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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyjólfr dáðaskáld (Edáð)

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

Bandadrápa (Banddr) - 9

Skj info: Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Islandsk skjald (omkr. 1000). (AI, 200-202, BI, 190-192).

Skj poems:

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.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

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

SkP info: I, 464

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Edáð Banddr 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 6’ 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. 464.

Oddhríðar fór eyða
— óx hríð at þat — síðan
logfágandi lœgis
land Valdamars brandi.
Aldeigju brauzt, œgir
— oss numnask skil — gumna;
sú varð hildr með hauldum
hǫrð; komt austr í Garða.

{{{{Oddhríðar} lœgis} log}fágandi} fór síðan eyða land Valdamars brandi; hríð óx at þat. Brauzt Aldeigju, {œgir gumna}; skil numnask oss; sú hildr varð hǫrð með hauldum; komt austr í Garða.

{The custodian {of the flame {of the sea {of the point-storm}}}} [(lit. ‘flame-custodian of the sea of the point-storm’) BATTLE > BLOOD > SWORD > WARRIOR] went afterwards to ravage Vladimir’s land with the sword; the onslaught intensified at that. You crushed Staraya Ladoga, {intimidator of men} [RULER]; sound information is being brought to us [me]; that battle became hard amongst freeholders; you came eastwards into Russia.

Mss: (200r), F(34ra), J1ˣ(123r), J2ˣ(109r) (Hkr); 61(65va), 53(62rb), 54(60va), Bb(96rb), Flat(69rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [2] hríð: ríð F, stríð 54, Bb;    at þat: af því 61, 54, Bb, Flat, auði 53    [3] logfágandi: ‘logfandi’ 54, ‘ok lofgandi’ Bb, ‘lo᷎g fagande’ Flat    [4] Valdamars: so F, 61, ‘vallhamars’ Kˣ, ‘valdam’ J1ˣ, ‘valdam(i)’(?) J2ˣ, Valdimars 53, Valdamarr 54, Flat, ‘valld hamars’ Bb;    brandi: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Flat, brandi corrected from branda in a later hand Kˣ, branda Bb    [5] brauzt: ‘braz’ F;    œgir: ýgir F    [6] numnask: minnask J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [7] varð: var J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, 53, 54, Bb, Flat    [8] hǫrð: harð er 53, ‘havet’ Bb;    komt (‘comztu’): komsk F, ‘kot’ J1ˣ;    austr: om. Bb

Editions: Skj: Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 6: AI, 201, BI, 191-2, Skald I, 101, NN §482; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 417, IV, 94, ÍF 26, 339, Hkr 1991, I, 230 (ÓTHkr ch. 90), F 1871, 153; Fms 3, 289, Fms 12, 56, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 243 (ch. 243), Flat 1860-8, I, 519.

Context: After spending two winters in Sweden, and (in ÓT) marrying Gyða in Denmark, Eiríkr sails east across the Baltic and, reaching the territory of King Valdamarr (Vladimir), raids extensively. He storms and sacks Aldeigja (Staraya Ladoga) and subsequently raids around Garðar (Russia).

Notes: [1, 3] oddhríðar lœgis logfágandi ‘the custodian of the flame of the sea of the point-storm [(lit. ‘flame-custodian of the sea of the point-storm’) BATTLE > BLOOD > SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The verb fága means ‘keep clean, diligently attend to’ (Fritzner: fága). This would allude to the warlord’s care for his weapons. The identity of lœgis has been disputed. (a) The forms in the mss could point to either normalised lœgis (with oe ligature) or lægis (with ae ligature), and are interpreted here as lœgis ‘of the sea’ (a possibility also considered in ÍF 26). This combines with oddhríðar ‘of the point-storm [BATTLE]’ to form a kenning for ‘blood’. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) emended lœgis to lǫgðis ‘of the sword’, combining this with hríð ‘storm’ (l. 2) to form a battle-kenning. He used the other elements to form a kenning oddhríðar logfágandi ‘custodian of the flame of the point-storm [BATTLE > SWORD > WARRIOR]’. The emendation does not seem justified, however, particularly when there is the option of treating hríð in l. 2 as a heiti for ‘battle’ without determinant (cf. Note to HSt Rst 17/7). (c) Kock (NN §482A, followed by ÍF 26) opts for the reading lægis ‘of the harbour’, which results in logfágandi lægis ‘custodian of the flame of the harbour [(lit. ‘flame-custodian of the harbour’) GOLD > MAN]’. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) notes that use of the agentive fágandi ‘custodian’ with a gold-kenning appears not to antedate the C12th, and indeed lægi would also point to late composition, since it is not attested in skaldic poetry earlier than Krákumál (Anon Krm 5/7VIII; LP: lægi). Additionally, Kock links oddhríðar ‘of the point-storm [BATTLE]’ with brandi ‘sword’, positing a sense ‘sword of battle’, but that would be unidiomatic. — [2] hríð ‘the onslaught’: Hríð ‘storm (of snow or rain)’ is used in two ways in battle contexts, both exemplified in this helmingr. It is common as a base-word in battle-kennings, as in l. 1, but can also stand alone with the sense ‘phase in a battle, onslaught’ (cf. Þorm Lv 24/8) and hence ‘battle’ generally (see Þul Orrostu 2/7III; LP: hríð 2, 3). — [4] Valdamars ‘Vladimir’s’: This figure is to be identified with the Russian prince Vladimir, later styled S. Vladimir (r. c. 1070-1015; Pritsak 1993, 556; Franklin and Shepard 1996, 151-80). — [5] brauzt Aldeigju ‘you crushed Staraya Ladoga’: Established over a century before by the Kievan Rus’, this settlement was a principal stronghold and trading and artisanal centre on the route to the Black Sea, situated strategically near the point where the River Volchov enters Lake Ladoga, east of the Gulf of Finland (Westholm 2009, 132). The ON p. n. Aldeigja derives from Russian Ladogá (AEW: Aldeigja). — [5, 6] œgir gumna ‘intimidator of men [RULER]’: Cf. stálœgir ‘sword-intimidator [WARRIOR]’ in st. 2/5, and note the antithesis with stœrir gumna ‘strengthener of men [RULER]’ in st. 5/1, 3: Eiríkr encourages his own men but terrifies the opposition. — [6] skil numnask oss ‘sound information is being brought to us [me]’: The verb numnask is formed from numinn, p. p. from nema, apparently with the sense ‘hear, learn’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; cf. LP: numna). Eyjólfr relies on second-hand information (cf. frôgum, frák ‘we [I] have heard’ in sts 4/3, 7/1, 7/7), but he vouches for its reliability. Numnask is pl. in concord with n. pl. skil ‘sound information’. For the concept of skil in relation to poetic accounts, cf. Sigv Nesv 1/7. — [8] í Garða ‘into Russia’: Garðar or Garðaríki was an area of north-west Russia with Holmgarðr (Novgorod) as its chief settlement; see further Notes to Hharð Gamv 1/7II, Mark Eirdr 3/2II. The p. n. would translate as ‘precincts, enclosures’. On this type of trading settlement, located alongside rivers, see Westholm (2009, 136).

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