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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorkell Gíslason (ÞGísl)

12th century; volume 1; ed. Emily Lethbridge;

Búadrápa (Búdr) - 12

Skj info: Þórkell Gíslason, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 553-5, BI, 536-8).

Skj poems:

Þorkell (ÞGísl) is named as the poet of Búadrápa in ÓT (1958-2000, 180), but beyond that nothing is known about him and his name does not appear in Skáldatal.

Búadrápa — ÞGísl BúdrI

Emily Lethbridge and Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa’ 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. 941.

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Skj: Þórkell Gíslason: Búadrápa (AI, 553-5, BI, 536-8)

SkP info: I, 943

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — ÞGísl Búdr 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 1’ 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. 943.

Bôru á vali víka
— vel frák þeim líka
seggjum snarræði —
sverð ok herklæði.

Bôru sverð ok {herklæði} á {vali víka}; frák snarræði líka þeim seggjum vel.

They carried swords and {war-garments} [ARMOUR] aboard {the stallions of bays} [SHIPS]; I have heard that bold action pleased those men well.

Mss: 61(19ra), 54(15ra), Bb(25rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [3] snarræði: so 54, Bb, ‘snerreiði’ 61

Editions: Skj: Þórkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 1: AI, 553, BI, 536, Skald I, 260; Fms 1, 164, Fms 12, 40, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 180-1 (ch. 86), Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 23, 76.

Context: King Sveinn tjúguskegg ‘Fork-beard’ of Denmark invites his allies the Jómsvíkingar to a joint memorial feast for their recently-deceased fathers, during which he makes a formal vow to kill or dethrone King Aðalráðr (Æthelred) of England within three years. His guest Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson makes a matching vow about Hákon inn ríki ‘the Mighty’ Sigurðarson, jarl of Hlaðir (Lade), and his brother Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ follows suit, joined, with variations, by other Jómsvíking heroes: Búi digri ‘the Stout’ Vésetason, his brother Sigurðr kápa ‘Cloak’, and Vagn Ákason. Next day, now sober, the Jómsvíkingar take counsel about the expedition and decide to make ready immediately.

Notes: [1] vali ‘the stallions’: Valr m. ‘hawk, falcon’ was used as the name of a horse, and hence as a general heiti for ‘horse’ commonly featuring in ship-kennings (see LP: 2. Valr; Note to Þloft Tøgdr 5/6). — [4] herklæði ‘war-garments [ARMOUR]’: This cpd, occurring in skaldic poetry only here and in st. 5/2, is here treated as a kenning, albeit a marginal one. It is listed as a kenning in Meissner 166, and is comparable with, e.g., herváðir/hervæðr ‘war-garments’ (Eyv Hák 4/1), but it also occurs in prose (see Fritzner: herváðir), including SnE (1998, I, 67), where a section is dedicated to kennings for vápn ok herklæði ‘weapons and armour’.

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