Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorgils fiskimaðr (Þfisk)

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

Lausavísur (Lv) - 3

Skj info: Þórgils fiskimaðr, Nordmand, 11 årh. (AI, 400-1, BI, 369).

Skj poems:

Þorgils fiskimaðr ‘the Fisherman’ (Þfisk) is otherwise unknown, but he is said to have been a Norwegian who had fought in the army of King Óláfr Haraldsson at the battle of Stiklestad in 1030 (so Mork, Flat, H-Hr). According to F (F 1871, 254), Þorgils, who is given the nickname Hástaði (because he came from the farm Hástaðir; but see Fidjestøl 1971, 37-8), was the foster-father of Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, and the two had been separated since the battle of Stiklestad. The F version goes on to say that Þorgils and his two sons afterwards accompanied Haraldr on his expedition to England and died at the battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066 (F 1871, 256).

Lausavísur — Þfisk LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorgils fiskimaðr, Lausavísur’ 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. 333-6.

 1   2   3 

Skj: Þórgils fiskimaðr: Lausavísur, o. 1055 (AI, 400-1, BI, 369)

in texts: Flat, H-Hr, MH, Mork

SkP info: II, 333-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Þorgils’s lvv. (Þfisk Lv 1-3) are all part of a poetic exchange between him, King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð lv 10-11), and Haraldr’s court poet, Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA Lv 4). See also Anon (HSig) 3-4. For a discussion of this episode and the ms. transmission, see Introduction to Hharð Lv 10-11 above. Stanzas 1 and 3 are recorded in F as well. Characteristic of all these sts (Hharð Lv 10-11, ÞjóðA Lv 4, Þfisk Lv 1-3 and Anon (HSig) 3-4) is the repetition of the clauses ‘that was recently’ and ‘that was longer ago’ (or ‘long ago’) that occurs in positions 2-6 of ll. 4 and 8 respectively. Hence ll. 1-4 of each st. deal with recent events, while ll. 5-8 recall events that lay further back in time.
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