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Runic Dictionary

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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, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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, 555

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — ESk Run 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Runhenda 6’ 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. 555.

Beit buðlungs hjǫrr
— blóð fell á dǫrr —
— hirð fylgðisk holl —
við Hjartarpoll.
Hugin gladdi heit
— hruðusk Engla beit —
— óx vitnis vín —
valbasta Rín.

Hjǫrr buðlungs beit við Hjartarpoll; blóð fell á dǫrr; holl hirð fylgðisk. {Heit Rín valbasta} gladdi Hugin; beit Engla hruðusk; {vín vitnis} óx.

The lord’s sword bit at Hartlepool; blood fell on spears; the faithful retinue persevered. {The hot Rhine <river> of sword-hilts} [BLOOD] gladdened Huginn <raven>; the ships of the English were cleared; {the wolf’s wine} [BLOOD] increased.

Mss: Mork(35v) (Mork); Kˣ(659r), F(73vb), E(57r), J2ˣ(356r), 42ˣ(47r) (Hkr); H(124r) (ll. 1-4), Hr(81rb) (H-Hr); R(40r), Tˣ(41v), U(37v), A(15r), B(6v), C(9r) (SnE, ll. 1-2)

Readings: [3] fylgðisk: fylgisk F, fylldisk Hr    [4] Hjartar‑: hjarta‑ all others    [6] hruðusk: við J2ˣ, Hr;    Engla: enga Kˣ    [7] óx: ‘vǫ’ 42ˣ    [8] valbasta: um valbastar 42ˣ, valkastar Hr

Editions: Skj: Einarr Skúlason, 7. Runhenda 6: AI, 474, BI, 446, Skald I, 220; Mork 1867, 225, Mork 1928-32, 444, Andersson and Gade 2000, 391, 495 (Hsona); ÍF 28, 328 (Hsona ch. 20), F 1871, 339, E 1916, 199; Fms 7, 235-6 (Hsona ch. 20); SnE 1848-87, I, 524-5, II, 344, 462, 541, 608, SnE 1931, 184, SnE 1998, I, 104.

Context: As st. 5 above. In SnE (Skm) buðlungr is given as a heiti for ‘ruler, dignitary’.

Notes: [1-2]: In R, and C, ll. 1-2 are directly followed by st. 7/3-4. — [2] dǫrr ‘spears’: See Note to Gísl Magnkv 12/8. — [4] við Hjartarpoll ‘at Hartlepool’: This prepositional phrase could be construed with any of the three preceding clauses (but see the parallel syntactic constructions in sts 5, 6/1-4, and 7). The spelling of this p. n. in Mork could well reflect the then current pronunciation (recorded as Herterpol in 1196; see Watts 2002, 55 and Townend 1998, 36-8, 95). Hartlepool is located in County Durham on the north-eastern coast of England north of Middlesbrough. — [5] Hugin: One of Óðinn’s ravens. — [8] valbasta ‘of sword-hilts’: The meaning of this word is not clear, but valbǫst appears to have been part of the sword-hilt (see Falk 1914, 29-30). See also ESk Geisl 43/8VII.

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