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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 18I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 18’ 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. 40.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal
171819

Þat stǫkk upp,
at Yngvari
Sýslu kind
of sóit hafði.
Ok Ljósham*
við lagar hjarta
herr eistneskr
at hilmi vá.
Ok austmarr
jǫfri sœnskum
Gymis ljóð
at gamni kveðr.

Þat stǫkk upp, at kind Sýslu hafði of sóit Yngvari. Ok eistneskr herr vá at hilmi, Ljósham*, við {hjarta lagar}. Ok austmarr kveðr ljóð Gymis at gamni sœnskum jǫfri.

Word spread quickly, that the people of Sýsla had slain Yngvarr. And an Estonian force attacked the ruler, Ljóshamr (‘the Light-skinned’), at {the heart of the water} [ISLAND]. And the Baltic sea sings the songs of Gymir <sea-giant> to the delight of the Swedish ruler.

Mss: (32v), papp18ˣ(8v), 521ˣ(38), F(5va), J1ˣ(14r), J2ˣ(18r), R685ˣ(17v) (Hkr); 2368ˣ(133), 743ˣ(99v) (LaufE, ll. 5-8); 761aˣ(60v-61r)

Readings: [4] sóit: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, sóat Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, F, 761aˣ;    hafði: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, hefði Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ    [5] ‑ham*: om. Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, ‘‑hofvm’ F, ‑hǫmum J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ    [6] lagar: ‘lugar’ R685ˣ;    hjarta: bjarta 521ˣ    [9] austmarr: ‘austinar’ J1ˣ    [10] jǫfri: efri F;    sœnskum: ‘fjollum’ F, fǫllnum J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 12, Skj BI, 11, Skald I, 7, NN §1917; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 60, IV, 19, ÍF 26, 61-2, Hkr 1991, I, 35 (Yng ch. 32), F 1871, 23; Yng 1912, 39, 66, Yng 2000, 48-9; Yt 1914, 12, Yt 1925, 204, 240-1; LaufE 1979, 398.

Context: Yngvarr, son of King Eysteinn, becomes ruler of Sweden. Having made peace with the Danes, he goes raiding in the Baltic. On a foray to Eistland (Estonia), he is attacked by a large Estonian force near Steinn and killed in battle. He is buried in Aðalsýsla (see Note to l. 3 below) in a mound by the sea. In LaufE, ll. 5-8 are cited in a section illustrating terms for stones or rocks (steina heiti).

