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Þorkell hamarskáld (Þham)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Magnússdrápa (Magndr) - 5

Þorkell hamarskáld (Þham) is unknown. His nickname implies that he came from a farm called Hamarr (meaning ‘Crag’; Finnur Jónsson 1907, 246) or that he might have composed about a person with the nickname hamarr ‘Hammer’ (Lind 1920-1, 134). Þorkell must have stayed in Norway prior to 1066, because he composed a poem about Eysteinn orri ‘Black Grouse’ Þorbergsson (d. 1066) whom he seems to have known personally (Skáldatal, SnE 1848-87, III, 269, 286; Mork 1928-32, 279-80). Skáldatal also lists him among the poets of Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’ Haraldsson and his son, Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275-6). We do not know whether Þorkell came from Norway or Iceland, but in a helmingr attributed to him in SnE (Skm), he speaks of a gift that a ruler had sent to him of svalan ægi ‘across the cool sea’ (Þham Frag 1/3III), which suggests that he was an Icelander. See also SnE 1848-87, III, 616-18; LH 1894-1901, II, 54-5. In addition to his drápa about Magnús berfœttr and the helmingr in SnE (edited in SkP III), one lv. by Þorkell survives (see Þham Lv below).

Magnússdrápa — Þham MagndrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell hamarskáld, Magnússdrápa’ 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. 409-14.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Þórkell hamarskáld: 1. Magnúsdrápa, o. 1104 (AI, 438-9, BI, 407-8)

SkP info: II, 412-13

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Þham Magndr 4II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorkell hamarskáld, Magnússdrápa 4’ 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. 412-13.

Hraustr lét Elfi austarr
allvaldr saman gjalla
— vitr stillir rauð vǫllu —
valskan brand ok randir.
Varð á víg, þars ferðir,
vellmildr konungr, fellu,
— bolr lá gauzkr und gulri
grás arnar kló — þrási.

Hraustr allvaldr lét valskan brand ok randir gjalla saman austarr Elfi; vitr stillir rauð vǫllu. Vellmildr konungr varð þrási á víg, þars ferðir fellu; gauzkr bolr lá und gulri kló grás arnar.

The brave mighty ruler let the Frankish sword and shields crash together east of the Götaälv; the wise leader reddened the fields. The gold-generous king persisted in battle where troops fell; the Gautish torso lay beneath the yellow claw of the grey eagle.

Mss: Mork(24r) (Mork); H(90r), Hr(62rb) (H-Hr); F(59rb)

Readings: [1] austarr: ‘aulfar’ Hr    [2] gjalla: gjalda Hr    [5] Varð á: so F, varða Mork, H, Hr;    ferðir: so F, herðir Mork, H, ‘giordi’ Hr    [6] vell‑: vel‑ H    [7] bolr: ‘bolar’ H

Editions: Skj: Þórkell hamarskáld, 1. Magnúsdrápa 4: AI, 438-9, BI, 408, Skald I, 201, NN §2533; Mork 1867, 149, Mork 1928-32, 327, Andersson and Gade 2000, 305, 486 (Mberf); Fms 7, 53 (Mberf ch. 26); F 1871, 274 (Mberf).

Context: Magnús campaigned in Sweden againt King Ingi Steinkelsson (c. 1100-2).

Notes: [All]: For Magnús’s Swed. campaigns, see also Mberf Lv 2, Eldj Lv 1-2, Gísl Magnkv 17-20 and Anon (Mberf) 4-5. — [1] Elfi ‘the Götaälv’: River in south-western Sweden. — [1] austarr ‘east of’: Lit. ‘further east of’. A comp. adv. taking the dat. (Elfi m. dat. sg. ‘the Götaälv’). — [4] valskan brand ‘the Frankish sword’: See Falk 1914, 40. — [5] ferðir (f. nom. pl.) ‘troops’: The Mork and H variant herðir (m. nom. sg.) ‘strengthener’ is syntactically impossible because the verb (fellu ‘fell’ (l. 6)) is in the pl. Skj B emends to herjar (m. nom. pl.) ‘warriors’ and Skald to herðar (f. nom. pl.) ‘shoulders’ (see NN §2533). Because Skj A did not use F, neither Finnur nor Kock was aware of the above variants. — [8] grás ‘of the grey’: This adj. could also be taken in the sense ‘old’, but that is less likely in view of the contrasting adjectives gulri ‘yellow’ (l. 7) and grás.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated