   1 

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