Notes: [1] þat stǫkk upp ‘word spread quickly’: Lit. ‘it sprang up’. — [3] kind Sýslu ‘the people of Sýsla’: Sýsla is a p. n. referring to Estonian territory, as indicated by eistneskr herr ‘Estonian force’ (l. 7). Later prose sources differ on the exact reference. Snorri interprets it as Aðalsýsla, the Estonian mainland, now Suuremaa, whereas HN (2003, 78) refers to quadam insula Baltici Maris, que ab indigenis Eycisla uocatur ‘a certain island of the Baltic Sea called Eycisla by the indigenous people’, by which the island Eysýsla is meant, known today as Saaremaa or (Swed./Ger.) Ösel. — [4] hafði of sóit ‘had slain’: Sóa normally means ‘sacrifice’, but here it means ‘kill’ in the general sense, as in e.g. Hávm 109/7 (NK 34): eða hefði hánom Suttungr of sóit ‘or if Suttungr had killed him’. — [5] ok Ljósham* ‘and Ljóshamr (“the Light-skinned”)’: Emendation is necessary, since the line is too short in the K transcripts (ok ljós) but too long in the J transcripts and LaufE (ok ljóshǫmum). (a) The emendation adopted here produces a cpd that appears to be a nickname of Yngvarr (as proposed by Eggert Ó. Brím 1895, 12-13), an endingless dat. sg. (see LP: hamr) standing in apposition to hilmi ‘the ruler’ (so Noreen, Yt 1925). The nickname is of a common type: a bahuvrihi or exocentric nominal cpd characterising a person by a distinctive feature, cf. blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ or hvítbeinn ‘White-bone’, and evidence that Yngvarr had a nickname based on ljós- ‘light, bright’ is found in HN (2003, 78): Ynguar, qui cognominatus est Canutus ‘Ynguar, who is nicknamed Canutus’. Canutus comes from Lat. canus ‘whitish-gray’ (HN 2003, 137), and cf. Yngvarr’s nickname inn hári ‘Grey-haired’ in the Ættartala in Flat (1860-8, I, 26). Other emendations are less satisfactory. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I; Skj B) eliminates ok against all the mss. (c) Eggert Ó. Brím’s suggestion (1895, 12-13) of ljóshárum ‘the light-haired’ also goes against the ms. evidence. (d) The more extensive emendation of the line to ok ljóthamr ‘and ugly-skinned’ preferred by Kock (NN §1917) and Åkerlund (1939, 105), conceived as an adj. associated with eistneskr herr ‘Estonian force’, is to be rejected, because it ignores ljós, attested in all mss, and the attestation of Yngvarr’s nickname in HN . — [6] hjarta lagar ‘the heart of the water [ISLAND]’: The prose sources diverge on the interpretation of this kenning. (a) HN (2003, 78) mentions an island, and this is assumed in the present edn. Åkerlund (1939, 105) cites ModSwed. island names containing hjärta ‘heart’ (and see Noreen 1919, 147-8). (b) Snorri in Yng (see Context) evidently thinks hjarta lagar a stone-kenning and as such an ofljóst for the p. n. Steinn, and it is cited as an expression for steinn ‘stone, rock’ in LaufE (see Context above, and cf. LaufE 1979, 307). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; Yng 1912) concurs, as do Lindquist (1929, 67) and Hkr 1991. However, the periphrasis ‘heart of the water’ for ‘stone’ would deviate from usual stone-kennings, where normally only hard body parts such as beinn ‘bone’, leggr ‘leg-bone’, rif ‘rib’, tǫnn ‘tooth’ or jótr ‘molar’ serve as base-words (Meissner 90). The closest parallel would be hafnýra ‘sea-kidney’ (ÚlfrU Húsdr 2/6III), but here, too, the meaning is uncertain. (c) Schück (1905-10, 150) and Noreen (1912b, 131; Yt 1925) view hjarta lagar as a metaphor for the capital city of a country on the sea. Such a metaphor would be conceivable in modern literature, but hardly in skaldic poetry. — [10] sœnskum ‘Swedish’: It is impossible to choose between the variants sœnskum and fǫllnum ‘the fallen one’ found in the mss. This edn gives precedence to the main ms. . — [11] Gymis ‘of Gymir <sea-giant>’: In skaldic poetry Ægir, Gymir and Hlér are used synonymously as names for a sea-giant as well as terms for ‘ocean’, cf. Note to Þul Sjóvar 2/6III and Snorri’s statement in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 37) about the names being identical. For the etymology of Gymir, see Note to Þul Jǫtna I 1/8III.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. LaufE 1979 = Faulkes, Anthony, ed. 1979. Edda Magnúsar Ólafssonar (Laufás Edda). RSÁM 13. Vol. I of Two Versions of Snorra Edda from the 17th Century. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar, 1977-9.
  6. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  14. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  15. Lindquist, Ivar. 1929. Norröna lovkväden från 800 och 900 talen. I: Förslag till restituerad täxt jämte översättning. Lund: Gleerup.
  16. Eggert Ó. Brím. 1895. ‘Bemærkninger angående en del vers i “Noregs konungasögur” (Reykjavík 1892)’. ANF 11, 1-32.
  17. Yng 2000 = Jørgensen, Jon Gunnar, ed. 2000b. Ynglinga saga etter Kringla (AM 35 fol). Series of Dissertations submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of Oslo 80. Oslo: Unipub forlag.
  18. Yt 1914 = Grape, Anders and Birger Nerman, eds. 1914. Ynglingatal I-IV. Meddelanden från Nordiska Seminariet 3. Uppsala: Berling.
  19. Yng 1912 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912. Ynglingasaga. Copenhagen: Gad.
  20. Yt 1925 = Noreen, Adolf, ed. 1925. Ynglingatal: Text, översättning och kommentar. Stockholm: Lagerström.
  21. HN 2003 = Ekrem, Inger and Lars Boje Mortensen, eds. 2003. Historia Norwegie. Trans. Peter Fisher. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press and University of Copenhagen.
  22. Noreen, Adolf. 1912b. ‘Forsök till en rekonstruktion af Ynglingatal jämte øfversättning’. In Studier tillägnade Karl Warburg på hans sextioårsdag af vänner och lärjungar. Stockholm: Norstedt, 125-35.
  23. Noreen, Erik. 1919. ‘Studier rörande gränserna mellan Värmland och Dal samt Värmland och Norge i äldre tid’. NoB 7, 115-62.
  24. Schück, Henrik. 1905-10. Studier i Ynglingatal. Uppsala: Berling; Almqvist & Wiksell.
  25. Åkerlund, Walter. 1939. Studier över Ynglingatal. Skrifta utgivna av Vetenskaps-Societeten i Lund 23. Lund: Gleerup.
  26. Internal references
  27. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ 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, pp. clxi-clxii.
  28. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  29. Not published: do not cite (YngII)
  30. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Jǫtna heiti I 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 707.
  31. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Sjóvar heiti 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 835.
  32. 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.
  33. Not published: do not cite ()
  34. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Úlfr Uggason, Húsdrápa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 407.
  35. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Laufás Edda (LaufE)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
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