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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stefnir Þorgilsson — StefnirI

skalds

Vol. 1, 446 —  — ed. Diana Whaley

Poetry

Biography

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Stefnir Þorgilsson’ 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. 446.

The biography of Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir) is narrated in Kristni saga (Kristni, ÍF 15, II, 15-17) and in ÓT and ÓTOdd, from which a Stefnis þáttr Þorgilssonar (Stefn) can be assembled (ÍF 15, I, clxxxi-clxxxiv, II, 103-10; cf. Flat 1860-8, I, 285 for a section about Stefnir headed þáttr). Stefnir was the son of Þorgils Eilífsson, son of Helgi bjóla (meaning uncertain), from Kjalarnes, western Iceland. The name Stefnir is not certainly recorded in Norway or Iceland until the fourteenth century, and where it occurs in the kings’ sagas it appears to be an Icelandicised form of the name Stephen, borne by Englishmen (so ÍF 15, II, 103 n. 1). Stefnir travelled with Þorvaldr víðfǫrli ‘Wide-travelling’ Koðránsson (Þvíðf). He was converted to Christianity and sent by King Óláfr Tryggvason to evangelise his homeland c. 996, but met with shipwreck and a hostile reception (see Anon (ÓT) 1), was prosecuted for his Christianity by his kinsmen and sentenced to lesser outlawry; he then returned to Óláfr. The two stanzas below are attributed to Stefnir during a period of disconsolate wandering after the king’s death c. 1000, and are of very different kinds. Stefnir and his slander of someone identified as Sigvaldi jarl (Lv 1) were regarded as the fabrication of Gunnlaugr Leifsson (d. c. 1218/9) by Baetke (1970, and cf. Gottskálk Þór Jensson 2006, 52-3), but see the refutation by Andersson (2003, 21-5).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Andersson, Theodore M., trans. 2003. The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason: Oddr Snorrason. Islandica 52. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  3. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  4. ÍF 15-17 = Biskupa sögur. Ed. Sigurgeir Steingrímsson, Ólafur Halldórsson and Peter G. Foote (15), Ásdís Egilsdóttir (16), Guðrún Ása Grímsdóttir (17). 1998-2003.
  5. Baetke, Walter. 1970. ‘Die Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar des Oddr Snorrason und die Jómsvíkinga Saga’. In Werner et al. 1970, 1-18. Rpt. in Baetke 1973, 301-18.
  6. Gottskálk Þór Jensson. 2006. ‘“Nær mun ek stefna”: Var Stefnir Þorgilsson drepinn fyrir níðvísu sem samin var á latínu af Oddi munki nálega tveimur öldum síðar?’ In Lesið í hljóði fyrir Kristján Árnason sextugan. Reykjavík: Menningar- og minnungarsjóður Mette Magnussen, 46-53.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite (KristniIV)
  9. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  10. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar by Oddr Snorrason (ÓTOdd)’ 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, pp. clxxiv-clxxv.
  11. Russell Poole 2017, ‘(Biography of) Gunnlaugr Leifsson’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 38.
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  13. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta 1’ 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. 1082.
  14. Not published: do not cite (StefnI)

other information

Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir)

10th century

Skj AI, 153-154; BI, 146

volume 1

main editor: Diana Whaley

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