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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eilífr kúlnasveinn (Ekúl)

12th century; volume 3; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

2. Fragment (Frag) - 1

Skj info: Eilífr kúlnasveinn, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 572-3, BI, 565-6).

Skj poems:
1. Kristsdrápa(?), el. brudstykker af digte(?).
2. Lausavísa(?)
2. Lausavísa(?)

Three helmingar and one couplet are attributed to an Eilífr kúlnasveinn (Ekúl) in mss R, , W, U and A of Skm (SnE). No other poetry by this skald is known, aside from a stanza in FoGT that is said there to be by an Eilífr, and is likely to be by this same poet. Nothing is known of Eilífr’s life, but he is usually assumed to have been an Icelander living at some time in the twelfth century. His nickname kúlnasveinn may mean ‘Fellow with lumps’ (Lind 1920-1, col. 225).

Fragment — Ekúl FragIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘ Eilífr kúlnasveinn, Fragment’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 134. <> (accessed 1 July 2022)


Skj: Eilífr kúlnasveinn: 2. Lausavísa(?) (AI, 572-3, BI, 566)

in texts: FoGT, Gramm

SkP info: III, 134

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This dróttkvætt stanza (Ekúl Frag) is extant only in FoGT; Árni Magnússon copied it in 761aˣ on fol 85v, but this transcript is not an independent witness.  FoGT attributes the stanza to one Eilífr, and it has usually been considered the work of the poet named as Eilífr kúlnasveinn in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 77-8; see his Biography above), where four part-stanzas by him are quoted in illustration of kennings for Christ (Ekúl Kristdr). There is no known external context for this stanza, though Skj treats it as possibly part of Ekúl Kristdr. No other poetry by Eilífr kúlnasveinn has survived. Guðrún Nordal (2001, 87) identifies the Eilífr of this fragment as Eilífr Goðrúnarson, but this seems unlikely in view of stylistic similarities (see Note to ll. 1-4 below) between this stanza and those attributed to Eilífr kúlnasveinn in Skm. Another fragment of a lausavísa cited in TGT (TGT 1884, 14, 65, 169-73) was attributed to Eilífr kúlnasveinn by Finnur Jónsson in Skj A and B (followed by Kock in Skald) against the witnesses of all the mss, which ascribe it to Eilífr Goðrúnarson. In the present edition this fragment has been treated as st. 4 of Eil Þdr.
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