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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 29 June 2022)

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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, 117

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

19 — Eil Þdr 19III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Þórsdrápa 19’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 117.

Bifðisk hǫll, þás hǫfði
Heiðreks of kom breiðu
und fletbjarnar fornan
fótlegg Þrasis veggjar.
Ítr gulli laust Ullar
jótrs vegtaugar þrjóti
meina niðr í miðjan
mest gyrðil nestum.


The hall shook when [he] brought the broad head {of the Heiðrekr {of the wall of Þrasir}} [STONE > GIANT = Geirrøðr] under {the old leg {of the bench-bear}}. [HOUSE > PILLAR] {The glorious stepfather of Ullr} [= Þórr] struck {the provisions of harm} [PIECE OF IRON] with full force down into the middle of the girdle {of the defier {of the molar {of the way of the fishing-line}}}. [SEA > STONE > GIANT]

context: See Context to st. 1. Further, the stanza is cited in LaufE (ll. 1-4 in papp10ˣ and 743ˣ, ll. 1-8 in 2368ˣ) as an example for house-kennings which have an animal as base-word.

notes: [1-4]: The subordinate clause introduced by þás ‘when’ (l. 1) has a suppressed subject in the sg., but the situation implies that this is Þórr (Finnur Jónsson 1900b, 398). Kock (NN §2253) avoids this by taking þrasir veggjar ‘the furious one of the wedge [= Þórr]’ as a subject. However, that interpretation forces the emendation of þrasis gen. (so all mss except R) to þrasir nom. and an unattested meaning ‘wedge’ of ON veggr ‘wall’.

texts: LaufE 73 (280), LaufE 70 (357), Skm 90, SnE 92

editions: Skj Eilífr Goðrúnarson: 2. Þórsdrápa 18 (AI, 151; BI, 143); Skald I, 78, NN §§2008I, 2253, 2309B, 2409, 2987I, 3396L; SnE 1848-87, I, 302-3, III, 37-8, SnE 1931, 109, SnE 1998, I, 29; LaufE 1979, 280, 357.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 25r, 17 - 25r, 20 (SnE)  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 25v, 33 - 26r, 1 (SnE)  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 53, 30 - 53, 32 (SnE)  image  image  image  
Holm papp 10 4°x (papp10x) 44r, 17 - 44r, 18 [1-4] (LaufE)  image  
GKS 2368 4°x (2368x) 99, 22 - 99, 25 (LaufE)  image  
AM 743 4°x (743x) 77v, 25 - 77v, 28 [1-4] (LaufE)  image  image  
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