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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 30VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 30’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 31.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Rauns, at sigr gaf sínum
snjallr lausnara spjalli
— hrósak verkum vísa
vígdjarfs — frǫmum arfa.
Greitt má gumnum létta
guðs ríðari * stríðum
rǫskr þiggr allt, þats œskir,
Óláfr af gram sólar.

Rauns, at {snjallr spjalli lausnara} gaf frǫmum arfa sínum sigr; hrósak verkum vígdjarfs vísa. {Guðs ríðari} má greitt létta stríðum gumnum; rǫskr Óláfr þiggr allt, þats œskir, af {gram sólar}.
‘It is a fact that the brave confidant of the Saviour [= Óláfr] gave his distinguished heir victory; I praise the deeds of the battle-bold prince. God’s knight [SAINT = Óláfr] can easily alleviate the afflictions of men; brave Óláfr gets all he desires from the king of the sun [= God].

notes and context

H-Hr concludes the account of the battle with the following comment: Þat gaf ok öllum vel skilja, at eigi mátti hann sigra við svá lítit lið ... nema sá sigr væri honum veittr af vꜽrum herra drottni Jesú Kristó, háleitum himnakonúngi, fyrir verðleika síns ástvinar Ólafs konúngs, sem Einar prestr Skúlason segir... ‘It was also very apparent to all, that he would not have been able to be victorious with such a small band ..., unless that victory had been given to him by our master lord Jesus Christ, the exalted king of heaven, on account of the merits of his beloved friend King Óláfr, as the priest Einarr Skúlason says ...’, followed by this st.

[5-8]: The stef is written out in full in Flat, but abbreviated in Bb. The Flat scribe abbreviates it everywhere but here and in st. 18. The text differs slightly here, suggesting that the scribe wrote it out from memory: this second version has ‘ridari i stridum’ (l. 6) where st. 18 has ‘ridadri stridum’ and þats (‘þat er’, l. 7) where the first reads sem. The scribe’s reason for writing the stef here has to do with the layout of the ms. When he finished copying the first helmingr of st. 30 he found that one ruled l. remained at the foot of column a, enough space for four ll. of dróttkvætt. Rather than begin a new st. and split the text between two columns of writing, he filled out the space with the stef.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Einarr Skúlason, 6. Geisli 30: AI, 464-5, BI, 434, Skald I, 214; Flat 1860-8, I, 4, Cederschiöld 1873, 5, Chase 2005, 80, 147; Fms 6, 70.


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