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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eilífr Goðrúnarson (Eil)

10th century; volume 3; ed. Edith Marold;

1. Þórsdrápa (Þdr) - 23

Skj info: Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Islandsk skjald, omkr. 1000. (AI, 148-52, BI, 139-44).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om Hakon jarl
2. Þórsdrápa
3. Af et kristeligt digt

Hardly anything is known about the life of Eilífr Goðrúnarson (Eil). According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256, 266, 280), he was active as a skald at the court of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in Norway around the end of the tenth century. Some scholars have argued that a word-play in a stanza preserved in Skm (SnE) conceals the name of Hákon jarl, thus confirming the information of Skáldatal, but the present edition, following Lie (1976, 399) is sceptical of that hypothesis (see Þdr 23, Note to [All]). Eilífr’s only surviving works are the long poem Þórsdrápa (Eil Þdr, 23 stanzas) and one fragment of a Christian poem (Eil Frag).

Þórsdrápa — Eil ÞdrIII

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Þórsdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 68.

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Skj: Eilífr Goðrúnarson: 2. Þórsdrápa (AI, 148-52, BI, 139-44); stanzas (if different): 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21

SkP info: III, 108

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

15 — Eil Þdr 15III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Þórsdrápa 15’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 108.

Ok hôm loga himna
hall- fylvingum -vallar
trôðusk, þærs við tróði
tungls brásali* þrungu.
Hofstjóri braut hvôru-
hreggs váfreiðar -tveggja
hlátrelliða hellis
hundfornan kjǫl sprundi.

 

They were trampled upon {by the nuts {of the sloping-plain}} [MOUNTAINS > STONES] and {the high flame of the skies}, [LIGHTNING] those who pressed {the hall {of the moon of eyelashes}} [(lit. ‘eyelash-hall of the moon’) EYE > HEAD] against the rafter. {The temple-steerer of the hovering chariot of the thunderstorm} [= Þórr] broke {the age-old keel {of the laughter-ship}} [BREAST > BACK] {of both women of the cave}. [GIANTESSES]

context: See Context to st. 1.

notes: The content of this stanza essentially corresponds to Snorri’s narrative in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 25). As it goes, Þórr, seated in a chair, is squashed against the roof by the giantesses and defends himself by pressing the staff Gríðarvǫlr against the roof. In doing so he breaks the backs of the two giantesses under his chair. However, all editorial attempts to produce an exact match between the content of the stanza and the story as it is told in Skm have led to unacceptable textual interpretations of the stanza. The present edn assumes that Snorri’s narrative could be based on a variant version of the myth that does not fully agree with the stanza. The relatively simple interpretation given here, with minimal emendations, differs somewhat from Snorri’s version. According to the stanza, Þórr, the thunder god, armed with bolts of lightning that cause a rockslide, defends himself against the giantesses and breaks their backs.

texts: Skm 87, SnE 89

editions: Skj Eilífr Goðrúnarson: 2. Þórsdrápa 14 (AI, 150; BI, 142); Skald I, 78, NN §§348, 462-3, 2107; SnE 1848-87, I, 298-301, III, 35, SnE 1931, 109, SnE 1998, I, 28-9.

sources

GKS 2367 4° (R) 25r, 11 - 25r, 13 (SnE)  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 25v, 26 - 25v, 26 (SnE)  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 53, 24 - 53, 26 (SnE)  image  image  image  
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