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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, 211

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

12 — Eyv Hál 12I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 12’ 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. 211.

Þeims allt austr
til Egða býs
brúðr valtýs
und bœgi liggr.

Þeims {brúðr {valtýs}} liggr und bœgi allt austr til býs Egða.

Under whose arm {the bride {of the slaughter-god}} [= Óðinn > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘land’)] lies all the way east to the territory of the Egðir.

Mss: FskBˣ(22v), 51ˣ(20r), 302ˣ(31v), FskAˣ(87), 301ˣ(31v) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Þeims (‘Ðæim er’): ‘eim er’ FskAˣ, 301ˣ;    allt: so FskAˣ, 301ˣ, om. FskBˣ, 51ˣ, 302ˣ    [3] valtýs: ‘valryss tunar’ FskAˣ, ‘valtyss tunar’ 301ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 2. Háleygjatal 15: AI, 71, BI, 62, Skald I, 38; Fsk 1902-3, 79 (ch. 15), ÍF 29, 121 (ch. 17); Krause 1990, 198-200.

Context: Hákon jarl consolidates his control over the kingdom presented to him by the Danish king and launches raids in Vík (Viken, the area around Oslofjorden), which was subject to the Danish king.

Notes: [All]: The rel. þeims ‘whose’ presumably refers back to Hákon, the sverðalfr ‘sword-elf [WARRIOR]’ of st. 11/9. Possibly st. 12 originally continued directly from st. 11. — [2] býs Egða ‘the territory of the Egðir’: The Egðir are the people of Agðir (Agder), a district in southern Norway. The reference would imply that Hákon was able to consolidate power as far as the southernmost stretch of the west coast of Norway. Territories further east of Agðir, such as Telemark and Vestfold, were under Danish overlordship at this stage (Andersen 1977, 100). — [3-4]: This has been regarded as an allusion to the ritual marriage (hieros gamos) of ruler to land (e.g. Ström 1983; Steinsland 1991) and might point to the jarl’s revival of such a cult; see further Note to Gsind Hákdr 5/1, 2-3. — [3] valtýs ‘of the slaughter-god [= Óðinn]’: The second element could be the common noun týr ‘god’ or the god-name Týr: see Note to Eyv Hák 1/2.

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