Skald

(redirected from skaldic)
Also found in: Dictionary.

Skald

 

a Norwegian or Icelandic poet of the ninth through 13th centuries. The poetry of the skalds has survived as fragments in the 13th-century Icelandic literary classics the Prose Edda and the sagas. Before being written down, Skaldic poetry existed in oral tradition. The poetry of about 250 skalds is known. The earliest skalds were Norwegians. The most famous skald was the Icelander Egill Skallagrímsson (tenth century).

The skalds composed eulogistic, derogatory, and occasional verse. Their poetry generally set down contemporary facts and hence is regarded as a reliable historical source. For mannered intricacy of form, skaldic poetry is without parallel in world literature. The meter is strict and complex and the language abounds in complicated periphrases (kennings) and poetic synonyms (heitis); phrases are intertwined with one another. Skaldic poetry is difficult to interpret.

WORKS

Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning, 1A-2A (manuscript text); 1B-2B (corrected text with Danish translation). Edited by F. Jónsson. Copenhagen, 1908-15.

REFERENCES

Steblin-Kamenskii, M. I. “Proiskhozhdenie poezii skal’dov.” In Skandinavskii sbornik, fasc. 3. Tallinn, 1958.
De Vries, J. Altnordische Literaturgeschichte, 2nd ed., vols. 1-2. Berlin, 1964-67.

M. I. STEBLIN-KAMENSKII [23–1462–]

References in periodicals archive ?
Skaldic Rhyme: A Case Study in Shallow and Concrete Phonology.
The 25 papers are divided into topics that include memory in practice, mnemonic aids, literary strategies, forgetting, and constructing the past, with studies on such subjects as Skaldic poetry, crusader accounts from 12th-century Iberia, landscape as a form of memory construction in Petrarch's Latin works, and memory as proof in trials by the Inquisition in 14th-century France.
With a major international project under way to re-edit the entire corpus ascribed to skalds from the ninth to fourteenth centuries, skaldic verse is enjoying an unprecedented surge of scholarly interest.
Specialists in skaldic poetry within such disciplines as English and other Germanic language and literature, and Medieval studies set out the Old Norse verses followed by modern Icelandic and English prose translations, and provide notes and commentary.
skaldic praise-poetry at the court of Cnut' (Matthew Townend); 'Anglo-Saxon prognostics in context: a survey and handlist of manuscripts' (Roy Michael Liuzza); 'Junius's knowledge of the Old English poem Durham' (Daniel Paul O'Donnell).
This two-volume corpus presents most of Icelandic skaldic poetry of Christian devotional content that was composed in the 12th-15th centuries--28 poems in all.
For example, Snorri was of the opinion that coherent kennings (nygerving) in a single skaldic verse were the finest art, and this has also been the belief of many modern scholars.
Among specific topics are reading Eyrbyggia Saga in light of contemporary conflicts, skaldic poetry and performance, the notion of effeminate language, and an Albanian hero in Icelandic clothing.
Among modern scholars, Einar Olafur Sveinsson(1) and Jonas Kristjansson(2) have argued for a pre-Christian origin for the poem, and this view has been strengthened by Bjarne Fidjestol's statistical study of the frequency of the filler-particle of/ um in eddic and skaldic verse.
The survey essays and bibliographies cover mythology and mythography, eddic and skaldic poetry, kings' and family sagas, and Norse romance.
To overcome these problems, North has undertaken a thoroughgoing reassessment -- using classical as well as Germanic materials -- of the separate development of Scandinavian and continental Anglian paganism, and deals well with the most difficult Norse texts, skaldic mythological poems which remain the best evidence of pre-Christian beliefs, fiercely cryptic though they are.