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 8 December 2021)

 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, 499

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — ÞKolb Eirdr 7I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jayne Carroll (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa 7’ 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. 499.

Hafði sér við særi
— slíks vas vôn at hônum —
auðs, an upp of kvæði,
Eirekr í hug meira.
Sótti reiðr at rôðum
— rann engi því manna —
— þrályndi gafsk Þrœndum —
þrœnzkr jarl konung sœnskan.

Eirekr hafði sér meira í hug við {særi auðs} an of kvæði upp; slíks vas vôn at hônum. Reiðr þrœnzkr jarl sótti sœnskan konung at rôðum; engi manna rann því; þrályndi gafsk Þrœndum.

Eiríkr had more in mind for {the wounder of wealth} [GENEROUS MAN = Óláfr Tryggvason] than he declared; such was to be expected of him. The angry jarl of Trøndelag [Eiríkr] sought counsel from the Swedish king; no person obstructed that; obstinacy affected the Þrœndir.

texts: Flat 242, Fsk 100, ÓT 107, ÓTC 42 (I 145), ÓTC 45 (I 148), TGT 102 [5-8], Gramm 104, Hkr 173 (I 145), Hkr 176 (I 148)

editions: Skj Þórðr Kolbeinsson: 1. Belgskakadrápa 3 (AI, 212; BI, 202-3); Skald I, 106; 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, 254 (ch. 109), Flat 1860-8, I, 247; Fsk 1902-3, 107 (ch. 20), ÍF 29, 140-1 (ch. 22); SnE 1848-87, II, 168-9, 423, TGT 1884, 28, 108, 224, TGT 1927, 80, 106, TGT 1998, 218-19.


AM 35 folx (Kx*) 172v, 3 - 172v, 10 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx*) 199r, 12 - 199r, 12 [1-1] (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 29ra, 38 - 29rb, 2 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x*) 103v, 2 - 103v, 5 (Hkr)  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x*) 122r, 22 - 122r, 22 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x*) 96r, 8 - 96r, 15 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x*) 108v, 8 - 108v, 8 [1-1] (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 26rb, 11 - 26rb, 14 (ÓT)  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 23vb, 23 - 23vb, 26 (ÓT)  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 24vb, 17 - 24vb, 21 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 36ra, 24 - 36ra, 28 (ÓT)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 32vb, 24 - 32vb, 26 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 32r, 25 - 32v, 3 (Fsk)  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 118, 9 - 118, 16 (Fsk)  image  
AM 748 I b 4° (A) 7r, 25 - 7r, 26 (TGT)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 109, 8 - 109, 9 [5-8] (TGT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 29r, 7 - 29r, 14 (Fsk)  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 43v, 16 - 43v, 20 (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.