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Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Diana Whaley;

1. Magnússflokkr (Magnfl) - 19

Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA) is listed in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262) among the poets of Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’ Óláfsson and Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson, and virtually all his extant poetry seems to have been composed in honour of them, or in association with them; hence it dates from the period 1035-1066. The text of Skáldatal in AM 761 a 4°ˣ (SnE 1848-87, III, 259) also credits Þjóðólfr with poetry for Haraldr Þorkelsson, son of Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ and one of the Dan. magnates present in Norway during the reign of Sveinn Álfífuson (1030-35). No identifiable fragments of this remain, but if true the tradition would suggest that Þjóðólfr was born not much later than 1010. Hemings þáttr Áslákssonar (Hem) has him die at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, and there is no record of him after that date, though Lv 11 has the air of being composed after the battle. Þjóðólfr was, according to Skáldatal and Fsk (ÍF 29, 245), the brother of another skald, Bǫlverkr Arnórsson (Bǫlv), and according to Sneglu-Halla þáttr (Snegl) in Flat (1860-8, III, 415), was from an undistinguished family in Svarfaðardalur, northern Iceland. The same þáttr (p. 421) names his father not as Arnórr but as Þorljótr, in the context of a scurrilous anecdote told against Þjóðólfr by Sneglu-Halli (SnH), who also taunts him with having composed the otherwise unknown Sorptrogsvísur ‘Dustbin Vísur’. The þáttr nevertheless describes him as accomplished (menntr vel) and courteous (kurteis maðr), highly favoured by King Haraldr and chief of his poets (haufutskꜳlld sitt, p. 415). Þjóðólfr’s poetry, rich in allusion and imagery, has continued to be widely admired, and it gains colour and vigour from the fact that he participated in many of the campaigns he depicts. It undoubtedly also reflects the fact that he was one of an exceptional circle of poets patronised by Haraldr (see Turville-Petre 1968), and much of his poetry shares topics and imagery with that of his contemporary Arnórr jarlaskáld (Arn), though there is no account of the dealings between these two. Þjóðólfr figures in several anecdotes centring on poetic composition: see Contexts to Lv 2-6, though we have no way of knowing whether he was so touchy about his reputation as the Context to Lv 4, and Snegl, would suggest; he also features as a go-between figure in Brands þáttr ǫrva, which cites no poetry. For brief biographies of Þjóðólfr see, e.g. SnE 1848-87, III, 578-9; LH 1894-1901, I, 627-32; Hollander 1945, 189-96.

In addition to the works edited here as Þjóðólfr’s, there have been further attributions to him. Þfagr Sveinn 7 is attributed to Þjóðólfr in Mork (1928-32, 165-6) and Flat (1860-8, III, 341), but to Þorleikr fagri in other sources; ÞKolb Eirdr 17I is attributed to Þjóðólfr in the U ms. alone, and Þfisk Lv 3 is attributed to him in F. Further, Flat, by citing Okík Magn 1 after ÞjóðA Magnfl 18 without announcing a change of skald implicitly assigns the latter to Þjóðólfr. We might perhaps also imagine Þjóðólfr having a hand in Anon (HSig) 2, the st. collaboratively composed by Haraldr’s men. A further set of six sts presented are anonymous in the medieval sources but are presented in this edn as Halli XI Fl (for reasons explained in Halli Biography below). These are printed among Þjóðólfr’s works in CPB II, 210-11 and listed under his name in SnE 1848-87, III, 583-4; Poole also finds ‘the ascription to Þjóðólfr Arnórsson … tempting, on stylistic grounds’ (1991, 75).

Preserved mainly in the kings’ sagas, above all in Hkr, Þjóðólfr’s oeuvre presents exceptional problems of reconstruction, which are discussed at some length in the Introductions to the individual poems or sets of sts. The chief problem is that Þjóðólfr certainly composed a major dróttkvætt poem for each of his patrons Magnús (Magnússflokkr, Magnfl) and Haraldr (Sexstefja, Sex), but that in each case there is also a set of sts that may or may not belong in the main encomium. The decision has been taken here to print them separately: fourteen sts depicting the aftermaths of Magnús’s major battles at Århus (Áróss) and Helgenæs (Helganes) are presented as ‘Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi’ (Magn), and seven describing the launch of Haraldr’s great levied fleet from Nidelven (the river Nið) as ‘Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr’ (Har). As a reference aid, the arrangement of Þjóðólfr’s oeuvre in SkP and Skj is shown here.

