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, 418

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Gísl Magnkv 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 2’ 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. 418.

Ýtti ór Ósló        til Egils fundar
lofðungr liði        lands at krefja.
Fylgðu ræsi        ok Rygir sunnan
linns láðgefendr        ór lǫgum tvennum.

Lofðungr ýtti liði ór Ósló til fundar Egils at krefja lands. {{Linns láð}gefendr} ór tvennum lǫgum ok Rygir fylgðu ræsi sunnan.

The lord led his troop from Oslo to the meeting with Egill to reclaim his land. {Dispensers {of the snake’s land}} [(lit. ‘land-dispensers of the snake’) GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] from two law-districts and the Rygir accompanied the ruler from the south.

Mss: Mork(21v) (Mork); H(82r), Hr(57va) (H-Hr); F(56vb-57ra)

Readings: [1] Ýtti: ‘ytím’ H;    ór Ósló: orrostu F    [5] Fylgðu: fylgði F    [6] ok: om. F    [8] ór: í F

Editions: Skj: Gísl Illugason, 1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt 2: AI, 440, BI, 409, Skald I, 202; Mork 1867, 132, Mork 1928-32, 300, Andersson and Gade 2000, 287, 484 (Mberf); Fms 7, 7 (Mberf ch. 5); F 1871, 262 (Mberf).

Context: As st. 1 above.

Notes: [1] ór Ósló ‘from Oslo’: Present-day capital of Norway. Oslo was founded by King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson because the location made it favourable for defence against Dan. attacks and also for launching attacks on Denmark. Magnús was first elected king of Norway in Viken, the districts around Oslofjorden, and his strongest support appears to have come from that region of the country. — [2] til fundar Egils ‘to the meeting with Egill’: For the identity of Egill, see Note to SteigÞ Kv l. 1. — [5]: Echoes Anon (Sv) 1/1. — [8] ór tvennum lǫgum ‘from two law-districts’: For the meaning ‘law-district’ see Fritzner: lǫg 4. See also st. 17/6 below, Anon (MH) 1/2 and Anon Nkt 19/2.

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