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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Skúli Þorsteinsson — SkúliIII

skalds

Vol. 3, 360 —  — ed. Kate Heslop

Poetry

Biography

Kate Heslop 2017, ‘(Biography of) Skúli Þorsteinsson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 360.

Skúli Þorsteinsson (Skúli; c. 970-1040; LH I, 556) was a grandson of Egill Skallagrímsson (Eg ch. 79, ÍF 2, 276); his wife was Bera Ormsdóttir, niece of Þorvaldr víðfǫrli ‘the Wide-travelled’ (Kristni ch. 2, Hb 1892-6, 127). Skúli is listed as a skald of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson in the Kringla version of Skáldatal but as a skald of Sveinn jarl Hákonarson in the U version (SnE 1848-87, III, 257, 266, 281). A valued member of Eiríkr’s retinue (hirð; Gunnl ch. 6, ÍF 3, 68), he was a forecastle-man (stafnbúi) on the jarl’s ship Járnbarðinn during the battle of Svolder (Svǫlðr, c. 1000; ÓTOdd 1932, 218; cf. Eg ch. 87, ÍF 2, 300). The authors of ÓT and ÓTOdd consider him a key eyewitness of the battle, about which he is said to have composed a flokkr (ÓTOdd 1932, 210). The battle stanzas by him which are preserved in the kings’ sagas and SnE may reasonably be assigned to this poem, but there is no trace of the additional encomiastic poems hypothesised by earlier scholars (SnE 1848-87, III, 719; LH I, 556). A single helmingr with mythological subject-matter, also preserved in SnE, is presumably from a different, lost poem. Skúli inherited the family farm at Borg (Eg ch. 87, ÍF 2, 300) and appears in later life as a generous and popular patron of young Icelanders (BjH chs 1-3, 7, ÍF 3, 111-19, 129).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. ÓTOdd 1932 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1932. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar af Oddr Snorrason munk. Copenhagen: Gad.
  4. LH = Finnur Jónsson. 1920-4. Den oldnorske og oldislandske litteraturs historie. 3 vols. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Gad.
  5. ÍF 2 = Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar. Ed. Sigurður Nordal. 1933.
  6. ÍF 3 = Borgfirðinga sǫgur. Ed. Sigurður Nordal and Guðni Jónsson. 1938.
  7. Hb 1892-6 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1892-6. Hauksbók udgiven efter de Arnamagnæanske håndskrifter no. 371, 544 og 675, 4° samt forskellige papirshåndskrifter. Copenhagen: Det kongelige nordiske oldskrift-selskab.
  8. Internal references
  9. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  10. Not published: do not cite (EgV)
  11. Not published: do not cite (KristniIV)
  12. Not published: do not cite (EgillV)
  13. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  14. Not published: do not cite (GunnlV)
  15. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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, pp. clxxiv-clxxv.
  16. Not published: do not cite (BjHV)
  17. Not published: do not cite ()

other information

Skúli Þorsteinsson (Skúli)

11th century

Skj AI, 305-6; BI, 283-4

volume 3

main editor: Kate Heslop

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