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Einarr Skúlason (ESk)

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

11. Lausavísur (Lv) - 6

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.

Lausavísur — ESk LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Einarr Skúlason, 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. 568-74. <> (accessed 19 September 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

Skj: Einarr Skúlason: 11. Lausavísur (AI, 482-5, BI, 454-7); stanzas (if different): 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

SkP info: II, 568-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — ESk Lv 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 568-9.

Þér hefk, þengill Mœra,
— þinns vegr mikill — segja,
(ert) svát eigi skortir,
(allfróðr) sǫgu góða.
Eigis Ívarr, bauga
— enn sitt kyrr hjá henni —
fægirjóðr, af Fljóðum
fingrmjór kominn hingat.

{Þengill Mœra}, hefk góða sǫgu segja þér, svát eigi skortir; vegr þinns mikill; ert allfróðr. {Fægirjóðr bauga}, eigis fingrmjór Ívarr af Fljóðum kominn hingat; sitt enn kyrr hjá henni.

{Lord of the Mœrir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Sigurðr], I have good tidings to tell you, so that there is no lack of it; your glory is great; you are most wise. {Reddener of shields} [WARRIOR], slender-fingered Ívarr af Fljóðum (‘from Fløan’) has not come here; continue to stay quietly with her.

Mss: Mork(29r) (Mork); H(105v), Hr(70va) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] þengill: ‘þeíng’ Hr    [7] Fljóðum: fljóði H

Editions: Skj: Einarr Skúlason, 11. Lausavísur 1: AI, 482-3, BI, 454, Skald I, 223-4; Mork 1867, 181, Mork 1928-32, 375, Andersson and Gade 2000, 341, 489 (Msona); Fms 7, 137 (Msona ch. 32).

Context: King Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ Magnússon sends his retainer, Ívarr af Fljóðum, to Ireland on a mission, and in Ívarr’s absence he consorts with Sigríðr Hranadóttir, Ívarr’s wife. The st. is recited in response to Sigurðr’s question as to whether Ívarr has returned to Norway.

Notes: [All]: Mork is the main ms. In Mork and H-Hr, the st. is incorporated into Þinga saga or Þinga þáttr, an account of the legal dealings between Sigurðr and his brother, King Eysteinn Magnússon. The st. must have been recited before 1116, because Sigurðr’s brother, Óláfr (d. 22 December 1115), is one of the characters in the prose narrative. — [3] ert ‘you are’: This is one of the earliest attestations (c. 1115) of a rhotacised -r- in the sg. pres. indic. of the verb vera/vesa ‘to be’ (see Note to [All] above and also ESk Hardr 2/2 above). — [3] svát eigi skortir ‘so that there is no lack of it’: Skj B takes this cl. with vegr þinns mikill ‘your glory is great’, which complicates the w. o. unnecessarily. — [5, 7] fægirjóðr bauga ‘reddener of shields [WARRIOR]’: Lit. ‘a person who is occupied with reddening shields’ (in blood). Skj B and Skald emend to fægihrjóðr bauga ‘a person is occupied with destroying or dispensing rings’, i.e. ‘generous man’ (see also LP: fægirjóðr). The first element of the cpd is derived from the weak verb fægja ‘perform, be occupied with sth.’ (see LP: fægja). Baugr ‘ring’ was the boss of a shield, here used pars pro toto for ‘shield’ (see Falk 1914, 140-1). — [7] af Fljóðum ‘af Fljóðum (“from Fløan”)’: Located in Skatval, in Stjørdalen, Trøndelag, Norway.

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