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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, ‘(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.

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, 429

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

19 — Gísl Magnkv 19II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 19’ 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. 429.

Hol merki blés,        en Huginn gladdisk
fránn, of hǫfði        feðr Sigurðar.
Þann sák fylki        með frama mestum
snǫrpu sverði        til sigrs vega.

Hol merki blés of hǫfði {feðr Sigurðar}, en fránn Huginn gladdisk. Sák þann fylki vega til sigrs snǫrpu sverði með mestum frama.

The billowing banners blew above the head {of Sigurðr’s father} [= Magnús] and gleaming Huginn <raven> rejoiced. I saw that leader fighting for victory with the sharp sword with the greatest glory.

Mss: Mork(24r) (Mork); H(91r), Hr(62vb) (H-Hr); F(59rb)

Readings: [1] Hol: hel H    [3] fránn of: so F, fránum Mork, H, fránu Hr

Editions: Skj: Gísl Illugason, 1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt 19: AI, 443, BI, 413, Skald I, 204, NN §2534; Mork 1867, 150, Mork 1928-32, 327, Andersson and Gade 2000, 306, 487 (Mberf); Fms 7, 58 (Mberf ch. 28); F 1871, 274 (Mberf).

Context: As sts. 17-19 above.

Notes: [1] blés (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘blew’: Used impersonally with hol merki (n. acc. pl.) ‘billowing banners’ as the object. — [2, 3] fránn Huginn ‘gleaming Huginn <raven>’: Huginn was one of Óðinn’s ravens. The adj. fránn ‘gleaming’ describes the raven’s shining black feathers. Fránn can also mean ‘sharp’ in which case it would refer to the raven’s sharp eyes (see LP: fránn 2). — [4] feðr Sigurðar ‘of Sigurðr’s father [= Magnús]’: This is Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’. For this type of metrical l. in fornyrðislag (suspended resolution in metrical positions 2-3), see Kuhn 1939, 199-215. — [5] þann (m. acc. sg.) ‘that’: Skj B emends to þar ‘there’ against all ms. witnesses (see NN §2634). — [5] sák ‘I saw’: Indicates that Gísl himself had been present during the battle. See also Note to st. 11/1.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated