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Runic Dictionary

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Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson (Ólsv)

13th century; volume 3; ed. R. D. Fulk;

IV. 5. Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

It is possible that Óláfr (Ólsv) was a nephew of the poet Játgeirr Torfason (SnE 1848-87, III, 681; SkP II, 652). In Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 279) he is identified as a poet attached to the court of King Hákon Hákonarson (r. 1217-63; see SkP II, lxxxi-lxxxii). His nickname svartaskáld ‘Black Skald’ no doubt was employed to distinguish him from his contemporary at Hákon’s court, Óláfr hvítaskáld ‘White Skald’ Þórðarson (Ólhv; see SkP II, 656), and presumably it indicates that he had dark hair. He plays a role in a narrative in Sturlunga saga (ch. 228) set in the period 1230-1 (see Stu 1988, I, 329-30). According to that saga, he was a poor man who was in the company of Snorri Sturluson’s son, Jón murtr ‘Roach’, in Bergen in 1231. During a drunken brawl he dealt Jón an axe-blow that led to Jón’s death. Óláfr managed to escape the scene of the crime under the cover of darkness and he was not punished. He is not mentioned again in any literary source. The remains of his poetry are almost all fragmentary: these include what appear to be drápur dedicated to King Hákon (Hákdr), to Christ (Kristdr), and to the Norwegian Skúli jarl Bárðarson (1189-1240) (Skúldr), as well as a love poem (Love); the one complete work is a lone lausavísa.

Lausavísa — Ólsv LvIV

Guðrún Nordal (forthcoming), ‘ Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson, Lausavísa’ in Guðrún Nordal (ed.), Poetry on Icelandic History. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 4. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1333> (accessed 20 May 2022)

stanzas:  1 

Skj: Óláfr Leggsson, svartaskáld: 5. Lausavísa, o. 1230 (AII, 85-86, BII, 97)

in texts: Ísls, Stu

This edition is currently in preparation and will be published in a forthcoming volume of the series. The text below is from a superseded edition (Skj where relevant).

1 Vol. 4. Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson (biog. vol. 3), 5. Lausavísa, 1 — Ólsv Lv 1IV

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Hǫldum vér of hildar
hyrrjóðanda fróðum,
nýtir hann at hreyta,
hǫfuðvǫrð, móins jǫrðu,
meðan hreggstœrir hírir
hjálma, þings, í bingi
síks hjá sinni leiku,
svá kátr unir gáti.

Skj: Óláfr Leggsson, svartaskáld: 5. Lausavísa 1 (A; BII, 96); dróttkvætt; ed. GN; group: C; mss: 114x, I, papp8x; texts: Ísls 43
 
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