Magnússflokkr (ÞjóðA Magnfl)
SkP Skj
15Náði jarl at eyða 19
16Rǫnn lézt, ræsir Þrœnda,20
17Hizig laut, es heitir 21
18Flýði jarl af auðu, 22
19Háðisk heilli góðu25
Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi (ÞjóðA Magn)
1Hrauð leifs mǫgr áðan Magnfl 15
2Misst hafa Sveins at sýnu, Magnfl 16
3Gær sák grjóti stóru Lv 1
4Spurði einu orði Magnfl 17
5Saurstokkinn bar svíra Magnfl 18
6Hrindr af hrókalandi Lv 2
7Menn eigu þess minnask, Lv 3
8Skjǫld bark heim frá hjaldri Magnfl 23
9Bauð leifs sonr áðan Magnfl 24
10Nú taka Norðmenn knýja,Lv 4
11Brum jǫrn at œrnuLv 5
12Svíðr of seggja búðirLv 6
13Fjǫrð lét fylkir verðaLv 7
14Ek hef ekki at drekkaLv 8
Runhent poem about Haraldr (ÞjóðA Run)
Sexstefja (ÞjóðA Sex)
6Þjóð veit, at hefr háðar7
7Stólþengils lét stinga6
8Ok hertoga hneykir25
9Reist eikikjǫlr austan8
10Vatn lézt, vísi, slitna,9
11Gegn skyli herr, sem hugnar10
12Frn hefr sveit við Sveini11
13Lét vingjafa veitir12
14Fast bað fylking hrausta13
15Alm dró upplenzkr hilmir14
16Flest vas hirð, sús hraustum15
17Sogns kvðu gram gegnan16
18Sveinn át sigr at launa17
19Nús of verk, þaus vísi,18
20Létu lystir sleitu19
21Tók Holmbúa hneykir20
22Gagn brann greypra þegna; 21
23Fœrði fylkir Hǫrða,22
24Áræðis naut eyðir23
25Refsir reyndan ofsa24
26Mǫrk lét veitt fyr verka26
27Ǫrð sær Yrsu burðar27
28Lét hræteina hveiti32
29Blóðorra lætr barri30a
30Geirs oddum lætr greddir30b
31Gera vas gisting byrjuð29
32Hár skyli hirðar stjóri35
Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr (ÞjóðA Har)
1Skeið sák framm at flœði, Lv 18
2Slyngr laugardag lǫngu Lv 19
3Rétt kann rœði slíta Lv 20
4Sorgar veit, áðr slíti Lv 21
5Eigu skjól und skógi Lv 22
6Hléseyjar lemr hvan Lv 23
7Haraldr þeysti nú hraustla Lv 24
Fragments (ÞjóðA Frag )
1 Nús valmeiðum víðisLv 9
2Jarl/Ǫrr lætr, odda skúrar Sex 28
3Ganga él of Yngva Sex 31
4Snart við sæþráð kyrtat Sex 33
5Útan bindr við enda Sex 34
Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur (ÞjóðA Lv)
1Leiða langar dauða Lv 10
2Sumar annat skal sunnar Lv 11
3[Logit hefr Baldr at Baldri]
brynþings fetilstingar
Lv 12
4Mildingr rauð í móðu Lv 13
5Varp ór þrætu þorpi Lv 14
6Sigurðr eggjaði sleggju Lv 15
7Haddan skall, en Halli Lv 16
8Út stendr undan báti Lv 17
9Ǫld es, sús jarli skyldi Lv 25
10Skalka frá, þótt fylkir Lv 26
11Ǫld hefr afráð goldit Lv 27

Reconstructions of the Þjóðólfr corpus are offered by Finnur Jónsson in SnE 1848-87, III, 579-90, which is the basis (almost unchanged) for Skj (AI, 361-83, BI, 332-53), and the Skj ordering is retained in Skald (I, 168-77); other major contributions are by Guðbrandur Vigfússon in CPB (II, 198-212) and by Fidjestøl (1982, 133-43, 172).

The principal eds consulted in the course of re-editing Þjóðólfr’s poetry for SkP are listed for each st., and are of two main types: eds of the skaldic corpus (Finnur Jónsson’s in Skj AI, 361-83; BI, 332-53 and Ernst Albin Kock’s in Skald I, 168-77, supported by numerous NN) and eds of the various prose works in which the poetry is preserved. Extracts are also included in anthologies, articles and other works including (with ten or more sts): CPB II, 198-212; Kock and Meissner 1931, I, 57-60; Hollander 1945,190-6 (annotated translations only), Poole 1991, 59-63; and (with seven sts) Turville-Petre 1976, 97-102. Such works as these, together with others containing comment on the poetry, are cited as appropriate in the Notes.


Magnússflokkr — ÞjóðA MagnflII

Diana Whaley 2009, ‘ Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr’ 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, pp. 61-87. <> (accessed 7 December 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19 

Skj: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson: 1. Magnúsflokkr, omtr. 1045 (AI, 361-8, BI, 332-8); stanzas (if different): 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25

in texts: Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, LaufE, MGóð, MH, ÓH, SnE, SnEW

SkP info: II, 61-87

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

1. W - 167/32-167/32 (DW)
Vastv olafs son avstan efldr ꜳ vatnit skeflda.
2. Kx - 495v/7-495v/14 (VEÞ)
Ut retþu allvaldr sciota | ekin duþiz rá sneckio | eɴ þritogt scip þrꜹta | þaɴ tíð i haf scriþa | vægðit vendi sveigðvm | veðr ótt um þer drottinn | hloðo hirðmenn pruðir | hún script i sigtunom |
F - 37rb/22-37rb/25 (VEÞ)
Vt reðtv allvalldr skío | ta eikín dvþiz rá sneckío eɴ þritvgt skíp þrꜹtar þaɴ tiþ í | haf skríða · vægðít vendi sveigðom veðr ott of þer drottíɴ | hloðo hírðmenn prv́ðir hv́n skript i sígtvnom·
3. Kx - 497v/3-497v/10 (VEÞ)
Aur spornaðuð arnar | ilrioðz af sviþioðu | her fylgði þer haʀi | hrꜹstr i noreg ꜹstan | flyði sveiɴ eɴ siþan | saɴraðiɴ fra laði | erlendis fra ec undan | alfifo son drifa |
F - 37vb/4-37vb/7 (VEÞ)
Av́r spornv | ðo arnar ilrioðr af sviþioðo herr fylgði þer haʀí · hrꜹst | af sviðioð ꜹstan · flyði sveíɴ eɴ siðan saɴ raðíɴ fra laði | erlendís fra ek vndan alfivo son drifa·
4. Kx - 506v/7-506v/14 (VEÞ)
Diarft neyttir þu drottin | dólstrangr scipa langra | af þvi at ytar hofþo | ꜹstr lxx flꜹsta | suþr gnꜹðuðo suþir | segl hynd v stag ryndo | vik scar vandlangt eyki | visundr hneigþi þrꜹm sveigðan |
F - 39ra/26-39ra/29 (VEÞ)
Díarft neytir þv drottíɴ dolg strangr skí | pa langra · af þvi at ytar hofðo ꜹstr ·lxx· flꜹsta · svðr gnꜹ | ðoþo sv́ðir segl hynd v stag ryndo vik skar vandlꜹng | eiki visvndr hneígði þrꜹm sveígðan·
5. Kx - 508v/24-509r/2 (VEÞ)
Sialfr var ꜹstr v elfi | Ulfs mꜹgr ok het fꜹgrv | þar reð sveinn at sveria | sinar hendr at scrini | reð Olafs sonr eiðom | átt hafa þeiʀa sattir || scemra aldr eɴ scyldi | scanunga gramr honum |
F - 39va/21-39va/25 (VEÞ)
Sialfr var | ꜹstr i elfi vlfs mꜹgr ok het fꜹgro þar reð sveíɴ at | svería sinar hendr at skrini · reð olafs sonr eiðom att ha | fa þeira sattir skemra alldr eɴ skylldi skanvnnga gramr | hánom·
