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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, ‘(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.

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, 110

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

16 — Þhorn Harkv 16I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


lemmatised words

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

(non-lexical) (unclassified)* 16/5

austrœnn (adj.) ‘eastern...’austrœnu 16/8

biðja (verb) [°biðr; bað, báðu; beðinn (beiþ- Martin¹ 573‡, bỏþ- HákEirsp 661‰, cf. ed. intr. xl)] ‘ask for, order, pray...’beðnir 16/5 var

birtingr (noun m.) [°-s, dat -i/-] ‘[sea-trout]...’birtingar 16/2

2er (conj.) ‘who, which, when...’es 16/3

fagr (adj.) [°fagran; compar. fegri, superl. fegrstr] ‘fair, beautiful...’fǫgrum 16/6

(noun n.) [°fjár/féar; -] ‘cattle, money...’ — 16/5 var, Féi 16/5

gœða (verb) ‘endow...’gœddir 16/5

hann (pron.) [°gen. hans, dat. honum; f. hon, gen. hennar, acc. hana] ‘he, she, it, they, them......’þeir 16/5

Haraldr (noun m.) ‘Haraldr...’Haralds 16/3

húnlenzkr (adj.) ‘[with Hunnish]...’húnlenzkum 16/7

1húnn (noun m.) [°; húnar] ‘knob...’húnum 16/4

í (prep.) ‘in, into...’ — 16/3, 16/5 var

lífi (noun n.) [°-s] ‘life...’ — 16/5 var

malmr (noun m.) [°-s, dat. -i; -ar] ‘metal...’malmi 16/7

man (noun n.) ‘girl...’mani 16/8

mjǫk (adv.) ‘very, much...’ — 16/1

mætr (adj.) [°compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -astr] ‘honoured, respected...’mætum 16/6

3ok (conj.) ‘and, but; also...’ — 16/6, 16/8

1reifa (verb) ‘endow, enrich...’reifðir 16/1

róg (noun n.) [°-s] ‘strife, slander...’ — 16/2

rógbirtingr (noun m.) ‘[Strife-displayers]...’rógbirtingar 16/2

1 (pron.) [°gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---] ‘that (one), those...’þeir 16/3, þess 16/5 var

tún (noun n.) [°-s; -] ‘homefield, enclosure...’túni 16/3

Úfi (noun m.) — 16/5 var

2vera (verb) ‘be, is, was, were, are, am...’eru 16/1, eru 16/5

1verpa (verb) ‘to throw, cast (up)...’ — 16/4

unlemmatised variants — mækum (16); reyfðir (16)


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