Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þjóð Yt 19I

[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.


  1. Bibliography
  2. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  3. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  5. Yt 1925 = Noreen, Adolf, ed. 1925. Ynglingatal: Text, översättning och kommentar. Stockholm: Lagerström.
  6. Internal references
  7. 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.
  8. Not published: do not cite ()


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