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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;

2. Háleygjatal (Hál) - 16

Skj info: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, Norsk skjald, 10. årh. (d. omkr. 990). (AI, 64-74, BI, 57-65).

Skj poems:
1. Hákonarmál
2. Háleygjatal
3. Lausavísur

Eyvindr (Eyv, c. 915-990) has been called the last important Norwegian skald (Genzmer 1920, 159; also Boyer 1990a, 201). He is listed in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 256, 261, 265-6) among the poets of Hákon góði ‘the Good’ Haraldsson and Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. His maternal grandmother was a daughter of Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, and he seems to have been close to Haraldr’s son Hákon góði from early on, serving at his court as one of a group of brilliant skalds. After Hákon’s death he resided at the court of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, but relations with Haraldr seem to have soured quickly, as evidenced by his lausavísur. Eyvindr spent the last part of his life with the powerful Hákon jarl Sigurðarson of Hlaðir (Lade), whose family had supported Hákon góði against the sons of Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’. According to Hkr (ÍF 26, 221), in addition to Háleygjatal (Hál), Hákonarmál (Hák) and the lausavísur, Eyvindr composed a poem Íslendingadrápa, but this has not come down to us. The epithet skáldaspillir is usually interpreted to mean ‘Plagiarist’, literally ‘Destroyer (or Despoiler?) of Poets’ in reference to his habit of drawing inspiration from and alluding to earlier compositions, specifically Ynglingatal (Þjóð Yt) for Hál and Eiríksmál (Anon Eirm), along with several eddic poems, for Hák (see Introductions to Hál and Hák). The alternative interpretation ‘Poem-reciter’ proposed by Wadstein (1895a, 88) is unconvincing; see further Olsen (1962a, 28), and Beck (1994a). For further biographical information, see LH I, 447-9, Holm-Olsen (1953) and Marold (1993a).

Háleygjatal (‘Enumeration of the Háleygir (people of Hálogaland)’) — Eyv HálI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal’ 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. 195.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13 

for reference only:  1x   3x   11x 

Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 2. Háleygjatal, c. 985 (AI, 68-71, BI, 60-2); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3-4 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13-14 | 14 | 15 | 16

SkP info: I, 207

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Eyv Hál 9I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 9’ 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. 207.

Ok Sigurð,
hinns svǫnum veitti
hróka bjór
Haddingja vals
fjǫrvi næmðu
á Ǫglói.


And {the rulers of the land} [RULERS] deprived Sigurðr, he who supplied {beer {of the cormorants {of the chosen of the Haddingjar}}} [WARRIORS > RAVENS/EAGLES > BLOOD] {to the swans {of the god of cargoes}}, [= Óðinn > RAVENS] of life at Ǫgló.

context: Stanzas 9 and 10 commemorate the death of Sigurðr jarl Hákonarson (c. 962) and are cited without interruption. In Hkr and ÓT, Sigurðr’s younger brother, Grjótgarðr (grandson of the Grjótgarðr alluded to in st. 8), is suborned by offers of friendship from Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ and his brother Erlingr Eiríksson and divulges that Sigurðr is on an itinerary of feasts (veizlur) with only a small entourage. They make their way to Ǫgló, where Sigurðr is staying, and burn down the hall, with the jarl and his following trapped inside. Hákon Sigurðarson then takes up the jarldom. Fsk cites the stanzas after briefly recording the slaying of Sigurðr jarl by the Eiríkssynir (Gunnhildarsynir). In SnE, st. 9 is cited to illustrate the Óðinn-kenning farma-Týr or farmatýr (see Note to l. 5 below) and ll. 5-8 are cited to illustrate the king-kenning jarðráðendr ‘rulers of the land’. In TGT, ll. 5-8 are quoted to exemplify kennings such as farma-Týr.

notes: [4] vals Haddingja ‘of the chosen of the Haddingjar <legendary heroes> [WARRIORS]’: The Haddingjar are legendary, perhaps semi-divine, warrior-aristocrat figures in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish tradition (LP: Haddingi, Haddingjar, Haddingr), sometimes envisaged as a pair of brothers and connected with cultic practices (ARG II, 249, 253; Simek 1993, 127; and see Saxo 2005, I, 1, 8, 12, pp. 122-3). The majority interpretation of this line understands val as n. ‘choice, elite’, hence vals Haddingja is ‘the best of the Haddingjar’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: Haddingjar; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). A further possibility preferred by Bjarni Einarsson (ÍF 29) is valr m. ‘the slain’, hence ‘the corpses of the Haddingjar’.

texts: Flat 202 (20), Fsk 65, HGráf 9 (I 93), LaufE 4 (330), ÓT, Skm 5, Skm 280, TGT 87 [5-8], Gramm 89, Hkr 120 (I 93), SnE 7, SnE 282

editions: Skj Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 2. Háleygjatal 11 (AI, 69-70; BI, 61);

Skald I, 38; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 235, IV, 65-6, ÍF 26, 207, Hkr 1991, I, 138 (HGráf ch. 6), F 1871, 89; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 54 n. (ch. 34), Flat 1860-8, I, 64; Fsk 1902-3, 55 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 101 (ch. 14); SnE 1848-87, I, 232-5, 452-3, II, 160, 302-3, 335, 446, SnE 1931, 88, 160, SnE 1998, I, 7-8, 78; SnE 1848-87, II, 160-1, TGT 1884, 27, TGT 1927, 75, TGT 1998, 200-1; Krause 1990, 179-86.


AM 35 folx (Kx) 112r, 16 - 112r, 23 (Hkr)  image  image  
AM 39 fol (39) 3vb, 6 - 3vb, 9 (Hkr)  image  
AM 39 fol (39) 3vb - 3vb (Hkr)  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 19va, 35 - 19va, 37 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 67v, 4 - 67v, 6 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 64v - 64v (Hkr)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 9va, 2 - 9va, 2 (ÓT)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 8vb, 11 - 8vb, 13 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 14v, 24 - 14v, 27 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 13r, 7 - 13r, 10 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 302 4°x (302x) 20v, 1 - 20v, 4 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 64, 3 - 64, 10 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 22v, 12 - 22v, 14 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
GKS 2367 4° (R*) 20v, 25 - 20v, 28 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
GKS 2367 4° (R*) 35v, 31 - 35v, 31 [5-8] (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx*) 21r, 29 - 21r, 30 (SnE)  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx*) 37r - 37r [5-8] (SnE)  image  
AM 242 fol (W*) 45, 7 - 45, 9 (SnE)  image  image  image  
AM 242 fol (W*) 81, 14 - 81, 14 [5-8] (SnE)  image  image  image  
DG 11 (U*) 26r, 16 - 26r, 17 (SnE)  image  
DG 11 (U*) 34v, 26 - 34v, 26 [5-8] (SnE)  image  
AM 748 I b 4° (A) 12v, 14 - 12v, 14 [5-5] (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 757 a 4° (B) 4r, 4 - 4r, 5 (SnE)  image  image  image  image  
AM 242 fol (W*) 108, 20 - 108, 21 [5-8] (TGT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
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