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Runic Dictionary

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Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)

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

2. Háleygjatal (Hál) - 16

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.

stanzas:  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, 212

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Eyv Hál 13I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 13’ 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. 212.

Jólna sumbl
enn vér gôtum
stillis lof
sem steinabrú.


We [I] have produced once more {a feast of the gods}, [POETRY] praise of the ruler, like a bridge of stones.

context: The helmingr is used to exemplify jólnar as a heiti for ‘gods’.

notes: [1] sumbl jólna ‘a feast of the gods [POETRY]’: In this unusual kenning the determinant is gen. of jóln (n. nom. pl.), a term for the gods associated with the feast of Yuletide (jól). There may be an allusion to the beginning of the myth of the poetic mead, where the gods meet for a feast. Kock (NN §2305) suggests that jólna sumbl belongs to a previous clause, contained in a lost helmingr, and Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 207) mentions this as a possibility. — [4] sem steinabrú ‘like a bridge of stones’: Like the reference to a feast in l. 1, the comparison to a stone-built bridge aligns the production of the poem with another communal function of great social importance, and poem and bridge are artifacts both enduring and commemorative (on bridges, see Sawyer 2000, 134-6). In the ancestral religion as well as early Christianity, bridges could constitute not merely physical passages from the place of settlement to the graveyard but also symbolic passages from the living to the dead, and commemorative rune-stones were customarily erected in the vicinity (Lund 2005, 129).

texts: Skm 310, SnE 312

editions: Skj Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 2. Háleygjatal 16 (AI, 71; BI, 62); Skald I, 39, NN §2305; SnE 1848-87, I, 470-1, II, 340, 448, SnE 1931, 166, SnE 1998, I, 85; Krause 1990, 201-4.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 36v, 33 - 36v, 34 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 38v, 3 - 38v, 4 (SnE)  image  
DG 11 (U) 36r, 25 - 36r, 25 (SnE)  image  
AM 748 I b 4° (A) 12v, 31 - 12v, 31 (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 748 II 4° (C) 6r, 14 - 6r, 15 (SnE)  image  image  
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