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Runic Dictionary

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Gísl Illugason (Gísl)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr (Magnkv) - 20

Gísl belonged to the Icel. family of the Gilsbekkingar, who were said to be descendants of the C9th poet Bragi inn gamli ‘the Old’ Boddason (BragiIII). Gísl was the great-grandson of the skald Tindr Hallkelsson (TindrI), the uncle of poet Gunnlaugr ormstunga ‘Serpent-tongue’ Illugason (GunnlIV). See ÍF 3, 331, Genealogies II a-b in ÍF 3 and SnE 1848-97, III, 625-6. Details about Gísl’s life are given in Gísls þáttr Illugasonar (GíslIll) in H-Hr (Fms 7, 29-40; ÍF 3, 329-42) and in Jóns saga helga (JBp; JBp 2003, 10, 63-72). Gísl was born in 1079, and when he was six years old, his father was killed by a certain Gjafvaldr, a slaying Gísl later avenged. King Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson sentenced Gísl to death for the killing of Gjafvaldr, who was one of his retainers, but Gísl escaped execution (see Gísl Lv below). He then travelled with Magnús to Ireland in charge of hostages and became Magnús’s court poet (Skáldatal, SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 276). He also seems to have participated in Magnús’s expedition to the west in 1098 and in his campaign in Sweden (c. 1100-2; see Magnkv 11 and 19). Gísl later lived in Iceland until old age and had one son, Einarr (JBp 2003, 72). In addition to the memorial poem below composed about Magnús berfœttr, Gísl is said to have composed another encomium to Magnús on the occasion described in the lv. below, but no sts from that poem survive (see SnE 1848-87, III, 626-7; ÍF 3, 340-1).

Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr — Gísl MagnkvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 416-30. <> (accessed 17 January 2022)

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

Skj: Gísl Illugason: 1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt, o. 1104 (AI, 440-4, BI, 409-13)

SkP info: II, 424

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Gísl Magnkv 11II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 11’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 424.

Hôðum hildi        með Haralds frænda
Ǫnguls við ey        innanverða,
þars af reiði        ríkisvendir
konungr ok jarlar        kapp sitt brutu.

Hôðum hildi með {frænda Haralds} við Ǫngulsey innanverða, þars ríkisvendir, konungr ok jarlar, brutu kapp sitt af reiði.

We waged war with {Haraldr’s kinsman} [= Magnús] on the inner side of Anglesey, where the royal sceptres, the king and the earls, tested their courage with rage.

Mss: Mork(23r) (Mork); H(89r), Hr(61va) (H-Hr); F(58va-b)

Readings: [1] Hôðum: Hðu F    [2] með: við F    [4] innanverða: sunnan H    [6] ríkisvendir: ríklundaðir F    [8] kapp sitt brutu: kappi deilðu F

Editions: Skj: Gísl Illugason, 1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt 11: AI, 442, BI, 411, Skald I, 203, NN §87; Mork 1867, 145, Mork 1928-32, 320, Andersson and Gade 2000, 301, 486 (Mberf); Fms 7, 44-5 (Mberf ch. 22); F 1871, 271 (Mberf).

Context: As st. 10 above.

Notes: [1] hôðum hildi ‘we waged war’: This seems to imply that Gísl had accompanied Magnús on this expedition, and that he had been an eyewitness to the events he is composing about. — [2] frænda Haralds ‘Haraldr’s kinsman [= Magnús]’: The reference must be to Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Magnús’s grandfather. — [3-4] við Ǫngulsey innanverða ‘on the inner side of Anglesey’: Island off the north-western coast of Wales, separated from Wales by the Menai Strait. — [6] ríkisvendir ‘royal sceptres’: Otherwise unattested in a figurative meaning. Ríklundaðir ‘great-minded’ (so F) is metrically and syntactically possible (qualifying jarlar ‘earls’) and has been adopted by Skj B and Skald, but that adj. appears to be a lectio facilior. — [8] brutu kapp sitt ‘tested their courage’: Synonymous with the F variant deilðu kappi ‘tested [their] courage’.

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