Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þjóð Yt 5I

[All]: According to HN (2003, 74), Dómaldi was sacrificed to the goddess Ceres, possibly meaning Freyja: Cuius filium Domald Sweones suspendentes pro fertilitate frugum Cereri hostiam obtulerunt ‘In hanging his [Vísbúrr’s] son Dómaldr, the Swedes made an offering to Ceres for the fruitfulness of the harvest’. The supposition in ÍF 26 (and similarly Hkr 1991), that Dómaldi was first hanged and then marked by a spear in sacrifice to Óðinn, is improbable, since an offering to Óðinn is unlikely to belong within the context of fertility rites. On the contrary, this stanza of Yt clearly connects the sacrifice to a desire for good harvests. The sacrificial killing of Dómaldi has been the subject of much debate, involving contradictory conceptions of sacral kingship, royal sacrifice etc., cf. Baetke (1964, 51-68), Turville-Petre (1964, 191), and overview in Sundqvist (2002, 241-53).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Turville-Petre, Gabriel. 1964. Myth and Religion of the North. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  3. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  4. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  5. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  6. Baetke, Walter. 1964. Yngvi und die Ynglinger: Eine quellenkritische Untersuchung über das nordische ‘Sakralkönigtum’. Sitzungsberichte der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leipzig, Phil.-Hist. Kl. 109/3. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  7. Sundqvist, Olof. 2002. Freyr’s Offspring: Rulers and Religion in Ancient Svea Society. Historia religionum 21. Uppsala: Uppsala University Library.
  8. Internal references
  9. 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.


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