Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

login: password: stay logged in: help

Einarr skálaglamm Helgason (Eskál)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Edith Marold;

2. Vellekla (Vell) - 37

Little is certain about the life of Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ Helgason (Eskál), except that he came from a noble family from western Iceland. They were descendants of Bjǫrn austrœni ‘the Easterner’, i.e. ‘the Norwegian’, son of Ketill flatnefr ‘Flat-nose’. According to Ldn (ÍF 1, 123), Einarr’s mother was Niðbjǫrg, daughter of an Irish king. Einarr’s brother Ósvífr was the father of Guðrún Ósvífsdóttir, the heroine of Laxdœla saga. A few anecdotes link Einarr to Egill Skallagrímsson. Egils saga (Eg, ÍF 2, 268-73) tells of Einarr visiting Egill and the two talking at length about poetry. The meeting led to a long friendship, which is reflected in similarities between the two skalds’ poetry (de Vries 1964-7, I, 176). A valuable shield given to Egill by Einarr inspired Egill to compose a Skjaldardrápa or shield poem honouring the gift, of which only the first stanza has survived (Egill SkjalddrV).

Einarr must have lived c. 940-c. 990. He presumably spent much of his life at the court of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in Norway, for whom he composed Vellekla (Eskál Vell) and another poem, Hákonardrápa (Eskál Hákdr). Two stanzas (Eskál HardrIII) that possibly stem from one or more Haraldsdrápur in honour of Haraldr blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ Gormsson indicate that he might have spent time at the Danish court, perhaps as a companion of Hákon jarl. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256, 266, 280) mentions Einarr only as one of Hákon jarl’s skalds. Besides these poems, three lausavísur are preserved in Jvs, Fsk, Flat and Eg. The first two are part of a typical skald anecdote about court poetry and its reward, and are preserved in versions that differ sufficiently for them to be printed in both SkP I (Eskál Lv 1a and Lv 2a) and SkP V (Eskál Lv 1bV (Eg 124) and Lv 2bV (Eg 125)). The third (Eskál Lv 3) concerns the death of Þorleifr skúma Þorkelsson (Þskúm), an Icelandic retainer of Hákon jarl, at the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen, c. 985).

According to Jvs (1969, 178-9), Einarr’s nickname skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ refers to a pair of precious and magically resounding scales (OIcel. skálar/skálir) with which Hákon jarl rewarded him for Vell (see Introduction to Eskál Lv 1-3). This explanation (apparently accepted in Finnur Jónsson 1907, 284) may, however, be a later etymological invention, and skálaglamm could instead derive from OIcel. skáli ‘hall, free-standing house’ either as part of a sky-, breast- or shield-kenning (Lie 1975, 643), or more likely as a ‘loud sound (glamm) in the hall’, in reference to his art of recitation. Jvs (1969, 178) also tells that Einarr earlier had the nickname Skjaldmeyjar-Einarr ‘Einarr of the shield-maiden’. Skjaldmeyjar are armed women who took part in battles (cf. Akv 16), but nothing is known about how Einarr got this nickname. According to Ldn and Jvs, Einarr drowned in Breiðafjörður on a voyage home (Ldn, ÍF 1, 123; Jvs 1969, 205); they add a legend according to which his scales (Jvs), or his shield and his coat (Ldn), wash ashore, inspiring the names of the islands Skáleyjar, Skjaldey and Feldarhólmr.

Vellekla (‘Lack of Gold’) — Eskál VellI

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla’ 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. 280.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37 

Skj: Einarr Helgason skálaglamm: 3. Vellekla, o. 986 (AI, 122-31, BI, 117-24); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37

SkP info: I, 314

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

25 — Eskál Vell 25I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

lemmatised words

This information has not been reviewed and should not be referred to.

4at (conj.) ‘that...’ — 25/1

aurborð (noun n.) ‘ship-board...’aurborðs 25/2

aurr (noun m.) ‘sand or gravel bank, ford...’aur 25/2

3á (prep.) ‘on, at...’ — 25/2

borð (noun n.) [°-s; -] ‘side, plank, board; table...’borðs 25/2

Danmǫrk (noun f.) ‘[Denmark]...’Danmarkar 25/4

danr (noun m.) [°dat. -; -ir] ‘Dane...’Dan 25/4

danskr (adj.) ‘Danish...’danskra 25/7

Dofrar (noun f.) ‘Dofrar...’Dofra 25/7

dróttinn (noun m.) [°dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar] ‘lord, master...’ — 25/8

4en (conj.) ‘than...’ — 25/5 var

2enn (adv.) ‘still, yet, again...’ — 25/5 var

2er (conj.) ‘who, which, when...’ — 25/1 var

eykr (noun m.) [°-s/-jar, dat. -; -ir, dat. -jum] ‘draught animal...’eykir 25/1

2falda (verb) ‘cover, clothe...’faldinn 25/6

falla (verb) ‘fall...’fallinn 25/6 var

2finna (verb) ‘find, meet...’funnu 25/4 var

fjǫturr (noun m.) ‘fetter...’fjǫturs 25/5

fundr (noun m.) ‘discovery, meeting...’fund 25/8

1hjalmr (noun m.) [°-s, dat. -i; -ar] ‘helmet...’hjalmi 25/5

holmfjǫturr (noun m.) ‘island-fetter...’holmfjǫturs 25/5

holmr (noun m.) [°-s, dat. -i/-; -ar] ‘island, islet...’holm 25/5

Hǫrðar (noun m.) ‘the Hǫrðar...’Hǫrða 25/6

2inn (art.) ‘the...’Hitt 25/1

jǫfurr (noun m.) ‘ruler, prince...’jǫfra 25/7

2mǫrk (noun f.) [°merkr; merkr] ‘forest...’markar 25/4, merkr 25/4 var

norðan (adv.) ‘from the north...’ — 25/2

4of (particle) ‘(before verb)...’ — 25/6, 25/8

3ok (conj.) ‘and, but; also...’auk 25/1, 25/1 var, 25/5

2renna (verb) ‘run (strong)...’runnu 25/4

runnr (noun m.) [°dat. -i/-; -ar] ‘bush, tree...’runni 25/3, runnum 25/3 var, runnum 25/4 var

sigr (noun m.) [°sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar] ‘victory...’sig 25/3, 25/3 var

sigrunnr (noun m.) ‘victory-tree...’sigrunni 25/3

sunnr (adv.) ‘south...’ — 25/4

2svinnr (adj.) ‘wise...’svinnum 25/3

sœkja (verb) ‘seek, attack...’sótti 25/8

3und (prep.) ‘under, underneath...’ — 25/3

2unz (conj.) ‘until...’ — 25/3 var

valdr (noun m.) ‘ruler...’ — 25/6

2vera (verb) ‘be, is, was, were, are, am...’vas 25/1

1vit (noun n.) [°-s; -] ‘wisdom, wit; visit...’ — 25/2

unlemmatised variants — fundnu (25); hilmir (25); hjolm (25); óurukt (25)

 

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