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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gizurr Þorvaldsson (Giz)

13th century; volume 4; ed. Guðrún Nordal;

II. Hákonardrápa (Hákdr) - 1

Skj info: Gizurr Þorvaldsson, Islandsk höfding, 13. årh. (AII, 98-99, BII, 110-11).

Skj poems:
1. En drape om Hakon d. gamle
2. Lausavísur

This edition is currently in preparation. The biography below may represent a superseded edition, notes and/or an interim or draft version. Do not cite this material without consulting the volume and skald editors.

Gizurr Þorvaldsson’s life is well-documented in &t.Stu;. He was an influential and powerful chieftain (goði), becoming the first earl of Iceland in 1259. He was ordained subdeacon. Gizurr travelled abroad many times and stayed for long periods in Norway. In 1247 he went on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he received absolution from Pope Innocent IV. He died in 1268. Among his forefathers were Ísleifr Gizurarson and Gizurr Ísleifsson, the first two bishops at &n48;. His grandfather, Gizurr Hallsson, was renowned as a scholar and historian, and associated with the writing of &t.Hungrv;, &t.PBp; and perhaps Veraldar saga. His father, Þorvaldr Gizurarson, founded the Augustinian monastery on Viðey. Gizurr is mentioned among King Hákon Hákonarson’s poets in both versions of Skáldatal. Only a half-stanza survives as evidence of his role as a court poet. It was composed in celebration of King Hákon’s battle with the Danes in 1257 and preserved in &t.Hak;. Two stanzas exist in &t.Stu;, one composed after the burning of his farm at &n50; in &n51; in 1253, the other after he had avenged the killing of his family a year later (&t.Stu; 1906, I, 132-3).

Hákonardrápa (‘Drápa about Hákon’) — Giz HákdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Gizurr Þorvaldsson, Hákonardrápa’ 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. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 673-4.


Skj: Gizurr Þorvaldsson: 1. En drape om Hakon d. gamle (AII, 98, BII, 110); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: Flat, Hák

SkP info: II, 673-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


The helmingr below (HákonardrápaDrápa about Hákon’ (Giz Hákdr)) is all that remains of Gizurr Þorvaldsson’s poetry about the Norw. king Hákon Hákonarson. It is found in mss E, F, G, 81a, 8 and Flat of Hák and attributed to Gizurr, but no ms. mentions that it belonged to a drápa about Hákon. Finnur Jónsson calls it Kvæði um Hákon konung Hákonarson ‘Poem about King Hákon Hákonarson’ (SnE 1848-87, III, 680) or En drape om Hakon d. gamle ‘A drápa about Hákon the Old’ (Skj), and Kock supplies the caption Om Håkan den gamle ‘About Hákon the Old’ (Skald). Gizurr is said to have been with the king in Denmark when the event described in the half-st. took place, and the poem to which it belonged must have been composed 1257-8, because Gizurr returned to Iceland in 1258 (see Storm 1888, 27, 66, 133) and remained there for the rest of his life. For Gizurr’s biography and his two lvv. (Giz Lv 1-2IV), see SkP IV.
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