This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Þórðr Kolbeinsson (ÞKolb)

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

Eiríksdrápa (Eirdr) - 17

Skj info: Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 212-19, BI, 202-9).

Skj poems:
1. Belgskakadrápa
2. Gunnlaugsdrápa ormstungu
3. Eiríksdrápa
4. Lausavísur

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 1 July 2022)

 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, 497

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — ÞKolb Eirdr 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 6’ 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. 497.

Meinrennir, brá — manna
margs fýsa skǫp —, varga,
ljóða lítlu siðar
læ Hôkunar ævi.
Enn til lands, þess’s lindar
láðstafr vegit hafði
hraustr, þás herr fór vestan,
hykk kómu son Tryggva.

{Varga {meinrennir}}, lítlu siðar brá læ ljóða ævi Hôkunar; skǫp manna fýsa margs. Enn hykk {son Tryggva} kómu til lands, þess’s {hraustr {lindar láð}stafr} hafði vegit, þás herr fór vestan.

{{Harm-banisher} [GLADDENER] of wolves} [WARRIOR = Eiríkr], a little later the people’s treachery ended the life of Hákon; the fate of men urges much on. And I think {the son of Tryggvi} [= Óláfr] came to the land which {the bold staff {of the land of the linden spear}} [(lit. ‘bold land-staff of the linden spear’) SHIELD > WARRIOR = Hákon] had vanquished, when the army advanced from the west.

texts: Flat 241, Flat 366, Fsk 99, ÓT 106, ÓT 150, ÓTC 41 (I 144), ÓTC 44 (I 147), Hkr 172 (I 144), Hkr 175 (I 147)

editions: Skj Þórðr Kolbeinsson: 1. Belgskakadrápa 2 (AI, 212; BI, 202); Skald 106, NN §§576, 1105, 2465A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 358, 415, IV, 92, ÍF 26, 300, 337, Hkr 1991, I, 202, 228 (ÓTHkr chs 51, 89), F 1871, 132; ÓT 1958-2000, I, 244, II, 241 (chs 105, 243), Flat 1860-8, I, 242, 518; Fsk 1902-3, 107, ÍF 29, 140 (ch. 22).


AM 35 folx (Kx*) 172r, 20 - 172v, 2 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx*) 199r, 11 - 199r, 11 [1-1] (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F*) 29ra, 35 - 29ra, 37 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F*) 34ra, 3 - 34ra, 3 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x*) 103r, 22 - 103v, 1 (Hkr)  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x*) 122r, 22 - 122r, 22 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x*) 95v, 31 - 96r, 7 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x*) 108v, 7 - 108r, 7 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61*) 25rb, 16 - 25rb, 18 (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 61 fol (61*) 65rb, 18 - 65rb, 19 [1-1] (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53*) 22vb, 8 - 22vb, 11 (ÓT)  image  
AM 53 fol (53*) 62ra, 17 - 62ra, 17 [1-1] (ÓT)  image  
AM 54 fol (54*) 23va, 2 - 23va, 6 (ÓT)  image  
AM 54 fol (54*) 60rb, 35 - 60rb, 35 [1-1] (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb*) 34va, 22 - 34va, 26 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb*) 96ra, 20 - 96ra, 20 [1-1] (ÓT)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat*) 32ra, 39 - 32ra, 42 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat*) 69rb, 25 - 69rb, 28 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 32r, 17 - 32r, 20 [1-4] (Fsk)  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 118, 1 - 118, 8 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 28v, 33 - 29r, 6 (Fsk)  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 43v, 12 - 43v, 16 (Fsk)  
© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.