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Einarr Skúlason (ESk)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

VII. Geisli (Geisl) - 71

We know very little about the life of Einarr Skúlason (ESk). He is called prestr ‘priest’ and is mentioned in a catalogue (c. 1220) of priests of noble birth who were alive in western Iceland in 1143 (Stu 1878, II, 502). It is likely that he came from Borg, belonged to the Mýrar family and was a direct descendant of Þorsteinn Egilsson and a brother of Snorri Sturluson’s maternal grandfather (LH 1894-1901, II, 62-3; ÍF 3, 51 n. 3). He was probably born c. 1090. In 1153, he recited the poem Geisli ‘Light-beam’ (ESk GeislVII) in Kristkirken in Trondheim. He was marshal (stallari) at King Eysteinn Magnússon’s court, and he composed poetry in praise of the Norw. kings Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ and Eysteinn Magnússon, Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’, Magnús inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Sigurðarson, Haraldr gilli’s sons, Ingi, Sigurðr munnr ‘Mouth’, and Eysteinn, and about the Norw. chieftain Grégóríus Dagsson (see SnE 1848-87, III, 254-5, 263-4, 269, 276-7, 286). According to Skáldatal, he also honoured the Norw. magnate Eindriði ungi ‘the Young’ Jónsson as well as Sørkvir Kolsson and Jón jarl Sørkvisson of Sweden and King Sveinn Eiríksson of Denmark (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 258, 260, 268-9, 272, 283, 286). About the latter he recited a poem for which he received no reward (see ESk Lv 3; ÍF 35, 275). The extant portion of his poetic oeuvre consists of the following poems (excluding lvv.): Sigurðardrápa I (Sigdr I, five extant sts about Sigurðr jórsalafari); Haraldsdrápa I (Hardr I, two extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldsdrápa II (Hardr II, five extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldssonakvæði (Harsonkv, two extant sts about the sons of Haraldr gilli); Sigurðardrápa II (Sigdr II, one extant st. about Sigurðr munnr Haraldsson); Runhenda (Run, ten extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Eysteinsdrápa (Eystdr, two extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Ingadrápa (Ingdr, four extant sts about Ingi Haraldsson); Elfarvísur (Elfv, two extant sts about Grégóríus Dagsson); Geisli (GeislVII, seventy-one sts about S. Óláfr); Øxarflokkr (ØxflIII, ten extant sts about the gift of an axe).

It must be emphasised that, although the poetry included in the royal panegyrics below clearly belongs to poems of that genre, with two exceptions (Hardr II and Elfv), all the names of the poems are modern constructs (notably by Jón Sigurðsson and Finnur Jónsson). That also holds true for the assignment of sts to the individual poems. In some cases, sts were assigned to a particular poem for metrical reasons (so Run), in other cases because of the content or the named recipients of the praise. For the sake of convenience, the names of the poems and the sts assigned to them as found in Skj have been retained in the present edn. In addition to the royal encomia, a number of fragments and lvv. attributed to Einarr are preserved in SnE, TGT and LaufE (see ESk Frag 1-18III; ESk Lv 7-15III). These have been edited separately in SkP III. Six lvv. are transmitted in the kings’ sagas and edited below.

Geisli (‘Light beam’) — ESk GeislVII

Martin Chase 2007, ‘ Einarr Skúlason, Geisli’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 5-65. <> (accessed 22 May 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71 

Skj: Einarr Skúlason: 6. Geisli, 1153 (AI, 459-73, BI, 427-45)

SkP info: VII, 37-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

37 — ESk Geisl 37VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


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.

 Flat Gaufug red horn or hofí huítings vm sok litla audar aumun beidí vngs mannz skera tungu | þann sꜳm ver er uorum vꜳlaust numinn mꜳlí hodda níot þarer heitir hlíd fꜳm vikum sidan.   [TW]  edit 
 Bb Gꜹfug skar havrn or hofdí· hvítings af sok litla au|dar aumum beidí vngr maðr var sa tunngv. þann sám ver þar vorum | valaust nymín malí. hodda briot þar er heitir hlid fam | vikum sidar.   [TW]  edit 
 Kx Gofug let horn or hofþi | hvitings um for litla | ꜹdar ꜹmum beiðe | ungs mannz scera tungu | þann sa ver er várom | válꜹst numinn mali | hoddbriot þar er heitir | hlið fam vikom siþarr   [TW]  edit 
 39 Gaufog let hꜷrn or hofði hvitings vm soc litla ꜹdar | ꜹmom bǽþi vngs mannz kera tungo. þann sa ver er varom | valꜹst numinn mali hodda briot þar er hæitir hlið fam | vicom siþarr.   [TW]  edit 
 E Gofúg let hǫrn or hǫf|ðe huitings óf sauk litla auðar aúmum beiðe ungs mannz skera tungu þann sa vér er va|rum válaust numinn mali hoða bríot þat er heitir hlið fam vikom siðarr   [TW]  edit 
 Holm2 Gaufug scar hęyrn or | hofði hvitings um sauc litla auðar aumom beiði ungr maðr var sa tungo. þann sam ver er varom | valaust numinn mali hodda briot þar er heitir hlið fam vicum siðarr.   [TW]  edit 
 73ax Gofug líet horn or hofðí | huítíngs vm sok litla · || auðar aumum bæiðí | ungs mannz skera tungu: | þann sꜳ̋m er er varum· | válaust numínn mꜳlí · | hoððabríot þar er hæitir · | hlið fꜳm vikum siðarr·   [TW]  edit 
 Holm4 Gofug let horn or | hꜹfde huitings um sok litla. ꜹdar ꜹm | um beide unngs mannz skera tungu. þann sam | ve᷎r er varum valꜹst numinn male. hod|da bríot þar er heitir hlid fam uikum siþarr   [TW]  edit 
 Tóm Gaufug let haur? | ur haufðí · híorrungs fyr sautir lítla · auð(a/i)r aumir beíða · ungra mannz skerða tunngu · þann saum u(a/ꜹ)r | ok vorum · uaí laust numm malí · odda nioth þar er heítir · hlið fam uikvm siðar ·   [TW]  edit 
 Bb Gofꜹg lot | horn or hofde hvitings fyrir so᷎k litla ꜹdar | amum bęði ungs mannz skera tungu þann | sꜹm uer þa er vo᷎rum valꜹst numínn mali hod|du briost þar or heitir hlid fam vikvm siðar.   [TW]  edit 
 Flat Go᷎fug let ho᷎rnn or hofde huitings of sok litla audar aumum bæ|de ungs mannz skera tungu þann sam uær er vorum ualaust num|ínn mali hodda bríotr þar er hæitir hlid fam uikum sidar·   [TW]  edit 

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Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated