Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Einarr skálaglamm Helgason (Eskál)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Edith Marold;

3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 3

Skj info: Einarr Helgason skálaglamm, Islandsk skjald, d. o. 995. (AI, 122-132, BI, 116-125).

Skj poems:
1. Drape om Hakon jarl
2. Et digt om Harald blåtand(?)
3. Vellekla
4. Lausavísur
4. Lausavísur

Little is certain about the life of Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ Helgason (Eskál), except that he came from a noble family from western Iceland. They were descendants of Bjǫrn austrœni ‘the Easterner’, i.e. ‘the Norwegian’, son of Ketill flatnefr ‘Flat-nose’. According to Ldn (ÍF 1, 123), Einarr’s mother was Niðbjǫrg, daughter of an Irish king. Einarr’s brother Ósvífr was the father of Guðrún Ósvífsdóttir, the heroine of Laxdœla saga. A few anecdotes link Einarr to Egill Skallagrímsson. Egils saga (Eg, ÍF 2, 268-73) tells of Einarr visiting Egill and the two talking at length about poetry. The meeting led to a long friendship, which is reflected in similarities between the two skalds’ poetry (de Vries 1964-7, I, 176). A valuable shield given to Egill by Einarr inspired Egill to compose a Skjaldardrápa or shield poem honouring the gift, of which only the first stanza has survived (Egill SkjalddrV).

Einarr must have lived c. 940-c. 990. He presumably spent much of his life at the court of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in Norway, for whom he composed Vellekla (Eskál Vell) and another poem, Hákonardrápa (Eskál Hákdr). Two stanzas (Eskál HardrIII) that possibly stem from one or more Haraldsdrápur in honour of Haraldr blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ Gormsson indicate that he might have spent time at the Danish court, perhaps as a companion of Hákon jarl. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256, 266, 280) mentions Einarr only as one of Hákon jarl’s skalds. Besides these poems, three lausavísur are preserved in Jvs, Fsk, Flat and Eg. The first two are part of a typical skald anecdote about court poetry and its reward, and are preserved in versions that differ sufficiently for them to be printed in both SkP I (Eskál Lv 1a and Lv 2a) and SkP V (Eskál Lv 1bV (Eg 124) and Lv 2bV (Eg 125)). The third (Eskál Lv 3) concerns the death of Þorleifr skúma Þorkelsson (Þskúm), an Icelandic retainer of Hákon jarl, at the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen, c. 985).

According to Jvs (1969, 178-9), Einarr’s nickname skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ refers to a pair of precious and magically resounding scales (OIcel. skálar/skálir) with which Hákon jarl rewarded him for Vell (see Introduction to Eskál Lv 1-3). This explanation (apparently accepted in Finnur Jónsson 1907, 284) may, however, be a later etymological invention, and skálaglamm could instead derive from OIcel. skáli ‘hall, free-standing house’ either as part of a sky-, breast- or shield-kenning (Lie 1975, 643), or more likely as a ‘loud sound (glamm) in the hall’, in reference to his art of recitation. Jvs (1969, 178) also tells that Einarr earlier had the nickname Skjaldmeyjar-Einarr ‘Einarr of the shield-maiden’. Skjaldmeyjar are armed women who took part in battles (cf. Akv 16), but nothing is known about how Einarr got this nickname. According to Ldn and Jvs, Einarr drowned in Breiðafjörður on a voyage home (Ldn, ÍF 1, 123; Jvs 1969, 205); they add a legend according to which his scales (Jvs), or his shield and his coat (Ldn), wash ashore, inspiring the names of the islands Skáleyjar, Skjaldey and Feldarhólmr.

Lausavísur — Eskál LvI

Margaret Clunies Ross 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Lausavísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 330.

 1a   2a   3 

Skj: Einarr Helgason skálaglamm: 4. Lausavísur (AI, 131-2, BI, 124-5); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2

SkP info: I, 331

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1a — Eskál Lv 1aI

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

lemmatised words

This information has not been reviewed and should not be referred to.

1annarr (pron.) [°f. ǫnnur, n. annat; pl. aðrir] ‘(an)other, second...’aðrir 1a/3

3at (prep.) ‘at, to...’ — 1a/2 var

5at (nota) ‘to (with infinitive)...’ — 1a/6 var

aurr (noun m.) ‘sand or gravel bank, ford...’aur 1a/4 var

3á (prep.) ‘on, at...’ — 1a/2 var

betri (adj. comp.) [°superl. beztr/baztr; pos. „ góðr adj.] ‘better, best...’betra 1a/6

