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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Edáð Banddr 1I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 1’ 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. 456.

Eyjólfr dáðaskáldBandadrápa

text and translation

Meita fór at móti
mjǫk síð of dag skíði
ungr með jǫfnu gengi
útvers frǫmum hersi,
þás riðloga reiðir
randvallar lét falla
— ulfteitir gaf ôtu
opt blóðvǫlum — Skopta.

Ungr fór at {móti Meita} mjǫk síð of dag {skíði útvers} með jǫfnu gengi frǫmum hersi, þás {reiðir {riðloga {randvallar}}} lét Skopta falla; {ulfteitir} gaf opt {blóðvǫlum} ôtu.
‘[When] young, he went to an encounter of Meiti <sea-king> [BATTLE] very late in the day on the ski of the fishing ground [SHIP] with a following equal to the noble hersir, when the brandisher of the swinging flame of the rim-plain [SHIELD > SWORD > WARRIOR = Eiríkr] caused Skopti to fall; the wolf-gladdener [WARRIOR] often gave the blood-falcons [RAVENS/EAGLES] food.

notes and context

In Fsk and Hkr, st. 1 is preceded by a description of Eiríkr’s first recorded exploit, at age ten or eleven. Rivalry develops between him and Tíðenda-Skopti (‘News-Skopti’), son-in-law of his father Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. Hákon rebukes Eiríkr for trying to take over Skopti’s mooring place. The following year, Eiríkr brings a ship to meet Skopti as he travels from one estate to another and in the ensuing battle kills him (see Note to l. 6). In SnE (Skm), the first helmingr is cited to illustrate the use of skíð ‘ski’ in ship-kennings.

The stanza is cited explicitly from Banddr in Hkr, and from ‘the poem (kvæði) that Eyjólfr dáðaskáld composed about Eiríkr’ in Fsk. — [1-4]: (a) The construal adopted here (as also in ÍF 26) gives the most straightforward word order and the most regular kenning structure; the battle-kenning mót Meita is directly paralleled in HÁsbj Lv 1/5V (Dpl 1). A minor drawback is that in taking frǫmum hersi as a comp. with jǫfnu gengi a slight ellipsis is assumed: ‘with a following equal to [that of] the noble hersir’. (b) The main alternative is to read (in prose order): Ungr fór með jǫfnu gengi skíði útvers Meita mjǫk síð of dag útvers at móti frǫmum hersi ‘[When] young he went with an equal following on the ski of the fishing ground of Meiti <sea-king> [SEA > SHIP] very late in the day to an encounter with the noble hersir’ (so Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). Here, útvers ‘of the fishing ground’ is pleonastic in that skíð Meita ‘ski of Meiti’ already forms a ship-kenning. Other explanations of útvers are possible: (c) Kock (NN §550) combines útvers with hersi, hence ‘lord of the fishing-ground’ (referring to Skopti). (d) Útvers could be construed as gen. of direction, ‘to the fishing-ground’ (see Poole 2004, 129). Guðbrandur Vígfússon (CPB II, 51, 570) similarly took útvers as an adverbial gen. of place, but as a p. n., ‘at Útver’, explaining Útver as an island off Sogn. — [1]: Evidently an emulation of Eskál Vell 22/1 (de Vries 1964-7, I, 183).



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: Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 1: AI, 200, BI, 190, Skald I, 100, NN §550; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 290, IV 77-8, ÍF 26, 249-50, Hkr 1991, I, 166 (ÓTHkr ch. 20), F 1871, 108; Fsk 1902-3, 105 (ch. 20), ÍF 29, 138-9 (ch. 22); SnE 1848-87, I, 444-5, II, 332-3, 444, SnE 1931, 158, SnE 1998, I, 76, 200.


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