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Þorbjǫrn hornklofi (Þhorn)

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

2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) (Harkv) - 23

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.

my abbr.

Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) — Þhorn HarkvI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 23 January 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23 

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, 106

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Þhorn Harkv 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


lemmatised words

This information has not been reviewed and should not be referred to.

auðkylfa (noun f.)auðkylfur 11/5 var

1auðr (noun m.) [°-s/-ar, dat. -i/-] ‘wealth...’auð 11/5 var

austkylfa (noun f.)austkylfur 11/5

2austr (noun n.) [°-s] ‘the east...’aust 11/5, 11/5 var

austrkylfa (noun f.)austrkylfur 11/5 var

3á (prep.) ‘on, at...’ — 11/1, 11/8

bak (noun n.) [°-s; *-] ‘back...’baki 11/1

2berja (verb) [°barði; barðr/bariðr/barinn] ‘fight...’barðir 11/2

2blika (verb) [°-að-] ‘[gleamed]...’ — 11/1 var

blíkja (verb) ‘gleam, glisten...’ — 11/1

1drykkja (noun f.) [°-ju/-u; -ur] ‘drinking...’drykkju 11/8

fjǫrðr (noun m.) ‘fjord...’firði 11/7

grjót (noun n.) ‘rock, stone...’grjóti 11/2

hafr (noun m.) [°hafrs/-s(SnEU 56¹⁹), dat. hafri; hafrar] ‘goat...’Hafrs 11/7

Hafrsfjǫrðr (noun m.) ‘[Hafrsfjorden]...’Hafrsfirði 11/7

heim (adv.) ‘home, back...’ — 11/7

hlaupa (verb) ‘leap, run...’hljópu 11/6

hyggendi (noun f.) [°-/-ar(BarlReyk 107²‰)] ‘wisdom...’hyggjandi 11/4

2hyggja (verb) ‘think, consider...’hugðu 11/8

Jaðarbyggð (noun f.)Jaðarbyggðir 11/6 var

2Jaðarr (noun m.) ‘Jæren...’Jaðar 11/6

1kylfa (noun f.) [°-u; -ur] ‘club...’kylfur 11/5

láta (verb) ‘let, have sth done...’létu 11/1

mjaðardrykkja (noun f.)mjaðardrykkju 11/8 var

1mjǫðdrykkja (noun f.)mjǫðdrykkju 11/8

mjǫðr (noun m.) [°dat. miði] ‘mead...’mjaðar 11/8 var, mjǫð 11/8

1næfr (noun f.) [°-ar; -ar/-ir(DN III (1322) 128²⁴)] ‘roof-shingle...’næfrar 11/3

3of (prep.) ‘around, from; too...’ — 11/6

3ok (conj.) ‘and, but; also...’ — 11/6, 11/8

3ór (prep.) ‘out of...’ — 11/7

salnæfr (noun f.)salnæfrar 11/3

1salr (noun m.) [°-s, dat. -; dat. sǫlum] ‘hall...’sal 11/3

seggr (noun m.) [°; -ir] ‘man...’seggir 11/4

svalnæfr (noun f.)svalnæfrar 11/3 var

svalr (adj.) ‘cool...’sval 11/3 var

Sváfnir (noun m.) ‘Sváfnir...’Sváfnis 11/3

Svǫlnir (noun m.) ‘Svǫlnir...’Svǫlnis 11/3 var

2vera (verb) ‘be, is, was, were, are, am...’vôru 11/2

œsa (verb) ‘surge...’œstisk 11/5 var, Œstusk 11/5

unlemmatised variants — fyrði (11); hyggjandu (11); kylfr (11); kylgur (11); kylpur (11); leitu (11); svafins (11)


Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated