Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

Skj info: Stefnir Þórgilsson, Islænder, omkr. 1000. (AI, 153-154, BI, 146).

Skj poems:

The biography of Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir) is narrated in Kristni saga (Kristni, ÍF 15, II, 15-17) and in ÓT and ÓTOdd, from which a Stefnis þáttr Þorgilssonar (Stefn) can be assembled (ÍF 15, I, clxxxi-clxxxiv, II, 103-10; cf. Flat 1860-8, I, 285 for a section about Stefnir headed þáttr). Stefnir was the son of Þorgils Eilífsson, son of Helgi bjóla (meaning uncertain), from Kjalarnes, western Iceland. The name Stefnir is not certainly recorded in Norway or Iceland until the fourteenth century, and where it occurs in the kings’ sagas it appears to be an Icelandicised form of the name Stephen, borne by Englishmen (so ÍF 15, II, 103 n. 1). Stefnir travelled with Þorvaldr víðfǫrli ‘Wide-travelling’ Koðránsson (Þvíðf). He was converted to Christianity and sent by King Óláfr Tryggvason to evangelise his homeland c. 996, but met with shipwreck and a hostile reception (see Anon (ÓT) 1), was prosecuted for his Christianity by his kinsmen and sentenced to lesser outlawry; he then returned to Óláfr. The two stanzas below are attributed to Stefnir during a period of disconsolate wandering after the king’s death c. 1000, and are of very different kinds. Stefnir and his slander of someone identified as Sigvaldi jarl (Lv 1) were regarded as the fabrication of Gunnlaugr Leifsson (d. c. 1218/9) by Baetke (1970, and cf. Gottskálk Þór Jensson 2006, 52-3), but see the refutation by Andersson (2003, 21-5).

Lausavísur — Stefnir LvI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Stefnir Þorgilsson, 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. 447.

 1   2 

Skj: Stefnir Þórgilsson: Lausavísur (AI, 153-154, BI, 146)

in texts: Flat, Fsk, Kristni, ÓT, ÓTOdd

SkP info: I, 447

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

1. 310 - 80/34-80/36 (VEÞ)
Munkat ec nefna nær | mun ec stefna . niðr biugt er nef a niþingi . þann er suein konung | sueik or landi oc tryggua son a talar dro. ||
Hb - 18v/10-18v/11 (VEÞ)
Mvnkað ek nefna ner man ek stefna niðr bivgt er | nef a niðingi þann er svein konung sveik ór landi ok tryggva son a talar dro
61 - 70vb/1-70vb/3 (VEÞ)
Mvnkat ek nefna . nerr mvn ek stef | na niðr mvn ek stefna . niðr bívgt er nef sem ꜳ niðíngi . sa er svein | konung sueik or landi ok tryɢva son . ꜳ talar dro.
53 - 67rb/38-67rb/40 (VEÞ)
Munkat ek nefna nęʀ mun ek stefna niðr bíugt | er nef a níþíngi · þeim er sveín konung sueík or landi ok tryggva son | a talaʀ dro·
2. Holm18 - 50v/33-50v/35 (DW)
Ek skil ærit gerla. ervmk leiðr fꜹður reiðe. harðr skyli | drengr a dyrðer. danskvr hø᷎ll hvat þv melir. helldr vil ek vil stoð standa. staglvtr | drifin vti vaða gerðr en ek verða varmr a þínvm ármi.
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