ek (pron.) [°mín, dat. mér, acc. mik] ‘I, me...’ — 1a/3, 1a/6 var, mik 1a/7 var

2en (conj.) ‘but, and...’ — 1a/8

2enn (adv.) ‘still, yet, again...’ — 1a/8 var

2er (conj.) ‘who, which, when...’ — 1a/5 var

ferri (adv.) ‘far, further...’ — 1a/8 var

(noun n.) [°fjár/féar; -] ‘cattle, money...’ — 1a/6

2finna (verb) ‘find, meet...’ — 1a/6 var

frœkn (adj.) ‘brave, bold...’frœknum 1a/7 var

2fyrðr (noun m.) [°-s, dat. -] ‘man...’fyrða 1a/7 var

fýsi (noun f.) ‘urge, desire...’fýsinn 1a/7 var

færa (verb) ‘[bring]...’færi 1a/7 var

1gera (verb) ‘do, make...’Gerðak 1a/1

1gramr (noun m.) ‘ruler...’gram 1a/6 var

hinnig (adv.) ‘here, hence...’ — 1a/6 var

1hodd (noun f.) ‘gold, treasure...’ — 1a/7, hodda 1a/5 var

hróðr (noun m.) ‘encomium, praise...’hróðri 1a/7

2hverr (pron.) ‘who, whom, each, every...’ — 1a/8

2hyggja (verb) ‘think, consider...’hykkat 1a/5 var

iðra (verb) ‘repent...’iðrumk 1a/3 var

illr (adj.) ‘bad, evil, unwell...’illrar 1a/2

2inn (art.) ‘the...’in 1a/8 var, it 1a/8

jǫrð (noun f.) [°jarðar, dat. -u; jarðir/jarðar(DN I (1367) 304Š)] ‘ground, earth...’jǫrðu 1a/2 var

kátr (adj.) [°compar. -ari, superl. -astr] ‘cheerful, glad...’ — 1a/5 var

koma (verb) [kem, kom/kvam, kominn] ‘come...’Komkat 1a/5

linnr (noun m.) ‘snake...’linns 1a/6 var

meðan (conj.) ‘while...’ — 1a/3

meiðr (noun m.) ‘beam, tree...’ — 1a/7

2mærr (adj.) ‘famous...’mæri 1a/7 var

3of (prep.) ‘around, from; too...’ — 1a/1, 1a/4 var

1 (pron.) [°gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---] ‘that (one), those...’þann 1a/2 var, þann 1a/5 var, þat 1a/3, þess 1a/5

sitja (verb) ‘sit...’sitr 1a/2 var

skáld (noun n.) [°-s; -] ‘poet...’skald 1a/8

skjǫldr (noun m.) [°skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu] ‘shield...’skjald 1a/8 var

sofa (verb) ‘sleep...’svôfu 1a/4

2spara (verb) ‘spare, withhold...’sparir 1a/7

2stǫkkr (adj.) ‘[swift]...’stǫkkvi 1a/5 var

sœkja (verb) ‘seek, attack...’sotta 1a/6 var

sættir (noun m.) ‘reconciler...’sættis 1a/6

1tíð (noun f.) [°-ar; -ir] ‘time...’tíðar 1a/2

vaðirmaðr (noun m.) ‘wading man?...’vaðirmenn 1a/4 var

Váfuðr (noun m.) ‘Váfuðr...’Váfaðar 1a/4

veig (noun f.) ‘strong drink...’ — 1a/1

2vera (verb) ‘be, is, was, were, are, am...’er 1a/2 var

verri (adj. comp.) ‘worse, worst...’verra 1a/8, 1a/8 var

2við (prep.) ‘with, against...’ — 1a/4 var, 1a/7

2vinna (verb) ‘perform, work...’vann 1a/3

virðr (noun m.) ‘man...’virða 1a/1

víðir (noun m.) ‘ocean...’víðis 1a/2

víg (noun n.) [°-s; -] ‘battle...’ — 1a/1 var

vísi (noun m.) [°-a] ‘leader...’vísa 1a/7 var

vǫrðr (noun m.) [°varðar, dat. verði/vǫrð; verðir, acc. vǫrðu] ‘guardian, defender...’vǫrð 1a/2 var

þar (adv.) ‘there...’ — 1a/5 var

þars (conj.) ‘where...’ — 1a/5

þing (noun n.) [°-s; -] ‘meeting, assembly...’ — 1a/6

þingsættir (noun m.)þingsættis 1a/6

þrennr (adj.) ‘three(fold)...’þrenna 1a/6 var

þrot (noun n.) [°-s; -] ‘[Exhaustion]...’þrots 1a/5 var

þróttr (noun m.) ‘strength, might, valour...’þrótt 1a/5 var

2þykkja (verb) ‘seem, think...’þœtti 1a/5 var, þótti 1a/5 var, þótti 1a/5, þóttu 1a/6 var

ǫr (noun f.) [°dat. -/-u; ǫrvar/ǫrar] ‘arrow...’ǫrva 1a/4 var

ǫrr (adj.) ‘generous, brave...’ — 1a/4

unlemmatised variants — feri (1a); Geyrða (1a); urs (1a); vet (1a)

 

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