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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Glúmr Geirason (Glúmr)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

2. Gráfeldardrápa (Gráf) - 15

Skj info: Glúmr Geirason, Islandsk skjald omkr. 950-75. (AI, 75-8, BI, 65-8).

Skj poems:
1. Kvad om Erik blodøkse
2. Gráfeldardrápa
3. Lausavísa

Glúmr Geirason (Glúmr) was the son of Geiri (patronymic unknown), a Norwegian who settled in Iceland. Glúmr was born there in the early tenth century and moved with his father and brother from Mývatn, via Húnavatn, to Króksfjörður, Breiðafjörður, because of some killings (Ldn, ÍF 1, 284; he is also mentioned in ÍF 1, 154, 161, 238 and appears in Reykdœla saga, ÍF 10, 204-12). He married Ingunn Þórólfsdóttir, and their son was Þórðr Ingunnarson, who features in Laxdœla saga (ÍF 5, 86-7). Glúmr is named in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273, 274) as the poet of Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’ (d. c. 954) and Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ (d. c. 970), and poems for both survive in part. Considerably more of Gráfeldardrápa (Gráf) survives than of the Poem about Eiríkr blóðøx (EirIII), though there is some difficulty in assigning certain stanzas to one or other poem (see Introduction to Gráf). Glúmr is the subject of HaukrV Ísldr 11IV, which depicts him as a zealous fighter who was with Haraldr gráfeldr at his victory at Fitjar (c. 961). Glúmr’s presence at the battle is somewhat in doubt, however, since although the Fsk text of his lausavísa on the subject (Glúmr Lv) contains sák ‘I saw’, the Hkr and ÓT mss have frák ‘I have heard’. From Glúmr Gráf it is clear that Glúmr outlived Haraldr (see Introduction). Edited below are Gráf and Lv, while the fragment of Eir is edited in SkP III since it is preserved only in SnE and TGT.

Gráfeldardrápa (‘Drápa about (Haraldr) gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’’) — Glúmr GráfI

Alison Finlay 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa’ 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. 245.

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Skj: Glúmr Geirason: 2. Gráfeldardrápa, c 970 (AI, 75-8, BI, 66-8); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

SkP info: I, 249

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Glúmr Gráf 2I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 2’ 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. 249.

Hafði fǫr til ferju
fróðr Skáneyjar góða
blakkríðandi bakka
barnungr þaðan farna.
Rógeisu vann ræsir
ráðvandr á Skotlandi;
sendi seggja kindar
sverðbautinn her Gauti.

{{Bakka blakk}ríðandi}, fróðr til ferju, hafði barnungr farna þaðan góða fǫr Skáneyjar. Ráðvandr ræsir vann {rógeisu} á Skotlandi; sendi sverðbautinn her {kindar seggja} Gauti.

{The rider {of the steed of the bank}} [(lit. ‘steed-rider of the bank’) SHIP > SEAFARER], skilful in seafaring, had in early youth made a good voyage to Skåne from there. The judicious ruler attacked Scotland {with strife-fire} [SWORD]; he sent a sword-beaten host {of the offspring of men} [MEN] to Gautr [Óðinn].

Mss: (85v), F(15ra), J1ˣ(50v), J2ˣ(48r) (Hkr); 61(4ra), Bb(5rb), Flat(7rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] ferju: freyju Bb    [3] blakk‑: blik F;    ‑ríðandi: rjóðandi 61, ríðanda Flat;    bakka: blakka F, barka J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [4] barnungr: bragningr Bb, barnvígr Flat    [5] ‑eisu: ‑reisir Flat;    vann: var Flat    [6] ráðvandr: rand‑Ullr F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, Bb, Flat    [7] seggja: ‘seggis’ Bb;    kindar: kindir J1ˣ, J2ˣ, Flat    [8] ‑bautinn: ‘bautis’ Bb;    Gauti: ‘gꜹtt’ J2ˣ, gauta Flat

Editions: Skj: Glúmr Geirason, 1. Kvad om Erik blodøkse 2: AI, 75, BI, 65-6, Skald I, 40, NN §§1058, 1059; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 173-4, IV, 44-5, ÍF 26, 155-6, Hkr 1991, I, 98 (HákGóð ch. 5), F 1871, 67; Fms 1, 25, Fms 12, 25, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 24-5 (ch. 16), Flat 1860-8, I, 51 -2.

