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Glúmr Geirason (Glúmr)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

2. Gráfeldardrápa (Gráf) - 15

Glúmr Geirason (Glúmr) was the son of Geiri (patronymic unknown), a Norwegian who settled in Iceland. Glúmr was born there in the early tenth century and moved with his father and brother from Mývatn, via Húnavatn, to Króksfjörður, Breiðafjörður, because of some killings (Ldn, ÍF 1, 284; he is also mentioned in ÍF 1, 154, 161, 238 and appears in Reykdœla saga, ÍF 10, 204-12). He married Ingunn Þórólfsdóttir, and their son was Þórðr Ingunnarson, who features in Laxdœla saga (ÍF 5, 86-7). Glúmr is named in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273, 274) as the poet of Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’ (d. c. 954) and Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ (d. c. 970), and poems for both survive in part. Considerably more of Gráfeldardrápa (Gráf) survives than of the Poem about Eiríkr blóðøx (EirIII), though there is some difficulty in assigning certain stanzas to one or other poem (see Introduction to Gráf). Glúmr is the subject of HaukrV Ísldr 11IV, which depicts him as a zealous fighter who was with Haraldr gráfeldr at his victory at Fitjar (c. 961). Glúmr’s presence at the battle is somewhat in doubt, however, since although the Fsk text of his lausavísa on the subject (Glúmr Lv) contains sák ‘I saw’, the Hkr and ÓT mss have frák ‘I have heard’. From Glúmr Gráf it is clear that Glúmr outlived Haraldr (see Introduction). Edited below are Gráf and Lv, while the fragment of Eir is edited in SkP III since it is preserved only in SnE and TGT.

Gráfeldardrápa (‘Drápa about (Haraldr) gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’’) — Glúmr GráfI

Alison Finlay 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa’ 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. 245.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15 

Skj: Glúmr Geirason: 2. Gráfeldardrápa, c 970 (AI, 75-8, BI, 66-8); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

SkP info: I, 252

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Glúmr Gráf 4I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 4’ 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. 252.

Austrlǫndum fórsk undir
allvaldr, sás gaf skǫldum
— hann fekk gagn at gunni —
gunnhǫrga slǫg mǫrgum.
Slíðrtungur lét syngva
sverðleiks reginn — ferðir
sendi gramr at grundu
gollvarpaða* — snarpar.


The mighty ruler, who gave many poets {strikers {of battle-temples}}, [SHIELDS > WEAPONS] subdued eastern lands; he gained success in war. {The god of {sword-play}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR] made {keen scabbard-tongues} [SWORDS] sing; the prince sent troops {of gold-throwers} [GENEROUS MEN] to the ground.

context: The Eiríkssynir (or Gunnhildarsynir) have left Orkney for the court of Haraldr Gormsson, king of Denmark, who fosters the young Haraldr gráfeldr. Some of the Eiríkssynir undertake raids in the Baltic.

notes: The reference to Gráf 4 in the Note to Anon Líkn 16/7VII is to the stanza now numbered 5 below. — Despite a shared reference to the Baltic region, there is a poor fit between the stanza and its prose context, since its focus on an individual contrasts with the account in the prose of the Eiríkssynir as a group. Moreover, that individual is clearly a king (allvaldr ‘mighty ruler’, l. 2), whereas Haraldr, according to Hkr, is a young prince at the time, not even the eldest of the brothers (since his brother Gamli is still alive), and under the patronage of the Danish king. This discrepancy could be explained by the role of the stanza within a drápa composed retrospectively about Haraldr once he has achieved kingly status, but the stanza does not identify him specifically.

texts: Flat 194 (12), HákGóð 8 (I 67), ÓT 11, Hkr 77 (I 67)

editions: Skj Glúmr Geirason: 2. Gráfeldardrápa 3 (AI, 76; BI, 66);

Skald I, 41, NN §§256, 257; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 180-1, IV, 49, ÍF 26, 162-3, Hkr 1991, I, 103 (HákGóð ch. 10), F 1871, 70; Fms 1, 30, Fms 12, 27, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 29 (ch. 19), Flat 1860-8, I, 54



AM 35 folx (Kx) 88r, 25 - 88v, 5 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 15va, 1 - 15va, 4 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 52v, 8 - 52v, 12 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 49v, 30 - 50r, 7 (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 4va, 18 - 4va, 21 (ÓT)  image  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 5vb, 25 - 5vb, 29 (ÓT)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 7va, 8 - 7va, 11 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated