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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóðólfr ór Hvini (Þjóð)

9th century; volume 1; ed. Edith Marold;

1. Ynglingatal (Yt) - 37

Skj info: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, Norsk skjald, 9 årh. (AI, 7-21, BI, 7-19).

Skj poems:
1. Ynglingatal
2. Haustlǫng
3. Et digt om Harald hårfagre, næppe ægte
4. Lausavísur

Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, or inn hvinverski, ‘from Hvinir’ (Þjóð) was a Norwegian skald of the late ninth or early tenth century. As his nickname indicates, he was from Hvinir (Kvinesdal, Vest-Agder). His biography is largely unknown. Skáldatal names him as poet to several rulers and powerful men: Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ and Rǫgnvaldr heiðumhár or heiðumhæri ‘High with Honours’ (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273), Hákon jarl Grjótgarðsson (ibid., 256, 265, 280), Þorleifr inn spaki ‘the Wise’ (ibid., 259, 268, 285), Strút-Haraldr jarl (ibid., 259, 284) and an unknown Sveinn jarl (ibid., 268). However, the associations with Hákon, Strút-Haraldr and Þorleifr are uncertain since they may have lived later in the tenth century; see Bugge (1894, 145, 175); Åkerlund (1939, 7). In Hkr, both within the Prologue (ÍF 26, 4) and in HHárf (ÍF 26, 127-8, 139), Þjóðólfr is represented as skald and friend to Haraldr hárfagri and as a dedicated foster-father to Haraldr’s son Guðrøðr ljómi ‘Beam of Light’. It is in this context that he speaks the two lausavísur associated with him (Þjóð Lv 1-2). Þjóðólfr ór Hvini is the composer of the poems Ynglingatal (Þjóð Yt) and Haustlǫng (Þjóð HaustlIII, edited in SkP III). Five stanzas of a poem dedicated to Haraldr hárfagri (Þjóð Har) are also attributed to him. Several stanzas of Haraldskvæði (Þhorn Harkv) are falsely attributed to Þjóðólfr; see Introduction to Harkv. Finally, a fragment (Þjóðólfr FragIII) edited in SkP III is likely to be the work of a different Þjóðólfr, though it is tentatively associated with Þjóð Yt in Skj; see Introduction to Yt.

Ynglingatal — Þjóð YtI

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal’ 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. 3.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27 

for reference only:  8x   11x   13x   14x   15x   16x   17x   20x   25x   26x 

Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski: 1. Ynglingatal (AI, 7-15, BI, 7-14); stanzas (if different): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12-13 | 13 | 14 | 15-16 | 16 | 17-18 | 18 | 19-20 | 20 | 21-22 | 22 | 23-24 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27-28 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33-34 | 34 | 35-36 | 36 | 37 | 38(?)

SkP info: I, 42

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

19 — Þjóð Yt 19I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 19’ 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. 42.

Varð Ǫnundr
Jónakrs bura
harmi heptr
und Himinfjǫllum.
Ok ofvæg
Eistra dolgi
heipt hrísungs
at hendi kom.
Ok sá frǫmuðr
foldar beinum
Hǫgna *reyrs
of horfinn vas.

Ǫnundr varð heptr {harmi bura Jónakrs} und Himinfjǫllum. Ok {ofvæg heipt hrísungs} kom at hendi {dolgi Eistra}. Ok {sá frǫmuðr {*reyrs Hǫgna}} vas of horfinn {beinum foldar}.

Ǫnundr was killed {by the pain of the sons of Jónakr} [STONES] beneath Himinfjǫll. And {the crushing hatred of the bastard} [STONES] came upon {the enemy of the Estonians} [= Ǫnundr]. And {that wielder {of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero>}} [SWORD > WARRIOR] was surrounded {by the bones of the earth} [STONES].

Mss: (34r-v), papp18ˣ(9r), 521ˣ(41), F(5vb), J1ˣ(15v), J2ˣ(19r), R685ˣ(18r-v) (Hkr); 761aˣ(61r)

Readings: [4] und: undir J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ‘uncr’ R685ˣ;    Himin‑: himins‑ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [5] ofvæg: ofvægr F, ‘ofveig’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [6] Eistra: Eistrar F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [7] hrísungs: ‘hrisings’ J1ˣ    [11] *reyrs: hrørs Kˣ, 761aˣ, hræs papp18ˣ, ‘hrors’ 521ˣ, hreyrs F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 26: AI, 12-13, BI, 11-12, Skald I, 7-8, NN §77; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 64, IV, 19-20, ÍF 26, 64-5, Hkr 1991, I, 37 (Yng ch. 35), F 1871, 24-5; Yng 1912, 41, 66-7, Yng 2000, 52; Yt 1914, 12-13, Yt 1925, 206, 241-2.

Context: Ǫnundr, son of Yngvarr, is nicknamed Braut-Ǫnundr ‘Road-Ǫnundr’, having built numerous roads through the desolate forested parts of Sweden. He and his men are crushed in a landslide on Himinheiðr.

Notes: [2-3] harmi bura Jónakrs ‘by the pain of the sons of Jónakr [STONES]’: The kenning alludes to the heroic legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli, sons of Guðrún and her third husband Jónakr. Guðrún dispatches the brothers to take revenge against Jǫrmunrekkr for a brutal injustice against their half-sister, but their revenge fails because they refuse the aid of their half-brother Erpr, and kill him. Because they are impervious to metal weapons, they are killed with stones by Jǫrmunrekkr’s men (Bragi Rdr 5-6III; Hamð 25). — [3] heptr ‘killed’: The word heptr really means ‘detained, thwarted’; here ‘in the course of his life’ or similar seems to be understood. — [4] Himinfjǫllum ‘Himinfjǫll’: Meaning ‘Mountains of Heaven’, this is interpreted here, as by most commentators, as a p. n. related to the p. n. Himinheiðr in Yng (see Context above) and Himinheithy (emended from ‘Himinherthy’) in HN (2003, 78). ÍF 26 and Wessén (Yng 1952, 71), however, reject the idea that it is a p. n. Noreen (1892, 200 n.; Noreen 1912b, 132; Yt 1925) interprets himinsfjǫll as a periphrasis for ‘cloud’ and takes the passage to mean that Ǫnundr died in the open. The interpretation is presumably inspired by HHund I 1/3-4 (NK 130) hnigo heilog vǫtn af Himinfiollom ‘holy waters fell from the mountains of heaven’, where the cpd has been interpreted as ‘cloud’ (see Fritzner: himinfjall; LP: himinfjǫll), as a p. n. (S-G II, 69) or, more recently, as mythical scenery (Kommentar IV, 167). — [6] Eistra ‘of the Estonians’: Most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991; Yng 1912; Yt 1925; Åkerlund 1939, 106) have retained Eistra as it appears in , but Skj B and Skald present a conjectural Eista, supposed to be the older form, cf. Aestii in Tacitus, Germania 1967, 504, 508-10. — [7] heipt hrísungs ‘the hatred of the bastard [STONES]’: (a) Because it is characteristic of Yt that the same circumstance is represented variously in two or three four-line units within a single stanza (see sts 4, 5, 7, 13, 16, 17), one would expect an expression meaning ‘stone-fall, stones’. This is supported by the adj. ofvæg ‘crushing’ which qualifies heipt hrísungs. The kenning is likely to allude, like the stone-kenning in the first helmingr, to the legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli (see Note to ll. 2-3). The brothers consider Erpr a bastard (cf. Hamð 14/7-8) because he is not a son of their mother. Since their murder of Erpr leads to their failure and stoning, the stones can represent ‘the hatred of the bastard’, the half-brother’s revenge. (b) According to HN (2003, 78), Ǫnundr was killed by his half-brother Siwardus (Sigurðr). Some eds (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yt 1925; ÍF 26) have therefore taken heipt hrísungs as a literal reference to human agency, rather than as a kenning. — [9, 11] sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna ‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The ms. readings underlying *reyrs present serious interpretive problems and have given rise to numerous suggestions. (a) This edn follows Kock’s suggestion (NN §77) of emending hreyrs to reyrs ‘of the reed’. This is a common base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152), and Hǫgni <legendary hero> is a fitting determinant. Together with frǫmuðr ‘wielder, promoter’ this produces a normal warrior-kenning; cf. st. 8/5, 7. (b) An alternative emendation is to hrør ‘corpse, death’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B) and subsequently ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 take frǫmuðr hrørs Hǫgna to be a kenning for Ǫnundr. They render it as ‘producer of the death of Hǫgni’, i.e. the killer of Hǫgni. (c) Most others assume the reading hreyrs, translated as ‘of the cairn’, but their interpretations diverge considerably. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 69) focus on Ǫnundr’s road-building activities, as described in Yng, reading hogna, which they take as gen. pl. of a postulated ON *hogn ‘large, steep cliff’. Åkerlund (1939, 107) returns to taking Hǫgna as a pers. n. and interprets frǫmuðr hreyrs Hǫgna as ‘producer of the cairn of Hǫgni’ (cf. also Beyschlag 1950, 29-30; Norr 1998, 138).

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