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Runic Dictionary

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Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)

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

1. Hákonarmál (Hák) - 21

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).

Hákonarmál (‘Words about Hákon’) — Eyv HákI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘ Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál’ 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. 171. <> (accessed 28 October 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21 

Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 1. Hákonarmál, 961 (AI, 64-8, BI, 57-60)

SkP info: I, 188

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

14 — Eyv Hák 14I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 14’ 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. 188.

‘Hermóðr ok Bragi,’         kvað Hroptatýr,
        ‘gangið í gǫgn grami,
því at konungr ferr,
        sá es kappi þykkir,
        til hallar hinig.’

‘Hermóðr ok Bragi,’ kvað Hroptatýr, ‘gangið í gǫgn grami, því at konungr ferr hinig til hallar, sá es þykkir kappi.’

‘Hermóðr and Bragi,’ said Hroptatýr [Óðinn], ‘go to meet the monarch, because a king is coming here to the hall who is deemed a champion.’

Mss: (106r-v), F(18va), J1ˣ(64r), J2ˣ(60v) (Hkr); R(21r), Tˣ(21v), W(45), U(26r) (ll. 1-3), B(4r) (SnE); 761bˣ(99v-100v)

Readings: [2] ‑týr: ‘‑tyrr’ J1ˣ    [4] því at: alls F, ‘þul at’ Tˣ    [6] hinig: hinig corrected from hniginn R

Editions: Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 1. Hákonarmál 14: AI, 66-7, BI, 59, Skald I, 36; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 221, IV, 60, ÍF 26, 195, Hkr 1991, I, 128 (HákGóð ch. 31/32), F 1871, 84; SnE 1848-87, I, 236-7, II, 303, 519, SnE 1931, 89, SnE 1998, I, 8; Möbius 1860, 234, Jón Helgason 1968, 27, Krause 1990,102-110.

Context: In Hkr, as for st. 1. In SnE, the stanza is cited in a series illustrating ways of referring to Óðinn.

Notes: [1] Hermóðr: Here the son of Óðinn, unlike in Hyndl 2, where Hermóðr, by being mentioned alongside Sigmundr, appears to be a legendary hero (so LP: 2. Hermóðr 1 and others, though Noreen 1921, 57, demurs). Mention of Hermóðr here, so soon after the resemblance to Hyndl 1 in the preceding stanza (see Note to st. 13/1), suggests an intended allusion. — [1] Bragi: A god of poetry (SnE 2005, 25), who also appears in Anon Eirm 4/2. His function seems to be to welcome the newcomer to Valhǫll with praise, as he does in st. 16. — [2] Hroptatýr ‘Hroptatýr [Óðinn]’: Although Hroptr is not an infrequent name for Óðinn, its derivation and meaning are uncertain. For discussion, see Bugge (1855, 32-4), Vogt (1925), Olsen (1929, 169-70), Lie (1946b, 205-6), Kuhn (1954, 420-1) and AEW: Hroptr; see also Note to Þul Óðins 2/4III. On the second element týr, probably ‘god’, see Note to st. 1/2. — [3]: The line is evidently borrowed from Anon Eirm 5/3 (Noreen 1926, 177).

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