Einarr Skúlason's Geisli
University of Toronto Press, 2005 M01 1 - 249 pages
Geisli is the earliest Nordic Christian drápa (long stanzaic poem) known to exist. Written by Einarr Skúlason, the twelfth century's premier Icelandic poet, Geisli marked a stylistic shift in Old Norse poetry brought about by Christianity and European learning. Einarr Skúlason was a priest as well as a skald, and his writing demonstrates that he was as familiar with the traditions of Latin liturgy and hagiography as with the conventions of skaldic poetry.
Geisli is a very important source for the modern scholar studying Old Norse hagiography and the history of Christianity in Iceland and Norway. This new critical edition features a version in normalized orthography, as well as a version in prose word order, a translation into English, a complete glossary, an introduction that situates the poem in its context, and substantial explanatory notes. Editor Martin Chase uses the famous Flateyjarbók manuscript as a base text, but takes into account all known manuscripts of the poem. Long needed by scholars, this new edition will be extremely valuable to anyone with an interest in Old Norse as well as medievalists in other disciplines.