This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

login: password: stay logged in: help

Einarr Skúlason (ESk)

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

7. Runhenda (Run) - 10

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.

Runhenda (‘’) — ESk RunII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Einarr Skúlason, Runhenda’ 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. 551-9. <> (accessed 27 June 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 

Skj: Einarr Skúlason: 7. Runhenda, o. 1155 (AI, 473-5, BI, 445-7)

SkP info: II, 553

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — ESk Run 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Runhenda 3’ 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, p. 553.

Vann siklingr sótt
við snarpa drótt
— leyfðs lýðum bær —
Leikbergi nær.
Renir flýðu ríkt
ok reiddu slíkt,
— ǫld festi auð —
sem ǫðlingr bauð.

Siklingr vann sótt nær Leikbergi við snarpa drótt; leyfðs bær lýðum. Renir flýðu ríkt ok reiddu slíkt, sem ǫðlingr bauð; ǫld festi auð.

The ruler fought close to Leikbjǫrg with his brave retinue; praise must be spread among men. The Renir fled in force and paid out what the prince exacted; people promised riches.

Mss: Mork(35v) (Mork); Kˣ(658v), F(73va), E(56v), J2ˣ(355v), 42ˣ(46v) (Hkr); H(124r), Hr(81ra-b) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] við: so all others, með Mork    [3] leyfðs (‘leyfþ er’): leyfðr er H, Hr;    bær: so Kˣ, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, H, Hr, kær Mork, nær F    [5] Renir: so Kˣ, J2ˣ, H, Hr, ‘remir’ Mork, ‘rænir’ F, ‘rénir’ E, ‘rǫnir’ 42ˣ;    flýðu: flugu F    [6] reiddu: reiddi F, reiði E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, H, réðu Hr    [7] ǫld festi: allir festu 42ˣ    [8] ǫðlingr: siklingr Hr

Editions: Skj: Einarr Skúlason, 7. Runhenda 3: AI, 473, BI, 446, Skald I, 219, NN §1986; Mork 1867, 225, Mork 1928-32, 443, Andersson and Gade 2000, 391, 494 (Hsona); ÍF 28, 326-7 (Hsona ch. 19), F 1871, 338, E 1916, 198; Fms 7, 234 (Hsona ch. 19).

Context: As st. 2 above.

Notes: [2] við ‘with’: Both með ‘with’ (so Mork) and við ‘with’ are possible with the acc. in this context, but við is more archaic. — [3] leyfðs bær lýðum ‘praise must be spread among men’: The Mork variant, leyfðs kær lýðum ‘praise is dear to men’ is an equally good reading, but kær ‘dear’ appears to be a lectio facilior in which the <b> in bær ‘spread’ has been replaced with or misread as <k> in the more common kær ‘dear’. For the adj. bærr, see LP: bærr 1 (som kan, bör, skal, bæres eller føres ‘which can, should, must be carried or brought’). — [4] Leikbergi ‘Leikbjǫrg’: This p. n. has not been identified. — [5] Renir ‘the Renir’: People from the district of Bohuslän (Ranríki) in present-day Sweden, then a part of Norway. — [6] reiddu (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘paid out’: Skj B adopts the variant reiddi (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘paid out’ (so F) with ǫld (f. nom. sg.) ‘people’ (l. 7) as the subject. That reading is lower on the stemma and creates a more complex w. o. (see NN §1986).

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