Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorbjǫrn hornklofi (Þhorn)

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

2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) (Harkv) - 23

Skj info: Þórbjǫrn hornklofi, Norsk skjald; omkr. 900. (AI, 22-29, BI, 20-26).

Skj poems:
1. Glymdrápa
2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál)
3. Lausavísa

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.

Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) — Þhorn HarkvI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál)’ 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. 91.

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Skj: Þórbjǫrn hornklofi: 2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál), Flere af de herhenhørende vers tillægges i forskellige håndskrifter Tjodolf hvinverske. (AI, 24-9, BI, 22-5)

SkP info: I, 105

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Þhorn Harkv 10I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

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.

 Kx Leiddiz þa fyr lúfo | landi at hallda | hilminom halsdigra | holm let ser at scialdi | slóguz undir sess þilior | er sárir voro | leto up stiǫlo stúpa | stungo i kiol hꜹfþom |   [RDF]  edit 
 F Leiddíz þa fyr lúfo landi at hallda hílmi hínom hals | digra holm let ser at skialldi· sloguz vnd sessþilíor er sarir voro | leto vpp stiolu stv́pa stvngo i kíol hofðom.   [RDF]  edit 
 J1x leiddiz þa fyr lufu landi at hallda hilmi inum h | alsdigra holm let ser at skialldi sloguz vndir sesþilior | er sarir voro letu up stælu stvfa stvngv i kiol hofðum |   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x Leiddiz þa fyr lufu | landi at hallda | hilmi inom halsdigra | holm let ser at skiallde || sloguz undir sesþilior | er sarir voru | letu up stælu stufa | stungu i kiol hofþum |   [RDF]  edit 
 51x leiddiz þa firir lufo | lanndi at hallda | hilminum hals digra | holm let ser skilldi | slogoz undir sess þilíur | er sarer varo | leto upp stiolu stufapa | stungu i kiol hofðum |   [RDF]  edit 
 FskBx leiddiz þa firir lufo | landi at hallda | hilminum hals digra | holm let ser skilldi | slogoz undir sess þiliur | er sarer varo. | leto upp stiolu stupa | stungu i kiol hofðum |   [RDF]  edit 
 302x leiddiz þa firir lufo | lanndi at hallda || hilminum hals digra | holm let ser skylldi | slogoz undir sess þilíur | er sarer varo | leto upp stiolu stupa | stungu i kiol hofðum |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 FskAx Leiddiz þa firir luvu | lande at halda | hilminum halsdighra || holm let ser at skildi | sloghoz und sess þilior | er sarir varo | leto up stiolu stupa | stungu i kiol hofðum |   [RDF]  edit 
 52x Leiddiz þa fyrir luvu | lande at halda | hilminom halsdighra | holm let ser at scilde | sloghoz und sess þilior | er sarir varo | letu up stiolu stupa | stungu i kiol hofðum ||   [VEÞ]  edit 
 301x Leiddizt þa firir Luvu | lannde at lannde at hallda, hilminum halsdigra , holm || let ser at skilde , slogozt unnd sess þilior er sarir varo , letu | upp stiolu stupa, stungu i kiol hofðom .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Flat Leiddizst þa firir lu | fu lande at hallda hilmi hinum hals dígra holm letu ser at skill | de· sloguzst sess vm þilíur er sarir voru letu upp stiolu standa stun | gu j kiol ho᷎fdum·   [RDF]  edit 

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