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Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

The biography of Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir) is narrated in Kristni saga (Kristni, ÍF 15, II, 15-17) and in ÓT and ÓTOdd, from which a Stefnis þáttr Þorgilssonar (Stefn) can be assembled (ÍF 15, I, clxxxi-clxxxiv, II, 103-10; cf. Flat 1860-8, I, 285 for a section about Stefnir headed þáttr). Stefnir was the son of Þorgils Eilífsson, son of Helgi bjóla (meaning uncertain), from Kjalarnes, western Iceland. The name Stefnir is not certainly recorded in Norway or Iceland until the fourteenth century, and where it occurs in the kings’ sagas it appears to be an Icelandicised form of the name Stephen, borne by Englishmen (so ÍF 15, II, 103 n. 1). Stefnir travelled with Þorvaldr víðfǫrli ‘Wide-travelling’ Koðránsson (Þvíðf). He was converted to Christianity and sent by King Óláfr Tryggvason to evangelise his homeland c. 996, but met with shipwreck and a hostile reception (see Anon (ÓT) 1), was prosecuted for his Christianity by his kinsmen and sentenced to lesser outlawry; he then returned to Óláfr. The two stanzas below are attributed to Stefnir during a period of disconsolate wandering after the king’s death c. 1000, and are of very different kinds. Stefnir and his slander of someone identified as Sigvaldi jarl (Lv 1) were regarded as the fabrication of Gunnlaugr Leifsson (d. c. 1218/9) by Baetke (1970, and cf. Gottskálk Þór Jensson 2006, 52-3), but see the refutation by Andersson (2003, 21-5).

Lausavísur — Stefnir LvI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur’ 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. 447.

stanzas:  1   2 

Skj: Stefnir Þórgilsson: Lausavísur (AI, 153-154, BI, 146)

SkP info: I, 450

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Stefnir Lv 2I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 450.

Ek skil œrit gǫrla,
— erumk leið* fǫður reiði —
— harðr skyli drengr á dýrðir —
danskr hæll, hvat þú mælir.
Heldr vilk við stoð standa
staglútr drifinn úti,
váða Gerðr, an verðak
varmr á þínum armi.

Ek skil œrit gǫrla, danskr hæll, hvat þú mælir; reiði fǫður erumk leið*; drengr skyli harðr á dýrðir. Heldr vilk standa við stoð, staglútr drifinn úti, {Gerðr váða}, an verðak varmr á þínum armi.

I understand clearly enough, Danish lady, what you are saying; [your] father’s anger is hateful to me; a warrior should be hardy in glorious actions. I wish rather to stand beside the post, leaning like a forestay, storm-beaten out at sea, {Gerðr <goddess> of garments} [WOMAN], than to get warm in your arms.

texts: ÓTOdd 5 (4b)

editions: Skj Stefnir Þórgilsson: Lausavísur 2 (AI, 153-4; BI, 146); Skald I, 80, NN §§471, 2447; ÓTOdd 1932, 195, ÍF 25, 309, ÍF 15, II, 109.

sources

Holm perg 18 4° (Holm18) 50v, 33 - 50v, 35 (ÓTOdd)  transcr.  image  
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