Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

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.

 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, 108

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

14 — Þhorn Harkv 14I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 14’ 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. 108.

‘Hafnaði Holmrygjum         ok Hǫrða meyjum,
hverri inni heinversku         ok Hǫlga ættar
konungr inn kynstóri,         es tók konu ina dǫnsku.’

‘Inn kynstóri konungr, es tók ina dǫnsku konu, hafnaði Holmrygjum ok meyjum Hǫrða, hverri inni heinversku ok ættar Hǫlga.’

‘The high-born king [Haraldr] who took the Danish wife rejected the Hólmrygir and the maidens of the Hǫrðar, every single one from Hedmark and of the family of Hǫlgi.’

texts: HarHárf 17, HHábr 1, HHárf 15 (I 47), ÓT 1, Flat 184 (2), Flat 411, Hkr 57 (I 47)

editions: Skj Þórbjǫrn hornklofi: 2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 14 (AI, 27; BI, 24);

Skald I, 15; Hkr 1777-1826, I, 97, VI, 18, Hkr 1868, 63, Hkr 1893-1901, I, 127, IV, 37, ÍF 26, 119-20, Hkr 1991, I, 74 (HHárf ch. 21/22), F 1871, 49; Fms 1, 7, Fms 12, 25, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 7 (ch. 2), Flat 1860-8, I, 42; Fms 10, 195, Flat 1860-8, I, 576 (HarHárf); Möbius 1860, 229, Jón Helgason 1946, 145-6, Jón Helgason 1968, 19.

sources

AM 35 folx (Kx) 63v, 24 - 64r, 2 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 11ra, 22 - 11ra, 24 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 35v, 19 - 35v, 22 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 36v, 10 - 36v, 15 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 2ra, 23 - 2ra, 25 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 1vb, 9 - 1vb, 10 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 2rb, 26 - 2rb, 28 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
AM 325 IX 1 b 4°x (325IX 1 bx) 2va, 28 - 2vb, 2 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat*) 6ra, 21 - 6ra, 22 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat*) 77ra, 44 - 77ra, 46 (Flat)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 761 a 4°x (761ax) 23r, 9 - 23r, 14 (Harkv)  image  
© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.