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Eldjárn (Eldj)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

Nothing is known about Eldjárn (Eldj) aside from the information provided in Giffarðs þáttr (Mork 1928-32, 323-6; Fms 7, 56-61). He is not listed in Skáldatal, and the two lvv. below are all that remains of his poetic oeuvre. According to Giffarðs þáttr, Eldjárn was a young Icelander from Húsavík who met a Norman knight, Giffarðr (a former follower of King Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson), when Eldjárn was on his way from Constantinople to England (c. 1102). He composed a derogatory st. about Giffarðr and was subsequently sued by the knight for slander. Eldjárn redeemed himself by reciting another st., but in that st. he praised Giffarðr for valour he had not displayed, thus ridiculing him anew.

Lausavísur — Eldj LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Eldjárn, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 406-8.

stanzas:  1   2 

Skj: Eldjárn: Lausavísur, 1100 (AI, 437, BI, 407)

SkP info: II, 407-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Eldj Lv 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Eldjárn, Lausavísur 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 407-8.

Frák, at flótta rôkuð
— falsk annat lið manna —
— þar vas harðr, es heyrðak,
hernaðr — á Foxerni.
Varð hjalmþrimu herðis
hár, þars staddir vôruð,
gangr, þars gauzka drengi
Giffarðr í hel barði.

Frák, at rôkuð flótta á Foxerni; annat lið manna falsk; þar vas harðr hernaðr, es heyrðak. Gangr {herðis {hjalmþrimu}} varð hár, þars vôruð staddir, þars Giffarðr barði gauzka drengi í hel.

I heard that you pursued those who fled at Fuxerna; the other host of men hid; it was hard fighting there, as I’ve heard. The success {of the strengthener {of the helmet-crash}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR] was immense where you stood, when Giffarðr beat Gautish warriors to death.

Mss: Mork(23v) (Mork); H(91v), Hr(62vb) (H-Hr); F(59ra), E(35r), J2ˣ(313r), 42ˣ(13r)

Readings: [1] rôkuð: rku H, ‘ræki’ Hr, rkum 42ˣ    [2] falsk: so H, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, ‘fasc’ Mork, ‘falk’ Hr, fekksk F    [3] þar: þá 42ˣ;    vas harðr (‘var harþr’): varðr F;    heyrðak (‘ek heyrða’): so H, F, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, ek heyrði Mork, ek heyra Hr    [4] á Foxerni: of saxerni F    [6] þars (‘þar er’): er H;    vôruð: so F, E, J2ˣ, vru Mork, H, Hr, 42ˣ    [7] þars (‘þar er’): enn F, þá er 42ˣ    [8] Giffarðr: ‘giparðr’ F, 42ˣ, ‘giparðe’ E, ‘Giparðr’ J2ˣ;    barði: barðit F, barðir E, J2ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eldjárn, Lausavísur 2: AI, 437, BI, 407, Skald I, 201; Mork 1867, 149, Mork 1928-32, 326 Andersson and Gade 2000, 305, 486 (Mberf); Fms 7, 60 (Mberf ch. 29); F 1871, 274, E 1916, 122 (Mberf).

Context: Giffarðr’s behaviour at the battle of Fuxerna had been less than heroic, and Eldjárn’s st. thus constitutes haþ en eigi lof ‘mockery and not praise’ (Mork 1928-32, 326).

Notes: [4] á Foxerni ‘at Fuxerna’: Located across from Lilla Edet on the western side of the river Götaälv in Sweden. For Magnús’s Swed. campaign and the battle of Fuxerna, see also Mberf Lv 2, Þham Magndr 4, Gísl Magnkv 17-20 and Anon (Mberf) 5. At the battle of Fuxerna, Magnús and his troops faced the Swed. king Ingi Steinkelsson and his army. Giffarðr, who was among Magnús’s men, hid for the duration of the battle and did not emerge until the fighting was over. — [8] barði (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘beat’: Skj B and Skald adopt the E, J2ˣ variant barðir (2nd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘you beat’ and construe Giffarðr as a form of address. That interpretation is not warranted by the majority of ms. witnesses. For Giffarðr, see Note to Mberf Lv 2/2 and Anon (Mberf) 5/2.

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