6. H - 8v/18-8v/22 (DW)
Mínn vá sigr firi svnnan. sníallr heiðaby spíalli. nær | fra ek skarpa skíærv. skotborgar ꜳ̋ gotna. Vndí otal vinða. ellv | konr at fella. hvar hafí gvmnar gerfa. geirhrið | fregít meírí.
7. Kx - 511v/16-511v/23 (VEÞ)
Hyck i hundraðs flocki | haraldz broðvr son stoðo | hrafn vissi ser hvassast | hungrbaɴ framarst manna | vítt la vinda flótti | varþ þar eragnvs barðiz | hǫɢviɴ valr at hylia | heiði rastar breiða |
F - 40ra/33-40ra/36 (VEÞ)
Hykk | i hundraz flocki haralldz brodvr son stoþv hramn vissi ser hv | assazt hungr baɴ framast maɴa · vítt la vínda flotti varþ | þar eragnvs barðiz hꜹɢviɴ valr at hylía heiði rastar breiða· |
Holm2 - 75r/5-75r/7 (VEÞ)
Hycc | i huɴdraðs flocki haralz broþur son stoðu hramn viꜱi ser hvassast hungrbaɴ framarst ᴍanna | víᴛ la vinða floᴛi varð þar er magnus barþiz hꜹɢviɴ val at hylia heíþi rastar ⸝breiþa.⸜ |
321x - 286/6-286/9 (VEÞ)
hykk i hundat | flokki. haralldz brodrson stodo. hrafn vissi ser huassast | hungrbann framast manna .... vinda flotti. vard þar er | Magnus bardiz. hauɢuinn valr at hylia. heidi rastar brei ⸍⸍ da |
61 - 130vb/40-130vb/43 (VEÞ)
Hyck j hundras flocki harallz brod | r son stodu hrafnn viggi ser huassazst hungur bann framarst | manna vitt lꜳ vinda flotti vard þar ver magnus bardizst hogin u | alr ath hylia heidi rastar breida ||
8. Kx - 513v/2-513v/9 (VEÞ)
Lǫgðo gro᷎ðis gloða | gramr ok Iarl fyrir skꜹmmo | þar com bitr a bǫrva | brandleikr saman randir | sva at manþinga mundot | merkendr heðins serkiar | herr náði gny gerva | geirs oʀosto meiri |
F - 40va/17-40va/21 (VEÞ)
Logðo | glæðís gloða gramr ok iarl fyrir skommo þar kom bitra bꜹrva · | brandleíkr saman randir · sva at man þíngat mvndot | merkíendr heþíns serkíar · her naði gny gerva geíʀs orrosto | meíri·
9. Kx - 513v/18-513v/25 (VEÞ)
Scotit fra ec scepti flettum | sciott ok morgo spioti | bráð feck hrafn þar er háþom | hialdr a breiða scialdo | neytto mest sem matto | meɴ at vapna senno | bꜹgs eɴ barðir lago | bǫrvar griotz ok ǫrva |
F - 40va/26-40va/29 (VEÞ)
Skotið fra ek skepti flettom skíott ok morgo spíoti brað | feck hramn þar er haþom hialldr a breiða skíolldo · neytto | míog sem matto menn at hiorva seɴo bꜹgs eɴ barðir la | go bꜹrvar gríotz ok ꜹrva·
10. Kx - 513v/26-514r/4 (VEÞ)
Barot bꜹslar fleiri | bꜹrmenn at hꜹr tognom | mundit þann dag þrǫndi | þreyta fyʀ at sceytom || sva þyct flugo siþan | snǫri dꜹʀ um scꜹro | ótt var ǫrdrif latit | illa sáttu i milli |
F - 40va/29-40va/32 (VEÞ)
Báro bꜹsl a fleírí bog | menn at híor tognom mundít þaɴ dag þrænði þreyta | fyʀ at skeytom · sva þyst flugo siþan snǽri dꜹʀ vm | skǽro ott var ꜹrdrif latít illa sattv a milli·
11. Kx - 514r/14-514r/17 (VEÞ)
Mioc bað ᴍagnvs recka | maɴ rꜹscliga aɴan | hǫrð þrifuz boð þar er borðuz | bꜹðscy framaʀ knyia |
F - 40va/39-40va/40 (VEÞ)
Miog bað ᴍagnvs recka menn rosliga an | nan horð þrifoz bratt þar er barðiz bꜹð sky framaʀ knyia·
12. Kx - 514r/28-514v/6 (VEÞ)
Vorðr gecc meiʀ at morði | ᴍagnvs kialar vagna || þat var frǫgt i fagran | framstafn varar hrafni | gerþum þar svo at þurði | þengill eɴ óx fengi | sceiðr nam heʀ at hrioða | huscarla liþ jarli |
F - 40vb/7-40vb/11 (VEÞ)
Vꜹrðr | geck meiʀ at morði magnvs kialar regna þat var frægt | i fagran fram stafn vara hramní · geyrðom þar sva at þurði þen | gill eɴ ox fengí skeiðr nam herr at hrioða hvskarla lið | iarli·
13. Kx - 514v/7-514v/10 (VEÞ)
Aþr svanfoldar seldi | solryrandi hiɴ dyri | Iarls lá ferð a ferli | fiǫr grið stǫfum hiorva |
14. Kx - 514v/13-514v/20 (VEÞ)
Rꜹmm var hildr su er hramma | harð eldz viðir bǫrðuz | herr gecc snart a snerro | suɴo dag um uɴiɴ | flꜹt þa er feigir leto | fiǫr gny stafir hiǫrva | þioð sꜹcc niðr at nꜹðom | nár a hveʀi báro |
F - 40vb/12-40vb/15 (VEÞ)
Rꜹmm var hilldr sv er hramma harðels viðir borðoz herr gekk | snart af snerro svɴo dags vm vɴíɴ · flꜹt þa er feigir le | to fior gvɴ stafir híorva · þioð sꜹ́k niðr at nꜹðom | nár a hverri baro·
15. Kx - 515v/17-515v/24 (VEÞ)
Naði Iarl at eyða | jofra setr a vetri | lez eigi þu litla | landvǫrn af þer standa | ᴍattiragnvs hætta | mildr i folc und scildi | nefa Knutz var þa nytom | nær sem hann raðinn væri |
F - 41ra/3-41ra/6 (VEÞ)
Naði iarl | at eyða iofra setr a vetri letz eigi þv litla land vꜹrn af þer stan | da · mattiragnvs hǽtta milldr i flock vnd skilldi nefa kn | vtz var þa nytom nǽr sem raþíɴ ver
16. Kx - 515v/25-516r/2 (VEÞ)
Rꜹnd leztu ræsir þrǫnda | reiðr Þorðir bv meiða | hus namto hvert ok eiso | hyrfelld gefa elldi | gra vildir þu gialda | gǫðinga vin scǫðar || ꜹrt rendo þeir undan | Iarls fylgiorum dylgior |
F - 41ra/6-41ra/9 (VEÞ)
Rꜹnd læztv ræsir | þrænda reiðr þorðir bv meiða hvs nam tv hvert ok eíso hyr | felld gefa elldí gra villdir þv giallda gæþinga vín skæðar | ꜹrt rænðo þeir vndan iarl fylgiorum dylgíor·
17. Kx - 516v/29-517r/6 (VEÞ)
Hizig lꜹt er heitir | hælga nes fyrir kesiom || sucko sarir reckar | sveins ferð bana verðir | mætr helt morgo spioti | mǫra gramr i snǫri | odd rꜹð asci studdann | ꜹʀ landreki dꜹʀom |
F - 41ra/39-41rb/2 (VEÞ)
Hítzig lꜹ́t er heitir helga nes | fyrir kesíom svcko sarer reckar sveíns ferþ bana verðir · mætr || hellt morgo spiotí mǽra gramr i snǽri odd rꜹð a ski stvd | dan ꜹʀ landreki dꜹʀom·
18. Kx - 517r/11-517r/18 (VEÞ)
Flyði Iarl af ꜹðo | otvin scipi sino | morð þar eragnvs gǫrði | meinfǫr þan sveini | reð her konungr hrioða | hneitis eɢ i sveita | sprændi bloð a bryndan | brand vá gramr til landa |
F - 41rb/5-41rb/8 (VEÞ)
Flyðí iarl af ꜹðo | ót vín skipi síno morðz þar eragnvs gerþi meín fært þaðan | sveíní · reð herkonungr hrioða hneítis eɢ i sveíta sprændi | bloð a bryndan brand vá gramr til lanða·
19. Kx - 519r/28-519v/6 (VEÞ)
Haðiz heilli goðo | hildr sem ᴍagnvs vildi || selr um sigr at þylia | socn stǫrir fǫri | brand rꜹð buðlungr þrǫnda | beʀ i þula siþan | hann ept hervig þreɴinn | hæra sciold at gioldum |
F - 41va/26-41va/29 (VEÞ)
Haþiz heilli góðo hilldr sem | ᴍagnvs villdi selr of sigr at þylía sokn stǽrir mer færí · | brand rꜹð buðlungr þrænda berr iþula siþan hann eft her | vig þreɴín hæra skiolld at giolldom·
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated