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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, 457

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Edáð Banddr 2I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 2’ 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. 457.

Hoddsveigir lét hníga
harða ríkr, þás barðisk,
(logreifis brátt lífi)
landmann Kíars (handa).
Stálœgir nam stíga
stafns fletbalkar hrafna
af dynbeiði dauðum.
Dregr land at mun banda.

{Harða ríkr hoddsveigir} lét {landmann Kíars} hníga, þás barðisk; brátt lífi {{handa log}reifis}. {Stálœgir} nam stíga af {dauðum {{{stafns hrafna} fletbalkar} dyn}beiði}. Dregr land at mun banda …

{The very mighty treasure-bender} [GENEROUS MAN = Eiríkr] caused {the countryman of Kíarr <ruler>} [= Skopti] to fall, when he fought; you snatched away the life {of the presenter {of the flame of hands}} [(lit. ‘flame-presenter of hands’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Skopti]. {The sword-intimidator} [WARRIOR = Eiríkr] strode away from {the dead requester {of the din {of the house-partition {of the horses of the stem}}}} [(lit. ‘din-requester of the house-partition of the horses of the stem’) SHIPS > SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Skopti]. Wins land at the pleasure of the gods …

Mss: (143v), F(23vb), J1ˣ(84r), J2ˣ(79r), 325VIII 1(3vb) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Hodd‑: ‘Hoðz’ J1ˣ;    ‑sveigir: sveigi F, hneigi 325VIII 1;    lét: so F, létz Kˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VIII 1    [3] log‑: lǫg F;    brátt: brá 325VIII 1    [4] ‑mann: ‑mens F;    Kíars handa: Kíar sanda F    [5] ‑œgir: ýgir F;    stíga: hníga 325VIII 1    [6] fletbalkar: ‘fet bal kar’ F, ‘flek baki’ J1ˣ    [8] mun: ímun J1ˣ;    banda: branda J1ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 2: AI, 200, BI, 190-1, Skald I, 100-1, NN §551; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 290-1, IV, 78, ÍF 26, 250, Hkr 1991, I, 167 (ÓTHkr ch. 20), F 1871, 108.

Context: The stanza follows st. 1 (see Context) without interruption. 

Notes: [1-4]: The stanza depicts a killing which can reasonably be equated with Eiríkr’s killing of Skopti in st. 1, although the antagonists are not identified, and there are interpretative difficulties: alternative readings (F departing from the other mss), alternative editorial construals, and a particular difficulty with Kíar(s) in l. 4. (a) Adopted in this edn is the solution proposed by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26, followed by Hkr 1991), which involves no emendations, uses the readings, which are supported by mss from both branches of the Hkr stemma, and does not assume unattested usages except for that of Kíarr. The second kenning for ‘generous man’ is taken to refer to Skopti, and qualifies lífi ‘life’. Landmann ‘countryman’ and Kíars ‘of Kíarr’ are taken together as a kenning also designating Skopti (see Note to l. 4). (b) Earlier eds accepted the readings landmens ‘land-torque’ and sanda ‘sands’ from ms. F. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) proposed: Harða ríkr hoddsveigir lét mens Kíar hníga, þás barðisk; brátt lífi sanda landlogreifis, which would give ‘The very mighty man made the leader fall, when he fought; you snatched away the life of the generous man’. Here land- ‘land’ and -mens ‘torque’ are separated: land- is combined via tmesis with logreifis ‘flame-presenter’ and also with sanda ‘of sands’ to form the kenning ‘presenter of the flame of the land of sands [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; Kíar mens ‘Kíarr of the torque’ forms a further kenning for ‘man’, with the ruler-heiti Kíarr substituting for a god-heiti, which would be normal in this type of kenning. (c) Kock (NN §551) instead posits a gold-kenning log landmens ‘fire of the torque of land [SEA > GOLD]’ and construes sanda as qualifying Kíar, i.e. ‘prince of the sands / of the coast’, parallel to his hersi útvershersir/lord of the fishing-ground’ in st. 1. The kenning log landmens finds support in Glúmr Eir 1III log banda lands ‘flame of the ties of the land [SEA > GOLD]’ (cf. de Vries 1964-7, I, 183). (d) Log landmens, again taken as ‘gold’, could form an extended kenning for ‘generous man’ with ‑reifis ‘presenter’ as the base-word, and the whole qualifying lífi ‘life’, while acc. sg. Kíar could be a heiti for ‘ruler’ and refer to Skopti. However this would leave sanda ‘of the sands’ unaccounted for. — [1] lét ‘caused’: The variation between lét and lézt in the mss may point to an original alternation between 2nd and 3rd pers. narrative in the poem (cf. brátt ‘you snatched’, l. 3 and nam stíga ‘(he) strode’, l. 5). — [2] harða ríkr ‘very mighty’: Probably an allusion to Eiríkr’s name; see AEW: Eiríkr. — [3] logreifis ‘of the flame-presenter’: For the sense of reifir here, cf. the verb reifa ‘bestow’; in other contexts ‘promoter, gladdener’ are possible (so LP: reifir). — [4] landmann Kíars ‘the countryman of Kíarr [= Skopti]’: Landmaðr means ‘settler, inhabitant of a land, countryman’ (Fritzner: landmaðr 1). Kíarr is a legendary ruler, and the word has been derived from Lat. cæsar (LP: Kíarr, though not AEW). In Anon (Heiðr) 6/6VIII (Heiðr 87) Kíarr is specifically a ruler of the Valir, the Franks, but kíarr here may function as a generic term for ‘ruler’, denoting Skopti’s patron Hákon jarl. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) gives this identification but equates landmaðr with lendr maðr ‘landed man, district chieftain’. However, this sense is not attested, and although according to Hkr (ÍF 26, 248) Skopti was Hákon’s kinsman-in-law and in high favour, he is not referred to as a lendr maðr . — [5] stálœgir ‘the sword-intimidator [WARRIOR = Eiríkr]’: Stál is etymologically ‘steel (weapon)’. In the second element, normalisation to the god-name Ægir would be possible, but Konráð Gíslason (1876, 315) showed that œgir in such kennings is an agentive, from œgja ‘frighten’ (cf. ógn ‘fear’), and hence to be spelt with <œ> (oe ligature). Cf. œgir gumna ‘intimidator of men [RULER]’ in st. 6/5, 6. — [5] nam stíga ‘strode’: Lit. ‘got/proceeded to stride’. — [6] fletbalkar ‘of the house-partition’: This unique cpd functions as the base-word of an embedded shield-kenning. There are further examples of bǫlkr ‘partition’ or veggr ‘wall’ in this role (Meissner 170) and of shield-kennings with ship terms as determinants (Meissner 175-6). Flet denotes the floor of a building (Fritzner: flet) or a raised platform running along a wall and hence, especially in the pl., a house (LP: flet). Skj B emends to flat- ‘flat’. — [6] hrafna ‘of the horses’: Like valr ‘falcon’, hrafn is both a bird-name (‘raven’) and a proper name for a horse and hence a horse-heiti which appears in ship-kennings (see LP: 1. hrafn, 2. Hrafn). — [8]: This is the first instalment of the klofastef ‘split refrain’ (see st. 9 and Notes for the complete stef). The wording recalls Eskál Vell 8/2 austr lǫnd at mun banda ‘in the east, lands at the will of the gods’ and 14/4 hofs lǫnd ok vé banda ‘lands of the temple and sanctuaries of the gods’, and cf. Eil Frag 1/4III. It may be especially influenced by the stef which is Glúmr Eir 1: Brandr fær logs ok landa | lands Eiríki banda ‘the sword wins Eiríkr the flame of the ties of the land [SEA > GOLD] and lands’ (Fidjestøl 1982, 185; cf. Note to ll. 1-4, interpretation (c) above); the verbal parallels are striking, despite the fact that banda is used in different senses. Imitative composition of stef is a well-attested skaldic practice (Fidjestøl 1982, 184; cf. Note to st. 5/8 below).

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