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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Geirason (Glúmr)

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

2. Gráfeldardrápa (Gráf) - 15

Skj info: Glúmr Geirason, Islandsk skjald omkr. 950-75. (AI, 75-8, BI, 65-8).

Skj poems:
1. Kvad om Erik blodøkse
2. Gráfeldardrápa
3. Lausavísa

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 4 December 2021)

 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, 254

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Glúmr Gráf 5I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 5’ 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. 254.

Hilmir rauð und hjalmi
heina laut á Gautum;
þar varð í gný geira
grundar vǫrðr of fundinn.

Hilmir rauð {laut heina} á Gautum und hjalmi; þar varð {vǫrðr grundar} of fundinn í {gný geira}.

The king reddened {the dell of whetstones} [SWORD] on the Gautar, wearing a helmet; there {the guardian of ground} [RULER = Haraldr] was to be found in {the din of spears} [BATTLE].

Mss: R(35v), R(39v) (ll. 1-2), Tˣ(37r), Tˣ(41r) (ll. 1-2), W(81), U(34v), U(37r) (ll. 1-2), B(6v) (ll. 1-2), C(9r) (ll. 1-2) (SnE)

Readings: [1] und: om. Tˣ(41r), í B;    hjalmi: hjalma B    [2] heina: hregg B;    laut: so Tˣ(37r), Tˣ(41r), W, U(37r), C, lǫt R(35v), R(39v), ‘lautr’ U(34v), ‘[…]’ B;    á Gautum: so Tˣ(37r), Tˣ(41r), W, U(34v), U(37r), und Gautum R(35v), ágætum R(39v), ‘[…]elkings eggiar’ B, á beinu C

Editions: Skj: Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa 4: AI, 76, BI, 66, Skald I, 41SnE 1848-87, I, 452-3, 518-9, II, 335, 342, 606; SnE 1931, 160, 182, SnE 1998, I, 79, 102, 203, 220. 

Context: The stanza is included among four that illustrate kennings for ‘king’, in this case vǫrðr lands ‘guardian of land’. The first two lines are repeated in most mss at a point where heiti for kings (here hilmir) are exemplified.

Notes: [2] laut heina ‘the dell of whetstones [SWORD]’: Laut f. ‘hollow place, dell’ is used elsewhere in kennings to represent land in general (see LP: laut). The conception of the sword as the ground that the whetstone covers is also found in, e.g., Hallv Knútdr 5/3III heinland ‘whetstone-land’. — [2] á Gautum ‘on the Gautar’: The people of Gautland (Götaland, southern Sweden). Haraldr gráfeldr and his brothers are more than once said to make a practice of raiding during the summers, but there is no specific reference in the prose sources to any attack in this region.

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