Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Illugason (Gísl)

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

1. Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr (Magnkv) - 20

Skj info: Gísl Illugason, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 440-4, BI, 409-13).

Skj poems:
1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt
2. Lausavísa

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, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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

SkP info: II, 428

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

17 — Gísl Magnkv 17II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 17’ 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. 428.

Framðisk síðan        á Svía dróttni
austr við Elfi        Upplanda gramr.
Liðskelfir tók        ór lǫgum Gauta
fimtán herǫð        fránni eggju.

{Gramr Upplanda} framðisk síðan á {dróttni Svía} austr við Elfi. {Liðskelfir} tók fimtán herǫð ór lǫgum Gauta fránni eggju.

{The ruler of Opplandene} [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] then distinguished himself against {the lord of the Svíar} [SWEDISH RULER = Ingi] east by the Götaälv. {The troop-terrifier} [WARRIOR] took fifteen herǫð from the law-districts of the Gautar with the sharp sword-edge.

Mss: Mork(24r) (Mork); H(90r), Hr(62rb) (H-Hr); F(59rb)

Readings: [3] við: frá H, Hr    [6] ór lǫgum: ór liði Hr

Editions: Skj: Gísl Illugason, 1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt 17: AI, 443, BI, 412, Skald I, 203; Mork 1867, 150, Mork 1928-32, 327, Andersson and Gade 2000, 306, 486 (Mberf); Fms 7, 53 (Mberf ch. 26); F 1871, 274 (Mberf).

Context: Stanzas 17-20 describe Magnús’s campaign in Sweden (c. 1100-2) against King Ingi Steinkelsson. In Mork and F the sts are cited without intervening prose, and in H and Hr new prose environments are created from the poetic content.

Notes: [All]: For these campaigns, see also Mberf Lv 2, Eldj Lv 1-2, Þham Magndr 4 and Anon (Mberf) 4-5. — [3] austr við Elfi ‘east by the Götaälv’: See Note to st. 8/5. — [6] ór lǫgum Gauta ‘from the law-districts of the Gautar’: See Note to st. 2/8.

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