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Runic Dictionary

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Þorkell Skallason (ÞSkall)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Valþjófsflokkr (Valfl) - 2

Nothing is known about Þorkell (ÞSkall) except that he was a retainer of Earl Waltheof (Valþjófr) of Northumbria and that he composed a flokkr in Waltheof’s honour after his death (1076). According to Fsk (ÍF 29, 294), Þorkell was the son of one Þórðr skalli ‘Skull’, but we do not know whether he was from Iceland or from Norway (Skj gives his ethnicity as Icel.). No other poetry is attributed to Þorkell, and he is not listed in Skáldatal.

Valþjófsflokkr — ÞSkall ValflII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Þorkell Skallason, Valþjófsflokkr’ 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. 382-4. <> (accessed 3 December 2021)

stanzas:  1   2 

Skj: Þórkell Skallason: Valþjófsflokkr, o. 1070 (AI, 414, BI, 383-4)

in texts: Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, HSig

SkP info: II, 382-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Two sts are all that remains of ValþjófsflokkrFlokkr about Waltheof’ (ÞSkall Valfl), the poem in which Þorkell commemorated the life and death of Earl Waltheof of Northumbria (for Waltheof, see ‘Biographies of Other Dignitaries’ in Introduction to this vol.). The sts are preserved in HSigHkr (, F, E, J2ˣ, with as the main ms.) and in H-Hr (H, Hr). Stanza 2/1-4 is also transmitted in Fsk (NRA51 (FskB), FskAˣ). All versions attribute the sts to Þorkell, and both Hkr (ÍF 28, 195) and H-Hr (Fms 6, 426) provide the name of the poem, Valþjófsflokkr. The encomium must have been composed after Waltheof’s death (31 May 1076; see st. 2). For other poetry about Waltheof, see Anon Harst.
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