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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Illugi bryndœlaskáld (Ill)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Poem about Haraldr harðráði (Har) - 4

Skj info: Illugi Bryndœlaskáld, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 384, BI, 354).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om Harald hårdråde
2. Lausavísa

Nothing is known about Illugi (Ill), but his nickname bryndœlaskáld ‘Poet of the People of Brynjudalur’ indicates that he either came from Brynjudalur in southern Iceland or composed about people from that region (see SnE 1848-87, III, 595-9; LH 1894-1901, I, 634). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists him among Haraldr Sigurðarson’s poets.

Poem about Haraldr harðráði — Ill HarII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Illugi bryndœlaskáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði’ 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. 282-5. <> (accessed 20 January 2022)

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Skj: Illugi Bryndœlaskáld: 1. Et digt om Harald hårdråde (AI, 384, BI, 354)

in texts: Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, HSig, LaufE, LaufE, MH, Skm, SnE, SnEA

SkP info: II, 282-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This poem about Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson (Ill Har) is peculiar in that ll. 2-3 of each helmingr insert information about Sigurðr the Dragon-slayer and the Gjúkungar (for similar syntactic constructions called stæltr ‘inlaid, intercalated’, see SnSt Ht 12III, SnE 1999, 10; SnE 1998, I, 210). Illugi used these allusions to eulogise Haraldr by juxtaposing his merits with those of Sigurðr the Dragon-slayer. The poet’s name is given in SnE (sts 1, 2), H-Hr, Flat (st. 3), Hkr and Fsk (st. 4). The helmingar are ordered in accordance with the sequence of events from the Sigurðr-cycle described in ll. 2-3 (see also Fidjestøl 1982, 142-3). Stanza 1 is recorded in mss R, , U, A, B and C of SnE (Skm), as well as in LaufE (mss papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ) where it is given together with Hallr Snorrason’s Magnússdrápa Erlingssonar (HSn MagndrIII) as one st. Stanza 2 is found in A only (added after the þulur), and st. 3 is cited in H-Hr (H, Hr) and Flat (Flat), and must have been part of the Mork redaction (Mork has a lacuna here). That is also the case with st. 4, which also is recorded in Hkr (mss , 39, F, E, J2ˣ) and Fsk (FskBˣ, FskAˣ). The variants show that H-Hr is not a Hkr text at this point.
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