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Runic Dictionary

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Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)

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

3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 14

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).

Lausavísur — Eyv LvI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur’ 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. 213.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14 

Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 3. Lausavísur (AI, 71-4, BI, 62-5)

SkP info: I, 223

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Eyv Lv 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 6’ 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. 223.

Fyrr rauð Fenris varra
flugvarr konungr sparra
— malmhríðar svall meiðum
móðr — í Gamla blóði,
þás óstirfinn arfa
Eiríks of rak — geira
tregr gæti-Gauta
grams fall — á alla.


Earlier the flight-reluctant king [Hákon] reddened {the prop of the lips of Fenrir} [SWORD] in Gamli’s blood; courage swelled {in the trees {of the metal-storm}}, [BATTLE > WARRIORS] when, agreeable, he drove all Eiríkr’s heirs to sea; now the fall of the king distresses {the guarding Gautar of spears}. [WARRIORS]


In Fsk (similarly ÓT) it is explained that after Hákon góði’s death his entourage and that of Haraldr gráfeldr engage in wrangling about the comparative merits of Haraldr and his predecessor, which culminates in an exchange of verses between the two skalds Glúmr Geirason and Eyvindr skáldaspillir. Hkr cites Lv 6 twice, both times as Eyvindr’s riposte to a bragging stanza about Hákon’s death composed by Glúmr; except in F the second citation is of the first line only.

texts: Fsk 58, HákGóð 13 (I 72), HGráf 2 (I 86), ÓT 23, Hkr 82 (I 72), Hkr 113 (I 86)

editions: Skj Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 3. Lausavísur 6 (961-62 - AI, 72; BI, 63);

Skald I, 39; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 207-8, 224, IV, 52-3, ÍF 26, 181-2, 199, Hkr 1991, I, 116, 131-2 (HákGóð ch. 27, HGráf ch. 1), F 1871, 79, 85; Fms 1, 48, Fms 12, 30, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 47-8 (ch. 30); Fsk 1902-3, 50-1 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 96 (ch. 14); Krause 1990, 231-6.


AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 75v, 1 - 75v, 8  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx) 100r, 17 - 100r, 24 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx) 108r, 3 - 108r, 3 [1-1] (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 39 fol (39) 2vb, 36 - 2vb, 36 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  
AM 45 fol (F*) 17va, 32 - 17va, 35 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F*) 18vb, 27 - 18vb, 30 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 60v, 15 - 60v, 18 (Hkr)  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 64v, 14 - 64v, 14 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 56v, 17 - 56v, 24 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 62r, 2 - 62r, 2 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 6va, 5 - 6va, 8 (ÓT)  image  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 8va, 13 - 8va, 17 (ÓT)  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 13r, 18 - 13r, 25 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 11v, 15 - 11v, 22 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 302 4°x (302x) 18r, 19 - 18v, 2 (Fsk)  transcr.  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 59, 16 - 59, 23 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 21r, 15 - 21r, 18 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
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