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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gísl Illugason (Gísl)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

1. Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr (Magnkv) - 20

Skj info: Gísl Illugason, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 440-4, BI, 409-13).

Skj poems:
1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt
2. Lausavísa

Gísl belonged to the Icel. family of the Gilsbekkingar, who were said to be descendants of the C9th poet Bragi inn gamli ‘the Old’ Boddason (BragiIII). Gísl was the great-grandson of the skald Tindr Hallkelsson (TindrI), the uncle of poet Gunnlaugr ormstunga ‘Serpent-tongue’ Illugason (GunnlIV). See ÍF 3, 331, Genealogies II a-b in ÍF 3 and SnE 1848-97, III, 625-6. Details about Gísl’s life are given in Gísls þáttr Illugasonar (GíslIll) in H-Hr (Fms 7, 29-40; ÍF 3, 329-42) and in Jóns saga helga (JBp; JBp 2003, 10, 63-72). Gísl was born in 1079, and when he was six years old, his father was killed by a certain Gjafvaldr, a slaying Gísl later avenged. King Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson sentenced Gísl to death for the killing of Gjafvaldr, who was one of his retainers, but Gísl escaped execution (see Gísl Lv below). He then travelled with Magnús to Ireland in charge of hostages and became Magnús’s court poet (Skáldatal, SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 276). He also seems to have participated in Magnús’s expedition to the west in 1098 and in his campaign in Sweden (c. 1100-2; see Magnkv 11 and 19). Gísl later lived in Iceland until old age and had one son, Einarr (JBp 2003, 72). In addition to the memorial poem below composed about Magnús berfœttr, Gísl is said to have composed another encomium to Magnús on the occasion described in the lv. below, but no sts from that poem survive (see SnE 1848-87, III, 626-7; ÍF 3, 340-1).

Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr — Gísl MagnkvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 416-30.

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Skj: Gísl Illugason: 1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt, o. 1104 (AI, 440-4, BI, 409-13)

SkP info: II, 423-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Gísl Magnkv 10II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Gísl Illugason, Erfikvæði about Magnús berfœttr 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 423-4.

Ættlǫndum vann
eyja dróttar
folkvǫrðr und sik
fjórum þrungit,
áðr an hitti,
sás hamalt fylkði,
veðrsmiðr Viðurs
valska jarla.

 

{The people’s guardian} [RULER] subjugated four ancestral territories of the men of the isles, before {the smith {of Viðurr’s wind}}, [(lit. ‘Viðurr’s wind-smith’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] who marshalled his troops in a wedge-shaped array, met the Norman earls.

context: Stanzas 10-13 commemorate the battle of the Menai Strait (1098), when Magnús killed Hugh of Shrewsbury with an arrow. In Mork and F these sts are given in a block without intervening prose, whereas H and Hr incorporate them into the prose that recounts the battle.

editions: Skj Gísl Illugason: 1. Erfikvæði um Magnús berfœtt 10 (AI, 442; BI, 411); Skald I, 203; Mork 1867, 145, Mork 1928-32, 320, Andersson and Gade 2000, 301, 485-6 (Mberf); Fms 7, 44 (Mberf ch. 22); F 1871, 271 (Mberf).

sources

GKS 1009 fol (Mork) 23r, 55 - 23r, 56 (Mork)  image  image  image  
AM 66 fol (H) 89r, 10 - 89r, 10 (H-Hr)  image  image  image  image  
GKS 1010 fol (Hr) 61va, 15 - 61va, 15 (H-Hr)  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 58va, 37 - 58va, 39  image  image  image  image  
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