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Þorbjǫrn hornklofi (Þhorn)

9th century; volume 1; ed. R. D. Fulk;

1. Glymdrápa (Gldr) - 10

Little is known about the Norwegian Þorbjǫrn hornklofi ‘Horn-cleaver (?)’. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273) names him as a poet of Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ (r. c. 860-c. 932). Judging from Fsk (ÍF 29, 59), he seems to have spent his whole life at the court of this king. Þorbjǫrn is the composer of two poems about Haraldr, Glymdrápa (Þhorn Gldr) and Haraldskvæði (Þhorn Harkv). Skálda saga, an anecdote about skalds preserved in Hb, and hardly likely to be historical, depicts him as one of three skalds, the other two being Auðunn illskælda ‘Bad-poet’ and Ǫlvir hnúfa ‘Snub-nose (?)’, each of whom attempts a romantic encounter with the same rich widow and then bemoans his failure in a lausavísa (see Auðunn Lv 2, Þhorn Lv, Ǫlv Lv 2). The three skalds are also named in Egils saga (ÍF 2, 19) as Haraldr’s favourites. They occupy places of honour in his hall, with Þorbjǫrn between the other two.

In the prose sources Þorbjǫrn is predominantly referred to only by his nickname Hornklofi. To date there is no satisfying explanation of this word. It is attested in the Þulur as a raven-heiti (see Þul Hrafns 1/5III and Note), but it does not occur in that sense in the surviving body of skaldic poetry. Scholars have claimed that the nickname refers to Þorbjǫrn’s device, in Þhorn Harkv, of having a raven speak in his stead (SnE 1848-87, III, 408; ÍF 26, 101 n. 1). Fidjestøl (1991, 126) is, however, justified in doubting this interpretation. An alternative possibility would be to link the nickname to Egill Hfl 16/6-7V (Eg 49): en jǫfurr heldr lǫndum hornklofi ‘and the ruler holds his lands by a hornklof’. But hornklofi here must be the dative of neuter hornklof, whereas Þorbjǫrn’s nickname is a masculine n-stem, and unfortunately the meaning of this passage is obscure, though hornklof seems to be some kind of tool.

notes
my abbr.

Glymdrápa — Þhorn GldrI

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) Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Glymdrápa’ 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. 73.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

for reference only:  4x 

Skj: Þórbjǫrn hornklofi: 1. Glymdrápa (AI, 22-4, BI, 20-1); stanzas (if different): 3, 4/1-4 | 4/5-8

SkP info: I, 75

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Þhorn Gldr 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Glymdrápa 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. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 75.

Hilmir réð á heiði
hjaldrskíðs þrimu galdra
óðr við œskimeiða
ey vébrautar heyja,
áðr gnapsólar Gripnis
gnýstœrandi fœri
rausnarsamr til rimmu
ríðviggs lagar skíðum.

Hilmir réð heyja {þrimu {hjaldrskíðs}} á heiði, ey óðr við {œskimeiða {galdra {vébrautar}}}, áðr {rausnarsamr {{{Gripnis ríðviggs} gnapsólar} gný}stœrandi} fœri {skíðum lagar} til rimmu.

The ruler commanded that {the noise {of the battle-plank}} [SWORD > BATTLE] be launched on the heath, ever furious at {the wishing trees {of the incantations {of the standard-road}}} [BATTLEFIELD > BATTLE > WARRIORS], before {the magnificent increaser {of the noise {of the jutting sun {of the riding horse of Gripnir <sea-king>}}}} [(lit. ‘noise-increaser of the jutting sun of the riding horse of Gripnir’) SHIP > SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIOR] sailed into battle {with the skis of the sea} [SHIPS].

texts: HHárf 1 (I 33), Hkr 43 (I 33)

editions: Skj Þórbjǫrn hornklofi: 1. Glymdrápa 1 (AI, 22; BI, 20); Skald I, 12-13, NN §§228-9; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 108, IV, 28-9, ÍF 26, 101, Hkr 1991, I, 61-2 (HHárf ch. 9), F 1871, 42.

sources

AM 35 folx (Kx) 54v, 8 - 54v, 15 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 9va, 9 - 9va, 11 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 29v, 7 - 29v, 10 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 31r, 4 - 31r, 11 (Hkr)  image  
AM 761 a 4°x (761ax) 19v, 1 - 19v, 8  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated