Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóðólfr ór Hvini (Þjóð)

9th century; volume 1; ed. Edith Marold;

3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

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.

Lausavísur — Þjóð LvI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Lausavísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Brepols, Turnhout, p. 64.

 1   2 

Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski: 4. Lausavísur (AI, 21, BI, 19)

SkP info: I, 64

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Þjóð Lv 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Lausavísur 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Brepols, Turnhout, p. 64.

Hǫfðum vér í hǫfði
hǫgg at eggja leiki
með vellbrota vitrum;
vǫruma þá til margir.

Vér hǫfðum hǫgg í hǫfði at {leiki eggja} með {vitrum vellbrota}; þá vǫruma til margir.

We had blows on the head at {the sport of edges} [BATTLE] with {the wise gold-breaker} [GENEROUS MAN]; then we were not too many.

Mss: F(11vb), Kˣ(67v-68r), J1ˣ(38v), J2ˣ(38v), 761bˣ(187r) (Hkr)

Readings: [2] hǫgg: haus Kˣ, hǫgg with haus in margin 761bˣ;    eggja: eiga J1ˣ    [4] vǫruma: so Kˣ, vôrum at F, vôrum vér J1ˣ, J2ˣ, vôrum vér with vǫruma in margin 761bˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 4. Lausavísur 1: AI, 21, BI, 19, Skald I, 12; Hkr 1777-1826, I, 104, VI, 19, Hkr 1868, 68, Hkr 1893-1901, I, 136, IV, 39, ÍF 26, 128, Hkr 1991, 79 (HHárf), F 1871, 53.

Context: Þjóðólfr responds to a complaint made by King Haraldr hárfagri (Hhárf Lv, q. v.).

Notes: [All]: In referring to wounds received in Haraldr’s service, Þjóðólfr implicitly chides the king for illiberality to men to whom he owes much. For Haraldr’s war-band and life at his court, see also Þjóð Har 1-3, Hhárf Lv 1 and Þhorn Harkv 5-6, 13, 15-23. — [All]: The hendingar here are more irregular than in Þjóð HaustlIII: see Konráð Gíslason (1892, 48) for discussion. — [4] vǫruma ‘we were not’: Though the root vowel is etymologically long, Kuhn (1936a, 438-9 n. 3) argues that a short vowel is required when the negative suffix -a is added, and he presents evidence for a short alternant.

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