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Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

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Einarr Skúlason (ESk)

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

III. 2. Fragments (Frag) - 18

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.

Fragments — ESk FragIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Einarr Skúlason, Fragments’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 151. <> (accessed 2 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18 

Skj: Einarr Skúlason: 12. Ubestemmelige vers, tilhørende forskellige fyrstedigte eller lausavísur (AI, 479-82, BI, 451-4)

SkP info: III, 161

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — ESk Frag 10III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Fragments 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 161.

Margr ríss, en drífr dorgar
dynstrǫnd í svig lǫndum,
(spend verða stǫg stundum)
stirðr keipr (fira greipum).

Margr stirðr keipr ríss, en {dynstrǫnd dorgar} drífr í svig lǫndum; stǫg verða stundum spend greipum fira.

Many a firm rowlock lifts, and {the roaring beach of the trolling-line} [SEA] surges into the bays of the lands; the stays are at times strained in men’s grips.

Mss: R(26v), Tˣ(27v), W(57), U(29v), B(5r), 744ˣ(31v) (SnE)

Readings: [2] dynstrǫnd: dynr stǫng 744ˣ;    svig: svik U;    lǫndum: lǫngum 744ˣ    [3] stǫg: so all others, stǫng R    [4] stirðr: so all others, stirð R;    keipr: so Tˣ, W, 744ˣ, ‘sceipr’ R, ‘kipr’ U;    fira: fyrr á 744ˣ

Editions: Skj: Einarr Skúlason, 12. Ubestemmelige vers, tilhørende forskellige fyrstedigte eller lausavísur 10: AI, 481, BI, 453, Skald I, 223; SnE 1848-87, I, 326-7, II, 316, 529, III, 52, SnE 1931, 117, SnE 1998, I, 38.

Context: In Skm, as st. 9 above. The sea-kenning here is dynstrǫnd dorgar ‘roaring beach of the trolling-line’.

Notes: [All]: In R, and 744ˣ, the stanza is preceded by Ok enn kvað hann ‘And again he said’ (W has ok enn ‘and again’). — [1] dorgar ‘of the trolling-line’: A fish-line that is pulled behind a boat (etymologically related to draga ‘drag, pull’; see AEW: dorg). — [3] stǫg (n. nom. pl.) ‘the stays’: So all other mss. Stǫng ‘pole’ (R) violates both the syntax (the subject is sg. and verb is pl.) and the metre because metrical position 4 cannot be occupied by a long nominal syllable in lines of this type (see Gade 1995a, 85-7). The stay is a rope that supports the mast (see Falk 1912, 59; Jesch 2001a, 165). — [4] stirðr keipr ‘firm rowlock’: During rowing the oars rested in crescent-shaped wooden pieces inserted into the top strake (see Falk 1912, 70; Jesch 2001a, 155). It is not quite clear how these could be ‘lifted’, but here it seems to denote the oars themselves being lifted in the rowlocks.

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