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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Skúli Þorsteinsson (Skúli)

11th century; volume 3; ed. Kate Heslop;

1. Poem about Svǫlðr (Svǫlðr) - 5

Skj info: Skúli Þórsteinsson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 305-6, BI, 283-4).

Skj poems:
1. Digt om Svolderslaget
2. Lausavísa

Skúli Þorsteinsson (Skúli; c. 970-1040; LH I, 556) was a grandson of Egill Skallagrímsson (Eg ch. 79, ÍF 2, 276); his wife was Bera Ormsdóttir, niece of Þorvaldr víðfǫrli ‘the Wide-travelled’ (Kristni ch. 2, Hb 1892-6, 127). Skúli is listed as a skald of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson in the Kringla version of Skáldatal but as a skald of Sveinn jarl Hákonarson in the U version (SnE 1848-87, III, 257, 266, 281). A valued member of Eiríkr’s retinue (hirð; Gunnl ch. 6, ÍF 3, 68), he was a forecastle-man (stafnbúi) on the jarl’s ship Járnbarðinn during the battle of Svolder (Svǫlðr, c. 1000; ÓTOdd 1932, 218; cf. Eg ch. 87, ÍF 2, 300). The authors of ÓT and ÓTOdd consider him a key eyewitness of the battle, about which he is said to have composed a flokkr (ÓTOdd 1932, 210). The battle stanzas by him which are preserved in the kings’ sagas and SnE may reasonably be assigned to this poem, but there is no trace of the additional encomiastic poems hypothesised by earlier scholars (SnE 1848-87, III, 719; LH I, 556). A single helmingr with mythological subject-matter, also preserved in SnE, is presumably from a different, lost poem. Skúli inherited the family farm at Borg (Eg ch. 87, ÍF 2, 300) and appears in later life as a generous and popular patron of young Icelanders (BjH chs 1-3, 7, ÍF 3, 111-19, 129).

Poem about Svǫlðr — Skúli SvǫlðrIII

Kate Heslop 2017, ‘ Skúli Þorsteinsson, Poem about Svǫlðr’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 360. <> (accessed 4 July 2022)

 1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Skúli Þórsteinsson: 1. Digt om Svolderslaget, omkr. 1020 (AI, 305-6, BI, 283-4)

SkP info: III, 362

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Skúli Svǫlðr 2III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kate Heslop (ed.) 2017, ‘Skúli Þorsteinsson, Poem about Svǫlðr 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 362.

Fylgðak Frísa dolgi,
(fekk ungr) þars spjǫr sungu,
— nú fiðr ǫld, at eldumk —
(aldrbót) ok Sigvalda,
þás til móts við mœti
malmþings í dyn hjalma
sunnr fyr Svǫlðrar mynni
sárlauk roðinn bôrum.

Fylgðak {dolgi Frísa} ok Sigvalda, þars spjǫr sungu; fekk ungr aldrbót – nú fiðr ǫld at eldumk –, þás bôrum {roðinn sárlauk} í {dyn hjalma} til móts við {mœti {malmþings}} sunnr fyr mynni Svǫlðrar.

I followed {the Frisians’ enemy} [= Eiríkr] and Sigvaldi, where spears sang; I got renown young – now people find I grow old –, when we [I] bore {the reddened wound-leek} [SWORD] into {the din of helmets} [BATTLE] against {the meeter {of the metal-assembly}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR] south before the mouth of Svolder.

texts: Flat 330, Fsk 115, ÓT 160, ÓTC 54 (I 157), ÓTOdd 9 (8), Hkr 185 (I 157)

editions: Skj Skúli Þórsteinsson: 1. Digt om Svolderslaget 2 (AI, 305-6; BI, 283); Skald I, 145, NN §§769, 1158; ÓTOdd 1932, 210, ÓTOdd 2006, xxx; Fsk 1902-3, 126, ÍF 29, 154 (ch. 24); Hkr 1893-1901, I, 442-3, IV, 97, ÍF 26, 358 (ÓTHkr ch. 105); ÓT 1958-2000, II, 264 (ch. 250), Flat 1860-8, I, 482; Konráð Gíslason 1892, 32.


AM 51 folx (51x) 34r, 34 - 34v, 6 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 18 4° (Holm18) 52r, 16 - 52r, 18 (ÓTOdd)  transcr.  image  
AM 310 4° (310) 85, 11 - 85, 14 (ÓTOdd)  transcr.  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 38r, 2 - 38r, 9 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 137, 2 - 137, 9 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx) 211r, 11 - 211r, 18 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 36ra, 4 - 36ra, 7 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 130v, 16 - 130v, 20 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 114r - 114r (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
AM 325 VIII 1 4° (325VIII 1) 5ra, 29 - 5ra, 35 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 67va, 34 - 67va, 37 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 64ra, 16 - 64ra, 19 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 63vb, 21 - 63vb, 25 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 99rb - 99va, 3 (ÓT)  image  
AM 325 VIII 2 b 4° (325VIII 2 b) 1va, 7 - 1va, 14 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 64rb, 45 - 64rb, 47 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 50v, 11 - 50v, 15 (Fsk)  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 340r, 3 - 340r, 10  transcr.  image  
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