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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. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1187> (accessed 21 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, 192

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — Eyv Hák 20I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 20’ 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. 192.

Mun óbundinn         á ýta sjǫt
        Fenrisulfr fara,
áðr jafngóðr
        á auða trǫð
        konungmaðr komi.

Fenrisulfr mun fara óbundinn á sjǫt ýta, áðr jafngóðr konungmaðr komi á auða trǫð.

The wolf Fenrir, unbound, will enter the abode of men before so good a royal person comes onto the vacant path.

Mss: (107r), F(18vb), J1ˣ(64r), J2ˣ(61r-v) (Hkr); FskBˣ(12v), FskAˣ(57) (Fsk); 761bˣ(101v-102v)

Readings: [2] ýta: ‘vta’ J1ˣ    [3] fara: of fara F, um fara FskBˣ    [5] trǫð: ‘traut’ FskBˣ    [6] konung‑: konungr J1ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 1. Hákonarmál 20: AI, 67, BI, 60, Skald I, 37; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 221, IV, 61, ÍF 26, 197, Hkr 1991, I, 129 (HákGóð ch. 31/32), F 1871, 85; Fsk 1902-3, 48 (ch. 12), ÍF 29, 94 (ch. 13); Möbius 1860, 234, Jón Helgason 1968, 28, Krause 1990, 131-4.

Context: In Hkr, as for st. 1. In Fsk, as for st. 19.

Notes: [3] Fenrisulfr ‘the wolf Fenrir’: The release of the wolf marks Ragnarǫk and the end of the world: see Note to Anon Eirm 7/4, and SnE 2005, 27-9 for the binding of Fenrir. Magnus Olsen (1945b, 185) argued that the reference to the release of Fenrir is intended more specifically to invite comparison of Hákon góði to Baldr inn góði, before whose death there were no feiknstafir ‘afflictions’ (compare the hard times described in the next stanza; on Baldr see Note to Anon Eirm 3/5). — [5] trǫð ‘path’: The sense of ll. 4-6 is that no king equal to Hákon will come in his place before Ragnarǫk. Cf. OE on lāst faran ‘go in the footprints’, i.e. ‘follow’. Other, more specific interpretations, are less convincing: Storm (1900, 117) thinks the path is Fenrir’s rather than Hákon’s. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 79-81) argues that the reference is to the path leading to the king’s manor. Uppström (1919, 49) takes the meaning to be ‘throne’.

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