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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 37VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 37’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 37-8.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
363738

Gǫfug réð Hǫrn ór hǫfði
hvítings um sǫk lítla
auðar aumum beiði
ungs manns skera tungu.
Þann sôm vér, es vôrum,
válaust numinn máli
hodda njót, þars heitir
Hlíð, fôm vikum síðan.

{Gǫfug Hǫrn hvítings} réð skera tungu ór hǫfði {aumum beiði auðar} um sǫk lítla ungs manns. Vér sôm {þann njót hodda}, válaust numinn máli, es vôrum fôm vikum síðan, þars heitir Hlíð.

{A noble Hǫrn <= Freyja> of the drinking horn} [WOMAN] decided to cut the tongue out of the head {of a poor seeker of riches} [MAN] for little fault of the young man. We [I] saw {that user of treasure} [MAN], without doubt deprived of speech, when we were [I was] a few weeks later at the place called Lia.

Mss: Flat(2rb), Bb(117vb); Kˣ(624r-v), 39(40vb), E(46r) (Hkr); Holm2(77v), 73aˣ(221r-v), Holm4(70vb), Tóm(164r), Bb(208vb), Flat(128va) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] réð: skar Bb(117vb), Holm2, lét Kˣ, 39, E, 73aˣ, Holm4, Tóm, Flat(128va), ‘lot’ Bb(208vb);    Hǫrn: heyrn Holm2;    hǫfði: so Bb(117vb), Kˣ, 39, E, Holm2, 73aˣ, Holm4, Tóm, Bb(208vb), Flat(128va), hofi Flat(2rb)    [2] hvítings: ‘hiorrungs’ Tóm;    um: fyr Tóm    [3] aumum: aumir Tóm;    beiði: beiða Tóm    [4] ungs manns skera: ungr maðr var sá Bb(117vb), Holm2, Tóm;    skera: ‘kera’ 39, skerða Tóm    [5] sôm: sá Kˣ, 39, E, sann Tóm    [7] hodda njót: hodda brjót Bb(117vb), 39, E, Holm2, 73aˣ, Holm4, hoddbrjót Kˣ, odda njót Tóm, hoddu brjóst Bb(208vb), hodda brjótr Flat(128va);    þars (‘þar er’): þar ór Bb(208vb)    [8] síðan: síðar Bb(117vb), Kˣ, 39, E, Holm2, 73aˣ, Holm4, Tóm, Bb(208vb), Flat(128va)

Editions: Skj AI, 465-6, Skj BI, 436, Skald I, 215, NN §939; Flat 1860-8, I, 4, II, 285-6, Cederschiöld 1873, 6, Chase 2005, 87, 150-1; Hkr, ÍF 28, 271-2 (Msona ch. 33); ÓH 1941, 648-9.

Context: This st. is quoted in Hkr, Msona, ch. 33 (mss 39, E, and ) and in ÓH (Flat, Bb, Holm2, Holm4, 73aˣ, Tóm). It is introduced by the following prose passage (as normalized in Hkr, ÍF 28, 271-2): Kolbeinn hét maðr, ungr ok fátœkr, en Þóra, móðir Sigurðar konungs Jórsalafara, lét skera tungu ór hǫfði honum, ok var til þess eigi meiri sǫk en sá inn ungi maðr, Kolbeinn, hafði etit stykki hálft af diski konungsmóður ok sagði, at steikari hafði gefit honum, en hann þorði eigi við at ganga fyrir henni. Síðan fór sá maðr mállauss langa hríð. Þess getr Einarr Skúlason í Óláfsdrápu ‘There was a man named Kolbeinn, young and poor, and Þóra, the mother of King Sigurðr the Jerusalem-traveller (sic), had his tongue cut out, and there was no more reason for this than that the young man, Kolbeinn, had eaten half a morsel from the plate of the king’s mother, and said that the cook (who was afraid to confess this to her) had given it to him. After that the man went around unable to speak for a long time. Einarr Skúlason reports this in Óláfsdrápa.’ Following the st., the sagas continue: Hann sótti síðan til Þrándheims ok til Niðaróss ok vakði at Kristskirkju. En um óttusǫng Óláfsvǫkudag inn síðara þá sofnaði hann ok þóttisk sjá Óláf konung inn helga koma til sín ok taka hendi sinni í stúfinn tungunnar ok heimta. En hann vaknaði heill ok þakkaði várum dróttni feginsamliga ok inum helga Óláfi konungi, er hann hafði heilsu ok miskunn af þegit, hafði farit þannug mállauss ok sótti hans heilagt skrín, en þaðan fór hann heill ok skorinorðr ‘He later went to Trondheim and Niðaróss and kept a watch at Kristkirken. And about the time of matins on the eve of the second feast of S. Óláfr he fell asleep and thought he saw the holy King Óláfr come to him and take with his hand the stump of his tongue and pull on it. And he awoke healed and joyfully thanked our Lord and the holy King Óláfr, from whom he had obtained health and mercy. He had come to that place without speech and sought out his holy shrine, and he went home well and articulate’.

