Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson (Rv)
12th century; volume 2; ed. Judith Jesch;
Lausavísur (Lv) - 32
III. Lausavísur (Lv) - 3
Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson, jarl of Orkney, is known primarily from Orkn, in which he is one of the main characters, but he is also mentioned in other texts, including Hkr (ÍF 28, 324-5) and Icel. annals (Storm 1888, 20-1, 60, 113-14, 116, 120, 321-2, 324). He was born Kali Kolsson, the son of a Norw. nobleman from Agder, Kolr Kalason, and Gunnhildr, the sister of the martyred S. Magnús of Orkney (ÍF 34, 101-2). Orkn recounts various episodes from Rǫgnvaldr’s youth, in Norway and elsewhere, several of them associated with lvv. (see below). Though we are not told how and when he learned the skaldic art, his grandfather Kali Sæbjarnarson is said to have been good at poetical composition (ÍF 34, 95) and indeed Orkn preserves one st. by him (Kali Lv). Kali Kolsson was given the name Rǫgnvaldr by King Sigurðr jórsalafari Magnússon when he also made him joint jarl of Orkney with Páll Hákonarson. There are relatively few lvv. associated with Rǫgnvaldr’s assumption of power in Orkney and subsequent political affairs, though both are recounted at length in the saga. Rǫgnvaldr is remembered for his poetry, especially that composed during his crusade to the Holy Land in 1151-3, and for instigating the building of the cathedral in Kirkwall, dedicated to his uncle S. Magnús. Rǫgnvaldr was killed in Caithness in an ambush by political opponents in 1158 (according to the Icel. annals, but 1159 according to the internal chronology of Orkn, cf. ÍF 34, xc) and is remembered as a saint. His relics were translated in 1192 (according to the Icel. annals) and a skull and some bones found in St Magnus Cathedral may have been his (Jesch and Molleson, 2005). There are thirty-five lvv. attributed to Rǫgnvaldr, of which thirty-two are preserved in mss of Orkn and edited here. Three further lvv. (Rv Lv 33-5III) are edited in SkP III, along with Háttalykill (RvHbreiðm HlIII), a poetical guide to metres composed by Rǫgnvaldr jointly with Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga.
Jarl Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson of Orkney is not commemorated in praise poetry, and his biography is therefore not included here. For his life and poetic works, see his skald Biography.
Judith Jesch 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 575-609.
Skj: Rǫgnvaldr jarl kali Kolsson: Lausavísur (AI, 505-12, BI, 478-87); stanzas (if different): 33 |
SkP info: II, 585
8 — Rv Lv 8II
Cite as: Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 585.
|Brast, þás bæði lesti |
— bauð hrǫnn skaða mǫnnum —
— sút fekk veðr it váta
vífum — Hjǫlp ok Fífu.
Sék, at sjá mun þykkja
snarlyndra fǫr jarla
— sveit gat vás at vísu
vinna — hǫfð at minnum.
Brast, þás lesti bæði Hjǫlp ok Fífu; hrǫnn bauð mǫnnum skaða; it váta veðr fekk vífum sút. Sék, at sjá fǫr snarlyndra jarla mun þykkja hǫfð at minnum; sveit gat vinna vás at vísu.
There was a loud noise when both Hjǫlp and Fífa were damaged; the wave caused men harm; the wet weather gave women sorrow. I see that that voyage of bold-hearted jarls will be kept in memory; the crew got drenching work for sure.
texts: ‹Flat 691›,
editions: Skj Rǫgnvaldr jarl kali Kolsson: Lausavísur 8 (AI, 506-7; BI, 480); Skald I, 235-6; Flat 1860-8, II, 474, Orkn 1887, 150, Orkn 1913-16, 218, ÍF 34, 196-7 (ch. 85), Bibire 1988, 229.