Ásgrímr Ketilsson (ÁKet)
12th century; volume 3; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;
Poem about Sverrir (Sverr) - 1
Ásgrímr Ketilsson (ÁKet) was an Icelander from Fljót in Skagafjörður. According to Sturlunga saga (Stu 1878, I, 132-3), his brother was Jón, and he had a son called Illugi, who must have been an adult in 1220 since he is described as living on his own farm at Haganes in Fljót (Stu 1878, I, 165). Ásgrímr is listed in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 255, 278) as one of King Sverrir Sigurðarson’s (r. 1177-1202) poets, and in Stu (1878, I, 133, 165) he is twice given the byname skáld. Other than the fragment below, nothing of his poetry survives.
Poem about Sverrir (‘Poem about Sverrir’)
Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Ásgrímr Ketilsson, Poem about Sverrir’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 14.
Skj: Ásgrímr Ketilsson: Af et digt om kong Sverre(?) (AI, 540, BI, 521); stanzas (if different): [v]
in texts: LaufE, LaufE, Skm, SnE
SkP info: III, 14
This half-stanza, ‘Poem about Sverrir’ (ÁKet Sverr), appears to belong to an encomium composed in honour of a Norwegian ruler (see Fidjestøl 1982, 160), and it is attributed to ‘Ásgrímr’ in all mss. His patronymic is not given, but the attribution to Ásgrímr Ketilsson is reasonable based on the information given in Skáldatal and Stu (see Biography above). It is not certain that the person commemorated in this helmingr is King Sverrir Sigurðarson (d. 1202), but Ásgrímr is not known to have composed about other rulers. Because the fragment addresses the person honoured (íðir þínar ‘your deeds’, l. 3), it was probably composed prior to Sverrir’s death in 1202. It is preserved in mss R (main ms.), Tˣ, W, U and B of Skm (SnE), as well as in LaufE (mss papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ) and RE 1665(Ll3). The latter was copied from a ms. of the LaufE Y redaction and has no independent value.