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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300

2. Biographies of Other Dignitaries

a. Erlingr skakki Kyrpinga-Ormsson (KEG)
b. Grégóríus Dagsson (KEG)
c. Jón Loptsson (KEG)
d. Rǫgnvaldr Brúsason (KEG)
e. Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson (KEG)
f. Skúli Bárðarson (KEG)
g. Úlfr stallari Óspaksson (Úlfr) (KEG)
h. Víðkunnr Jónsson (KEG)
i. Waltheof (Valþjófr) of Huntingdon and Northumbria (KEG)
j. Þorfinnr Sigurðarson (KEG)

(Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 5. Biographies > 2. Biographies of Other Dignitaries > h. Víðkunnr Jónsson)

h. Víðkunnr Jónsson (KEG)

Sagas: Mberf, Msona, Hsona (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Víðkunnr was the son of Jón Árnason in Bjarkøy and Rannveig, the grand-daughter of Þórir hundr ‘Dog’ Þórisson (see Genealogy IX in ÍF 28). He was a retainer of Magnús berfœttr and Magnús’s sons, and he became the foster-father of Sigurðr jórsalafari’s son, Magnús inn blindi. In 1094 he was present at the hanging of the leaders of the revolt against Magnús berfœttr, and he accompanied Magnús on his last expedition to Ireland in 1103. Víðkunnr was wounded at the battle of Ulster (on 24 August 1103), and he is said to have killed the slayer of Magnús during that battle. Later events in his life include his dealings with Gullásu-Þórðr (GullásÞ), his involvement in the legal dispute between Eysteinn Magnússon and Sigurðr jórsalafari, and his housing of Magnús inn blindi during the winter of 1138-9. See Theodoricus (MHN 63; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 50), Ágr (ÍF 29, 46-7; Ágr 1995, 68-71), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 299-305, 332-7, 357, 359-82, 425; Andersson and Gade 2000, 286-91, 309-13, 329-45, 379), Fsk (ÍF 29, 305, 312-15, 333; Finlay 2004, 243-4, 250-2, 268), Hkr (ÍF 28, 215-17, 233-7, 258, 311; Hollander 1991, 671-4, 683-7, 701, 741), H-Hr (Fms 7, 4-14, 48, 66-73, 111-18, 126-50, 215). See also Orkn (ÍF 34, 95, 346; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 83).

Events documented in poetry: The burning of his father’s farmstead in Bjarkøy in 1094 (Anon (Mberf) 2); his prowess as a warrior (GullásÞ Víðdr). See also GullásÞ Lv. For poetry concerning the revolt against Magnús berfœttr in 1094 and Magnús’s campaign in the west in 1103, see the Biography of Magnús above.

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