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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.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23 

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, 123

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

22 — Eil Þdr 22III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Þórsdrápa 22’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 123.

Vreiðr stóð Vrǫsku bróðir;
vá gagn faðir Magna;
skelfra Þórs né Þjalfa
þróttar steinn við ótta.

{Bróðir Vrǫsku} stóð vreiðr; {faðir Magna} vá gagn; {steinn þróttar} Þórs né Þjalfa skelfra við ótta.

{The brother of Rǫskva} [= Þjálfi] stood furious; {the father of Magni <god>} [= Þórr] won victory; {the stone of valour} [HEART] of neither Þórr nor Þjálfi trembles with terror.

Mss: R(21v), Tˣ(22r), W(47), U(27v) (SnE)

Readings: [2] vá: ‘ra‑’ W    [3] skelfra: skalf eigi U    [4] þróttar: þrótta W

Editions: Skj: Eilífr Goðrúnarson, 2. Þórsdrápa 21: AI, 152, BI, 144, Skald I, 79, NN §2446, SnE 1848-87, I, 254-5, II, 308, III, 15, SnE 1931, 95, SnE 1998, I, 15.

Context: The stanza is cited among stanzas illustrating kennings for Þórr in Skm (SnE).

Notes: [All]: The last two lines of this helmingr, which is transmitted in a different location in Skm than the other stanzas of Þdr, are similar to st. 11/7-8, which shows that this is a stef-stanza. — [1] Vrǫsku … vreiðr ‘of Rǫskva … furious’: All eds agree that, because alliteration falls on v- () in l. 2, initial and archaic v- must be restored in the alliterating words Vrǫsku and vreiðr (l. 1) as well (cf. ANG §288 Anm. 1). The mss have (normalised) Rǫsku and reiðr. — [1] Vrǫsku ‘of Rǫskva’: According to Snorri, the two children Þjálfi and Rǫskva were given to Þórr as servants as compensation for an incident in which Þjálfi injured one of Þórr’s goats, causing it to limp (Gylf, SnE 2005, 37). In ARG II, 332, Rǫskva’s name is connected with Goth. wrisqan ‘bear fruit’ (cf. ON rǫskvast ‘grow, ripen’), and she could have been a goddess of fertility. The name can be reconstructed as Gmc *Wraskwō, an agent noun meaning ‘ripener, ripening one’. — [3] skelfra ‘trembles’: Lit. ‘does not tremble’ (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. plus the negation ‑a). The negation ‑a reinforces the linking Þórs né Þjalfa. Unlike in st. 11/7, where skalfa appears in the pret., the verb in this helmingr is in the pres. tense and this may have to do with the rhyme. In st. 11 the second helmingr has aðalhending in all lines; hence Þjalfa would rhyme with the pret. skalfa. The present helmingr has the usual alternation of skot- and aðalhending, and skelfra rhymes with Þjalfa. Kock (NN §2246) rejects skelfr because, in his opinion, a stef should not contain any changes, but this argument is not strong enough to overturn the evidence of most of the mss (R, , W) in favour of the reading of U, skalf eigi ‘did not tremble’. — [4] steinn þróttar ‘the stone of valour [HEART]’: See Note to st. 11/8.

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