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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;

3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 14

Skj info: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, Norsk skjald, 10. årh. (d. omkr. 990). (AI, 64-74, BI, 57-65).

Skj poems:
1. Hákonarmál
2. Háleygjatal
3. Lausavísur

Eyvindr (Eyv, c. 915-990) has been called the last important Norwegian skald (Genzmer 1920, 159; also Boyer 1990a, 201). He is listed in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 256, 261, 265-6) among the poets of Hákon góði ‘the Good’ Haraldsson and Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. His maternal grandmother was a daughter of Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, and he seems to have been close to Haraldr’s son Hákon góði from early on, serving at his court as one of a group of brilliant skalds. After Hákon’s death he resided at the court of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, but relations with Haraldr seem to have soured quickly, as evidenced by his lausavísur. Eyvindr spent the last part of his life with the powerful Hákon jarl Sigurðarson of Hlaðir (Lade), whose family had supported Hákon góði against the sons of Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’. According to Hkr (ÍF 26, 221), in addition to Háleygjatal (Hál), Hákonarmál (Hák) and the lausavísur, Eyvindr composed a poem Íslendingadrápa, but this has not come down to us. The epithet skáldaspillir is usually interpreted to mean ‘Plagiarist’, literally ‘Destroyer (or Despoiler?) of Poets’ in reference to his habit of drawing inspiration from and alluding to earlier compositions, specifically Ynglingatal (Þjóð Yt) for Hál and Eiríksmál (Anon Eirm), along with several eddic poems, for Hák (see Introductions to Hál and Hák). The alternative interpretation ‘Poem-reciter’ proposed by Wadstein (1895a, 88) is unconvincing; see further Olsen (1962a, 28), and Beck (1994a). For further biographical information, see LH I, 447-9, Holm-Olsen (1953) and Marold (1993a).

Lausavísur — Eyv LvI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur’ 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. 213.

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Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 3. Lausavísur (AI, 71-4, BI, 62-5)

SkP info: I, 228

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Eyv Lv 9I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 9’ 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. 228.

Fullu skein á fjǫllum
fallsól bráa vallar
Ullar kjóls of allan
aldr konar skǫldum.
Nús alfrǫðull elfar
jǫtna dolgs of
of folginn
— rôð eru rammrar þjóðar
rík — í móður líki.


{The setting sun {of the plain of the brows} of Fulla} [FOREHEAD > GOLD] shone on {the mountains {of the ship of Ullr}} [SHIELD > ARMS/HANDS] of skalds throughout kon’s whole lifetime. Now {the sun of the river} [GOLD] is hidden in {the body of the mother {of the enemy of the giants}}; [= Þórr > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] the resolutions of the mighty people are powerful.

context: As for Lv 8 in the kings’ sagas. The first helmingr is cited in SnE (twice in U) in a section illustrating kennings for ‘gold’, and the second in one illustrating kennings for ‘earth’.

editions: Skj Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 3. Lausavísur 9 (c. 965 - AI, 73; BI, 64);

Skald I, 40; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 226-7, IV, 63, ÍF 26, 201, Hkr 1991, I, 133 (HGráf ch. 1), F 1871, 86; Fms 1, 50, Fms 12, 31, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 49 (ch. 31); Fsk 1902-3, 54 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 99-100 (ch. 14); SnE 1848-87, I, 320-1, 346-7, II, 315, 319, 358, 527, SnE 1931, 115, 125, SnE 1998, I, 35, 43; Krause 1990, 250-4.


AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 76r, 7 - 76r, 14  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx) 108v, 18 - 108v, 25 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 19ra, 15 - 19ra, 17 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 65r, 14 - 65r, 17 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 62v, 5 - 62v, 12 (Hkr)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 6va, 28 - 6va, 30 (ÓT)  image  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 8vb, 10 - 8vb, 13 (ÓT)  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 14v, 1 - 14v, 8 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 12v, 18 - 12v, 25 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 302 4°x (302x) 19v, 23 - 20r, 6 (Fsk)  transcr.  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 63, 2 - 63, 9 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 22r, 20 - 22r, 23 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
GKS 2367 4° (R) 28r, 23 - 28r, 24 [1-4] (SnE)  image  image  image  
GKS 2367 4° (R) 26r, 25 - 26r, 26 [5-8] (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 29r, 24 - 29r, 25 [1-4] (SnE)  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 27r, 8 - 27r, 9 [5-8] (SnE)  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 60, 31 - 60, 32 [1-4] (SnE)  image  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 56, 30 - 56, 31 [5-8] (SnE)  image  image  image  
DG 11 (U*) 30v, 19 - 30v, 20 [1-4] (SnE)  image  
DG 11 (U*) 42r, 24 - 42r, 25 [1-4] (SnE)  image  
DG 11 (U) 29r, 28 - 29v, 1 [5-8] (SnE)  image  
AM 757 a 4° (B) 5r, 15 - 5r, 16 [5-8] (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
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