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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, 44

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — Þjóð Yt 20I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 20’ 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. 44.

Ok Ingjald
ífjǫrvan trað
reyks rausuðr
á Ræningi,
þás húsþjófr
hyrjar leistum
í gǫgnum sté.
Ok sá yrðr
allri þjóðu
með Svíum þótti,
es hann sjalfr
sínu fjǫrvi
frœknu fyrstr
of fara skyldi.

Ok {rausuðr reyks} trað Ingjald ífjǫrvan á Ræningi, þás {húsþjófr} sté leistum hyrjar í gǫgnum goðkynning. Ok með Svíum þótti sá yrðr sanngǫrvastr allri þjóðu, es hann sjalfr fyrstr skyldi frœknu of fara fjǫrvi sínu.

And {the gusher of smoke} [FIRE] overcame Ingjaldr alive in Ræningr when {the house-thief} [FIRE] strode with soles of fire through the descendant of gods. And among the Swedes that fate seemed the most just to all people that he himself should be the first, valiantly, to end his life.

Mss: (38v), papp18ˣ(10r), 521ˣ(47-48), F(6va), J1ˣ(18v), J2ˣ(21v), R685ˣ(20v) (Hkr); 761aˣ(61r-v)

Readings: [4] Ræningi: reiningi F, R685ˣ    [6] hyrjar: hyrja 521ˣ;    leistum: listum J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [7] ‑kynning: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, ‑konung Kˣ, 521ˣ, F, 761aˣ, ‑kong papp18ˣ    [8] sté: stóð F    [11] sanngǫrvastr: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, ‘siællgætastr’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, sanngerastr F    [13] es (‘er’): enn 521ˣ, F    [15] frœknu: freknu J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [16] skyldi: vildi F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ‘uilldis’ R685ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 27-28: AI, 13, BI, 12, Skald I, 8, FF §51, NN §§78, 1007B, 1009A Anm., 3201-2, ; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 73, IV, 20-1, ÍF 26, 71-2, Hkr 1991, I, 41-2 (Yng ch. 40), F 1871, 28; Yng 1912, 47, 67, Yng 2000, 59-60; Yt 1914, 13-14, Yt 1925, 206, 242-4.

Context: Ingjaldr inn illráði ‘the Wicked’, son of Ǫnundr, having won a sizeable kingdom, is threatened by Ívarr inn víðfaðmi ‘the Wide-embracer’, who has invaded Sweden. Because Ingjaldr sees no way to resist him successfully, he decides to commit suicide together with his daughter Ása, also in illráða ‘the Wicked’. They make sure their entourage are completely drunk, then set fire to the hall, killing themselves and everyone inside.

Notes: [1] Ingjald ‘Ingjaldr’: Ingjaldr, with his nickname inn illráði ‘the Wicked’, is mentioned in the historical works Íslb (ÍF 1, 27) and Þáttr af Upplendinga konungum (Hb 1892-6, 456), as well as in fornaldarsögur such as Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (FSGJ 2, 67) and Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar (FSGJ 3, 20). — [2] ífjǫrvan ‘alive’: This is the only instance of the adj. ífjǫrr. The prefix í- can convey an intensifying as well as a diminishing sense (Fritzner: í-). Here, however, í in its original sense ‘in’ is compounded with fjǫr ‘life’ to form the adj. í-fjǫrr ‘alive’, much as íendr ‘living, breathing’ (< *in-and-jaz) is a cpd of í- ‘in’ and ǫnd ‘breath’ (Fritzner: íendr). — [2] trað ‘overcame’: Lit. ‘trod upon’, anticipating the metaphor of fire striding in ll. 5-8. — [3] rausuðr reyks ‘the gusher of smoke [FIRE]’: The ms. readings ‘rꜹsuðr’ or ‘rausuðr’ allow of two interpretations: (a) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Yng 1912; Skj B; LP: rǫsuðr), Kock (Skald) and ÍF 26 choose rǫsuðr, translated mostly as ‘that which / the one who / he who rolls forward with smoke’. However, the verb rasa, from which rǫsuðr derives, is intransitive, so reyks could not be its gen. object and would have to express an accompanying circumstance instead (Hkr 1893-1901, IV), and rasa ‘stumble, fall’ (Fritzner: rasa) is semantically a poor match for ‘fire’. (b) This difficulty leads Wadstein (1895a, 72-3), followed by others, to adduce the ModNorw. dialectal verb rausa ‘plunge, pour, tip’ to help explain the word. The verb is transitive and results in an interpretation such as ‘that which pours forth smoke’, hence rausuðr ‘gusher’ in the translation above. — [4] Ræningi ‘Ræningr’: An exact match for this p. n. is not found in Sweden. Only inexact correspondences are given: (a) Rällinge on the peninsula Fogdön on Lake Mälaren (S. Lindqvist 1921, 84; Yt 1925); (b) Ræwngæ, attested in a charter from the year 1311 (Storm 1899, 112; Yt 1925); and (c) Rauning in the runic inscription from Aspa, Run Sö Fv1948:289VI; see Sundqvist (2005a, 95 n. 38), who reconstructs a p. n. *Røning in Södermanland on the basis of the names of the Swedish district Rönö and the municipality Runtuna. — [5] húsþjófr ‘the house-thief [FIRE]’: Cf. st. 4/5-6 meinþjófr markar ‘the harmful thief of the forest [FIRE]’. — [6] leistum hyrjar ‘with soles of fire’: The OIcel. and ModIcel. meaning of leistr is certainly ‘socks’ and is the basis of the translations in ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991. Most interpreters, however, assume a supposedly older meaning ‘foot, track’, cf. Goth. laists, OHG leist, OE lāst ‘track, footstep, trace’ (Konráð Gíslason 1881, 237; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). Noreen (1912a, 9; 1912b, 132) and Kock (NN §78) translate this as ‘with white-hot steps’. — [7] goðkynning ‘the descendant of gods’: The reading of the J transcripts is adopted here, as by Konráð Gíslason (1881, 238-42) and subsequent eds. It is presumed to derive from an adj. goðkunnr ‘descended from gods’ by means of the common suffix ‑ing, cf. e.g. spekingr ‘wise one’ from spakr ‘wise’. The cpd goðkonungr in the K transcripts appears to be a corruption of this unique word. — [9] yrðr ‘fate’: The umlauted form yrðr, rather than the more common urðr, is selected here, since it is found in mss J1ˣ, J2ˣ and F, i.e. in both branches of the Hkr stemma, and must be seen as a lectio difficilior. In most translations urðr/yrðr is rendered as ‘death’, but as Kock (FF §51) notes, this is not justified in light of the usage of this word and its cognates in OIcel., OE, OHG and OS. — [11] sanngǫrvastr ‘the most just’: Here too the reading of mss J1ˣ, J2ˣ and F is selected (and so Yt 1925; Åkerlund 1939, 108; Yng 1952, 73). ON sannr means not only ‘true’ but also ‘just, fitting, right’ (Fritzner: sannr adj. 3), hence the cpd sanngǫrr means ‘fairly, justly done’. That Ingjaldr may have been felt to deserve his appalling death is suggested by his nickname illráði ‘the Wicked’, and by the tradition reported in Yng (ÍF 26, 71) that he killed twelve kings in breach of a truce. — [12] með Svíum ‘among the Swedes’: Interpreters have disagreed on the syntactic status of this. It has been viewed as (a) a parallel to allri þjóðu ‘to all people’ (NN §3201; FF §51; Åkerlund 1939, 109); (b) a phrase modifying yrðr (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B); or (c) a phrase modifying sanngǫrvastr ‘the most just’ (ÍF 26). (d) However, in the overall sentence structure yrðr ‘fate’ is the subject required by þótti ‘seemed’, and allri þjóðu ‘to all people’ is the dat. required by it. In this context með Svíum ‘among the Swedes’ is most likely to be an adv. phrase with scope over the whole sentence rather than over any particular part. — [15] fyrstr ... frœknu ‘the first, valiantly’: Several interpretations have been suggested for this line. (a) Frœknu is taken here as an adverbial use of the n. dat. sg. adj. (so also NN §3202, ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991). (b) Frœknu has been viewed as an attributive adj. qualifying fjǫrvi, hence ‘courageous life’ (Säve 1854, 61; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; Yt 1925; NN §1009A Anm.). However, this creates an enjambment from l. 14 to l. 15, leading to a split in l. 15 and thereby to a breach in the style of Yt (Åkerlund 1939, 109-10). (c) Because of this, Wadstein (1895a, 73-4) takes frœknu to be the dat. of an unattested noun frœkna ‘bravery’ and links it to fyrstr, hence ‘first in bravery’. Lindquist (1929, 69), Åkerlund (1939, 109-10) and Wessén (Yng 1952, 73) concur. But such a use of fyrstr is unattested; the word denotes only spatial or temporal sequence (cf. Fritzner: fyrri). — [15] fyrstr ‘the first’: The meaning of fyrstr is elusive. Säve (1854, 61) and Hkr 1893-1901, IV interpret it as ‘first among the Ynglingar’, Skj B as ‘first among the host’ (cf. Yt 1925) and NN §3202, ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 as ‘first’ in the sense of ‘voluntarily’. On the connection of fyrstr and frœknu, see the Note to l. 15 (fyrstr ... frœknu). — [16] skyldi ‘should’: The J transcripts and F read vildi ‘would, wanted to’, while skyldi appears only in . For this reason Noreen (1912b, 132; Yt 1925) and Hkr 1991 select vildi. But the choice of skyldi is justified, because the form occurs repeatedly throughout Yt.

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