Notes: [All]: This st. is also in AM 61 fol, but is illegible. — [All]: Sts 37-9 recount a miracle of a servant whose tongue had been cut out for a minor offence on the order of the mother of King Sigurðr munnr, Þóra Gutthormsdóttir. The man, named Kolbeinn, made a pilgrimage to S. Óláfr’s shrine, where he fell asleep. Óláfr appeared to him then and pulled the stump of his tongue. The pain awakened him and he found himself cured. This must have been a rather risky narrative for Einarr to tell in the presence of Sigurðr and with the king’s own mother labelled a wrongdoer. It is perhaps for this reason that Geisl adds the corroborative, supposedly eyewitness detail of ll. 5-8. — [1-4]: Cf. the verbal parallels in the early prose versions: þoꝛa gothoꝛms. dottir modir sigvrdar k(onungs) let [s]cera tungo oꝛ hofði maɴi er kolbeiɴ het of eigi meiri sakar en hann hafdi tekit af krasadiski heɴar ‘Þóra Gutthormsdaughter, the mother of King Sigurðr, had the tongue cut out of the head of a man named Kolbeinn for no more reason than that he had taken from her plate of dainties’ (Louis-Jensen 1970, 36); Þora het kona, Guðþorms dotter, moðer Sigurðar, er skera let tungu or hofði manne, þæim er Kolbæinn het, firir æingi mæiri soc, en hann hafðe tækit af krasadisci hænnar nokcot ‘Þóra was the name of a woman, the daughter of Gutthormr, the mother of Sigurðr, who had the tongue cut out of the head of the man named Kolbeinn, for no more reason, than that he had taken something from her plate of dainties’ (ÓHLeg 1982, 228). — [1] Hǫrn: Hǫrn is an alternative name for the goddess Freyja, here used as the base-word of a woman-kenning; the basic sense of hvítingr is ‘white one’ and can be applied to a range of light-coloured or shining referents, including drinking horns. — [3] aumum beiði auðar ‘poor seeker of riches’: Just as Einarr often compares Óláfr the miracle dispenser to a chieftain generous with his gold, he likens the beneficiary of the miracle to a ‘poor seeker of riches’. — [7] njót hodda ‘user of treasure’: This kenning echoes aumum beiði auðar ‘poor seeker of riches’ in l. 2. — [8] Hlíð ‘Lia’: Hlíð (lit. ‘Mountainside’) was a popular farm name in medieval Norway (Rygh 1897-1936 lists over sixty examples). Storm 1900, 698 n. 1 identifies this Hlíð as the modern Lien (current Lia), a farmstead in Bratsberg county, Strinda, Sørtrøndelag.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Cederschiöld, Gustaf J. Chr., ed. 1873b. ‘Bandamanna saga’. Acta Universitatis Lundensis 10.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Cederschiöld, Gustaf J. Chr., ed. 1873a. Geisli eða Óláfs Drápa ens Helga er Einarr orti Skúlason: efter ‘Bergsboken’ utgifven. Acta Universitatis Lundensis 10. Lund: Berling.
  6. Chase, Martin, ed. 2005. Einarr Skúlason’s Geisli. A Critical Edition. Toronto Old Norse and Icelandic Studies 1. Toronto, Buffalo and London: Toronto University Press.
  7. Storm, Gustav, trans. 1900. Snorre Sturlasøn: Kongesagaer. 2nd edn. Kristiania (Oslo): Stenersen.
  8. 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.
  9. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  10. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  11. Louis-Jensen, Jonna. 1970a. ‘“Syvende og ottende brudstykke”. Fragmentet AM 325 IV 4to.’. Opuscula 4, 31-60. BA 30. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  12. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  13. Internal references
  14. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  15. Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Biography of) Einarr Skúlason’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 140.
  16. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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. clxxvi-clxxix.
  17. Not published: do not cite (MberfII)
  18. Not published: do not cite (MsonaII)
  19. Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Geisli’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 5-65.
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