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Runic Dictionary

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Einarr þveræingr Eyjólfsson (Eþver)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Einarr (Eþver) was the son of Eyjólfr Valgerðarson (EValg), and his nickname refers to his home territory of Þverá (Munkaþverá in Eyjafjörður, northern Iceland). He is an adversary of the titular hero in Víga-Glúms saga, and his second lausavísa Eþver Lv 2V (Glúm 11) is associated with a fight against Víga-Glúmr (ÍF 9, 94-5); it is edited in SkP V. Finnur Jónsson (LH I, 519) believed both Einarr’s lausavísur to be genuine, citing the form rinna, which rhymes on linns in Lv 2/2V.

Lausavísa — Eþver LvI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr þveræingr Eyjólfsson, Lausavísa’ 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. 804.

stanzas:  1 

Skj: Einarr Eyjolfsson, þveræingr: Lausavísur (AI, 307, BI, 284-5); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2

SkP info: I, 804

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Eþver Lv 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr þveræingr Eyjólfsson, Lausavísa 1’ 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. 804.

Trautt erumk lausa at láta
— leiðs oss konungs reiði —
(gjarn es gramr at arna)
Grímsey (of trǫð fleyja).
Hǫldum vér fyr hildar
— hanns dýrr konungr — stýri
holmgjarðar — fremsk hilmir
hagli peitu — nagla.

Erumk trautt at láta Grímsey lausa; reiði konungs [e]s oss leið; gramr es gjarn at arna of {trǫð fleyja}. Hǫldum vér {nagla {holmgjarðar}} fyr {stýri hildar}; hanns dýrr konungr; hilmir fremsk {hagli peitu}.

I am reluctant to let Grímsey go; the king’s anger is hateful to us [me]; the prince is eager to travel over {the path of vessels} [SEA]. Let us hold {the stud {of the islet-belt}} [SEA > ISLAND] against {the controller of battle} [WARRIOR]; he is a splendid king; the ruler advances himself {by the hail of the spear} [BATTLE].

Mss: 61(103vb) (ÓH)

Readings: [2] konungs: konungsins 61    [4] of: und 61    [7] ‑gjarðar: ‑gerðar 61    [8] peitu: ‘peitv’ or ‘pettv’ 61

Editions: Skj: Einarr Eyjolfsson, þveræingr, Lausavísur 2: AI, 307, BI, 284-5, Skald I, 145; Fms 4, 282, Fms 12, 87, ÓH 1941, II, 809.

Context: In ÓH (1941, I, 326-9) and Hkr (ÍF 27, 215-7), Þórarinn Nefjólfsson at the Icelandic alþingi declaims a message from King Óláfr Haraldsson that he wishes to annex the island of Grímsey in exchange for friendship and unspecified benefits. The men of the Northern quarter are most affected and, swayed in their discussion by Guðmundr Eyjólfsson of Möðruvellir, incline to accept, but then his brother Einarr, in a now-famous speech about Iceland’s past and future freedom, swings opinion against the bid. Only in 61 does he also recite the stanza.

Notes: [1] erumk trautt ‘I am reluctant’: Lit. ‘it is unwelcome to us’.  — [2]: An aðalhending involving leið ‘hateful’ and reiði ‘anger’ is also the basis for Hfr Lv 9/6V (Hallfr 12) and Stefnir Lv 2/2. — [3] arna ‘to travel’: The verb occurs with both long and short vowel (ANG §127.1), but the aðalhending on gjarn ‘eager’ in Anon Liðs 3/2 favours the short variant there, and possibly here also. This seems to be the weak verb árna/arna ‘travel (as an envoy), wander’, but the juxtaposition of árna Grímsey seems to pun on its commoner homophone, árna ‘gain, achieve’, referring to Óláfr Haraldsson’s territorial ambitions.  — [4] Grímsey: Island in the extreme north of Iceland, situated on the Arctic Circle. — [4] of trǫð fleyja ‘over the path of vessels [SEA]’: Ms. und would yield the sense (or rather nonsense) ‘under the sea’, and emendation to um, hence normalised of ‘over’, has been generally accepted. — [7, 8] nagla holmgjarðar ‘the stud of the islet-belt [SEA > ISLAND]’: The slight emendation, first proposed by Konráð Gíslason (1892, 94) is contextually necessary, and produces a phrasing so reminiscent of Egill Lv 43/7-8V (Eg 123) eyneglð gjǫrð jarðar ‘island-studded belt of the land [SEA]’ that direct influence seems likely. LP: eyneglðr also points out that nagli ‘nail, stud’ appears in the name of a Norwegian skerry (Rygh et al. 1897-1936, XII, 221). — [8] peitu ‘of the spear’: The kenning requires this form, although the 61 reading is slightly doubtful; Árni Magnússon in 761bˣ transcribed it as pettu. The word may originally have referred to prestige weaponry from Poitou (see Note to Arn Hryn 9/8II).

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