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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, ‘ 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 19 September 2021)

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, 256

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Glúmr Gráf 7I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 7’ 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. 256.

Braut við brynju njóta
bág rifjunga Sôgu
— naddskúrar vas nœrir —
Nóregs konungr stóra.
Valgaltar lét velta
vargfœðandi marga
— ofvægjum réð jǫfri —
jafnborna sér þorna.

{Konungr Nóregs} braut {bág {Sôgu rifjunga}} við {stóra njóta brynju}; vas {nœrir {naddskúrar}}. {Vargfœðandi} lét {marga þorna {valgaltar}}, jafnborna sér, velta; réð ofvægjum jǫfri.

{The king of Norway} [= Haraldr] waged {the strife {of the Sága <goddess> of swords}} [VALKYRIE > BATTLE] against {mighty users of the mail-shirt} [WARRIORS]; he was {a nourisher {of the point-shower}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR]. {The wolf-feeder} [WARRIOR] made {many thorn-trees {of the slaughter-boar}} [HELMET > WARRIORS], as well-born as he, topple; he overwhelmed the very powerful prince.

Mss: FskBˣ(15r), FskAˣ(64-65) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] njóta: so FskAˣ, móta or njóta FskBˣ    [2] bág: ‘bog’ all;    rifjunga: so FskAˣ, ‘rifunga’ FskBˣ    [4] stóra: stórar FskAˣ    [7] of‑: ó‑ FskAˣ

Editions: Skj: Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa 6: AI, 76, BI, 67, Skald I, 41NN §§1060, 2219, 2987B; Fsk 1902-3, 56 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 102 (ch. 14).

Context: This stanza accompanies the statement that the Eiríkssynir killed Tryggvi Óláfsson and many other kings, jarls and other powerful men.

Notes: [All]: On the placing of this stanza in Gráf, see Introduction. — [2] bág Sôgu rifjunga ‘the strife of the Sága <goddess> of swords [VALKYRIE > BATTLE]’: Brjóta bág við e-n in itself means ‘to raise hostility against, fight sby’, and kennings for ‘valkyrie’ (here Sôgu rifjunga) can refer to ‘battle’ (cf. Meissner 201-2). The extended kenning assumed here is therefore slightly tautologous, and comes close to breaching the convention that the base-word of a kenning should not contain the same concept as the overall referent (Meissner 28). (b) Kock (NN §1060) addresses the problem by taking Sôgu rifjunga as a determinant of nadd- ‘nail, point, spear, arrow’ in the intercalary clause, serving to identify a battle-spear as distinct from a hunting-spear. — [2] bág ‘the strife’: The spelling ‘bog’ could point to bóg(r) ‘bow’, but the hending on Sôgu (spelt ‘Sogo’ in the mss) and the verb braut ‘waged’, lit. ‘broke’, establish bág as the correct reading. — [2] rifjunga ‘of swords’: On this heiti, which may mean ‘tearer’, see Note to Þul Sverða 7/4III. — [3] vas nœrir naddskúrar ‘he was a nourisher of the point-shower [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’: The use of a kenning as the predicate in a clause is rare (see ‘The diction of skaldic poetry’ in General Introduction). — [7] réð ofvægjum jǫfri ‘he overwhelmed the very powerful prince’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; also ÍF 29) emends the dat. sg. ofvægjum/óvægjum of the mss to nom. sg. ofvæginn and the dat. sg. jǫfri to acc. pl. jǫfra, and translates uimodståelig overmandede han fyrsterne ‘irresistible, he overpowered the princes’. But the ms. reading ofvægjum can be retained, since ráða + dat. in the sense ‘to have control over’ can take an animate object, although inanimates are more common (Fritzner: ráða 20; LP: ráða 4); Kock (NN §2219) suggests ‘to chastise, punish’. It has been suggested that the defeated prince was Tryggvi Óláfsson, but according to the account of HGráf ch. 9 (ÍF 26, 214) Tryggvi was killed not by Haraldr but by the men of Haraldr’s brother Guðrøðr Eiríksson. The specific killing mentioned in the stanza, assuming that l. 7 refers to one such, could be that of Guðrøðr Bjarnarson, which is attributed to Haraldr and his men in ch. 10 (ÍF 26, 214).

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