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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 27I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 27’ 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. 58.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal
2627

Þat veitk bazt
und blôum himni
kenninafn,
svát konungr eigi,
es Rǫgnvaldr,
reiðar stjóri,
heiðumhôr
of heitinn es.
Ok mildgeðr
markar dróttinn

Veitk þat kenninafn bazt und blôum himni, svát konungr eigi, es Rǫgnvaldr, {stjóri reiðar}, es of heitinn heiðumhôr. Ok mildgeðr dróttinn markar...

I know that nickname to be the best under the blue sky that a king might have, that Rǫgnvaldr, {the steerer of the carriage} [RULER], is called ‘High with Honours’. And the generous-minded lord of the forest...

Mss: (44r) (ll. 1-8), papp18ˣ(12r) (ll. 1-8), 521ˣ(56) (ll. 1-8), F(7va), J1ˣ(21v) (ll. 1-8), J2ˣ(25r) (ll. 1-8), R685ˣ(23r) (ll. 1-8) (Hkr); 761aˣ(63v-65r)

Readings: [7] heiðum‑: so 521ˣ, F, J2ˣ, 761aˣ, heitum Kˣ, papp18ˣ, J1ˣ, hættum corrected from heitum in a later hand R685ˣ;    ‑hôr: ‑hœri F    [8] es (‘er’): ‘derr’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [9] Ok mildgeðr: so F, 761aˣ, om. Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [10] markar dróttinn: so F, 761aˣ, om. Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 15, Skj BI, 14, Skald I, 9, NN §1014A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 85, IV, 28, ÍF 26, 83, Hkr 1991, I, 49 (Yng ch. 50), F 1871, 33; Yng 1912, 54, 70, Yng 2000, 71; Yt 1914, 18-19, Yt 1925, 210, 253.

Context: Rǫgnvaldr was king in Vestfold after his father Óláfr Geirstaðaálfr. Þjóðólfr composed Yt in his honour.

Notes: [All]: In its praise of a ruler, the stanza differs decidedly from the other stanzas, and it clearly indicates that the poem was composed for Rǫgnvaldr. According to Yng (ÍF 26, 83, and Context above) Rǫgnvaldr was a son of Óláfr Geirstaðaálfr and hence, like Haraldr hárfagri, a grandson of Guðrøðr. This would find some support in the fact that Haraldr named one of his sons Rǫgnvaldr, possibly following the custom of naming a child after a recently deceased kinsman (Nerman 1914; Marold 1987, 83 n. 3). No trace of Rǫgnvaldr remains in other historical traditions, however, and this has led to diverse speculations. (a) Bugge (1894, 134-5) argues that Rǫgnvaldr was unrelated to Haraldr hárfagri. Believing that Yt was composed in Northumbria or in Ireland, he attempts to identify several kings who fell in those places as Rǫgnvaldr. (b) Wadstein (1895a, 80-2) attempts to show that the last stanza was composed for Haraldr hárfagri (already suggested by Guðbrandur Vigfússon in CPB I, 243). He takes rǫgnvaldr to be a noun meaning ‘the powerful ruler’ and views heiðumhárr as equivalent to hárfagri (‘Fair-hair’), which Bugge (1894, 163) convincingly refutes. (c) According to Bergsveinn Birgisson (2008, 410), Rǫgnvaldr may have been Reginfridus, son of the Danish king Godefridus. — [6] stjóri reiðar ‘the steerer of the carriage [RULER]’: (a) This interpretation (also adopted in Bugge 1894, 138; Yng 1912, 70; Noreen 1912b, 135; Brøgger 1916, 39) preserves the normal meaning of reið f. (LP: 1. reið). The use of carriages is proven by the Oseberg ship burial, which is dated to approximately the same period and contained a richly ornamented carriage as well as a tapestry depicting figures riding on carriages (Graham-Campbell 1994, 42-3). That Rǫgnvaldr is associated with a carriage is perhaps indicative of his involvement in cultic or royal processions akin to the Swedish custom of Eriksgata (cf. ARG I, 473-4). The base-word stjóri is primarily used to refer to a ruler and appears with designations for people, entourage etc. (Meissner 328; for a few exceptions see LP: stjóri). Here, however, stjóri may have a meaning comparable to that of the verb stýra ‘to steer’, which can be used for ships and carriages but also for countries and people (cf. LP: stýra). (b) Others (Wadstein 1895a, 82; Storm 1899, 139; Brøgger 1925, 185; Hkr 1991) have interpreted reið as ‘ship’, citing a ship heiti in Þul Skipa 3/8III. However, reið ‘carriage’ is normally used not as a ship-heiti but as the base-word in ship-kennings, with determinants such as hlunna ‘of launching-rollers’ or the name of a sea-king (see LP: 1. reið 1). (c) Noreen (Yt 1925; cf. Lindquist 1929, 73) suggests that reið meant a troop of riders, but the word is not attested in this meaning, and mounted warriors were not common in the Viking Age. — [7] heiðumhôr ‘High with Honours’: This, the explanation generally accepted today, is first proposed by Bugge (1894, 137-8), who notes that although ON heiðr does not occur in the pl., synonyms like sœmð do. The comp. heiðumhæri is the normal form in prose (on the difference between heiðumhôr and heiðumhæri, see ÍF 26, 83, n.). — [9-10]: The last two lines are only attested in F and 761aˣ and are syntactically incomplete. It is possible that they are a fragment of a lost stanza (Konráð Gíslason 1881, 185-6; Bugge 1894, 137), and they are omitted in some eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Yng 1912; Skald; ÍF 26; cf. also Åkerlund 1939, 123-4; NN §1014A). — [10] dróttinn markar ‘lord of the forest’: Since ‘lord of the forest’ would not be a standard designation for a king, markar, gen. sg. of mǫrk ‘forest’ or possibly ‘borderland’ (CVC: mörk), may stand for the land in general.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  7. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  8. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  11. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  12. Lindquist, Ivar. 1929. Norröna lovkväden från 800 och 900 talen. I: Förslag till restituerad täxt jämte översättning. Lund: Gleerup.
  13. Wadstein, Elis. 1895a. ‘Bidrag till tolkning och belysning av skalde- ock Edda-dikter. I. Till tolkningen av Ynglingatal’. ANF 11, 64-92.
  14. ARG = Vries, Jan de. 1956-7. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  15. Konráð Gíslason. 1881. ‘Nogle bemærkninger angående Ynglingatal’. ÅNOH, 185-251.
  16. 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.
  17. Yt 1914 = Grape, Anders and Birger Nerman, eds. 1914. Ynglingatal I-IV. Meddelanden från Nordiska Seminariet 3. Uppsala: Berling.
  18. Yng 1912 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912. Ynglingasaga. Copenhagen: Gad.
  19. Yt 1925 = Noreen, Adolf, ed. 1925. Ynglingatal: Text, översättning och kommentar. Stockholm: Lagerström.
  20. Bergsveinn Birgisson. 2008. Inn i skaldens sinn: Kognitive, estetiske og historiske skatter i den norrøne skaldediktningen. Bergen: University of Bergen.
  21. Brøgger, Anton Wilhelm. 1916. Borrefundet og Vestfoldkongernes graver. Videnskaps-selskapets Skrifter. II. Hist.-filos. kl. 1916/1. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  22. Bugge, Sophus. 1894. Bidrag til den ældste skaldedigtnings historie. Christiania (Oslo): Aschehoug.
  23. Graham-Campbell, James, ed. 1994. Cultural Atlas of the Viking World. New York: Facts on File.
  24. Marold, Edith. 1987. ‘Die norwegische Reichseinigung und die Preislieddichtung’. In Groenke 1987, 59-105.
  25. 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.
  26. Storm, Gustav. 1899. ‘Ynglingatal, dets forfatter og forfattelsestid’. ANF 15, 107-41.
  27. Åkerlund, Walter. 1939. Studier över Ynglingatal. Skrifta utgivna av Vetenskaps-Societeten i Lund 23. Lund: Gleerup.
  28. Nerman, Birger. 1914. ‘Konung Ragnvald i Ynglingatal’. MM, 65-75.
  29. Internal references
  30. Not published: do not cite (YngII)
  31. Not published: do not cite (RunVI)
  32. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Skipa heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 865.
  33. 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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