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Runic Dictionary

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Skáldhelgi Þórðarson (ShÞ)

11th century; volume 3; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Fragment (Frag) - 1

Skáldhelgi ‘Poet-Helgi’ Þórðarson (ShÞ) was an Icelander who must have lived at the beginning of the eleventh century. According to Landnámabók (ÍF 1, 86, 212-13), he was the great-grandson of the settler Ásgeirr, who came to western Iceland with Hrómundr of Gilsbakki and settled at Hamarr near Helgavatn. Skáldhelgi was married to Þordís, great-granddaughter of the famous chieftain Miðfjarðar-Skeggi. His life is commemorated in seven rímur (see LH 1894-1901, I, 504; Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 134-6), which were most likely based on a now lost saga about him. The rímur focus on his love affairs, travels and final days in Greenland, where he is said to have been the last lawspeaker (LH 1894-1901, I, 504). All that remains of Skáldhelgi’s poetry is the couplet edited here, as well as three stanzas addressed to a sorceress (ShÞ Sorceress 1-3V) preserved in ms. BLAdd 11242ˣ. These may have been contained in the no longer extant saga (see Jón Helgason 1976), and they are therefore published in SkP V.

Fragment — ShÞ FragIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Skáldhelgi Þórðarson, Fragment’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 351. <> (accessed 25 September 2021)

stanzas:  1 

Skj: Skáld-Helgi Þórðarson: Et ubestemmeligt brudstykke (AI, 308, BI, 286); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: LaufE

SkP info: III, 351

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This fragment (ShÞ Frag) is found only in 742ˣ (main ms.) and 1496ˣ, in a section with heiti (or, rather, kennings) for ‘wound’ that roughly corresponds to the lists of such heiti in LaufE (LaufE 1979, 303, 391) and RE 1665(Kk3). There is no extant medieval source for these sections (see LaufE 1979, 303 n.), and neither LaufE nor RE 1665 includes this couplet (the Y redaction of LaufE and RE 1665 instead give Eskál Lv 3/1-4I as an illustration of such circumlocutions). The fragment is attributed to Skáldhelgi Þórðarson in both mss.
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