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Eyjólfr dáðaskáld (Edáð)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;

Bandadrápa (Banddr) - 9

Eyjólfr dáðaskáld (Edáð) is named among the skalds of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson of Hlaðir (Lade) in the text of Skáldatal in ms. 761aˣ (SnE 1848-87, III, 256). The U text numbers him among the skalds of Sveinn jarl Hákonarson but not Eiríkr (ibid., 266); this, however, is without corroboration from other sources and probably due to a simple error of transposition (though see Ohlmarks 1958, 145). Eyjólfr’s nickname may derive from his poetry in praise of the dáðir ‘deeds’ of Eiríkr jarl (ÍF 26, 249 n. 1), whose career spanned the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. No traces of poetry by Eyjólfr concerning any other rulers survive and nothing is otherwise known about his life or lineage.


Bandadrápa (‘Drápa of the gods’) — Edáð BanddrI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 454.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

Skj: Eyjólfr dáðaskáld: Bandadrápa, omkr. 1010 (AI, 200-2, BI, 190-2)

SkP info: I, 456

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Edáð Banddr 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 456.

Meita fór at móti
mjǫk síð of dag skíði
ungr með jǫfnu gengi
útvers frǫmum hersi,
þás riðloga reiðir
randvallar lét falla
— ulfteitir gaf ôtu
opt blóðvǫlum — Skopta.

Ungr fór at {móti Meita} mjǫk síð of dag {skíði útvers} með jǫfnu gengi frǫmum hersi, þás {reiðir {riðloga {randvallar}}} lét Skopta falla; {ulfteitir} gaf opt {blóðvǫlum} ôtu.

[When] young, he went to {an encounter of Meiti <sea-king>} [BATTLE] very late in the day {on the ski of the fishing ground} [SHIP] with a following equal to the noble hersir, when {the brandisher {of the swinging flame {of the rim-plain}}} [SHIELD > SWORD > WARRIOR = Eiríkr] caused Skopti to fall; {the wolf-gladdener} [WARRIOR] often gave {the blood-falcons} [RAVENS/EAGLES] food.

Mss: (143v), F(23vb), J1ˣ(84r), J2ˣ(78v), 325VIII 1(3va) (Hkr); FskBˣ(31v), FskAˣ(116) (Fsk); R(35r), Tˣ(36v), W(80), U(34r), A(12r) (SnE, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [1] fór: var R    [2] skíði: ‘skiþ(a)’(?) R    [4] ‑vers: ‘vars’ J1ˣ, ver U;    frǫmum: ‘formvm’ U    [5] riðloga: rauðvita FskBˣ, FskAˣ;    reiðir: reið J1ˣ, ‘rꝍydder’ FskAˣ    [6] rand‑: rann J1ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘ramu’ FskBˣ;    ‑vallar: ‘‑vallr’ J1ˣ, 325VIII 1    [7] ‑teitir: ‑réttir J1ˣ, ‑reiðir 325VIII 1;    gaf: fekk F, 325VIII 1

Editions: Skj: Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 1: AI, 200, BI, 190, Skald I, 100, NN §550; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 290, IV 77-8, ÍF 26, 249-50, Hkr 1991, I, 166 (ÓTHkr ch. 20), F 1871, 108; Fsk 1902-3, 105 (ch. 20), ÍF 29, 138-9 (ch. 22); SnE 1848-87, I, 444-5, II, 332-3, 444, SnE 1931, 158, SnE 1998, I, 76, 200.

Context: In Fsk and Hkr, st. 1 is preceded by a description of Eiríkr’s first recorded exploit, at age ten or eleven. Rivalry develops between him and Tíðenda-Skopti (‘News-Skopti’), son-in-law of his father Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. Hákon rebukes Eiríkr for trying to take over Skopti’s mooring place. The following year, Eiríkr brings a ship to meet Skopti as he travels from one estate to another and in the ensuing battle kills him (see Note to l. 6). In SnE (Skm), the first helmingr is cited to illustrate the use of skíð ‘ski’ in ship-kennings.

Notes: [All]: The stanza is cited explicitly from Banddr in Hkr, and from ‘the poem (kvæði) that Eyjólfr dáðaskáld composed about Eiríkr’ in Fsk. — [1-4]: (a) The construal adopted here (as also in ÍF 26) gives the most straightforward word order and the most regular kenning structure; the battle-kenning mót Meita is directly paralleled in HÁsbj Lv 1/5V (Dpl 1). A minor drawback is that in taking frǫmum hersi as a comp. with jǫfnu gengi a slight ellipsis is assumed: ‘with a following equal to [that of] the noble hersir’. (b) The main alternative is to read (in prose order): Ungr fór með jǫfnu gengi skíði útvers Meita mjǫk síð of dag útvers at móti frǫmum hersi ‘[When] young he went with an equal following on the ski of the fishing ground of Meiti <sea-king> [SEA > SHIP] very late in the day to an encounter with the noble hersir’ (so Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). Here, útvers ‘of the fishing ground’ is pleonastic in that skíð Meita ‘ski of Meiti’ already forms a ship-kenning. Other explanations of útvers are possible: (c) Kock (NN §550) combines útvers with hersi, hence ‘lord of the fishing-ground’ (referring to Skopti). (d) Útvers could be construed as gen. of direction, ‘to the fishing-ground’ (see Poole 2004, 129). Guðbrandur Vígfússon (CPB II, 51, 570) similarly took útvers as an adverbial gen. of place, but as a p. n., ‘at Útver’, explaining Útver as an island off Sogn. — [1]: Evidently an emulation of Eskál Vell 22/1 (de Vries 1964-7, I, 183). — [2] mjǫk síð of dag ‘very late in the day’: If, as stated in Hkr and Fsk, the battle took place in early spring, it might have been fought under cover of darkness. — [3] með jǫfnu gengi ‘with an equal following’: The implication may be that, although young, Eiríkr is popular and able to muster as much support as a more seasoned magnate. Fsk states (perhaps extrapolating from the stanza) that Eiríkr was outnumbered in his earlier jockeying for position with Skopti. — [5] riðloga ‘of the swinging flame’: The Fsk reading rauðvita ‘of red beacon-fire’ makes good sense, since together with the determinant ‘shield’ it would yield a satisfactory kenning for ‘sword’. Nonetheless, riðloga, the reading of the Hkr mss, has better claims, as the lectio difficilior. — [6, 8] lét Skopta falla ‘caused Skopti to fall’: Whether Eiríkr personally slew Skopti is unclear. Fsk allows of this interpretation, but the phrasing in Hkr (ÍF 26, 249), þar fell Skopti ‘Skopti fell there’, avoids the question of agency. On Skopti, see Context.

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