Context: This and the following stanza are cited to support the statement that the Eiríkssynir (or Gunnhildarsynir), forced into exile after their father’s death, took control of Orkney and Shetland and spent some summers raiding around the British Isles.

Notes: [All]: For a suggestion that this stanza, together with st. 3, could belong to Glúmr’s fragmentary drápa for Eiríkr blóðøx (Glúmr Eir), see Introduction. — [1-4]: No interpretation of the helmingr is without drawbacks. (a) This edn tentatively follows the interpretation of ÍF 26, which is based on points made by Kock (NN §1058). Kock notes parallels to góða fǫr Skáneyjar ‘a good voyage to Skåne’ such as Sigv ErfÓl 27/1-2 góðri fǫr Róms ‘the good journey to Rome’. He defends the use of bakki ‘bank’ as the determinant in a ship-kenning, though it refers to dry land rather than sea, citing parallels such as GunnlI Lv 6/3-4V (Gunnl 10) ǫndurr andness ‘ski of the headland’; unlike andnes, bakki is not usually a coastal feature, but see ONP: bakki 1.1, and cf. LP: marbakki, sjóvarbakki ‘sea-shore’; see also Note to Anon (Styrb) 2/4. Kock further construes fróðr til ferju as a phrase meaning ‘skilful in seafaring’, since til can be expected to govern the immediately following gen. sg. ferju. However, í, á or um rather than til is normally used with fróðr (Fritzner, ONP: fróðr) and although ferja is a heiti for ‘ship’ (Þul Skipa 4/6III), its use here is curious. Finnur Jónsson proposed the following three solutions, but all of them are problematic since they separate til and ferju, which are consecutive in l. 1. (b) In Hkr 1893-1901 Finnur emended bakka to bekkja ‘of streams’, with ferju as a free-standing dat. ‘by ship’. (c) In a note in Hkr 1893-1901, IV, however, Finnur expresses dissatisfaction with this usage of ferju, and adds the possibility of construing it within the phrase fróðr ferju ‘skilful in seafaring’; this is adopted in Hkr 1991. (d) In Skj B Finnur formulates the kenning blakkríðandi bakka ferju ‘rider of the steed of the bank of the ferry [(lit. ‘steed-rider of the bank of the ferry’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER]’. — [5-8]: The overall sense of the helmingr is clear, but the detail is uncertain. (a) The interpretation above avoids emendation and adopts ráðvandr ‘judicious’ (lit. ‘counsel-careful’), the reading of the main ms. . Rógeisu ‘battle-fire’ is a standard sword-kenning (cf. dolgeisa ‘battle-fire’ in st. 3/1), and vann á Skotlandi is taken to mean ‘attacked Scotland’. (b) Rand-Ullr ‘shield-Ullr <god> [WARRIOR]’ in l. 6 is the reading of all mss except . It is taken in ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 in apposition with ræsir ‘ruler’. Such apposition is unusual, but a further possiblity would be that rand-Ullr is the subject of sendi in l. 7. ÍF 26 also assumes rógeisa ‘strife-fire’ in l. 6 is a battle-kenning, rather than the expected sword-kenning. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: rógeisa) takes ræsir rógeisu as a kenning, ‘wielder of strife-fire [SWORD > WARRIOR]’, reads ráðvandr ‘careful in counsel’ in l. 6 and emends sendi ‘sent’ in l. 7 to sendan, hence combining the two clauses with the construction vann sendan, lit. ‘managed to send’. Although this solution is attractive, ræsir is normally a heiti for ‘ruler’, not a base-word in a kenning, and the emendation is unwarranted (cf. Kock, NN §1059). — [7, 8] sendi … her … Gauti ‘sent … a host … to Gautr [Óðinn]’: I.e. killed them, a pagan conception consonant with the references to Óðinn in sts 8/2 and 13/4 below.

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