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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, 205

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Eyv Hál 7I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 7’ 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. 205.

Varð kun
Hǫgna meyjar
viðr vápnberr,
es vega skyldi,
ok sinn aldr
í odda gný
Freys ôttungr
á Fjǫlum lagði.


kon, {tree {of the maiden of Hǫgni}, [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’) > WARRIOR] became weapon-bare when he had to fight, and {the kinsman of Freyr} [= Hákon] laid down his life in {the din of points} [BATTLE] at Fjaler.

context: Stanzas 7 and 8 are cited in uninterrupted succession. Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ places the district of Firðir (Fjordane) under the control of Hákon jarl Grjótgarðsson but when Hákon orders Atli jarl to release his control of Sogn Atli disputes this. He and Hákon join battle at Fjalir in Stafanessvágr (Fjaler, Stongfjorden), where Hákon is defeated and killed and Atli subsequently dies of his wounds.

notes: [1-4]: Normally the warrior-kenning in ll. 2-3 is construed as in apposition to Hôkun, as in this edn. Apposition occurs sporadically elsewhere in Hál (see st. 13/1, 3). An alternative, with Hkr 1893-1901, IV, would be to take the kenning as subject of the rel. clause: Hôkon varð vápnberr, es viðr meyjar Hǫgna skyldi vega ‘Hákon became weapon-bare when the tree of Hǫgni’s maiden [Hákon, he] had to fight’. — [2] meyjar Hǫgna ‘of the maiden of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr “battle”)]’: An allusion to Hildr, who instigates the Hjaðningavíg ‘fight of the people of Heðinn’, conventionally referred to in scholarship as the ‘Everlasting Fight’; for the Hildr story see especially Bragi Rdr 8-12III. Hildr also occurs as a generalised name for valkyrie and, as here by ofljóst, a heiti for ‘battle’.

texts: Fsk 16, HHárf 5 (I 37), Hkr 47 (I 37)

editions: Skj Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 2. Háleygjatal 9 (AI, 69; BI, 61);

Skald I, 38; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 115, IV, 31-2, ÍF 26, 108, Hkr 1991, I, 66 (HHárf ch. 12), F 1871, 45; Fsk 1902-3, 14 (ch. 2), ÍF 29, 66 (ch. 3); Krause 1990, 170-4.


AM 35 folx (Kx) 57v, 12 - 57v, 17 (Hkr)  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 10ra, 18 - 10ra, 20 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 31v, 15 - 31v, 17 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 32v, 28 - 33r, 4 (Hkr)  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 5r, 1 - 5r, 4 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 4r, 10 - 4r, 13 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 302 4°x (302x) 6v, 23 - 7r, 2 (Fsk)  transcr.  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 14, 7 - 14, 14 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 52 folx (52x) 6r, 12 - 6r, 19 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 5r, 16 - 5r, 18 (Fsk)  transcr.  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated