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Guðbrandr í Svǫlum (Guðbr)

13th century; volume 4; ed. Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir;

III. Fragment (Frag) - 1

This edition is currently in preparation. The biography below may represent a superseded edition, notes and/or an interim or draft version. Do not cite this material without consulting the volume and skald editors.

Guðbrandr is introduced in Hrafn without a patronymic and nothing is known about his life or family. A couplet in the Málskrúðsfræði in the Third Grammatical Treatise (3GT) by Ólafr hvítaskáld is attributed to a Guðbrandr and it has been suggested that he is the same poet that composed a helmingr about Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson (Finnur Jónsson, 1923, 169). In 3GT the couplet is introduced with the words sem Guðbrandr kvað í Svǫlu ‘As Guðbrandr composed in/from Svǫlu’. Finnur Jónsson was inclined to interpret Svǫlu or Svǫlum as a place name, but acknowledged that it could also be the name of a poem (1923, 169; 1927, 57), as Björn M. Ólsen suggested (1884, 194). The poet is called Guðbrandr í Svǫlum in Skj. Guðrún P. Helgadóttir proposed that the poet Guðbrandr could be the same man as Guðbrandr Gestsson who is mentioned in Hrafn in connection with ominous stanzas recited by a dream-man called Ingólfr (or Ingúlfr) earlier in the story (1987, xlii).

Fragment — Guðbr FragIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Guðbrandr í Svǫlum, 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. 198.

stanzas:  2 

Skj: Guðbrandr í Svǫlu(m?): (AII, 129-13, BII, 137)

in texts: Gramm, GrammSkáld, TGT

SkP info: III, 198

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This fragment (Guðbr Frag 2) is transmitted in TGT (mss A (main ms.) and W), as well as in a fragment of an otherwise unknown treatise on poetic diction, the so-called Fifth Grammatical Treatise (GrammSkáld), preserved at the very beginning of ms. A(1r). The couplet is attributed to Guðbrandr í Svǫlu (so ms. A, twice) or í Svǫlum (W). For his Biography and the other stanza allegedly composed by him (Guðbr Frag 1IV), see SkP IV. If the latter attribution is correct, Guðbrandr lived at the beginning of the thirteenth century.
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated