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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Einarr Skúlason (biog. vol. 2), Geisli, 31 [Vol. 7, 32]

[All]: The story of Gutthormr Gunnhildarson occupies sts 31-4. This man was S. Óláfr’s nephew, son of his half-sister Gunnhildr. After a raid on the island of Angelsey, Gutthormr quarrelled with his Irish raiding partner Margaðr over the spoils and a fight ensued. Although Gutthormr’s war-band was the weaker, he prayed to Óláfr on the evening before the fight (which took place on S. Óláfr’s feast day, 29 July) and Óláfr helped him to win. In gratitude he donated a silver cross to the saint, which would have been visible in the cathedral at Trondheim as Einarr recited his drápa. The story of Gutthormr appears in numerous versions of the Óláfr-legend (Louis-Jensen 1970, 35; ÓHLeg 1982, 210-12; Hkr, ÍF 28, 135-7; ÓH 1941, 631-3; for further details, see Chase 2005, 39 and 227 n. 107; Gade 2004, 218-20). Sts 31-3 are missing from the Flat text, probably due to the scribe’s carelessness. St. 30 lies at the end of a column in the ms., and the following column begins with st. 34. Both sts 30 and 33 have the stef as the second helmingr, and when the scribe shifted columns he probably mistook the conclusion of st. 33 for st. 30. The inclusion of st. 34 proves that the scribe’s exemplar contained the story of Gutthormr. The missing sts are supplied from the Bb text, the only witness.

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