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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 22 January 2022)

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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, 260

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Glúmr Gráf 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 11’ 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. 260.

Varð á víðu borði
viggjum hollr at liggja
gætir Glamma sóta
garðs Eylimafjarðar.
Sendir fell á sandi
sævar báls at Halsi;
olli jǫfra spjalli
orðheppinn því morði.


{The guardian {of the fence {of the steed of Glammi <sea-king>}}}, [SHIP > SHIELD > WARRIOR] benevolent to horses, had to lie on the wide shore of Eylimi’s fjord [Limfjorden]. {The dispenser {of the fire of the sea}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Haraldr] fell on the sand at Hals; {the speech-blessed confidant of princes} [JARL = Hákon] caused that killing.

context: In Hkr, the stanza follows a statement that Haraldr gráfeldr fell in battle. In Fsk, sts 10 and 11/5-8 form a stanza that is cited as evidence for the battle having taken place on land, presumably since Haraldr is said to die á sandi at Halsi ‘on the sand at Hals’ (l. 6).

notes: The reference to Gráf 11 in the Note to Arn Hardr 13/2II is to the stanza now numbered Gráf 12. — [1-4]: (a) The interpretation adopted here is essentially that of Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12; see also NN §259 and ÍF 26), taking Eylimafjarðar ‘of Eylimi’s fjord’ as a punning reference to Limafjǫrðr (Limfjorden), or perhaps reflecting a serious antiquarian belief that the p. n. derived from that of a legendary king (LP: Eylimi). Ey and lima are written as one word in many mss. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) detaches ey ‘island’ from Limafjarðar ‘of Limfjorden’ and incorporates it in the kenning viggjum eygarðs ‘(with the) horses of the island-enclosure [SEA > SHIPS]’. Liggja then means not ‘lie (dead)’ but ‘lie at anchor’ (cf., e.g., ÞjóðA Har 5/5II). This produces a bland statement that does not relate to the death of Haraldr that is so prominent in the second helmingr. Further, viggjum hollr ‘benevolent to horses’, consecutive in the text, are separated, while eygarðs is read as a cpd, which involves assuming tmesis, which is rare in the earlier skaldic poetry. Interpretation (a) therefore seems preferable, despite the difficulty of hollr viggjum ‘benevolent to horses’ (see Note to l. 2).

texts: Flat 205 (23), Fsk 71 [5-8], ÓT 38, ÓTC 2 (I 106), Hkr 133 (I 106)

editions: Skj Glúmr Geirason: 2. Gráfeldardrápa 9 (AI, 77; BI, 67); Skald I, 41, NN §§259, 260Hkr 1893-1901, I, 277, IV, 72, ÍF 26, 239, Hkr 1991, I, 159 (ÓTHkr ch. 14), F 1871, 104Fms 1, 88, Fms 12, 33, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 95 (ch. 53), Flat 1860-8, I, 85; Fsk 1902-3, 66 (ch. 14), ÍF 29, 109 (ch. 16).


AM 35 folx (Kx) 128v, 11 - 128v, 18 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 39 fol (39) 5rb, 15 - 5rb, 18 (Hkr)  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 22vb, 24 - 22vb, 27 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 80r, 14 - 80r, 18 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 75r, 16 - 75r, 23 (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 10vb, 35 - 10vb, 37 (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 8vb, 34 - 8vb, 37 (ÓT)  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 4vb, 2 - 4vb, 5 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 14va, 20 - 14va, 23 (ÓT)  image  
AM 62 fol (62) 3va, 2 - 3va, 4 (ÓT)  image  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 11va, 14 - 11va, 16 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 18v, 7 - 18v, 10 (Fsk)  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 75, 6 - 75, 9 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 16r, 32 - 16r, 35 [5-8] (Fsk)  image  
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