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Þórðr Kolbeinsson (ÞKolb)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Jayne Carroll;

Eiríksdrápa (Eirdr) - 17

Þórðr Kolbeinsson (ÞKolb) was born c. 974 in Iceland (ÍF 3, lxxxviii). The Hauksbók version of Ldn names his father as Kolbeinn klakkhǫfði ‘Lump-head’ (?) Atlason, from Atley (Atløy) in Norway, while the Sturlubók version names him as Kolbeinn Þórðarson (ÍF 1, 99, 144, lxiv-vi). Þórðr’s mother is said in Bjarnar saga Hítdœlakappa (BjH, ÍF 3, 168) to be called Arnóra; in Ldn (ÍF 1, 142) she is also identified as the daughter of Gunnbjǫrn. Þórðr’s home was at Hítarnes in western Iceland; the poet Arnórr jarlaskáld (ArnII), one of Þórðr’s five sons, was born there. Two other sons, Kolbeinn and Kolli, are named in BjH, and three unnamed daughters are also mentioned (ÍF 3, 125, 171-2, 174, 179, 208). Nothing is known about Þórðr’s death.

Þórðr is famous as the villain of BjH, in which he marries Oddný eykyndill ‘Island-candle’ Þorkelsdóttir, having deceived her into believing that Bjǫrn Arngeirsson (BjhítV), to whom she is betrothed, is dead. This intensifies a life-long feud between Þórðr and Bjǫrn which ends with Bjǫrn’s death at Þórðr’s hands.

Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 257, 258, 261, 262, 266, 274, 280, 283) names Þórðr as poet to four rulers: Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson of Hlaðir (Lade; d. c. 1023); the Norwegian kings Óláfr Haraldsson (d. 1030) and, in the U redaction, Magnús góði ‘the Good’ Óláfsson (d. 1047); and, in the 761aˣ redaction, the Danish king Sveinn Úlfsson (d. 1076). Of these, only Eiríkr is named in source texts as the recipient of surviving stanzas, although BjH (ÍF 3, 126-7) has Þórðr compose and recite a drápa for Óláfr. It is doubtful on chronological grounds that Þórðr composed for Sveinn Úlfsson, and it has been suggested (Fidjestøl 1982, 117) that confusion with Sveinn tjúguskegg ‘Fork-beard’ (d. 1014) might lie behind the erroneous listing. Seventeen stanzas about Eiríkr jarl survive, and in this edition all are attributed to Eiríksdrápa (ÞKolb Eirdr) with varying degrees of confidence. BjH places Þórðr in Eiríkr’s retinue in Norway, c. 1007, delivering a poem entitled Belgskakadrápa ‘Bag-shaking drápa’ (ÍF 3, 115-9), but this may be the same poem as Eirdr, whose content suggests that Þórðr paid court to Eiríkr in England after the conquest of Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great) in 1016 and before Eiríkr’s death c. 1023 (see Introduction to Eirdr). In addition to Eirdr, twelve lausavísur (ÞKolb Lv 1-12V) are preserved in BjH, mostly directed against the saga’s hero, Bjǫrn, and a single stanza said to be by Þórðr (ÞKolb GunndrV) survives in praise of the poet Gunnlaugr ormstungu ‘Serpent-tongue’ Illugason (GunnlIV, d. c. 1008; ÍF 3, 101-2). These are edited in SkP V.

Eiríksdrápa — ÞKolb EirdrI

Jayne Carroll 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa’ 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. 487.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17 

Skj: Þórðr Kolbeinsson: 3. Eiríksdrápa, 1014 (AI, 213-217, BI, 203-206); stanzas (if different): 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

SkP info: I, 489

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — ÞKolb Eirdr 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 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. 489.

Ok sannliga sunnan
(sôusk vítt búendr ítrir)
(stríð) of stála meiða
(stór) hersǫgur fóru.
Súðlǫngum frá Sveiða
sunnr af dregnum hlunni
vangs á vatn of þrungit
viggmeiðr Dana skeiðum.

 

And in truth war-stories about {trees of steel} [WARRIORS] travelled from the south; excellent farmers widely feared great strife. {The tree {of the steed {of the field of Sveiði}}} [(lit. ‘steed-tree of the field of Sveiði’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] heard that the long-planked warships of the Danes had been thrust onto the water from the worn launching-roller in the south.

context: In Raumaríki (Romerike), Eiríkr jarl hears that the Jómsvíkingar are preparing for war. He gathers a force and sets off for Upplǫnd (Opplandene) and thence to Þrándheimr (Trøndelag) to join his father, Hákon jarl.

notes: Stanzas 1-5 describe the attack on Norway which culminated in the battle at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen, c. 985); on the battle and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [5]: Cf. Hallv Knútdr 1/1III Súðlǫngum komt Sveiða, lit. ‘long-planked you came/brought of Sveiði’.

texts: ÓT 69, ÓTC 30 (I 134), Hkr 161 (I 134)

editions: Skj Þórðr Kolbeinsson: 3. Eiríksdrápa 1 (AI, 213; BI, 203); Skald I, 106, NN §§579, 1106, 1854B, 1914D; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 323-4, IV, 86-7, ÍF 26, 275-6, Hkr 1991, I, 185 (ÓTHkr ch. 36), F 1871, 120; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 181 (ch. 87).

sources

AM 35 folx (Kx) 157r, 2 - 157r, 10 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 26rb, 33 - 26rb, 36 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 94r, 10 - 94r, 14 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 87r, 32 - 87v, 7 (Hkr)  image  
AM 325 VIII 1 4° (325VIII 1) 4va, 28 - 4va, 32 (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 19ra, 27 - 19ra, 30 (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 15ra, 32 - 15ra, 36 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 25va, 5 - 25va, 9 (ÓT)  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated